NetApp DataONTAP 8.1 GA!

By on 04/19/2012.

It’s been a long-time-coming.  Work on a level that even I cannot comprehend has led to this day:  Cluster-Mode has officially arrived. (Requires NetApp Support account)

I know a lot of you are chomping at the bit for the continuation of the series I started about a month or so ago regarding Cluster-Mode, and… hang tight… it’s coming!   I decided to hold off until the product GA’ed, and you’re going to see a lot of those trickle out over the next few days, but I wanted to jump in and throw out some things and tools you’re going to need to know.

FilerView – ByeBye!  OnCommand Systems Manager is the new kid on the block.  Supported versions available for Windows and Linux.  There is also a Community-Supported ported release for MacOSX.

DS14 disk shelves – ByeBye!  Beginning with Data ONTAP 8.1, DS14mk2 disk shelves with ESH2 storage I/O modules are no longer supported. If even one of these devices is attached to your storage system, do not upgrade to Data ONTAP 8.1 or later until after you replace the devices.

FlashCache & Older platforms – If you have a 3210 or 3140 storage system with Flash Cache modules installed, do not upgrade your system to Data ONTAP 8.1. Flash Cache modules are not supported on 3210 or 3140 storage systems with Data ONTAP 8.1.

Unicode or BUST! – Data ONTAP 8.1 Cluster-Mode and later in the 8.0 release family only support Unicode clients when accessing data using CIFS. Prior to upgrading your cluster to Data ONTAP 8.1 Cluster-Mode or later, ensure that all CIFS clients can access data using Unicode.

And finally…


If you’re a NetApp customer running any of the major platforms, virtualized or not, you’re likely to have read a Technical Report (TR) or two.  Our most popular, still to this day, is TR-3749, vSphere on NetApp Best Practices.  This document was updated to v3.0 in December to include and reflect changes introduced in vSphere 5.0.

I’m happy to report that over the last few months, we have been hard at work on the next large document, vSphere 5 on NetApp Cluster-Mode, and it will be released very soon.  As soon as it is published, I’ll be highlighting some key sections in detail.  Over the coming days/weeks, I’ll also be blogging heavily about Cluster-Mode and vSphere.

What’s this 7-mode vs Cluster-Mode all about?

7-mode is what you’re traditionally used to.  One or two filer heads, typically in an HA pair, hosting shared storage across a unified set of protocols.

Cluster-Mode is the next-generation scale-out, non-disruptive operations, architecture, and is going to change the game of shared storage infrastructures.  More on this in coming posts, or you can check out the first two posts here and here.

More to come very soon, just wanted to quickly get these things out to you to be aware of!