Taking SANs to The Next Level - Clustered SAN

This blog is part of a series on Data ONTAP 8 clustering, and provides an overview of clustered or scalable SAN.


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

14.    Finding a Needle in 20 Million Haystacks – a Clustering Success Story


Storage clustering has often been associated with NAS and technical applications, and several years ago this was where NetApp first focused.  However, with the release of Data ONTAP 8.1 in September of 2011 block storage protocols (FC, FCoE, iSCSI) were added and now NetApp supports a unified scale-out offering, with both file and block protocol support.  Enterprise and technical applications are supported with clustered Data ONTAP.

Enterprise applications like Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server, and SharePoint for example will benefit from the nondisruptive operation capabilities with a clustered SAN (scalable SAN) .  Fibre Channel SANs are so prevalent with mission critical environments, moving to a clustered SAN environment for a technology refresh, new data center build out or greenfield opportunity is the right and logical move for the reasons I have blogged about before.  For example, nondisruptive operations, storage efficiency, multitenancy, linear performance scaling, etc.


NetApp’s clustered or scalable SAN has unique benefits.


Capacity for scale

  • 12 PB+ of capacity
  • 192 I/O connections
  • 48TB+ FlashCache

Performance for consolidation

Efficiency for Shared Infrastructure

  • FlashPools (SSD), deduplicatoin, compression, thin Provisioning, virtual clones, snapshots

Designed for Multi-Tenancy

  • Vservers for isolation
  • NPIV for virtualized fabrics
  • iSCSI, FC, FCoE for unified fabrics

3rd party storage support

  • Support for storage from EMC, HDS, IBM and other vendors with V-Series



Mike McNamara