Storage company promises INFINITE IMMORTALITY

Your data shall be like unto the gods themselves


NetApp has announced a major minor release of its data ONTAP storage operating system, promising data immortality and infinity.

Data ONTAP is NetApp's operating system for its FAS arrays and provides a unified file (NFS, pNFS and CIFS/SMB) and block (iSCSI, FCoE and Fibre Channel) storage array architecture. NetApp customers have been waiting for the company to integrate its acquired Spinnaker clustering technology into ONTAP and this release represents another stage of this multi-year effort.

NetApp says Data ONTAP 8.1.1 provides:-

- Immortal operations through zero downtime. System upgrades and maintenance don't disrupt array operations.
- Infinite scalability with a single volume that can grow to 20PB. Er, sorry NetApp but 20PB is not infinite. I know; we're being picky.
- "Set it and forget it" data protection.
- Virtual array with Data ONTAP Edge; a version of ONTAP running as a virtual machine in an ESX server, which is cheaper than a FAS array and suitable for remote/branch offices needing up to 5TB of capacity
- Secure multi-tenancy jointly with Cisco and VMware. - Combining SSD and HDD inside a volume or aggregate in the array as a Flash Pool which provides Virtual Storage Tiering (VST), or tiers without tears and, indeed, without tiers either as the SSDs are used as a read and write cache.
- Clustering of up to six ONTAP arrays with each node potentially configured for different work, such as FC SAN access and filer activity.

The company says ONTAP 8.1.1 also delivers performance improvements and has better manageability and supportability. The Flash Pool technology enables SAS disks to be replaced by SATA ones with SSDs providing I/O acceleration. NetApp is providing this technology across its product range.

Our understanding is that NetApp will extend its VST technology to cover flash caches in servers so as to remove most network latency from data access by apps in servers.

With ONTAP 8.1.1 NetApp can offer an enterprise content repository with NFSv3 access to a container that can scale to 20PB and 2 billion files by using a cluster of five FAS6280 high-availability pair arrays; ten nodes in other words. Snapshot copies and SnapMirror replication are available as us NFS-mounted tape backup.

Data ONTAP EDGE includes Snapshot, SnapRestore, SnapVault, FlexVol, FlexClone and deduplication technologies. It provides iSCSI, CIFS and NFS protocol access but not Fibre Channel.

NetApp has taken over a now-discarded HP marketing theme, saying this new version of ONTAP makes IT agile. Its concept if having a single and multi-purpose storage infrastructure with one set of management and data protection tools is relatively unchanged although it is being amended by the inclusion of the E-Series for applications needing more data access speed.

EMC's chief blogger Chuck Hollis got his ONTAP 8.1.1 riposte in before the launch. He blogs; "after spending a few days getting to know what's in this release, if I were a NetApp customer I'd start thinking about Plan B," and contrasts NetApp's use of flash as a cache with EMC's se of storage tiering. He also contrasts the Isilon scale-out clustering with NetApp, but a high-end Isilon customer isn't likely to want to use a traditional 2-controller array.

On the other hand a traditional 2-controller array customer might quite like the ability to cluster up to ten of these arrays to provide a modest amount if scale-out, compared to Isilon, while retaining the familiar data management tools.

NetApp Infinite Volume

The Infinite Volume is hosted over ONTAP 8.1.1 Cluster-Mode with FAS6280 or V6280 systems to provide scalable capacity. NetApp says (pdf) 'An Infinite Volume is a compound volume that consists of multiple constituent volumes, namely a single namespace constituent and multiple data constituents. … Infinite Volume addresses the requirements for large unstructured repositories of primary data. … The first version of NetApp Infinite Volume focuses on a subsegment of enterprise content repositories called fixed content repositories … in which data is written once and seldom read."

In other words there will be other versions. NetApp notes that; "The Infinite Volume configuration in Cluster-Mode requires a dedicated cluster because it supports one Infinite Volume in a Vserver, and one Vserver for the entire cluster, with the exception of the root Vserver."

Data ONTAP 8.1.1 is orderable now while Data ONTAP Edge will be available in August. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes
    How? Founder tells The Register 'Robots… lots of robots'

    Imagine a future where racks of computer servers hum quietly in darkness below the surface of the Moon.

    Here is where some of the most important data is stored, to be left untouched for as long as can be. The idea sounds like something from science-fiction, but one startup that recently emerged from stealth is trying to turn it into a reality. Lonestar Data Holdings has a unique mission unlike any other cloud provider: to build datacenters on the Moon backing up the world's data.

    "It's inconceivable to me that we are keeping our most precious assets, our knowledge and our data, on Earth, where we're setting off bombs and burning things," Christopher Stott, founder and CEO of Lonestar, told The Register. "We need to put our assets in place off our planet, where we can keep it safe."

    Continue reading
  • Conti: Russian-backed rulers of Costa Rican hacktocracy?
    Also, Chinese IT admin jailed for deleting database, and the NSA promises no more backdoors

    In brief The notorious Russian-aligned Conti ransomware gang has upped the ante in its attack against Costa Rica, threatening to overthrow the government if it doesn't pay a $20 million ransom. 

    Costa Rican president Rodrigo Chaves said that the country is effectively at war with the gang, who in April infiltrated the government's computer systems, gaining a foothold in 27 agencies at various government levels. The US State Department has offered a $15 million reward leading to the capture of Conti's leaders, who it said have made more than $150 million from 1,000+ victims.

    Conti claimed this week that it has insiders in the Costa Rican government, the AP reported, warning that "We are determined to overthrow the government by means of a cyber attack, we have already shown you all the strength and power, you have introduced an emergency." 

    Continue reading
  • China-linked Twisted Panda caught spying on Russian defense R&D
    Because Beijing isn't above covert ops to accomplish its five-year goals

    Chinese cyberspies targeted two Russian defense institutes and possibly another research facility in Belarus, according to Check Point Research.

    The new campaign, dubbed Twisted Panda, is part of a larger, state-sponsored espionage operation that has been ongoing for several months, if not nearly a year, according to the security shop.

    In a technical analysis, the researchers detail the various malicious stages and payloads of the campaign that used sanctions-related phishing emails to attack Russian entities, which are part of the state-owned defense conglomerate Rostec Corporation.

    Continue reading
  • FTC signals crackdown on ed-tech harvesting kid's data
    Trade watchdog, and President, reminds that COPPA can ban ya

    The US Federal Trade Commission on Thursday said it intends to take action against educational technology companies that unlawfully collect data from children using online educational services.

    In a policy statement, the agency said, "Children should not have to needlessly hand over their data and forfeit their privacy in order to do their schoolwork or participate in remote learning, especially given the wide and increasing adoption of ed tech tools."

    The agency says it will scrutinize educational service providers to ensure that they are meeting their legal obligations under COPPA, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.

    Continue reading
  • Mysterious firm seeks to buy majority stake in Arm China
    Chinese joint venture's ousted CEO tries to hang on - who will get control?

    The saga surrounding Arm's joint venture in China just took another intriguing turn: a mysterious firm named Lotcap Group claims it has signed a letter of intent to buy a 51 percent stake in Arm China from existing investors in the country.

    In a Chinese-language press release posted Wednesday, Lotcap said it has formed a subsidiary, Lotcap Fund, to buy a majority stake in the joint venture. However, reporting by one newspaper suggested that the investment firm still needs the approval of one significant investor to gain 51 percent control of Arm China.

    The development comes a couple of weeks after Arm China said that its former CEO, Allen Wu, was refusing once again to step down from his position, despite the company's board voting in late April to replace Wu with two co-chief executives. SoftBank Group, which owns 49 percent of the Chinese venture, has been trying to unentangle Arm China from Wu as the Japanese tech investment giant plans for an initial public offering of the British parent company.

    Continue reading
  • SmartNICs power the cloud, are enterprise datacenters next?
    High pricing, lack of software make smartNICs a tough sell, despite offload potential

    SmartNICs have the potential to accelerate enterprise workloads, but don't expect to see them bring hyperscale-class efficiency to most datacenters anytime soon, ZK Research's Zeus Kerravala told The Register.

    SmartNICs are widely deployed in cloud and hyperscale datacenters as a means to offload input/output (I/O) intensive network, security, and storage operations from the CPU, freeing it up to run revenue generating tenant workloads. Some more advanced chips even offload the hypervisor to further separate the infrastructure management layer from the rest of the server.

    Despite relative success in the cloud and a flurry of innovation from the still-limited vendor SmartNIC ecosystem, including Mellanox (Nvidia), Intel, Marvell, and Xilinx (AMD), Kerravala argues that the use cases for enterprise datacenters are unlikely to resemble those of the major hyperscalers, at least in the near term.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022