This blog is part of a series on Data ONTAP 8 operating in Cluster-Mode, and focuses on Storage Efficiency and Integrated Data Protection. The first blog in this series was “Why Scale-Out & What’s New”, the second blog was on “Unified Scale-Out – What’s Supported & Why It’s Unique” and the third blog focused on “Nondisruptive Operations – What Does it Mean?”.
For most organizations, storage represents a significant portion of the IT budget. By improving the efficiency of your storage environment, you can help boost overall IT efficiency. NetApp offers one of the most complete portfolios of sustained storage efficiency technologies.
Storage efficiency is built into Data ONTAP and can improve storage utilization and optimization while maintaining or boosting IT performance. Data protection provides replication services, making sure that valuable data is backed up and recoverable.
The NetApp storage efficiency technologies which work with all storage protocols can be broken down into 4 buckets:
Removes redundant data blocks in primary and secondary storage with flexible policies on when the deduplication process is run.
Compresses data blocks. Can be run whether or not deduplication is enabled and can provide additional space savings whether run alone or together with deduplication.
RAID-DP is a Double Parity RAID 6 implementation that prevents data loss when two drives fail. RAID-DP makes SATA disk an option for enterprise storage.
Volumes are created using "virtual" sizing. They appear to be provisioned at their full capacity, but are actually created much smaller and only use additional space when actually needed. Extra unused storage is shared across all volumes, and the volumes can grow and shrink on demand.
Near-zero space, instant “virtual” copies of datasets. The clones are writable, but only changes to the original are stored, so they provide rapid, space-efficient creation of additional data copies ideally suited for test/dev environments.
Automatically scheduled point-in-time copies that write only changed blocks, with no performance penalty. The Snapshot copies consume minimal storage space, since only changes to the active file system are written. Individual files and directories can be easily recovered from any Snapshot copy, and the entire volume can be restored back to any Snapshot state in seconds.
Flash Cache speeds access to data through intelligent caching of recently read user data and NetApp metadata in the storage controller. No setup or ongoing administration is needed. It works with all storage protocols and all NetApp software.
Volumes can be asynchronously replicated either within the cluster or to another cluster.
My next blog in the Data ONTAP 8 series will look at the physical and logical components of the cluster.