What’s New for ONTAP 9.8?

ONTAP 9.8 is currently available as a release candidate here:


We’re pretty close to seeing it available for general availability, so in preparation for that, here are some resources available for you to figure out exactly what is in the latest release.

Insight Presentation: Do More with Less in the Latest Release of NetApp ONTAP

This is the full video presentation of the ONTAP 9.8 session from NetApp Insight.


TR-4872: NetApp ONTAP 9.8 Feature Overview

This new TR is basically the release notes on steroids; we cover the new features and give some explanations and primers to them. We’re using the new GitHub based documentation method for this:



We also did a few podcasts on the new ONTAP 9.8 features.

Check them out here:

Behind the Scenes – Episode 271: NetApp Active IQ Unified Manager 9.8 Updates

Behind the Scenes – Episode 270: NetApp ONTAP File Systems Analytics

Behind the Scenes – Episode 268: NetApp FabricPool and S3 in ONTAP 9.8

Behind the Scenes – Episode 267: SnapMirror Business Continuity (SM-BC) for ONTAP 9.8

Behind the Scenes – Episode 266: NetApp ONTAP System Manager 9.8

Behind the Scenes – Episode 265: NetApp SnapMirror Cloud featuring ProLion

Behind the Scenes – Episode 264: NetApp ONTAP SnapDiff

Behind the Scenes – Episode 263: Virtualization in ONTAP – Fall 2020 Update

Feel free to leave comments and feedback below!


One thought on “What’s New for ONTAP 9.8?

  1. I compiled a technical list of new features, for anyone who wants to dig a little deeper. The list is not fully complete, but I guess about 90% of new features are there. I also added some important limitations to these features.

    I dug up these features from a lot of Insight 2020 sessions and some documents from FieldPortal (if you have access to it, you can lookup several SE presentations).

    Same hardware support as for ONTAP 9.7 (So including FAS25xx, FAS80x0)
    New hardware support:
    • FAS500f (15,3TB QLC NVMe SSDs, “Slower than regular AFF, much faster than disk-based FAS”)
    • AFF A250 (“regular” TLC NVMe SSDs, otherwise same hardware specs as FAS500f)
    • A250 and FAS500f support max 48 SSDs (1 extra NS224 shelf)
    • 15,3TB NSE NVMe SSD support (all systems)
    • 16TB SATA disks (from 9.7)

    NS224 shelves (NVMe) Switched connected via 2 Cisco Nexus 3232C 100Gb switches:
    • Finally more than 2 NVMe shelves per HA-pair
    • AFF A320/400: max 96 disks/4 shelves
    • AFF A700/800: max 240 disks/10 shelves
    • See SE presentation: https://fieldportal.netapp.com/content/1180762?assetComponentId=1183168
    • Same switches may be used for MCC-IP (unsure)

    SAS2 en SAS3 mixed stack support (from 9.8, 9.7P4, 9.6P9, 9.5P15)
    • except for A400, FAS8300/8700 (different brand/type SAS adapter?)
    • supported in A400/FAS8300/FAS8700 in MCC-FC using ATTO bridges
    • 1 transition from IOM6 to IOM12 per stack
    • See SE presentation: https://fieldportal.netapp.com/content/595966?assetComponentId=597072

    S3 protocol support
    • Recommended on FlexGroup volumes so buckets >100TB are possible
    • Also supported as FabricPool endpoint (targeted <300TB, beyond that StorageGrid is recommended)
    • https support (9.7 was http-only)
    • Free license!

    FabricPool support for HDD-only aggregates (besides SSD-only)
    • but not for FlashPool aggrs(!!)
    • New policies for bringing back S3 data to local tier

    IPsec support:
    • Encrypted network traffic between clusters and between cluster and client
    • For SnapMirror connections, but also for NFS, iSCSI and CIFS (not on Windows though, see next bullit)
    • IPSec IKEv2 in Transport mode, using pre-shared key authentication (Windows does not support PSK with IKEv2)
    • No Metrocluster support
    • Max 30% performance loss using NFS (controller hardware dependent)
    • See Tech FAQ: https://fieldportal.netapp.com/content/1224968?assetComponentId=1227448

    ASA (All SAN Array) now supports:
    • 128TB LUNs and 300TB volumes
    • MCC-IP
    • ASA variant available for A250, A400, A700, A800
    • SAN LIFs can now migrate to HA-partner

    SnapMirror Business Continuity (kind of sync snapmirror with some mcc features) support:
    • Only for AFF and ASA
    • Only for SAN volumes
    • MPIO and ALUA between primary and secondary cluster

    SnapMirror Cloud
    • Mirror a volume including snapshots and storage efficiency to S3 bucket
    • Only available via API (no CLI or System Manager)
    • Supporting software needed: ie. ProLion RestoreManager
    • single file/LUN restore possible

    • support for FAS500f, 8300, 8700, AFF250, AFF400, NS224 shelves
    • support for unmirrored aggregates
    • ADP

    MCC-FC to MCC-IP non-disruptive migration voor 4-node mcc clusters
    • Temporarily add 4 extra nodes using IP interconnect and new shelves
    • Then vol move data to new nodes
    • Finally phase out old nodes

    TSSE: Temperature Sensitive Storage Efficiency:
    • AFF only (?)
    • First execute dedup, than compression (regular storage efficiency is the other way round)
    • Variabele compression blocksize (8kB/32kB) depending on "temperature", meaning age of data
    • No conversion for existing volumes, only for new volumes in 9.8
    • FabricPool aggregates only supported using regular storage efficiency.
    • SnapMirror/Vault to 9.7 or older also only regular storage efficiency supported.

    System Manager:
    • You can now do firmware updates for disk, shelf, SP, qual-devices from system manager
    • File analytics
    • Hardware visualization update
    • Network visualization update

    Besides ONTAP, there will be a new version of VMware Virtual Storage Console appliance (under a new name) and a new VAAI for NFS plugin. New features for those:

    VAAI for NFS plugin:
    • vSphere 7.0 of 7.0U1 or higher
    • new feature: snapshot offload: no more vmdk-delta files (!)
    • Better reporting: thin/thick provisioned, dedup savings, etc
    • Can now install using Lifecycle Manager
    • No reboot necessary on 7.0U1+ (only service restart)

    VSC/VASA/SRM appliance:
    • New name: ONTAP tools for VMware
    • Full support for Site Recovery Manager and SnapMirror with vVols


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