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Zombie exhaustion accounting for poor delete performance

Applies to

  • Data ONTAP 7-Mode
  • Clustered Data ONTAP


On 8.2.4 7-Mode or CDOT or 8.3.2 or newer releases, you may see this message:

WAFL(R) is experiencing zombie throttling possibly due to requests for large number of file deletions. This can be mitigated by a combination of a) reducing the load on the system, b) issuing the file deletion requests in smaller batches and c) increasing the limits to allow more zombies to be queued on the system (Please contact technical support). 

Also you could have a high response time for CIFS or NFS trying to open files, overwrite files, or delete files. CPU will be high in either Kahuna or Wafl_Ex(Kahu) in sysstat -M.


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