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Cloud Volumes ONTAP Performance Considerations

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Cloud Volumes ONTAP is a new product offering that allows you to deploy virtual instances of Data ONTAP via cloud computing platforms. Because ONTAP is not running on NetApp hardware there are some considerations to keep in mind when architecting a solution so it will best meet your needs. This article will focus on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform.


Amazon Web Services uses Elastic Block Storage (EBS) Volumes, which can be described as the type of disk used to back storage for Cloud Volumes ONTAP

  • General Purpose SSD (gp2) - SSD with scalable IOPS (standard + burst rate)
    • Most commonly selected option
    • 3 IOPS / GB - scalable performance, 500 GB = 1500 IOPS, 1 TB = 3000 IOPS
    • Larger disk size enables better performance
  • Provisioned IOPS SSD (io1) - SSD with fixed IOPS
    • Guaranteed IOPS
    • High performance workloads
    • More costly than other options
  • Throughput Optimized HDD (st1)
    • Ideal for streaming data workloads, such as SnapMirror
  • EBS Magnetic / Cold HDD (sc1) - traditional spinning media
    • Not recommended or supported

More information - Amazon EBS Volume Types

Instance Type

AWS instance types can be described as the hardware dedicated to the Cloud Volumes ONTAP install, including CPU, RAM, and network bandwidth

  • General Purpose - Balanced resources
    • T2 - low cost, burst performance oriented
    • M4 - balanced resources for many workloads
  • Compute optimized â?? better for workloads that need more CPU resources (deduplication, compression, compaction)
    • C4 - Latest generation Intel Xeon processors
  • Memory optimized - better for workloads with large working sets (high file count, complex directory structure, database workloads)
    • X1 - Optimized for large-scale, enterprise-class, in-memory applications
    • R4 - Optimized for memory-intensive applications

More information - Amazon EC2 Instance Types

Other Considerations

  • Cloud Volumes ONTAP HA functionality
    • Cloud Volumes ONTAP does support HA configurations, though there may be performance issues for some workloads. Improvements to this feature are constantly being made.
  • Write speed for Non-HA (single-node)
    • Normal - Data is written to NVRAM prior to being committed to disk - this is the safest option and should be used in most cases
    • High - Data is simply left in active memory buffers and committed to disk - since data is NOT written to NVRAM, should an unplanned shutdown occur, data could be lost, not recommended and should only be used for workloads with transient data that can safely be lost
  • Usage profile â?? options that get setup when deploying Cloud Volumes ONTAP
    • Highest Performance - Recommended for applications requiring lowest latency
    • Performance with Efficiency - Good performance with ONTAP storage efficiency (deduplication)
  • Shared Tenancy vs. Dedicated Hardware
    • Shared tenancy is the most commonly selected option, but you could experience "noisy neighbor" symptoms from other AWS workloads, dedicated hardware avoids this but is more costly


Performance Benchmark Technical Reports

Performance Characterization of NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP for Amazon Web Services

Performance Characterization of NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP for Azure with Application Workloads

Performance Characterization of NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP for Google Cloud

Additional Information