FabricPool, a cloud-connected tiering solution, was introduced with NetApp® ONTAP® 9.2. This technology can be used to move cold, inactive data from high-performance all-flash storage solutions to low-cost object storage by using the “auto-tiering” policy. For a quick refresher, check out the FabricPool 9.4 lightboard video.

 

With ONTAP 9.5, NetApp also supports automated cloud tiering to IBM Cloud Object Storage, as well as Microsoft Azure Blob storage, Amazon S3, and NetApp StorageGRID® , NetApp’s on-premises private cloud solution.

 

A technology like this is extremely valuable for hybrid environments; NetApp OnCommand® Unified Manager, the best monitoring solution for ONTAP, has come a long way in complementing all the features of FabricPool, and even going beyond. With OnCommand Unified Manager 9.5, every NetApp FAS system and all supported ONTAP versions that don’t have FabricPool capability can benefit from the Unified Manager’s intelligent reporting and specific recommendations for moving inactive data to cloud-connected flash solutions.

Understanding Inactive Data and Acting on Recommendations

Inactive data in your production systems can be very costly, especially given the magnitude of data that you manage in your hybrid data center. Unified Manager 9.5 recommendations help you to understand how much of your data is cold and how moving your workloads to cloud storage can help you reduce overall costs in managing this data. The best part is, the ONTAP hardware monitored does not need to be all-flash system; it could be a FAS system or any supported version of ONTAP.

 

Unified Manager can help you achieve these goals in two ways:

  • Use Cloud Recommendation to see how much cold data can be replaced per volume.
    • You can also download this information and view it as a CSV report for further analysis.

  • Proactive events help you understand inactive data across the cluster.

The Suggested Actions tab (available on the same Event page) takes you to all the volumes in the cluster that are reporting inactive data. To get all the details you need, download the list of volumes as a CSV file for further formatting. These details can help you plan your capacity requirements.

This is an excellent way to find out whether you are using your production data optimally.  In many cases, users store data in application archives that are no longer used. By using the Unified Manager cloud recommendations and analysis, your capacity planning team can determine whether these workloads can be consolidated to an AFF system, giving you more agility and scalability for your production data.

 

The list of event support doesn’t end there; Unified Manager also provides events to support workloads that are already using FabricPool aggregates.

Monitoring and Managing Workloads on All-Flash Systems

Suppose that you have already implemented FabricPool in your environment. Unified Manager can be your ally to monitor and manage the FabricPool aggregates. Let’s talk about monitoring your all-flash aggregates that are connected to the cloud tier. Unified Manager shows a grid view of all such workloads.

Each FabricPool-enabled aggregate is also presented in a detailed view that showcases all the cloud object storage associations, and even the details of each connection.

Moving Volume Workloads and Configuring Auto-Tiering

If you are already monitoring ONTAP 9.5 all-flash storage with Unified Manager 9.5, you can use the link and launch feature to launch System Manager from the grid page with cloud recommendations.

  1. Move a volume workload from a non FabricPool aggregate to a FabricPool aggregate.
  2. Enable auto-tiering on a volume that is already hosted from an aggregate associated with a cloud tier

The link and launch feature take you to the System Manager page for the target volume, where you can move the workload to an aggregate that is already connected to a cloud tier. Or you can simply configure auto-tiering to the cloud tier with just a few clicks.

Additional Resources

The following video demonstrates how Unified Manager intelligent analysis can help you to understand the level of inactive data in your cluster and how you can use Unified Manager to adopt FabricPool technology and tier your workloads for efficiency.

 

 

Also read the Technical Report, “FabricPool Best Practices.”

Summary

If you’re looking to harness the power of the hybrid cloud, don’t miss this opportunity to implement auto-tiering. And remember, you can use Unified Manager 9.5 to manage your ONTAP environment and to understand the benefits of using FabricPool with your flash solutions. Download and install Unified Manager 9.5 today.

Dhiman Chakraborty

Dhiman Chakraborty is a Technical Marketing Engineer (TME) at Netapp focusing on OnCommand Unified Manager. As a TME, he offers consulting services to Customers and Field Solution architects on various manageability challenges they foresee in their environment. With several years of experience, working for multiple Fortune 500 Companies in the BFSI, Insurance, Manufacturing, Media & Publishing and Utilities space; Dhiman has a deep understanding of IT infrastructure and Management both in the traditional and in the hybrid/public cloud space.