ONTAP Discussions

File Clone Parent Size


HI - Still very much a n00b to NetApp.  Have used flexclones on individual VMDK files for cloning dev VMs and would like to know if I can see how the changes on the children are affecting the size of the parent.  Looked for a command to list all of the file clones on a volume but have come up empty.  



volume clone show -parent-volume <parent volume name>


The above command will give the clone shich are built on that perticular volume.


changes on will not impact the data on parent. 


Flex clone :

Deployment of Flexclone technology fit’s most in software development and testing environment,  some Database volume is required for the testing of some new application software.

For example, A software company develop a new software and some Database is required for the testing of the new software, in that case development company do not take risk of providing the some existing live database for the testing of new application, so in that case for the testing of new software, the only option left is to create a replica of the original Database volume for the testing purpose. Achievement of a Replica volume or the original database volume will require a lot time and double of storage space which require more physical space in storage system, which leads to double of storage cost, and double of the storage admin effort to monitor and maintain the storage system. To overcome such situation NetApp provide’s it’s FlexClone feature which does not require the double of space and approx zero storage admin efforts for creating the mirror volume for software testing.

How Flexclone technology works

As discussed on above paragraph Flexclone works on the snapshot engine so in below line’s I will try to explain the Flexclone functionality using Snapshot functionality. When ever we are required to create a replica volume in NetApp, we take a snapshot of the original volume, as snapshot is the read only copy of the AFS (Active file system) at any point of time, so on basis of AFS state any point of time we create a Flexclone volume, which points towards the same blocks as the original volume.

  1. So Flexclone provide you the following advantage. Enables you to create multiple, instant data-set clones with no storage overhead (As both volumes are pointing towards the same data blocks).
  2. Provides dramatic improvement for application testing and development environments.

At this point of time this question might be Raised  In yours mind that is both volumes are using same data blacks then how it preserve the original data-set volume from being corrupted, so the answer is their in snapshot definition, As snapshot convert all volume blocks in frozen state so whatever changes made by the new application software will be written in new blocks so the original data-set volume will remains as it was.