What's New in ONTAP 9.3?
I'm liking NetApp's new release of their data management software ONTAP! There are some great new features which will help many customers, including performance and efficiency enhancements.
Here's a few of the new enhancements which particularly grabbed my attention.
Data Protection is now made easier using the web interface and you can see clearly a list of unprotected volumes (i.e. datasets).
What's also great is that you can now protect another NetApp appliance, Solidfire, by replicating the data to an ONTAP cluster.
This means that the Solidfire array is now more tightly bound to the Data Fabric. See my other post on what the Data Fabric is all about!
Security has been improved by introducing multi-factor authentication when an administrator logs into the ONTAP cluster.
In other words, for customers where a username and password might not be considered secure enough on their own.
Using a third-party server, the administrator would have to authenticate using a second method in addition to the standard username and password combination.
It's also now easier to encrypt and decrypt volumes and we can do so using an external key management server which might well suite customers in larger and more secure environments.
Compliance – File Retention
For customers who have a legal requirement to retain files for or a specified period of time, this is now even easier as the SnapLock feature has been enhanced to introduce event-based policies.
For example, if an employee leaves the company, the ONTAP administrator can quickly apply a policy to retain that person's files for X number of years.
Or how about a more serious requirement to retain files, such as a legal case?
The administrator can now use the legal-hold command to quickly retain ("lock") files forever (or until the company is allowed to delete them).
Application Aware Provisioning
The feature which stands out for me though, is how NetApp has enhanced Application Aware Provisioning.
We've had this feature for a while and it's all about getting the storage up and running as quickly as possible, and then making management of data simpler.
In ONTAP 9.3 this aspect is getting more feature rich with regards to data protection and quality of service.
I would however, like to see the feature set grow even further so that the simplified provisioning is on a par with deploying using a manual method.
For more information on ONTAP, you can go to NetApp's ONTAP web page.
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