Clustered Data ONTAP 8.3RC1

Today NetApp released nine new or updated products for immediate download to customers, with the biggest one being our core product. This is another milestone release for Data ONTAP with major performance enhancements (significantly greater performance running on the same hardware platform) as well as significant new features. Every company likes to say that about every product release, of course, but here’s just a few of the improvements in 8.3 (in no particular order):

  • OnCommand System Manager is now on-box, built into the operating system to provide a web-based management GUI. A client install will still be available but is no longer required.
  • Automated nondisruptive upgrades (NDU): NDU has been core tenet of clustered Data ONTAP, and now it’s been improved to allow  automatic installation to each cluster node, validation of the cluster components, and either rolling or batch upgrades of all nodes in the cluster.
  • MetroCluster support for clustered Data ONTAP: previously, only 7-mode was available to provide customers with the zero RPO and near-zero RTO required for the most mission critical workloads and active/active data center configurations. Additional features have also been included in MetroCluster, the most significant of which is probably local high-availability (an HA pair at each site, not one HA pair split between sites).
  • IPspaces: this allows different tenants to utilize the same overlapping network addresses and subnets within the same cluster. In concert with this, each Storage Virtual Machine (SVM) now has its own distinct routing table.
  • Advanced disk partitioning (ADP):
    • Root-disk partitioning for entry-level (2200 and 2500 series) and All-Flash FAS systems which eliminates the need for dedicated root aggregates and increases the usable capacity available for customer data.
    • Flash Pool partitioning to allow SSDs to be shared across multiple aggregates and/or controllers for more efficient use of SSDs within the system.
  • Flash Pool now support compressed data for read operations.
  • Storage Encryption support for SSDs
  • Inline detection and elimination of blocks of zeros
  • Support for Dynamic Access Control (DAC) and central access policies for CIFS/SMB
  • Support for Storage-Level Access Guard an additional security setting at the volume-level which cannot be configured or revoked from a client, even by a system (Windows or UNIX) administrator. This is in addition to the standard file-level and share-level settings, as well as the new DAC.
  • The return of support for “showmount -e” for NFS environments and the use of Microsoft Management Console for share management for Windows environments.
  • Online migration of LUNs between volumes within a cluster. This is a really cool feature that deserves more attention.
  • Selective LUN Mapping (SLM) to reduce the number of paths visible to clients in larger cluster environments.
  • Over-the-wire compression support for both SnapMirror and SnapVault
  • Version-flexible replication: previously, SnapMirror replication required the destination to always be at the same Data ONTAP version level or higher than the source. Starting with 8.3 this is no longer the case and more complex replication topologies are now supported.
  • Cloud ONTAP for Amazon Web Services (AWS): a software-only storage appliance for the AWS cloud.

One thing that I have to point out: there is no version of Data ONTAP 7-mode for the 8.3 release.

Clustered Data ONTAP 8.3RC1 can be downloaded here:


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