NetApp Announces ONTAP 9 software defined storage management

May 31, 2016 – 10:26 am

NetApp Announces ONTAP 9 software defined storage management

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NetApp has announced ONTAP 9 the latest version or generation of their storage software that defines and powers ONTAP storage systems and appliances (e.g. those known by some as FAS among others).

The major theme of ONTAP 9 is simple anywhere eluding to the software runs on storage system appliances (e.g. “tin wrapped” or hardware platform based), virtual storage (e.g. what has been known as “edge” in the past), as well as cloud versions (cDOT). The other part of simple beyond where the software gets deployed and how the resources along with functionality are consumed ties to management.

This means simple from standalone systems to clusters, ONTAP 9 is focused on consolidation and management across different storage media mediums (HDD and SSD), platforms (engineered e.g. FAS to white box), protocols (block, file, objects) as well as consumption (on hardware or software deployed including cloud).

As part of the announcement NetApp will continue with its engineered hardware platform solutions (e.g. appliances or storage systems) as well as ONTAP Select (third-party storage) and Flex using white box server platforms (e.g. a software defined storage option). This capability provides customers with flexibility on where and how to buy as well as deployment options.

Another dimension to ONTAP 7 simple theme is support for known workloads such as Oracle RAC, Microsoft SQL Server and VMware among others. ONTAP 9 provides tools for rapid provisioning of storage resources to support those and other application workloads.

Data services feature enhancements include support of new high-capacity read optimized SSDs, along with inline data compaction on 4K boundaries (data chunks) including data reduction guarantees of 4:1. For data durability, triple parity RAID has also been implemented, as well as Snaplock is also present in ONTAP 9.

Another aspect of Simple theme for ONTAP 9 is an easy transition from third-party storage systems, as well as ONTAP 8.3 and ONTAP 7 modes with new tools and processes. These also include copy free transitions where existing storage systems are detached from older generation ONTAP controller, attached to new versions and an auto update occurs.

Where To Learn More

ONTAP 9 Data Sheet (PDF)
NetApp FlashAdvantage 3-4-5 Makes the All-Flash Data Center a Reality
NetApp ONTAP 9 Software Simplifies Transition to Hybrid Cloud, Next-Generation Data Center

What This All Means

ONTAP 9 are a welcome set of enhancements for NetApps flagship storage platforms that are based on ONTAP. With these enhancements, existing or new customers gain flexibility and deployment option choices for how the ONTAP software gets deployed from physical NetApp based storage systems, to white box hardware, software defined and cloud editions. In an era where there is a focus on converged, hyper-converged, object, all flash arrays and software defined virtual as well as cloud, ONTAP 9 provides options for customers who simply want or still need a traditional multi-protocol storage system that can run in an all flash or hybrid with disk modes.

Ok, nuff said, for now…


Greg Schulz – Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press) and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier)
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