Proven Efficiency with Clustered ONTAP

In my blog post on the new features of clustered Data ONTAP 8.2, I highlighted three key benefits: nondisruptive operations, proven efficiency and seamless scalability.  This blog explores proven efficiency in more detail.  For additional information on storage efficiency, see older blog.


Clustered Data ONTAP is a highly virtualized storage operating system that abstracts physical storage into a set of storage virtual machines in order to deliver policy-based storage services for SAN and NAS with native multi-tenancy. Quality of service and data protection can be managed at the SVM level, so you can be more responsive, provision based on the required service level, and realize operational benefits from preset policy-based security and delegation.


Clustered Data ONTAP makes both your storage and your IT staff more productive and efficient, so you can scale your storage infrastructure without scaling your IT organization. A common set of features and procedures simplifies complex tasks so your IT staff can focus on solving higher-level problems and your operational efficiency grows as scale increases.


With clustered Data ONTAP you can consolidate and share the same infrastructure for workloads or tenants with different performance, capacity, and security requirements; achieve storage cost reductions with comprehensive storage efficiency; and take advantage of flash to optimize both capacity and performance.


Management processes scale so that twice as much storage no longer means twice as much work. All storage services running on clustered Data ONTAP—whether deployed for SAN, NAS, or both—use a common set of management tools. NetApp OnCommand software allows you to automate, virtualize, and manage service delivery and SLAs. You can rapidly deploy resources and redeploy as your business and IT needs change, while shrinking backup windows and reducing infrastructure requirements.


Native Multi-tenancy and Quality of Service (QoS)

A storage cluster can be subdivided into distinct SVMs, each governed by its own rights and permissions. SVMs are used to securely isolate individual tenants—for instance, in a service provider environment—or individual applications, workgroups, business units, and so on. Because an SVM isn’t tied to particular physical resources, you can move an SVM or adjust its resources without disruption.


Each application or tenant typically has its own SVM, and that SVM can be managed by the application owner or tenant. Application-driven storage services, available through our OnCommand plug-ins and APIs, allow application owners to automatically provision, protect, and manage data through the application management tools they are already familiar with.


QoS workload management allows you to control the resources that can be consumed by storage objects such as volumes, LUNs, VMDKs, or SVMs to manage performance spikes and improve customer satisfaction. You can create limits in terms of bandwidth (MB/sec) or throughput (I/O operations per second) to achieve fine-grained control. When a limit is set on an SVM, the limit is shared for all objects within that SVM. This allows you to set a performance limit on a particular tenant, but it leaves the tenant free to manage the assigned resources however they choose within that limit. QoS gives you the ability to consolidate many workloads or tenants on a cluster without fear that the most important workloads will suffer or that activity in one tenant partition will affect another.


Storage Efficiency and Flash

Pervasive cost reductions in clustered Data ONTAP result from the most comprehensive storage efficiency offering in the industry, including innovative Snapshot copies, replication and cloning technologies, thin provisioning, compression, and deduplication. NetApp is the only storage provider to deliver proven efficiencies for both SAN and NAS on entry-level, midtier, enterprise, software-based, and virtualized third-party arrays.


NetApp uses a multipronged approach to drive up your efficiency and drive down costs. We combine dual-parity RAID (RAID-DP® technology) for protection from disk failures with proven data reduction techniques and increase overall storage utilization. Our cloning technology reduces the need for full data copies, dramatically reducing your storage consumption during development and test, data mining, and other activities while making it easier and faster for people to access the datasets they need.


Clustered Data ONTAP supports a full range of flash technologies. The NetApp Virtual Storage Tier results in hybrid storage that combines the performance of flash with the capacity of hard disk drives. Hot data is automatically cached in flash, accelerating applications. You achieve optimal performance with little or no tuning, no moving data across media, and no ongoing management. Virtual Storage Tier technologies work in concert with other NetApp storage efficiency technologies such as deduplication to deliver optimal results and maximum performance from your flash investment.


When used together, these efficiency technologies significantly affect the data growth curve, allowing you to do more with less storage and driving down both your capital expenses (capex) and operational expenses (opex).





Figure 1) Storage efficiency technologies change the data growth


Mike McNamara