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VAAI: What are the copy offload engines that ONTAP uses?

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Applies to

  • VMware vSphere APIs for Array Integration (VAAI)
  • NetApp ONTAP

Answer

Data ONTAP makes use of three copy offload engines (all part of the NFS Copy Manager Services):

SCE (known as the SisClone or System Continuous Engineering Engine)

  • This engine is used for intra-volume (i.e. within the same volume) copies only 
  • SCE leverages WAFL's SiSClone technology to copy references to existing blocks.  In other words, pointers to existing blocks are created rather than the physical blocks themselves being copied.
  • The FlexClone license is needed to make use of SCE
  • The flexvol needs to have sis enabled before SCE can be used:
    • sis on -volume <vol_name> -vserver <SVM_name>

BCE (or Block Copy Engine)

  • This engine is used for intra-volume and inter-volume copies
  • This engine performs block-for-block copies of the data
  • If the SCE engine cannot be used for intra-volume copies, than the BCE is used instead
  • BCE cannot be used between physical nodes

SpinNP Copy Engine (also refered to as SpinCE)

  • This engine is used for volume copies across physical nodes
  • This engine performs block-for-block copies of the data

Additional Information

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