Behind the Scenes: Episode 107 – NetApp Insight, GPDR & Data Fabric

Welcome to the Episode 107, part of the continuing series called “Behind the Scenes of the NetApp Tech ONTAP Podcast.”

group-4-2016

This week on the podcast, we get ready for Insight with a couple of interviews with some of the folks that will be attending the conference from NetApp and answering questions at Insight Central. Join us as we chat with Professional Services Product Manager Justine Ma (https://www.linkedin.com/in/justinema/@ma_justine) and Global Architect David Mancusi (David.Mancusi@netapp.com) about Insight, GDPR and the Data Fabric! 

Finding the Podcast

The podcast is all finished and up for listening. You can find it on iTunes or SoundCloud or by going to techontappodcast.com.

Also, if you don’t like using iTunes or SoundCloud, we just added the podcast to Stitcher.

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/tech-ontap-podcast?refid=stpr

I also recently got asked how to leverage RSS for the podcast. You can do that here:

http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:164421460/sounds.rss

Our YouTube channel (episodes uploaded sporadically) is here:

You can listen to this week’s episode here:

https://m.soundcloud.com/techontap_podcast/episode-107-netapp-insight-gpdr-data-fabric

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NetApp FlexGroup: Crazy fast

This week, the SPEC SFS®2014_swbuild test results for NetApp FlexGroup volumes submitted for file services were approved and published.

TL;DR – NetApp was the cream of the crop.

You can find those results here:

http://spec.org/sfs2014/results/res2017q3/sfs2014-20170908-00021.html

The testing rig was as follows:

  • Four node FAS8200 cluster (not AFF)
  • 72 4TB 7200 RPM 12Gb SAS drives (per HA pair)
  • NFSv3
  • 20 IBM servers/clients
  • 10GbE network (four connections per HA pair)

Below is a graph that consolidates the results of multiple vendor SPEC SFS®2014_swbuild results. Notice the FlexGroup did more IOPS (around 260k) at a lower latency (sub 3ms):

specsfs-fg

In addition, NetApp had the best Overall Response Time (ORT) of the competition:

specsfs-ort

And had the best MBps/throughput:

specsfs-mbps

Full results here:

http://spec.org/sfs2014/results/sfs2014swbuild.html

For more information on the SPEC SFS®2014_swbuild test, see https://www.spec.org/sfs2014/.

Everything but the kitchen sink…

With a NetApp FlexGroup, the more clients and work you throw at it, the better it will perform. An example of this is seen in TR-4571, with a 2 node A700 doing GIT workload testing. Note how increasing the jobs only encourages the FlexGroup.

average-iops

max-mbps-git

FlexGroup Resources

If you’re interested in learning more, see the following resources:

You can also email us at flexgroups-info@netapp.com.

Tech ONTAP Podcast: Now powered by NetApp FlexGroup volumes!

If you’re not aware, I co-host the Tech ONTAP Podcast. I also am the TME for NetApp FlexGroup volumes. Inexplicably, we weren’t actually storing our podcast files on NetApp storage – instead, we were using the local Mac SSD, which was problematic for three reasons:

  1. It was eventually going to fill up.
  2. If it failed, bye bye files.
  3. It was close to impossible to access unless were were local to the Mac, for a variety of reasons.

So, it finally dawned on me that I had an AFF8040 in my lab, barely being used for anything except testing and TR writing.

At first, I was going to use a FlexVol, out of habit. But then I realized that a FlexGroup volume would provide a great place to write a bunch of 1-400MB files while leveraging all of my cluster resources. The whole process, from creating the FlexGroup, googling autofs in Mac and setting up the NFS mount and Audio Hijack, took me all of maybe 30 minutes (most of that googling and setting up autofs). Not bad!

The podcast setup

When we record the podcast, we use software called Audio Hijack. This allows us to pipe in sound from applications like WebEx and web browsers, as well as from the in-studio microphones, which all get converted to MP3. This is where the FlexGroup NFS mount comes in – we’ll be pointing Audio Hijack to the FlexGroup volume, where the MP3 files will stream in real time.

Additionally, I also migrated all the existing data over to the FlexGroup for archival purposes. We do use OneDrive to do podcast sharing and such, but I wanted an extra layer of centralized data access, and the NFS mounted FlexGroup provides that. Setting it up to stream right from Audio Hijack removes an extra step for me when processing the files. But, before I could point the software at the NFS mount, I had to configure the Mac to automount the FlexGroup volume on boot.

Creating the FlexGroup volume

Normally, a FlexGroup volume is created with 8 member volumes per node for an AFF (as per best practice). However, my FlexGroup volume was going to be around 5TB. That means 16 member volumes would be around 350-400GB each. That violates the other best practices of no less than 500GB per member, to avoid too much remote allocation. While my file sizes weren’t going to be huge, I wanted to avoid issues as the volume filled, so I met in the middle – 8 member volumes total, 4 per node. To do that, you have to go to the CLI; System Manager doesn’t do customization like that yet. In particular, you need the -aggr-list and -aggr-list-multiplier options with volume create.

ontap9-tme-8040::*> vol create -vserver DEMO -volume TechONTAP -aggr-list aggr1_node1,aggr1_node2 -aggr-list-multiplier 4
ontap9-tme-8040::*> vol show -vserver DEMO -volume TechONTAP* -sort-by size -fields size,node
vserver volume size node
------- --------------- ----- ------------------
DEMO TechONTAP__0001 640GB ontap9-tme-8040-01
DEMO TechONTAP__0002 640GB ontap9-tme-8040-02
DEMO TechONTAP__0003 640GB ontap9-tme-8040-01
DEMO TechONTAP__0004 640GB ontap9-tme-8040-02
DEMO TechONTAP__0005 640GB ontap9-tme-8040-01
DEMO TechONTAP__0006 640GB ontap9-tme-8040-02
DEMO TechONTAP__0007 640GB ontap9-tme-8040-01
DEMO TechONTAP__0008 640GB ontap9-tme-8040-02
DEMO TechONTAP 5TB -

Automounting NFS on boot with a Mac

When you mount NFS with a Mac, it doesn’t retain it after you reboot. To get the mount to come back up, you have to configure the autofs service on the Mac. This is different from Linux, where you can simply edit the fstab file. The process is covered very well in this blog post (just be sure to read all the way down to avoid the issue he mentions at the end):

https://coderwall.com/p/fuoa-g/automounting-nfs-share-in-os-x-into-volumes

Here’s my configuration…. I disabled “nobrowse” to prevent issues in case Audio Hijack needed to be able to browse.

autofs.conf

Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 10.04.37 AM

auto_master file

Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 10.04.59 AM

auto_nfs

Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 10.05.17 AM

After that was set up, I copied over the existing 50-ish GBs of data into the FlexGroup and cleaned up some space on the Mac.

ontap9-tme-8040::*> vol show -vserver DEMO -volume TechONTAP* -sort-by size -fields size,used
vserver volume size used
------- --------------- ----- -------
DEMO TechONTAP__0001 640GB 5.69GB
DEMO TechONTAP__0002 640GB 8.24GB
DEMO TechONTAP__0003 640GB 5.56GB
DEMO TechONTAP__0004 640GB 6.48GB
DEMO TechONTAP__0005 640GB 6.42GB
DEMO TechONTAP__0006 640GB 8.39GB
DEMO TechONTAP__0007 640GB 6.25GB
DEMO TechONTAP__0008 640GB 6.25GB
DEMO TechONTAP 5TB 53.29GB
9 entries were displayed.

Then, I configured Audio Hijack to pump the recordings to the FlexGroup volume.

Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 10.01.00 AM.png

Then, we recorded a couple episodes, without an issue!

Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 10.34.30 AM.png

As you can see from this output, the FlexGroup volume is relatively evenly allocated:

ontap9-tme-8040::*> node run * flexgroup show TechONTAP
2 entries were acted on.

Node: ontap9-tme-8040-01
FlexGroup 0x80F03817
* next snapshot cleanup due in 2886 msec
* next refresh message due in 886 msec (last to member 0x80F0381F)
* spinnp version negotiated as 4.6, capability 0x3
* Ref count is 8

Idx Member L Used Avail Urgc Targ Probabilities D-Ingest Alloc F-Ingest Alloc
--- -------- - --------------- ---------- ---- ---- --------------------- --------- ----- --------- -----
 1 2044 L 1485146 0% 159376256 0% 12% [100% 100% 79% 79%] 0+ 0 0 0+ 0 0
 2 2045 R 2153941 1% 159376256 0% 12% [100% 100% 98% 98%] 0+ 0 0 0+ 0 0
 3 2046 L 1415120 0% 159339950 0% 12% [100% 100% 76% 76%] 0+ 0 0 0+ 0 0
 4 2047 R 1690392 1% 159376256 0% 12% [100% 100% 98% 98%] 0+ 0 0 0+ 0 0
 5 2048 L 1675583 1% 159376256 0% 12% [100% 100% 98% 98%] 0+ 0 0 0+ 0 0
 6 2049 R 2191360 1% 159376256 0% 12% [100% 100% 98% 98%] 0+ 0 0 0+ 0 0
 7 2050 L 1630946 1% 159376256 0% 12% [100% 100% 87% 87%] 0+ 0 0 0+ 0 0
 8 2051 R 1631429 1% 159376256 0% 12% [100% 100% 87% 87%] 0+ 0 0 0+ 0 0

Node: ontap9-tme-8040-02
FlexGroup 0x80F03817
* next snapshot cleanup due in 3144 msec
* next refresh message due in 144 msec (last to member 0x80F03818)
* spinnp version negotiated as 4.6, capability 0x3
* Ref count is 8

Idx Member L Used Avail Urgc Targ Probabilities D-Ingest Alloc F-Ingest Alloc
--- -------- - --------------- ---------- ---- ---- --------------------- --------- ----- --------- -----
 1 2044 R 1485146 0% 159376256 0% 12% [100% 100% 79% 79%] 0+ 0 0 0+ 0 0
 2 2045 L 2153941 1% 159376256 0% 12% [100% 100% 98% 98%] 0+ 0 0 0+ 0 0
 3 2046 R 1415120 0% 159339950 0% 12% [100% 100% 76% 76%] 0+ 0 0 0+ 0 0
 4 2047 L 1690392 1% 159376256 0% 12% [100% 100% 98% 98%] 0+ 0 0 0+ 0 0
 5 2048 R 1675583 1% 159376256 0% 12% [100% 100% 98% 98%] 0+ 0 0 0+ 0 0
 6 2049 L 2191360 1% 159376256 0% 12% [100% 100% 98% 98%] 0+ 0 0 0+ 0 0
 7 2050 R 1630946 1% 159376256 0% 12% [100% 100% 87% 87%] 0+ 0 0 0+ 0 0
 8 2051 L 1631429 1% 159376256 0% 12% [100% 100% 87% 87%] 0+ 0 0 0+ 0 0

I plan on using this setup when I start writing the new FlexGroup data protection best practice guide, so stay tuned for that…

So, now, the Tech ONTAP podcast is happily drinking the NetApp FlexGroup champagne!

If you’re going to NetApp Insight, check out session 16594-2 on FlexGroup volumes.

For more information on NetApp FlexGroup volumes, see:

Behind the Scenes: Episode 106 – NetApp Insight 2017 Preview

Welcome to the Episode 106, part of the continuing series called “Behind the Scenes of the NetApp Tech ONTAP Podcast.”

group-4-2016

This week on the podcast, we preview NetApp Insight 2017 with one of the event’s track leads, Jake Thorne, as well as the mastermind of Insight Central, Melissa Hara (@Melissa_NTAP)! Join us as we discuss what is where at the event, as well as some tips on how you can best navigate the sessions at NetApp Insight 2017. 

Also, be sure to check out my blog on Insight sessions you might want to check out!

Finding the Podcast

The podcast is all finished and up for listening. You can find it on iTunes or SoundCloud or by going to techontappodcast.com.

Also, if you don’t like using iTunes or SoundCloud, we just added the podcast to Stitcher.

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/tech-ontap-podcast?refid=stpr

I also recently got asked how to leverage RSS for the podcast. You can do that here:

http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:164421460/sounds.rss

Our YouTube channel (episodes uploaded sporadically) is here:

You can listen to this week’s episode here:

Why are there so many P releases in ONTAP lately?

If you’ve been paying any attention, you’d notice that ONTAP 9.1P8 just released last week. That’s insane, right? I mean, ONTAP 9.1 just went GA less than a year ago! And ONTAP 8.2.4 only had 5 or 6 P releases ever! What’s going on???

It’s simple… ONTAP has a different software release cadence.

Starting with ONTAP 9, the release cadence model changed to accelerate the release of new ONTAP features. Now, instead of a major release (think 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, etc.) coming out every year and a half, we ship feature-rich major releases every 6 months. This means that NetApp can be more agile with their development cycles and more aggressive in releasing new features.

This also means, no more “maintenance releases.”

What’s a maintenance release?

A maintenance release was one of the “dot” releases you’d see in between major releases. Remember, it was usually 18 months between a major release, so while you were waiting for 8.2 to ship, NetApp was releasing 8.1.1, 8.1.2, 8.1.3, etc. These releases were generally devoid of new features, but instead included bug fixes. That was in addition to the “patch” releases, which were intended to be releases made to fix major bugs faster than a maintenance release could.

So, instead of seeing 9.1.1, 9.1.2, and so on, you’re going to get P releases. And that’s why you’re seeing an uptick in P releases for ONTAP 9.x in a shorter time frame. So, no worries! ONTAP 9.x is still one of the most stable family of releases we’ve seen for clustered ONTAP, regardless of the number of P releases.

General P release/upgrade guidance

If you’re trying to determine whether you should upgrade to a P release of ONTAP, here are some helpful tips:

  • P releases are fully production ready and QA tested
  • If you are trying to decide whether to upgrade to a P release, be sure to review the bug fix list on the P release download page to see if you’re exposed to any of the bugs and if you think it’s worth your time to upgrade
  • Make use of the “upgrade recommendation” found in MyAutoSupport.
  • ONTAP provides the ability to perform non-disruptive upgrades, so updating to a P release should take minimal downtime. This is especially true of ONTAP versions running in the same major release family, as there are no version mismatches to worry about in the upgrade.
  • System Manager now provides automated upgrade utilities to provide for a simpler upgrade process
  • Be sure to review the software version support policy for your release to make the most informed decision you can.

Hopefully this clears up any questions you have about P releases. Ping me in the comments if you need clarifications!

The NetApp E-Series EF570 – Leaving the Competition in the Dust

A few weeks ago, we had some folks from the E-Series team on the Tech ONTAP Podcast to give us an overview. In that podcast, we refer to the E-Series as the drag racer of NetApp, for good reason – it’s fast!

We were a tad early to record, as we secretly knew the EF570 AFA was about to release some smokin’ SPC-1 and SPC-2 numbers. Well, now, they’re officially out!

Check out the press release here.

What are the SCP-1 and SPC-2?

SPC stands for the “Storage Performance Council.” These are the folks that provide standard industry benchmarks for storage, with the hopes that the thirst for competition will drive vendors to create faster storage platforms. From their site’s charter:

The SPC serves as a catalyst for performance improvement in storage products.  In support of that goal, the SPC has developed a complete portfolio of industry-standard storage benchmarks. The comprehensive SPC benchmark portfolio utilizes I/O workloads that represent the “real world” storage performance behavior of both OLTP (online transaction processing) and sequential applications.

The SPC benchmark portfolio provides a rigorous, audited and reliable means to produce comparative storage performance, price-performance and energy use data, which is used to develop and evaluate storage products, which range from individual components to complex, distributed storage configurations.

NetApp submits results for several platforms, from ONTAP to E-Series, and generally does pretty well. In this case…

NetApp reached the top 10 in performance at #7 and set a new world record for SPC-1 v3 price/performance.

Tested Storage Product: Netapp EF570 All-Flash Array
SPC-1 IOPS: 500,022
SPC-1 Price-Performance™: $0.13/SPC-1 IOPS™ 
Total ASU Capacity 9,006 GB 
Data Protection Level Protected 2 (Mirrored and full redundancy) 
Total Price $64,212.58

The full EF570 results can be found here:

SPC-1 results:

http://www.storageperformance.org/results/results_spc1_v3/spc1_v3_active#A31009

SPC-2 results:

http://www.storageperformance.org/results/benchmark_results_spc2_active/#B12003

Check out the official NetApp blog here:

https://blog.netapp.com/new-netapp-all-flash-and-hybrid-flash-systems-software-splunk-solutions/

Behind the Scenes: Episode 105 – Converged Systems Advisor

Welcome to the Episode 105, part of the continuing series called “Behind the Scenes of the NetApp Tech ONTAP Podcast.”

group-4-2016

This week on the podcast, we chat about converged systems like FlexPod, and how the NetApp acquisition of Immersive brought us Config Advisor for your Converged Infrastructure, Converged Systems Advisor (CSA)! Join us and Keith Barto, Director of Product Management for Converged Infrastructure Management for everything you need to know about CSA!

Finding the Podcast

The podcast is all finished and up for listening. You can find it on iTunes or SoundCloud or by going to techontappodcast.com.

Also, if you don’t like using iTunes or SoundCloud, we just added the podcast to Stitcher.

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/tech-ontap-podcast?refid=stpr

I also recently got asked how to leverage RSS for the podcast. You can do that here:

http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:164421460/sounds.rss

Our YouTube channel (episodes uploaded sporadically) is here:

You can listen to this week’s episode here:

Behind the Scenes: Episode 104 – NetApp E-Series Overview

Welcome to the Episode 104, part of the continuing series called “Behind the Scenes of the NetApp Tech ONTAP Podcast.”

group-4-2016

This week on the podcast, we cover a topic we’ve never before covered – E-Series! Join us as we give you an overview of what E-series is, where it best fits and what you’d use it for. We also discuss how NetApp IT uses E-Series.

Podcast guests included:

  • Todd Edwards, core E-Series TME
  • Jamal Boudi, Consulting Systems Engineer, E-Series
  • Mitch Blackburn, E-Series TME, Solutions

Finding the Podcast

The podcast is all finished and up for listening. You can find it on iTunes or SoundCloud or by going to techontappodcast.com.

Also, if you don’t like using iTunes or SoundCloud, we just added the podcast to Stitcher.

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/tech-ontap-podcast?refid=stpr

I also recently got asked how to leverage RSS for the podcast. You can do that here:

http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:164421460/sounds.rss

Our YouTube channel (episodes uploaded sporadically) is here:

You can listen to this week’s episode here:

Ready for Insight 2017?

NetApp Insight 2017 is rapidly approaching and I’ll be making my 5th appearance. This year, I’m doing another FlexGroup session, but I’m also picking up the general ONTAP session to discuss what’s new in ONTAP 9.3, and how ONTAP is modernizing your datacenter. This is me last year at Insight, discussing FlexGroup volumes in a shorter video:

These are the session numbers and abstracts, if you’re interested in signing up on the schedule builder:

16594-2 – Accelerate Unstructured Data with FlexGroup: the Next Evolution of Scale-Out NAS

NetApp FlexGroup volumes were introduced in NetApp ONTAP 9.1 and were designed to deliver capacity and performance benefits over not only NetApp FlexVol volumes, but also over competitive solutions. This session will include an overview of what NetApp FlexGroup volumes are, how they work, where to use them and an update on the new features and functionality.

30682-2 – Modernize Your Data Center with a Sneak Peek at the Latest ONTAP 9 Improvements

NetApp ONTAP 9.2 brought a slew of improvements that have enabled NetApp customers to modernize their data management infrastructure. Come for a review of the top enhancements in ONTAP 9.2, and stay for a sneak peek at improvements likely coming soon in the next major release of ONTAP.

I’ve also created a Hands On Lab for FlexGroup volumes that any Insight attendee can sign up for and will be handing out Tech ONTAP Podcast stickers and t-shirts. This year, we have a special edition featuring artwork by Ashley McNamara:

tot-gopher

You can find them in the Social Media Hub in Insight Central.

Other sessions of interest

Here are a few other sessions you may want to check out:

  • 18544-2 – Optimize Your NetApp ONTAP 9 All Flash FAS and FAS Systems
  • 13902-2 – Securing and Hardening NetApp ONTAP 9
  • 16700-2 – FabricPool in the Real World: Configurations and Best Practices
  • 18012-2 – NetApp ONTAP SAN Best Practices
  • 12708-2 – How NVMe and Storage-Class Memory Are Reshaping the Storage Industry
  • 16944-2 – Shrink Your DMZ Infrastructure with ONTAP and Other Networking Best Practices
  • 16947-2 – Thwart Threats and Add Functionality to Your NFS Storage
  • 17323-2 – Simplifying the Transition from 10GbE to 40GbE Infrastructure
  • 17703-2 – Simplify NetApp ONTAP Operations Management with Integrated Unified Manager
  • 18576-2 – Store Your Data in the Right Place on Multiple-Storage-Tier ONTAP 9 Clusters

Also check out NetApp A-Team member Ruari McBride’s NetApp Insight blog here:

https://ruairimcbride.wordpress.com/2017/09/01/time-its-on-your-side/

Behind the Scenes: Episode 103 – vNAS using ONTAP Select

Welcome to the Episode 103, part of the continuing series called “Behind the Scenes of the NetApp Tech ONTAP Podcast.”

group-4-2016

Former Tech ONTAP podcast host and current Virtually Speaking podcast host, Pete Flecha (@vPedroArrow), is the TME for vSAN at VMware and is always bugging me to do a show on vSAN. So, here we go!

This week on the podcast, we brought in the technical director for ONTAP Select, Peter Skovrup (skovrup@netapp.com) to discuss the latest improvements in ONTAP Select, including the ability to use ONTAP Select on VMware vSAN platforms!

Finding the Podcast

The podcast is all finished and up for listening. You can find it on iTunes or SoundCloud or by going to techontappodcast.com.

Also, if you don’t like using iTunes or SoundCloud, we just added the podcast to Stitcher.

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/tech-ontap-podcast?refid=stpr

I also recently got asked how to leverage RSS for the podcast. You can do that here:

http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:164421460/sounds.rss

You can listen here: