Some NetApp related queries


I have a few questions regarding some NetApp features and I just want to make sure I am thinking about them in the right way.

Storage virtualization wise:

Lowers the total cost of ownership
Allows your storage resources to be logically pooled together and managed

If a FlexVol was full:

I could turn off volume guarantee
Run some storage efficiency features such as dedupe and compression
Delete Snapshot Copies

If I want to create an Aggregate using Raid-DP group of disks:

If I wanted 3 data disks I would need to create a RAID group of 5 disks as there would be 2 parity disks

Snapshot Copies vs FlexClones:

Neither a Flexclone or a snapshot creates a full copy of all the blocks of data they just use pointers. FlexClones are read/write will snapshot copies are read only PIT copies

Can be increased and decreased in size on the fly with no downtime
They can be used for NAS or SAN implementations

Snapshot Copies:

Is a read only image of a FlexVol or aggregate
Can be created  via the command line or created on a schedule with snapshot configuration in OnCommand
ARE NOT a duplicate copy of the original data

I am just looking to see if I am correct as I have my NCSA exam coming up
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Storage virtualization: allows separation of cpu/memory resources for VM, for instance, from storage resources - with shared storage, allows VM mobility for load balancing and resiliency.

Snapshot Copies: storage required when using snapshots depends on rate-of-change in the volume. With large enough rate-of-change, the storage required for volume plus one snapshot can approach twice the size of the volume. The "growth" of the snapshot comes as changed blocks are written to new space in the active volume and no longer shared with the snapshot. Better perfomance than copy-on-write, but space growth works on a similar principle.

NetApp suggests practices that create rather large RAID-DP spindle counts, when possible -- seldom recommended for as few as 5 spindles.
piedthepiperAuthor Commented:
Storage virtualization: allows separation of cpu/memory resources for VM.

Isn't that host virtualization such as vmware and hyperv?
Yes, that's what it relates to. Maybe I expressed it badly. The VM running under VMware or Hyper-V can use storage on the same host, but that's somewhat limiting. By instead hosting the disk storage on an external storage array (this applies to just about any sort of storage array, not just NetApp), you can move the VM from one virtual host to another. Your other point about pooled storage comes into play here: because it can be relatively easily expanded, you can run your storage closer to being full, expand the storage array in basically one place, and serve out the expansion to VMs on an as-needed basis.
piedthepiperAuthor Commented:
5 disk would be the minium for a 3 data aggregate though?
Yes, you got that correct. RAID-DP adds two parity disks to whatever data disks you want. You are also encouraged to have some hot spares available on the shelf, so a shelf of 12 drives would frequently be used 9 data, 2 parity, 1 spare. Larger arrays can reduce those ratios somewhat.

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