NetApp INSIGHT 2019 Las Vegas News: What´s New in ONTAP 9.7

By | 29. October 2019

Hi and hello, live from NetApp INSIGHT 2019 in Las Vegas. Today, NetApp revealed some interesting information about its new ONTAP 9.7 data management software.

User Interface Improvements

First of all, a new cleaner UI design. Some of the improvements we could already see in ONTAP 9.6 as a preview. Now it seems to be final.

Usability Improvements

LUN creation in pre-ONTAP 9.7

When creating LUNs via the user interface in the previous versions of ONTAP 9.7, I had to click through up to seven steps and windows until I created a LUN.

LUN creation in ONTAP 9.7

In ONTAP 9.7, I now only need one screen to create a new LUN.

NAS volume creation in pre-ONTAP 9.7

NetApp also has done some improvements in volume creation for NAS. In pre-ONTAP 9.7 environments, I had to use up to 4 screens with many options to create one volume.

NAS volume creation in ONTAP 9.7

Starting with ONTAP 9.7 NAS volume creation is reduced to one screen.

FlexGroup Enhancements in ONTAP 9.7

FlexVol volume to FlexGroup volume data in-place conversion

  • Converts a FlexVol volume into a FlexGroup volume with a single member.
  • Conversion takes less than 40 seconds!
  • Works now with FabricPool without touching tiered data.
  • After conversion, add member volumes to expand capacity and performance.

NFSv4 and 4.1 support

Starting with ONTAP 9.7 NetApp has introduced NFSv4 and 4.1 support for FlexGroups

  • This enhances NFS security and locking and includes pNFS support
  • pNFS (parallel NFS) fits nicely with FlexGroup volumes for data I/O path locality in a cluster.
  • Use cases: secure file shares, GIT repositories, AI workloads.

NDMP backup enhancements

  • Baseline and incremental backup/restore for FlexGroup vol, directories, and qtrees.
  • Dump and restore across and between FlexGroup and FlexVol volumes.

FlexGroup is now supported as an origin volume for FlexCache.

FlexClone, VAAI, and copy offload support are added.

FabricPool Mirrors in ONTAP 9.7

Aggregate-to-bucket relationship support with ONTAP 9.2-9.6

  • At first, one aggregate to one object bucket was supported.
  • Then many aggregates could share the same bucket.
  • One aggregate tiering to multiple buckets was not supported.

With ONTAP 9.7, one aggregate can now tier to multiple buckets!

Use cases for FabricPool Mirrors with multiple buckets

In my opinion, the best use case for multiple S3 buckets in a FabricPool relationship is if you want to change your cloud providers or migrate between on-premises storage and cloud. The migration is nondisruptive and already tiered cold data is not recalled.
Another use case is if you want to tier in multiple zones or to different providers for resiliency.

FlexCache Enhancements in ONTAP 9.7

More cache volume storage efficiency

In ONTAP 9.7 thin provisioning and data compaction has been added to FlexCache

Cache volume migration using vol move

Nondisruptive relocation of caches has been added in ONTAP 9.7 when workloads need change

Native ONTAP auditing of cache volume reads

  • Enables regulatory and security compliance with cached reads.
  • Auditing is already supported on origin volumes.

Antivirus scanning of origin volumes

Scans can be scheduled on the origin volume

SnapMirror Synchronous Enhancements in ONTAP 9.7

NVMe/FC protocol and namespace support added

All protocols are now supported starting with ONTAP 9.7 for SnapMirror Synchronous. This includes: FC, NVMe/FC, iSCSI, NFS v3/v4, and SMB/CIFS

Support for application-created snapshots and LUN clones

Clones and app-created snapshots are now replicated to secondary volumes. If you are using Commvault or Veeam for controlling your NetApp Snapshot backup, those snapshots are now also replicated to the secondary volume.
(Note: ONTAP scheduled snapshots are not replicated).

Third-party backup products like Commvault or Veeam can now use LUN clones for indexing and host-based single-file restore workflows.

MetroCluster Enhancements in ONTAP 9.7

MetroCluster IP customers can now use their existing network infrastructure.

  • Can significantly reduce deployment cost and time
  • Switches must comply with NetApp specs for bandwidth, latency, and option settings.
  • The Customer is responsible for switch support and issue resolution.

New MetroCluster IP Mediator

NetApp introduced a new MC IP mediator which enables automated switchover in a consistent state to prevent data loss. Keep in mind that the mediator should be deployed in a different (third site) other than hosting your MetroCluster nodes

FabricPool aggregate support for MCC FC and IP

Starting with ONTAP 9.7 MetroCluster aggregates can finally be FabricPool aggregates for data tiering to an S3 bucket.

FlexCache support for MCC FC and IP

Origin and cache volumes can now be provisioned on MCC-mirrored aggregates.

Wow, that was a lot of new stuff for one blog. There is much more but I think I am going to write deep-dive articles about certain new features.

Thanks for reading

best regards

DISCLAIMER: This post represents my personal observations and is not officially by NetApp or other authorized. Subject to misinterpretation or misunderstanding.

2 thoughts on “NetApp INSIGHT 2019 Las Vegas News: What´s New in ONTAP 9.7

  1. Hans Duinhoven

    Thank you for the clear update! Always lots to learn from an Insight visit. I hope I may go to one of the 3 Insight events in Europe early next year.


  2. Gennie

    Great post. I was checking constanntly this
    blog and I am inspired! Very useful information specially the ultimate phase 🙂 I care for such information much.
    I used to be seeking this particular information for a long time.
    Thank you annd besst of luck.


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