In case you missed it, NetApp’s Insight conference took place the week of October 26th. There were tons of new features and enhancements in the ONTAP family, new hardware platforms for AFF, FAS & E-Series, and a heavy focus on many of their recent cloud offerings. Here are some of the highlights to catch you up.


ONTAP 9.8 was just released with and tons of updates. Here are just some of the key features:


FlexCache expanded to support SMB (previously limited to NFS)

  • Performance acceleration for read-intensive file workloads.
  • A sparse, writable cache of a volume on any ONTAP instance
  • Both the origin (source) volume and FlexCache volume look exactly the same to clients
  • Create multiple caches in multiple locations to the same origin
  • Writes are forwarded to the origin volume automatically
  • Zero data transfer setup and instantaneous availability upon creation
  • Provides multiple mount points to the same data set, thus eliminating hot spots
  • Space Efficient – Only data that is requested is cached
  • Well suited for read and metadata intensive workloads


S3 protocol support for small-scale object workloads

  • ONTAP offers basic S3 protocol access for smaller object storage use cases
  • It should be noted that this does not provide all the capabilities of StorageGrid that has a globally-dispersed object namespace, full S3 command set, rich metadata, and policy-driven data movement


FabricPool Enhancements

  • Tiering from FAS systems (no longer limited to AFF)
  • Cool period can be set up for up to 183 days
  • Object tagging now supported to take advantage of ILM policies
  • Tiering to ONTAP S3 fully supported


MetroCluster Enhancements

  • Midrange and entry-level updates
  • A400, new entry AFF system
  • FAS8300, FAS8700 Hybrid
  • New mid-range to replace A300, FAS8200 systems
  • A400 supports NVMe shelf
  • Non-disruptive transition from 4-node MCC-FC to MCC-IP
  • 4-node MCC-FC adds 4-node MCC-IP during transition
  • Volume move to migrate data
  • transition from 2-node MCC will require downtime
  • Unmirrored aggregates
  • Mirror only critical application data at an aggregate granularity


SnapMirror Business Continuity (SMBC)

  • Continuous Availability for select applications
  • Consolidate all workloads and deliver continuous availability for critical SAN ones
  • Limited to SAN only


Here are the new platforms announced at Insight spanning the AFF, FAS, and E-Series product lines:



NetApp did not hide the fact that cloud is a key focus area for the company during this event.


Here are just a few of the highlights:


Spot on NetApp

  • Spot Storage
  • Spot Storage simplifies infrastructure management for cloud applications to be serverless and “storage less” with integrated storage and compute optimization, providing an “easy button” for cloud-native storage within Spot Ocean and Elastigroup.
  • Spot Ocean for Microsoft Azure
  • This release brings Ocean to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, including support for Azure Kubernetes. Service (AKS) as the preferred managed Kubernetes solution for Azure customers. Ocean for Azure brings the full capabilities of Spot Ocean to Azure customers, offering a proven Kubernetes infrastructure automation and optimization solution. With Ocean, customers can focus on deploying and managing their cloud-native applications, knowing the Ocean is continuously optimizing scaling, costs, container right-sizing, and more to ensure that cloud-native applications have the performance and availability they require at the lowest possible cost.
  • Spot Cloud Analyzer and Cloud Manager Integration
  • Cloud Manager provides a centralized control plane to manage, monitor, and automate data. Cloud Analyzer provides a centralized solution offering insights and guidance for optimizing cloud compute resources. This integration allows users to easily step into the Spot platform directly from Cloud Manager. In a single click, users can view compute utilization and efficiency and take the action to move to Spot products and start optimizing compute.
  • Spot Cloud Analyzer for Microsoft Azure
  • Spot Cloud Analyzer for Microsoft Azure provides comprehensive operational insights with cost and usage analysis into all their Azure cloud deployments. Cloud Analyzer combines insights into cloud compute utilization and efficiency with guidance on how to reduce costs and the ability to start optimizing costs using the Spot by NetApp portfolio of products in just a few clicks.
  • Spot Eco for Microsoft Azure
  • Spot Eco for Microsoft Azure offers full lifecycle management for Azure reservations. Eco builds a customized strategy, based on actual usage and needs, for both the short and the long term, which allows for enough flexibility to adapt to any change in workload utilization. This portfolio management is achieved by purchasing, changing, and even canceling Azure Reservations with one goal—minimizing waste and saving money. Using Eco for Azure, organizations can enjoy continuous commitment management and achieve synergy between FinOps & DevOps teams with zero engineering effort and up to 75% cost savings.


NetApp Cloud Insights


Cloud Volumes ONTAP

  • NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP (CVO) High Availability (HA) is now available on Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Now, organizations can deploy CVO as an HA-pair across availability zones, allowing companies to easily migrate their production workloads to Google Cloud with automatic failover and failback, a Recovery Point Objective (RPO) of zero, and a Recovery Time Objective (RTO) of less than 60 seconds. CVO delivers all of the ONTAP enterprise data management and protection capabilities on Google Cloud with uptime of more than 99.99 percent.


NetApp Virtual Desktop Managed Service

  • A turnkey, managed solution for end-to-end VDI needs. Powered by NetApp’s Virtual Desktop Service (VDS), our VDI global control plane for virtual desktop management functions as an extension of the cloud.


Obviously, lots of great information came out of this event. If you have any questions or would like to hear more about a particular solution, please reach out to your HA account executive and set up a meeting today!