ONTAP Hardware

difference between vServer and vFiler


Hi Techies,

I know the functions of vFiler but getting confused with vServer option in Netapp. are we currently using the vServer in Netapp or its the older one and not in use. please elaborate.

Thanks & regards




V-Series front-ends other vendor storage.  a vFiler is a 7-mode concept of a separate FAS (logical container) and a Vserver is a similar container but for Clustered ONTAP (cluster-mode).  There are many differences between the two (vFiler runs on one node in a 7-mode ha pair, but a Vserver runs on all nodes in clustered ontap) but both are very similar in concept where they segment multi-tenant access but for different modes of ONTAP.

So depending on the mode of ONTAP you are running you could run a vFiler(s) (optional in 7-mode) or a Vserver(s) (required to serve data in clustered ONTAP).



Please go through the below document which is availabe on now netapp cluster mode documenation link.



Bhola Gond


vServer (cluster-mode only): Vservers can be thought of as a secure virtual storage system.  It is made up of the volumes, which can be joined in a name space hierarchy, for NAS workload or the volumes could be individual sub-containers of LUNs, for a SAN workload.  Vservers can be easily modified as well, scaling to several petabytes as needed.

Differences between vfiler and vservers:

Vservers in Cluster-Mode supersede vFiler capabilities by providing a single namespace, using resources from many nodes within the cluster, support for any Cluster-Mode data protocol, and includes fully-delegated role-based access control.

thank you



Very good summary.  I wish we have the vfiler move equivalent though...but definitely a big fan of Vservers anyway, but still a lot of 7-mode customers with vFilers.. much easier for them to migrate to Vservers when they have vFiler expereince.


to move volumes between vFilers...but no flexibilty to move between nodes like clustered ONTAP but surely all features will be there as we get to 8.2 and 8.3... Vserver DR is the other missing thing that I really look forward to like vFiler DR.


But we have the facility to move the volumes around which are attached to vservers that helps too for that local cluster but we can do the snapmirror of volumes and root to remote site - this works like vfiler migrate but is completely manual process not click'n' go.

thank you,



Recreating all the cifs shares, exports, igroups and lun mappings… maybe a nice WFA project to create the features of vFiler migrate for Vservers…

It does come up where customers want to move a volume from on Vserver to another like vFilers but can’t…but good point they can snapmirror (as long as the volume language is the same for all volumes in the Vserver … another interesting requirement).


How to see the difference between vfiler and normal filer? Please advise