Behind the Scenes: Episode 163 – ONTAP 9.5

Welcome to the Episode 163, part of the continuing series called “Behind the Scenes of the NetApp Tech ONTAP Podcast.”

tot-gopher

This week on the podcast, we cover the latest ONTAP release and the vision for ONTAP in general with “the ONTAP guy,” Octavian Tanase. We also dive a bit deeper into the features with Jon Jacob and Skip Shapiro!

Finding the Podcast

You can find this week’s episode here:

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:

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ONTAP 9.5 has been announced!

There are a few things in life that are certain… death, taxes and a new ONTAP release every 6 months!

ONTAP 9.5 was just officially announced at Insight 2018, and this blog will give you the technical breakdown of all the new goodness. We’ll have a new podcast up soon to cover it as well.

If you’re going to be at Insight (Las Vegas or Barcelona), or if you want to review sessions after the event, you can check out the following session:

1214-2 – What’s On Tap in the Next Major Release of NetApp ONTAP

What’s new?

Generally speaking, new stuff in ONTAP comes in the following forms:

  • New features
  • Enhanced features
  • Bug fixes

With the 6 month cadence, features are often phased in, with new features being released with stability as the top priority. Feature parity comes in chunks in later releases. Bug fixes are a part of every ONTAP release.

So, let’s start with…

New Features

ONTAP 9.5 continues the emphasis on the “modern datacenter” with a slew of new features that help enable higher performance and better resiliency, as well as extending your storage stack beyond on-premises and into a true global architecture.

SnapMirror Synchronous

SnapMirror Synchronous adds the ability to replicate – at a volume level – data cross a WAN connection (RTT <10ms – distance of ~150km) with zero Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and near-zero Recovery Time Objective (RTO). This helps address regulatory and industry mandated needs for synchronous replication.

sms-png

SnapMirror Synchronous will have two different modes available in the initial release.

Full Synchronous

This is the default mode and guarantees zero application data loss between sites by disallowing writes if the SnapMirror Synchronous replication fails for any reason. This provides the “zero RPO” guarantee.

Relaxed Synchronous

Alternatively, relaxed mode allows application writes to continue to a primary site if the SnapMirror Synchronous relationship fails. Once the relationship is able to resume, resync will automatically occur.

In the initial release of SnapMirror Synchronous, NFSv3, iSCSI and FCP will be supported. Licensing will be capacity-based, in addition to the base SnapMirror license.

FlexCache Volumes

One thing I’ve heard fairly often is “how can I serve NAS data across multiple sites while still honoring locking mechanisms?” Previously, the only way to accomplish this was by way of a 3rd party NAS lock orchestrator. Now, in ONTAP 9.5, NAS data can be shared across multiple global sites with performance as if the NAS data was local with FlexCache volumes and provides a true global namespace for ONTAP.

flexcache

FlexCache volumes are sparsely populated volumes that can be cached on the same cluster or a different cluster as the origin volumes to accelerate data access. FlexCache volumes are created on FlexGroup volumes and can cache reads, writes and metadata.  Writes are currently using write-around for locking orchestration at the origin. FlexCache volumes can also help offload mount points to avoid hot spots. Initially, NFSv3 will be the only supported protocol, but future releases will enable more data protocol support.

BGP routing support

The networking stack in ONTAP is getting a bit of a makeover in ONTAP 9.5 as well. Previously, data LIFs in ONTAP were hosted on a single physical port, which lived on a single physical node. Load balancing was done via layer 2 (L2) hashing, which wasn’t super efficient, as hash collisions would leave ports underutilized or even completely unused! When storage nodes have 40GB and 100GB ports, that can be an expensive waste of resources. Additionally, the L2 architecture meant that additional layer 3 (l3) switches needed to be in place to provide proper network traffic distribution.

ONTAP 9.5 introduces support for L3 routing via the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), which allows ONTAP to automatically load balance traffic based on routing metrics, rather than L2 hashes. Additionally, this allows data LIFs to become Virtual IPs (VIPs) that can live anywhere in the network, which adds better redundancy for IP failover events, and avoids inactive links. This also eliminates the need for L3 switching infrastructure, which reduces overall CapEx and OpEx networking costs.

bgp

ONTAP 9.5 is further modernizing the datacenter by modernizing its networking stack.

Logical Space Accounting

ONTAP 9.4 introduced a way to report storage efficiency savings to storage administrators, but to mask those savings to users. For example, if a user is writing to a 10TB volume and 6TB of data has been written to the volume, but storage efficiencies have saved 2TB, then ONTAP can report the actual 6TB of capacity back to users, rather than the 4TB used by way of space savings. This provides storage administrators a way to charge back properly to end users and helps prevent overruns of storage capacity.

ONTAP 9.5 ups the game by integrating logical space accounting into quota enforcement, which not only displays the logical space used, but also prevents new writes once a quota has been reached based on the logical space used.

logical-space

MAX Data

While this was announced a couple months ago, MAX Data officially makes its debut alongside ONTAP 9.5. This is a server-side software product that lives outside of ONTAP. We covered it on the Tech ONTAP Podcast in Episode 154.

MAX Data offers ultra-low latency (think sub 10 microsecond) and more Ops/second with server-side software-based memory acceleration that leverages persistent memory such as NVDIMM and Optane Memory as they become available. Based on the Plexistor technology that NetApp acquired last year, MAX Data also offers enterprise-class data resiliency with MAX Recovery technology, for high availability and faster data recovery.

MAX Data can help accelerate database applications like Oracle, Cassandra, MongoDB and a variety of other Linux-based applications.

maxdata

NetApp Data Availability Services (NDAS)

While not technically an ONTAP feature (though there are ONTAP elements such as the NDAS proxy and copy-to-cloud APIs), NetApp Data Availability Services is an integral part of the NetApp Data Fabric. It’s a cloud-resident orchestration app that simplifies hybrid cloud data protection workflows behind a single pane of glass. It’s also an intuitive search catalog for easy file and volume restores and leverages intelligent S3 object storage in AWS for lower cost solutions for backing up your ONTAP data. For more information, see https://www.netapp.com/ndas.

ndas

Feature Enhancements

NVMe over FC – Industry’s only HA failover story for NVMeoFC namespaces via asymmetric namespace access (ANA), which is a NVMe standard that NetApp helped develop.

Storage efficiencies – Up to 15% more storage efficiencies seen with compression improvements.

FlexGroup volumes – New functionality such as FabricPool support, quota enforcement and qtree statistics open up a whole new set of workloads that can leverage FlexGroup volumes, such as home directories.

SnapLock – SnapLock adds feature enhancements such as Unified SnapMirror engine support, resync without data loss, clock synchronization in software defined ONTAP and 1,023 snapshot support.

MetroCluster (MCC) – ONTAP 9.5 adds support for SVM-DR and ONTAP Select with MetroCluster, increases the supported distance for MCC IP to 700km(!), and expands the platforms supported for use with MCC IP to the A300 and FAS8200 series.

Behind the Scenes: Episode 154 – Max DATA

Welcome to the Episode 154, part of the continuing series called “Behind the Scenes of the NetApp Tech ONTAP Podcast.”

tot-gopher

This week on the podcast, we talk about the latest and greatest NetApp product, MAXData! Join the MAXData evangelists as they give the rundown on what it is, where you’d use it and how screaming fast it is. Featured in this episode:

Finding the Podcast

You can find this week’s episode here:

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:

ONTAP 9.4 is now GA!

ONTAP 9 is on a new cadence model, which brings a new release every 6 months.

Today, ONTAP 9.4GA is available here!

http://mysupport.netapp.com/NOW/download/software/ontap/9.4

sully-hearye

Also, check out the documentation center:

docs.netapp.com/ontap-9/index.jsp

NetApp published a general overview blog on NVMe with Joel Reich here:

https://blog.netapp.com/the-future-is-here-ai-ready-cloud-connected-all-flash-storage-with-nvme/

Jeff Baxter’s blog is here:

https://blog.netapp.com/netapp-ontap-9-4-is-ga-modernize-your-it-architecture-with-cloud-connected-flash/

We also did an overview podcast:

And a few others on ONTAP 9.4:

And a lightboard video:

This is a brief list of the new features…

Cloud!

Fabric Pool enhancements include:

  • Tiering to Microsoft Azure Blob storage
  • Tiering of active file system data
  • Predictive performance with the object storage profiler
  • Predictive space savings for Fabric Pool before you enable it

Efficiency!

  • Increased Snapshot limits – 1,023 per volume!
  • Background aggregate level deduplication scanner
  • Automatic enable of all storage efficiencies on data protection volumes
  • Support for 30TB SAS attached SSDs
  • Deduplication across snapshots and active file system
  • Reduced node root volume sizes on new platforms

Performance!

  • End-to-end NVMe support (NVMe attached drives in the new A800 + NVMe over fibre channel support)
  • SMB multichannel support
  • 100GbE Ethernet support

Security!

  • Secure purge of files (crypto-shred!)
  • Secure boot via UEFI on new platforms
  • Validated ONTAP images
  • Protected controller reboot

I went into more detail about the features in the RC blog here:

ONTAP 9.4RC1 is now available!

For more information, check out these brief videos for some lightboard action on new ONTAP 9.4 stuff:

Some other information on the launch can be found as follows:

GCP Cloud Volumes for NFS with native access to the GCP tool suite (Google Cloud)
https://blog.netapp.com/sweet-new-storage-service-from-netapp-for-google-cloud-platform/ 

Storage Grid Update 11.1
https://blog.netapp.com/storagegrid-11-1-and-netapp-hci-the-perfect-one-two-punch-for-scaling-your-environment/ 

A800 and the A220
https://blog.netapp.com/the-future-is-here-ai-ready-cloud-connected-all-flash-storage-with-nvme/ 

ONTAP 9.4 with first to market NVMe/FC support
http://www.demartek.com/Demartek_NetApp_Broadcom_NVMe_over_Fibre_Channel_Evaluation_2018-05.html

Behind the Scenes: Episode 139 – NVMe and New Hardware in ONTAP 9.4

Welcome to the Episode 139, part of the continuing series called “Behind the Scenes of the NetApp Tech ONTAP Podcast.”

tot-gopher

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.

This week’s episode is here:

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:

Behind the Scenes: Episode 138 – ONTAP 9.4 General Overview

Welcome to the Episode 138, part of the continuing series called “Behind the Scenes of the NetApp Tech ONTAP Podcast.”

tot-gopher

This week on the podcast, ONTAP 9.4 is here! I managed to snag ONTAP Senior Vice President Octavian Tanase (@octav) and ONTAP Chief Evangelist Jeff Baxter (@baxontap) to discuss what went into some of the decisions we made regarding the new feature payload, the future vision for ONTAP and what new stuff you can expect in this release.

To download the new release:

http://mysupport.netapp.com/NOW/download/software/ontap/9.4RC1

Check out these videos for some lightboard action on new ONTAP 9.4 stuff:

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.

This week’s episode is here:

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:

ONTAP 9.4RC1 is now available!

Hear ye! Hear ye! All ye storage admins! ONTAP 9.4RC1 is announced today!

sully-hearye

That’s right! Every 6 months, without fail, a new ONTAP version with a payload of new features is released.

You can find ONTAP 9.4RC1 here:

http://mysupport.netapp.com/NOW/download/software/ontap/9.4RC1

For info on what a release candidate is, see:

http://mysupport.netapp.com/NOW/products/ontap_releasemodel/

Also, check out the documentation center:

docs.netapp.com/ontap-9/index.jsp

NetApp published a general overview blog on NVMe with Joel Reich here:

https://blog.netapp.com/the-future-is-here-ai-ready-cloud-connected-all-flash-storage-with-nvme/

Stay tuned for a more general ONTAP 9.4 overview blog on the official site. Also, I recorded a brief 5-minute teaser/trailer for ONTAP 9.4 features and podcasts coming soon. Find that here:

Also a new lightboard video! Watch me write… BACKWARDS???

This blog is intended to go a little deeper into the main features available in ONTAP 9.4. We’ll break them down as follows:

  • Cloud
  • Performance
  • Efficiency
  • Security
  • General ONTAP Goodness

Without further ado…

Cloud!

FabricPools were introduced in ONTAP 9.2 as a way to tier blocks from your performance tier solution to a capacity tier, such as cloud or StorageGrid.

We covered FabricPools in detail in episode 92 of the Tech ONTAP Podcast, which you can find here:

In ONTAP 9.4, the first major updates to the feature have been released! FabricPools in ONTAP 9.4 bring the following…

Tiering cold data from the active file system

Prior to ONTAP 9.4, FabricPools only tiered cold data from snapshots on primary systems and data protection volumes on secondary systems. This allowed ONTAP to free up valuable real estate on flash systems for data actively being used. In ONTAP 9.4, inactive blocks can now be tiered off to cloud or StorageGrid from the active file system. ONTAP does this automatically by way of a new “auto” tiering policy, which has a configurable cooling period of 2-63 days (-tiering-minimum-cooling-days option in CLI). This cooling period determines how long ONTAP will wait before tiering off data considered “cool” by the policy to the FabricPool tiering destination. The tiering destination choices used to be only Amazon S3 and StorageGrid, but ONTAP 9.4 brings us…

Tiering to Azure Blob Storage

Support for Azure Blob storage was added to ONTAP 9.4 for FabricPools, which gives storage administrators more options for cloud providers. In addition, other cloud providers (such as Google Cloud, IBM Cloud Object Storage, etc) can be added via product variance requests (PVR) to your NetApp Sales reps. Keep in mind that only one cloud provider per FabricPool aggregate can be used.

fabricpools-afs

But how do you know if FabricPools will be of any value to you?

Inactive Data Reporting

Inactive Data Reporting is new in ONTAP 9.4 and can offer insight from OnCommand System Manager into whether there’s enough inactive data in your system for FabricPools to make a difference.

fabricpools-inactive-report.png

By default, this feature is enabled for aggregates participating in FabricPools, but you can also enable it via the CLI for non-FabricPool aggregates to predict space savings with the following command:

storage aggregate modify -aggregate <name> -is-inactive-data-reporting-enabled true

You can also test the performance of your FabricPool target with…

Object Store Profiler

Also new in ONTAP 9.4, the Object Store Profiler provides a way to evaluate the performance (via throughput and latency) to your desired FabricPool target. From the CLI, start the profiler using:

storage aggregate object-store profiler start -object-store-name <name> -node <name>

Then show the results with:

storage aggregate object-store profiler show

This gives a general idea of how FabricPools will work for you before you implement them.

object-profiler

But that’s not the only object store enhancements. FabricPools in ONTAP 9.4 also offers….

Better efficiency for object storage

Prior to ONTAP 9.4, there was really no concept of freeing up space on the object store once the data blocks that had been tiered off were deleted on the source. ONTAP would see the free space, but the capacity tier would not. ONTAP 9.4 offers object defragmentation for the FabricPool destination to free up deleted blocks on the destination. This is done without any admin interaction at a specific % of free space by default for different providers. The default settings are:

  • 15%Microsoft Azure Blob Storage
  • 20% Amazon S3
  • 40% StorageGRID Webscale

These percentages are adjustable via the CLI with the following command in advanced privilege:

storage aggregate object-store modify –aggregate <name> -object-store-name <name> –unreclaimed-space-threshold <%> (0%-99%)

ONTAP 9.4 also brings support for the data compaction functionality to FabricPool aggregates to provide even more storage efficiency. For more information on data compaction, see TR-4476.

What’s great about ONTAP 9.4 is that FabricPool can now be used on any ONTAP deployment (other than MCC) with…

Support for ONTAP Select and ONTAP Cloud

FabricPools can now tier from a cloud instance to a cloud tier. This is especially useful now that we have NetApp Cloud Volumes, which run on a performance tier.

Additionally, you can use FabricPools on all versions of ONTAP Select, whether standard or Premium. This means you can tier from ONTAP Select, even if it has spinning media running under the covers. This support for spinning media does not extend into FAS systems, however – just ONTAP Select. The concern there is performance; FabricPools won’t perform well on FAS systems with spinning media.

So that’s all for the FabricPool section. Now let’s talk…

Performance!

ONTAP 9.4’s biggest news is the introduction of support for NVMe over fibre channel, as well as the NVMe attached SSDs in the new AFF A800 platform. This gives NetApp the industry’s first end-to-end NVMe platform. If you’re interested in a deep dive into what NVMe is, this podcast covered it:

Early testing numbers on the new platform show sub-200 micro-second latencies, with 1.3 million IOPS per HA pair at sub-500 micro-second latencies and 34GB/s throughput. It’s a pretty beastly system.

NVMe is integral to implementaion of workloads such as machine learning and AI, which powers tech like self-driving cars, IoT devices and other budding tech.

nvme-ai.png

If you’re a NetApp employee or partner, check out the recording of the Solutions Insight Webcast from May 9 that covers NVMe in more detail.

Another performance enhancement in ONTAP 9.4 is SMB multichannel, which provides a way for SMB3 connections to leverage more TCP streams and CPU cores on the ONTAP system to increase throughput. This especially benefits SQL server workloads.

smb-multichannel.png

The new platform and ONTAP 9.4 update doesn’t just add performance, however. It also adds…

More efficiency!

The new AFF A800 platform chassis offers efficiency in the form of both power/cooling and rack space savings with >2.5PB of storage (based on a 4:72 storage efficiency ratio) in a 4U footprint. Later, when the platform supports larger NVMe attached drives, we’ll see even more density. ONTAP 9.4 also brings support for 30TB SAS attached SSDs.

But ONTAP 9.4 also brings some additional efficiencies, such as…

Snapshot block sharing

snapshot-block-share

 

Prior to ONTAP 9.4, deduplication did not take blocks locked in a snapshot under consideration for storage efficiencies. In ONTAP 9.4, if a file is locked in a snapshot *and* it exists in the active file system, deduplication will reduce the blocks needed for the file in the active file system to save even more space. ONTAP 9.4 is also adding support for up to 1,023 snapshots per FlexVol.

Background Aggregate Level Deduplication

background-aggr-dedupe

Deduplication at the aggregate level was added in ONTAP 9.2 and provides storage efficiencies when identical blocks exist across volumes in the same aggregate. This was all done inline. In ONTAP 9.4, you can now deduplicate at the aggregate level on data that’s already been placed.

Automatic Efficiency Enablement on Data Protection Volumes

auto-dedupe-schedule.png

ONTAP 9.4 also automatically enables all storage efficiencies on data protection volumes to help simplify the role of storage administrators and save space on secondary systems.

Decreased Node Root Aggregate Sizes

Every node in an ONTAP cluster has a node root aggregate, which hosts a node root volume. The node root volume holds logs, system critical files and any core files that might get generated in the event of a crash. The core file size is based on the size of system memory. As platforms add memory to systems, these core files get larger, which was causing the core files to increase, which made root volume sizes increase… wait. This is getting confusing. Here’s a diagram:

root-vol-size-equation

Advanced Disk Partitioning (or root-data partitioning) helped save some space by spreading the volume across disk partitions, but we took steps to save even more space. For example, the 1TB root aggregate that would have been needed on the A800 node gets reduced down to just 150GB!

Long story short – ONTAP 9.4 with newer systems moved the ever-increasing core files from disk media to the local flash boot storage. This applies only to newer systems (such as the A800, FAS2700 and beyond) that have large enough boot devices to hold 2 core files and cannot be retroactively applied to older systems.

ONTAP 9.4 is also bringing…

More Security!

One of the areas of ONTAP that I feel has seen some of the most significant enhancements over the past several years  has been security (credit to Juan Mojica for making it happen).

Starting with the onboard key manager, which grew into NetApp Volume Encryption and evolved into off-box key manager support and multi-factor authentication, security has grown leaps and bounds in ONTAP. This is necessary in today’s hyper-focused security minded IT organizations, as hacks, breaches and ransomware attacks are all very fresh in their minds.

ONTAP 9.4 is bringing several more security features that don’t just help guard against external threats, but also help cover internal threats (or user mistakes) from hurting a business’s bottom line.

First of all, admins can upgrade to…

Validated ONTAP Images!

validated-ontap ONTAP is now a validated image, which gives administrators peace of mind that they’re not accidentally installing some hacked version of ONTAP that can compromise their systems. In addition, it prevents engineering builds of ONTAP (which can expose clusters to undiscovered bugs or disruptions) from being used to upgrade on clusters in the field. This helps minimize the risk and exposure of running unverified builds of ONTAP.

But we’re not just protecting against upgrading to unverified installations. ONTAP 9.4 also provides…

Key-based boot technology

secure-boot

Onboard Key Manager can be leveraged to prevent reboots without a passphrase. This protects against nefarious attempts to change the admin password on a system (which can be done with console/service processor access to the boot menu of a node), as well as against physical theft of systems. In addition to the onboard key manager, you can also enable protected boot with a USB key – but you’d need a product variance request (PVR). Check with your NetApp sales rep for details. Next generation platform (yet to be released) will also provide the ability to use UEFI Secure Boot, which works in conjunction with validated ONTAP images to not only prevent upgrades to unverified ONTAP images, but from running them at all.

These provide security against external and internal threats alike, but what do you do when someone accidentally writes a classified document to a public, unclassified share

Securely purge it!

secure-purge

ONTAP 9.4 provides the ability to cryptographically shred individual files from the drive while the system remains online, and the rest of the files remain intact. This can be helpful for data spillage – e.g. when a classified document ends up in an unclassified location. This is also particularly timely and useful for the upcoming GDPR regulations’ “Right to Erasure” rules.

Security is playing a big part in the new release of ONTAP. In addition, here’s some more…

General ONTAP goodness

ONTAP 9.4 also brings several other valuable features, such as:

  • Rapid disk zeroing technology – initialize disks near-instantaneously in newer platforms!
  • 3-step, 1-click ONTAP upgrades – even easier to update your cluster non-disruptively
  • Install ONTAP without needing a separate web or FTP server
  • SQL Server support for Application Data Management in System Manager

So, there you are! A thorough rundown of the new features in ONTAP 9.4. If you feel I missed something, feel free to reach out in the comments with input!

Check out these brief videos for some lightboard action on new ONTAP 9.4 stuff:

Some other information on the launch can be found as follows:

GCP Cloud Volumes for NFS with native access to the GCP tool suite (Google Cloud)
https://blog.netapp.com/sweet-new-storage-service-from-netapp-for-google-cloud-platform/ 

Storage Grid Update 11.1
https://blog.netapp.com/storagegrid-11-1-and-netapp-hci-the-perfect-one-two-punch-for-scaling-your-environment/ 

A800 and the A220
https://blog.netapp.com/the-future-is-here-ai-ready-cloud-connected-all-flash-storage-with-nvme/ 

ONTAP 9.4 with first to market NVMe/FC support
http://www.demartek.com/Demartek_NetApp_Broadcom_NVMe_over_Fibre_Channel_Evaluation_2018-05.html

NVMe… so hot right now.

nvme-sohot

Recently, our good friends* at The Register wrote an article about NetApp’s NVMe strategy and how ONTAP will eventually work the technology into its architecture over time, rather than force-feeding customers NVMe.

* Good friends because they’re currently being nice to us. 😛

From the article:

Faster fabric interconnects such as 25/50/100Gbit Ethernet, 32Gbit/s Fibre Channel and NVME-over-Fabrics (NVMe-oF) were bringing network access speeds up to better access the faster media types coming. NetApp will initially use the new media selectively, then scale its adoption and fully integrate it, leading to broader adoption and optimised media.

NetApp Chief Evangelist, Jeff Baxter (@baxontap), recently spoke about NetApp’s NVMe direction at the Flash Memory Summit. You can view that here:

https://www.flashmemorysummit.com/English/Collaterals/Proceedings/2017/20170810_Keynote14_NetApp.pdf

What is NVMe?

A common misconception about NVMe (the “e” stands for express!) is that it’s a *thing,* like a specific type of drive. Rather, it’s a way to connect things to faster, bigger pipes. Think of it as a way to replace SAS adapters. Some think it will change the world. Others think it’s just another eventuality in the storage industry. Did people get this excited about SAS adapters?

We attempt to “demystify” NVMe in Episode 72 of the Tech ONTAP podcast:

We also discuss it with Jeff Steiner (@tweetofsteiner) in this Episode 79:

One under the radar move towards a NVMe future was the acquisition of PlexiStor, which was already ahead of the curve with software designed to take advantage of the benefits of NVMe, as well as Storage Class Memory. How NetApp integrates PlexiStor’s intellectual property in the future remains to be seen…

Does NetApp currently use NVMe?

Actually, yes! But the way we use it is in an onboard caching mechanism, currently. For example, the new FAS26xx series uses an onboard 1TB NVMe attached read cache, along with other systems. NetApp CSE Keith Aasen (@keith_aasen) does a great job breaking down the whys and hows of that in this blog:

NMVe – A Step Into The Future

NetApp A-Team member John Woodall (@John_Woodall) also gives a nice breakdown of NetApp and NVMe here:

NetApp and NVMe – The Rest of the Story

NetApp Principal Architect Andy Grimes (@Andy_NTAP_Flash) discusses NVMe here with John Woodall:

As with anything new and exciting, stay tuned for more possible announcements concerning NVMe. Perhaps even at this year’s NetApp Insight conference.

If you want to stay up to date on the latest in NVMe at NetApp, be sure to bookmark the new NetApp NVMe landing page!

http://www.netapp.com/us/info/nvme.aspx

Behind the Scenes: Episode 79 – Databases and Cloud with Jeff Steiner

Welcome to the Episode 79, part of the continuing series called “Behind the Scenes of the NetApp Tech ONTAP Podcast.”

group-4-2016

This week on the podcast, we invite the database guru himself, Jeff Steiner (@TweetofSteiner) to talk about databases, the cloud as it pertains to ONTAP and SolidFire. We go over a wide array of things as Jeff tells us exactly how he feels about marketing and NVMe, the current shiny object/topic du jour in the storage industry. Jeff pulls no punches.

Jeff Steiner also has a blog at https://words.ofsteiner.com.

Also, be sure to check out NetApp’s new NVMe landing page here:

http://www.netapp.com/us/info/nvme.aspx

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:

Behind the Scenes: Episode 73 – SNIA and Technology Trends

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Welcome to the Episode 73, part of the continuing series called “Behind the Scenes of the NetApp Tech ONTAP Podcast.”

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This week, we invited one of the board members over at the storage industry’s standards organization, the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA). Alex McDonald (@alextangent) is a director and vice-chair at SNIA and covers cloud, as well as NFS.

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He also happens to be part of the office of the CTO here at NetApp and was kind enough to join us whilst in RTP to chat about SNIA and technology trends. We talk a bit more about NVMe, which we also covered in last week’s podcast.

In addition, I went off on one of my classic tangents. This time, it was regarding Spaceballs, and the concept of “now.”

Also, be sure to check out NetApp’s new NVMe landing page here:

http://www.netapp.com/us/info/nvme.aspx

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: