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Data Dynamics chap lifts curtain on anti-fluster cluster thruster tool

NetApp users can join everyone else's assemblage

Comment There's no need to get in a fluster over clusters. Data Dynamics reckons it has a better tool to migrate NetApp's non-clustered array users to the joys of clusterdom; having separate NetApp arrays function and be managed as one.

The move to clustered Data ONTAP (CDOT) from the original ONTAP operating system — 7mode — has proved complex for many NetApp customers, and their reluctance to do this has reduced NetApp's revenues, which has led to CEO Tom Georgens' recent ousting.

Marketing veep Andrew Reichman of Data Dynamics tells us there are two basic ways to move from 7mode to Cluster mode; array-based replication and host-based migration.

Array-based replication technology uses NetApp's SnapMirror. Reichman says: "This is the fastest way to move data, and preferred because it allows users to keep snapshot configurations and histories, as well as storage efficiencies (space-efficient snapshots, deduplication, thin provisioning, etc.) in place."

But, he continues: "The down side to this approach is that it must move all data as is, with no data transformation along the way. This is a key issue as data layouts in cluster mode use volumes instead of Qtrees, which most 7mode data uses. Also, if it's an older 7mode system, the data aggregates are likely 32-bit, and need to be transitioned to 64-bit aggregates, another change that can't be made with SnapMirror-based migration."

How do you get round that?

"The second option is a host-based migration. This methodology is slower and doesn't bring over storage efficiencies or snapshots. It does allow users to convert Qtrees to volumes and 32-bit to 64-bit aggregates."

This sounds daft; either way, there are disadvantages.

Reichman says NetApp's 7MTT data migration tool supports array-based, but not host-based, migration: "We've been hearing that in migration scenarios requiring data transformation, NetApp has been provisioning on-premises swing space or using cloud targets as temporary holding areas for data, creating significant complexity and risk."

He has a product to push, of course: Storage X.

"[It] has API integration with NetApp's DataONTAP that allows it to orchestrate SnapMirror-based migrations just as the NetApp 7MTT tool does,” he writes.

“At the same time, StorageX can migrate any data needing transformation via a host-based methodology. Both can be orchestrated and managed within the same interface and admins can select the preferred method for each data set within the managed migration project. It can also rebuild snapshot history via incremental copies over a set time period."

If Reichman is right, 7moders have a better way to exit the time warp they find themselves in and cluster separate NetApp ONTAP silos together. ®

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