Finding a Needle in 20 Million Haystacks - Clustering Success Story

This blog is part of a series on Data ONTAP 8 clustering, and provides an overview of a recent customer success story.


Data ONTAP 8.1 blog series:

1.       Why Scale-Out & What’s New

2.       Unified Scale-Out – What’s Supported & Why It’s Unique

3.       Nondisruptive Operations – What Does it Mean?

4.       Enterprise Ready Data ONTAP 8 Cluster-Mode

5.       What’s Included In A Cluster Configuration

6.       Data ONTAP 8 Clustering – Multitenancy Designed In

7.       ESG Lab Validation of Data ONTAP 8.1 Unified Clustering

8.       Storage Monitoring Made Easy:  A Video Demonstration of Data ONTAP 8 Clustering

9.       Data ONTAP Unified (SAN and NAS) Cluster Benchmark Performance

10.    Announcing Data ONTAP 8.1.1 operating in Cluster-Mode

11.    PeakColo Guarantees 100% SLA for the Cloud with Data ONTAP 8 Clustering                                   

12.    Data ONTAP #1 Storage Operating System 

13.    Do You Prefer Your IOPs Without Your Extra Latency




CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is one of the world’s largest and most respected centers for scientific research.  Its business is fundamental physics, finding out what the universe is made of and how it works.  Physicists at CERN crash trillions of protons together in CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s largest particle accelerator, in the hope that even one collision will produce a Higgs particle.  The elusive Higgs boson particle is one of the last pieces of a puzzle that will describe how all matter fits together, from our DNA to the billions of galaxies in our universe.


In 2007, after a public tender process, CERN selected NetApp technology for the LHC logging database built on an Oracle database with Real Application Clusters (RAC) technology.  Since that time, CERN has unified its entire Oracle infrastructure on NetApp and today stores 99% of all Oracle data on NetApp solutions.  CERN has not lost a single data block on NetApp. 


Recently CERN has deployed Data ONTAP operating in Cluster-Mode for more efficient data mobility. Eric Grancher, database services architect within CERN IT said “we welcome Data ONTAP Cluster-Mode that lets us move data—for load-balancing, for moving less-used or inactive data to lower-cost drives, or for technology updates—without having to stop the application.”  If CERN databases don’t run, the accelerator doesn’t run, and physics doesn’t function.


NetApp Data ONTAP clustering makes it possible to maintain peak application performance and storage efficiency by adding storage and moving data without disrupting ongoing operations.  In CERN’s environment, no application can be stopped, so the infrastructure must deliver continuous availability with nondisruptive upgrade and other administrative operations.


Through NetApp’s agile data infrastructure and clustering, CERN is able to deliver nondisruptive operations, achieve its “keep-forever” data strategy and achieve storage utilization rates of up to 75% and decrease its IT footprint by 2 times. 


The detailed case study is located here.


Mike McNamara