NetApp support all release candidates running in production environments, so don't worry about that, and go install it now!
With previous versions on ONTAP, deduplication was performed separately for each FlexVol, which meant that the duplicate blocks would only count against a single that volume, so if we had the same file in multiple volumes, those blocks don't benefit from deduplication across those volumes.
In ONTAP 9.2 you can now take advantage of deduplication across multiple volumes that reside in the same physical aggregate. Yes finally! Although there are some limitations; currently performed inline (as data is ingested) , and only supported on All Flash FAS systems. I guess you can't have it all.
Benefits of this would be ESXi datastores and NetApp FlexGroup Volumes.
- Increase in the maximum aggregate size to 800TB (was previously 400TB)
- Advanced Drive Partitioning v2 (ADPv2) support for FAS8xxx and FAS9xxx with spinning drives; previously ADPv2 was only supported on All Flash FAS
To continue on the mission of simplicity, ONTAP 9.2 also brings some nice GUI enhancements, including:
- Automated aggregate provisioning in System Manager for easier aggregate creation
- Support for capacity based license
- Ability to now set a minimum throughput value for QoS policy groups
- Simplified cluster expansion and guided cluster setup
Starting with ONTAP 9.2, you can enhance the efficiency and balance the performance and cost of your storage system by using FabricPool as a storage tiering solution.
FabricPool uses an all flash (all SSD) aggregate as the performance tier to store data that is “hot” (frequently accessed). It uses an object store as the external capacity tier to store data that is “cold” (infrequently accessed). Tiering policy options are available at the volume level to provide flexibility and efficiency in moving data across tiers as data becomes hot or cold.
ONTAP supports using Amazon Web Services Simple Storage Service (AWS S3) and NetApp StorageGRID Webscale as the capacity tier for FabricPool and currently supports the following features:
- Snapshot-only tiering on primary storage
- SnapMirror destination tiering on secondary storage
All Flash FAS (AFF) systems come with 10 TB of free capacity for using AWS S3 with FabricPool. If you need additional capacity for AWS S3 on an AFF system, or if you use AWS S3 as the capacity tier with a non-AFF system, you need a FabricPool license. A license is not required if you use NetApp StorageGRID Webscale as the capacity tier.
ONTAP 9.1 introduced volume-level encryption (NVE), where both data, including Snapshot copies, and metadata are encrypted.
With ONTAP 9.2 You can now enable encryption on NetApp FlexGroup Volumes.
Note: You must enable encryption on FlexGroup volumes at the time of creation. You cannot enable encryption on existing FlexGroup volumes.
NVE is also now supported by SnapLock.
How to Upgrade to ONTAP 9.2RC1
The upgrade express guide can be found at https://library.netapp.com/ecm/ecm_get_file/ECMLP2674474
ONTAP 9.2RC1 is available for download here: http://mysupport.netapp.com/NOW/download/software/ontap/9.2RC1/