NetApp boosts scale and functionality in clustered Ontap 8.2

NetApp has boosted scalability to 69PB over 24 nodes and met customer needs for SnapMirror functionality in the new version of its clustered NAS operating system, Ontap 8.2

NetApp has released version 8.2 of its clustered NAS operating system, Data Ontap. The key upgrades are that it now scales to 69PB over 24 storage nodes, allows non-disruptive adds and changes, and offers quality of service configurability.

The boost in scalability is up to 69PB over potentially 24 storage nodes, with the ability to configure up to 49,000 LUNs or 12,000 NAS volumes, said NetApp product alliances and solutions marketing manager Laurence James.

Data Ontap first allowed clustered NAS operations in version 8.1.1, which was released early in 2012. This release was a major watershed for NetApp and the NAS market in general as it marked availability of clustering in mainstream NAS products.

Clustered or scale-out NAS enables many NAS devices to be linked together grid-fashion with a common operating system and parallel file system that can be scaled to provide large amounts of capacity and upgraded to suit capacity or performance needs as required.

This increase in scale is a considerable jump on the 20PB in five high-availability pairs that was possible with version 8.1.1.

The other key feature NetApp has introduced with version 8.2 is for non-disruptive operations during hardware adds and changes. This allows users to retire old hardware and install new without having to take the whole system down, for example, which could be a major consideration in a multi-petabyte environment.

Instead, data can be mapped to other areas on the cluster while hardware changes take place and then mapped to the new media.

“This is particularly aimed at cloud providers that want to add infrastructure as they grow in a multi-tenant environment,” said James.

Meanwhile, quality of service (QoS) configurability has been introduced. These can be applied to particular tenants or business units, for example, to control limits on capacity, IOPS and throughput to match to an SLA.

NetApp’s replication functionality, SnapVault, previously unusable in Ontap’s clustered mode, is now available in the clustered version.

By late last year it was difficult to find a NetApp customer that had switched on Ontap’s clustered functionality, most saying they did not want to be an early adopter and noting the non-trivial nature of making the switch. The lack of SnapMirror functionality was also specifically cited.

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Just a few corrections:
- NAS clustering has been available since the ONTAP GX days in 2004.
- Clustered ONTAP 8.0 had a maximum capacity of around 55PB
- ONTAP 8.1.1 introduced the 20PB 'infinite volume' with up to 2 Bio objects in *a single volume*, as opposed to 'in a single namespace'. 8.2 didn't change the Infinite Volume limitations, but infinite volumes can now share space with one another and 'regular namespaces' in an up-to-24-nodes cluster.
- In a similar way, many of the features that make up NDO (Non Disruptive Operations) have been available for a long time already. Some tweaks in 8.2 have improved the NDO usability, though.
- LUNs are mentioned in the article: clustered SAN has been available in clustered ONTAP since 8.1 on 4 nodes, since 8.1.1 on 6 nodes and with 8.2 expanded to 8 nodes (4 HA pairs).

Hope that helps clear up some things.

(I'm a certified NetApp instructor without further ties to the company...)