NetApp ONTAP 9.5 – Feature update

As NetApp Insight in the USA is in his last strokes NetApp has released a new feature update version of number one storage operations system NetApp ONTAP 9.5. In this release, there are some very interesting new features introduced

I have waited for a long time replication mechanism which provides zero data recovery with RPO equal zero and fast recovery with very low RTO build on SnapMirror. A new feature is called SnapMirror synchronous (SM-S). NetApp also used a new way of licensing with this highly useful feature. SnapMirror synchronous (SM-S) license must be purchased for primary cluster and is priced per size of volumes that are synchronously replicated. Traditional SnapMirror license must be purchased along. Currently, only most used protocols FC, iSCSI and NFSv3 are supported. Two modes of synchronous replication are available. A strict mode which should be used to replicate transaction logs from applications(Exchange, SQL) and normal mode used for usual data. For successful synchronous replication round-trip network latency must not exceed 10ms and number of synchronously-replicated volumes per-node limit must not be larger than 80 volumes for AFF and 40 volumes for FAS. SnapLock Compliance now supports SnapMirror XDP logical replication with storage efficiency mechanisms turn on.
Enhancements for Metrocluster over IP were also made with ONTAP 9.5. Support is now extended to up to 4 nodes of AFF A300 with ADP or FAS8200 without ADP. Supported distance is now extended up to 700km which is a really long distance.

New-old performance feature returned from 7-mode systems known as FlexCache. FlexCache feature in ONTAP 9.5 is located within clusters. Cache volumes are sparsely-populated within a cluster(intra-cluster) or across multiple clusters (inter-cluster). FlexCache volumes only cache only »hot« blocks of user data and metadata. Main benefits using flash cache are lower read latency at remote locations, increased collaboration, and productivity across multiple locations. Flex cache is used on NFSv3 volume and for typical use cases: ASIC electronic design automation (EDA) and media and computer-generated imagery (CGI) rendering.


NVMe Over Fiber Channel (NVMe/FC) multi-path fail-over with Asynchronous Namespace Access(ANA) is possible. ANA can be compared to ALUA in FCP world. ANA is another technology from NetApp which getting accepted as industry standard. ANA is for now supported only in SUSE Enterprise Linux 15.

FlexGroup can now scale up to 20PB and 400 billion files and supports additional SMB features like native file auditing, Fpolicy, Storage Level Access Guard, copy offload and inherited watches of changes notifications. FlexGroup volumes can span across multiple nodes or tier to the cloud.

With this release, NetApp has proven once again that they are following there Data Fabric strategy and they are making a highway for data to the clouds or between clouds. OnPremise systems are now even closer to clouds then they ever been.