It’s been a long time since NetApp released ONTAP 8 and the industry has changed considerably. Flash adoption rates are considerably higher than they were a few years ago and more and more users are integrating their infrastructures into the cloud. This is where ONTAP 9 steps up.
ONTAP 9 has been optimised for flash, and not only does it operate on on-prem FAS but also across software-only and cloud based deployments to form what NetApp calls, a data fabric; this is where I believe NetApp leads over other storage vendors when it comes to data center agility. ONTAP 9 makes it easy to move your data where it’s needed across flash, disk, and cloud resources.
Like previous versions of ONTAP, ONTAP 9 is for mixed workload environments, from primary block and file data arrays (unified storage architecture), to nearline and longer-term retention, and it also retains its scale-up and scale-out (clustering) features; with flexible cluster flash and disk nodes up to 138PB.
NetApp says ONTAP 9 is a simpler system to operate, adopting the tagline “simply anywhere”. Luckily I've had some time with the new version and the first thing I noticed was that System Manager has been cleared up and rearranged. It makes a lot more sense now, although there's a lot more information available which means that it could be too overwhelming for day-to-day operations. But having said that, you can also manage your storage infrastructure from a single pane of glass through OnCommand Unified Manager. Also and with the use of provisioning templates you can be provisioning storage within just a few minutes. Also upgrades from 8.x are a lot easier.
Why the name change?
This is a smart move by NetApp. With IT and data management worlds become more complex and important, and with customers adopting a hybrid cloud model, it makes sense for NetApp to reflect the simplicity of the product in the name. This also reinforces their value proposition around IT and data management.
So from today, the software for general on-prem enterprise use will simply be known as ONTAP 9. In addition, NetApp is also introducing two new ONTAP family names:
- NetApp ONTAP Cloud is the new name for Cloud ONTAP
- NetApp ONTAP Select is the software-defined version of ONTAP deployed on customers’ choice of commodity servers and hypervisors
ONTAP 9 Features
ONTAP 9 is a major advancement over previous versions of their core operating system. NetApp claim it’s the industry’s leading enterprise data management software, and I tend to agree with them. Not only is it simpler to deploy and manage, but it’s also extremely powerful with 20x faster response times and up to 60% more IOPs than 8.3.1.
With all systems released in the last 5 years able to run ONTAP9, data guaranteed efficiencies of 4:1 (FlashAdvantage 3-4-5 program), support for 15TB SDDs, new inline active compression and inline data compaction, RAID-TEC (triple parity protection), and the ability to run ONTAP on hardware, software defined storage (SDS) or in the cloud, ONTAP 9 is definitely a game changer. Also ONTAP 9 makes all-flash systems a cost-effective solution when compared to HDD-based systems.
With users wanting to adopt a hybrid cloud model, ONTAP 9 will allow them to easily achieve this by incorporating flash and/or cloud, and software-defined architectures into their existing infrastructures. Plus those users who are already using Data ONTAP 8.3 environments will be able to quickly and easily upgrade to ONTAP 9 to reap the benefits.
- Support for 15TB SSD
- Inline data compaction works with compression and deduplication for greater data reduction
- Performance management and headroom for visibility of performance capacity
- Onboard key manager (Included for FREE)
- FlexGroups (PVR only in 9.0)
- SnapLock® software for data compliance (at last)
- Metrocluster enhancements (8-node, asymmetric)
- SVM DR Enhancements
- 7x faster clones & improved VM provisioning
- Enhanced RAID architecture including RAID-TEC triple-parity protection
- LUN granular sync replication
- Cloud HA capabilities
- ONTAP Select
ONTAP 9 benefits include:
- Simplicity—Easy to set-up and manage, ONTAP 9 can be deployed and serving data for critical workloads in as few as 10 minutes. Also, with enhanced system monitoring, enterprises can use it to centrally manage performance, capacity and data protection across their IT environment.
- Flexibility—The ONTAP 9 software is the ideal platform for workload consolidation. The platform offers common data services across general purpose server hardware deployments as software defined storage (SDS) in addition to NetApp engineered systems, converged infrastructure, third-party arrays, next-to-the-cloud systems, and the cloud.
- Security—NetApp claims customers can achieve up to 100 times greater security against drive failures and meet stringent data retention policies with new triple-parity RAID protection and expanded storage encryption and compliance features.
For more information about ONTAP 9 or for a demonstration, please contact EACS on 0808 271 9202.