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Deduplication just went ballistic with Aggregate Inline Deduplication

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

So with the release of ONTAP 9.2 came a long desired feature of being to deduplicate data at the aggregate level and not just volume level.

So why is this so key, well lets look at the historical view of how dedupe worked and its pitfalls. As a feature dedupe has always been a great feature but its biggest downfall was that if I sent an attachment to many colleagues there is a strong possibility that they will all want to save it for future use or reference. Now if your lucky they may all save the same file into the same volume in which case you win as dedupe will effectively reduce all instances to just one. Unfortunately we know that with IT we are never that lucky and as a result I may have some instances in a volume but more instances in other volumes in which case on a per volume basis I get the benefit but I still loose out. With ONTAP 9.2 this has been addressed so that you can now dedupe at the aggregate level, so you may have multiple copies of the file located in many volumes, if those volumes are located in the same aggregate then aggregate dedupe can take all instances and reduce them to a single instance. Now you really do win with Dedupe. From a simplified technical concept….If you’re not familiar with deduplication, it’s a feature that allows data blocks that are identical to rely on pointers to a single block instead of having multiple copies of the same blocks.

This is all currently done inline (as data is ingested) only, and currently  on All Flash FAS systems by default. The space savings really show with workloads such as ESXi datastores, where you may be applying OS patches across multiple VMs in multiple datastores hosted in multiple FlexVol volumes but all within an aggregate. Aggregate inline deduplication brings an average additional ~1.32:1 ratio of space savings for VMware workloads. Who doesn’t want to save some space?

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Just how Paranoid are you about your data?

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

When we deal with storage we do it on levels or paranoia

So how paranoid are you ?

Let’s start with the basics……..

We know that hard drives fail and therefore we use RAID to protect against that, but what else can I do to satisfy my varying levels of Paranoia

So protecting the drive is sorted but what if the shelf my disks reside in fails….what then, Well with Data ONTAP you have the option of using SyncMirror which will give Shelf level protection by replicating drives on one shelf to another shelf, so yes it requires double the storage but it will allow continuous access even if you have a shelf failure.

Ok so we have the drives covered, what about the controller (I want to eliminate any single point of failure). So our levels of Paranoia have risen another level. Don’t panic NetApp’s Primary offering is the ClusterMode solution. This allows multiple controllers to work together as a very robust, resilient beast that is designed to facilitate any failure and continue to run. Each node (controller) has a partner and they work together to accomplish the same goal and that High Availability pair with other pairs to give a solution that just keeps going.

That’s all well and good but what if my data centre has a significant failure that takes out my entire cluster..? well I see your level of paranoia has risen another level, but again have no fear you can replicate from one site to another asynchronously using SnapMirror and thereby giving you the option of a complete Disaster Recovery solution where in the event of a failure you can bring your remote site up relatively quickly with minimal data loss.

Well that sounds great but….(here we go, another level of paranoia) I need near zero down time and although disaster recovery is great my business needs full business continuance. NetApp have a solution for that using MetroCluster. MetroCluster is designed for just that, to keep you up and running no matter what and with full Synchronous replication up to 200km I think we have you covered. However, should you need more then you can combine MetroCluster with SnapMirror to extend your solution.

MetroCluster can:

  • Protect against hardware, network or site failure via transparent switchover.
  • Eliminate planned and unplanned downtime and change management.
  • Upgrade hardware and software without disrupting operations.
  • Deploy without complex scripting, application or OS dependencies.
  • Achieve continuous availability for VMware, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and more.

MetroCluster software:

  • Protects against the major causes of downtime: power, cooling and network faults, as well as disasters affecting your site.
  • Combines array-based clustering with synchronous mirroring to deliver continuous availability and zero data loss.
  • Provides transparent recovery from failures.
  • Reduces administrative overhead and the risk of human error.
  • Needs only a single command for switchover.

So how Paranoid are you about your data……… doesn’t matter, NetApp has a solution to satisfy every level of paranoia.

Courses you might be interested in after reading this article:

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Pete Green
Fast Lane Lead NetApp Expert

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