Network and Storage Protocols

Netapp filer is NAS or SAN


Hi ,

I would like to know Netapp filer Fas series , the internal disk is NAS or SAN. From the doc i understand NAS filer can be connected to NAS or SAN  but i would like to know about the internal drive which is present in netapp filer ?



Nice thread.



there is do difference between internal and external disks. They can be NAS and/or SAN (both at the same time).

Every other feature like deduplication, compression, etc. doesn't care about if the disk are internal or external.




Thanks for the reply. But i just like to know is it NAS or not. Can we take aggregate as Block capacity and volume as File System capacity. ?


Every controller puts disks into one or more aggregates. From this aggregate you create several volumes. Some volumes
you can use for NAS und other volumes you can use for SAN (you have to create a LUN inside of this volume).

You are not able to put data directly into aggregates.


Thanks a lot for your inputs... But if i want to know which volume is NAS or SAN , how i will able to recognize ? Any property from volume ?



the volume doesn't care about NAS or SAN. A volume can contain a lun (SAN) or files (NAS). To distinguish between NAS or SAN inside the volume just name it accordingly.



thanks.. I have another question Can same volume can  contain both LUN and NAS ? How Can i find the capacity (Used or free) for block and file part for netapp filer?


Hello mohan,

Radek is right:>)

I was wonder is there a reason you have to pout both LUN and NAS within the same vol:>)

Enjoy the fun to discover NetApp.



Can same volume can  contain both LUN and NAS ?

In theory yes, but it isn't recommended. A LUN on NetApp filer is a special file presented via block protocol, so potentially you can have LUN(s) & regular files for sharing over CIFS/NFS in the same volume (again - not recommended)

How Can i find the capacity (Used or free) for block and file part for netapp filer?

That's a bit more complicated, but in principle you should use dedicated volumes for LUNs, which should make checking capacity fairly straightforward (e.g. by using System Manager, or from CLI using commands like df)


Hi Radek,

I have one more question , from onCommand manager i can create volume of type SAN or NAS .But when i see the security setting of that volume i see only one difference that is Security style for NAS is NTFS and for for SAN is Unix. So is this the way i can differentiate between NAS and SAN volume. Also i see Security style as 'Mixed' , can you pls tel me about these Security style.

Thanks a lot ...


Please understand the difference between NAS (file level access) and SAN (block level access). it's very important.

If your doing NAS on a Netapp, your creating shares (CIFS/NFS) and can directly access the files that reside on the storage system.

The Filer sees the files, they reside in it's own file system (WAFL). In that case the security style is relevant (UNIX/NTFs, default can be set).

In case of SAN the Netapp we're talking about LUNs that get mapped to certain systems and only those system care about the data that reside inside the LUNs.

Theres only a mapping of LUN<->Initiator. The Netapp system has no share on that volume that holds the LUN so security style is irrelevant. The volume can not be accesses from outside. Files that lie inside the LUN cannot be seen from the Filer, the Filer only sees a big chunk of Data (LUNs).


Thanks radek for the info. 


no you can't put both SAN and NAS in one volume (though not completely sure wether it would work with qtrees) but that would not be kind of a good practise too mix things in that way. just create another volume, that's no problem.

I recommend doing a little bit more basic reading of Netapp documentation to get a better understanding of how your filer works.

I furhter recommend to install the OnCommand System Manager to administrate your storage system. It gives you a graphical overview of your system and enables you to do most tasks via GUI. Any further/advanced things can be done via CLI.

To play around with Netapp you might want to use the netapp simulator. It's a VM an can be used with VMware Player/Workstation/ESX/Fusion. See

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