Data is the lifeblood of every organisation and NetApp ONTAP is the industry’s leading data management software for the data centre, edge and cloud. ONTAP 9.8 has just been released and it’s chock-full of new features that combine new levels of simplicity, flexibility, and security with powerful data management capabilities, proven storage efficiencies, and leading cloud integration – highlights include:
SnapMirror Cloud provides a simple and efficient mechanism to create space-efficient backups of snapshots to object storage, thus allowing you to eliminate tape from your infrastructure – the solution consists of three components:
- SnapMirror Cloud – incrementally moves ONTAP snapshots securely and efficiently to object storage
- SnapDiff v3 – an API that enables applications to automatically update their catalog with a list of changed files
- Orchestrator – a backup application, such as ProLion RestoreManager, or NetApp Cloud Backup Service
This is a great feature for organisations that are looking to backup their NAS data to cloud storage that is optimally integrated into the storage platform – it has always been far more efficient to get a storage array to perform replication for DR, now it’s also far more efficient to get it to backup data to the cloud rather than using an external backup application.
SnapMirror Business Continuity (SM-BC)
SM-BC builds on SnapMirror Synchronous to provide zero RPO, automated fail-over and active-active LUN access for Windows and Linux hosts, and VMware Metro Storage Clusters. The LUN identity on the source and destination remain the same, ALUA is used to identify optimised and non-optimised paths, I/O to a secondary LUN is automatically forwarded to the primary and a 3rd site mediator is used to resolve split brain issues and automate failover.
If your organisation requires extreme availability then SM-BC is a much simpler, more flexible and cost-effective alternative to NetApp MetroCluster.
ONTAP S3 with support for FabricPool tiering
ONTAP now provides basic S3 protocol access which can be used for small scale object storage use cases including being a target for ONTAP FabricPool. StorageGRID remains NetApp’s enterprise-grade, fully featured and massively scalable object storage platform, but there will be scenarios whereby ONTAP S3 makes more sense.
ONTAP has supported NFS, SMB, FC and iSCSI access protocols for decades, but demand is growing for the key storage protocol of the cloud so adding support for S3 will enable ONTAP to meet even more use cases.
FlexGroup VMware vSphere datastore support
Organisations can now store VMware virtual machines on a scale-out NFS datastore that has massive capacity scalability and performance. A FlexGroup volume can seamless span every node in a cluster with each VMDK automatically load balanced across the controllers.
If your organisation is looking to move away from the overheads of using LUNs with VMware, FlexGroup volumes provides a far simpler and more performant alternative.
Temperature Sensitive Storage Efficiency (TSSE)
TSSE provides inline compression of hot blocks using 8K compression groups, once the data becomes cold (based on a configurable policy) it’s automatically re-compressed using 32K compression groups for even greater capacity savings.
Compression is a trade-off of space saved versus the performance impact to compress and de-compress the data, TSSE automatically applies the optimal level of space saving dependent on how hot the data is.
ONTAP 9.8 futureproofs your data infrastructure with state-of-the-art capabilities and therefore should be high on your shortlist when the time comes to consider a new on-premises or cloud storage purchase.