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When does the NetApp NFS Plugin for VMware VAAI improve clone performance?

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Applies to

  • ONTAP
  • NetApp NFS Plugin for VMware VAAI

Answer

  • All NFS VAAI clone operations are offloaded to storage, which reduces host/network resource demand.
    • This may improve clone performance in some environments.
  • NFS VAAI cloning operations will complete even faster if the following conditions are fulfilled:
    • The clone is performed within the same volume.
    • FlexClone is licensed.
    • The volume is configured for deduplicated data.

Additional Information

ONTAP Cloning Engines
  • ONTAP has three cloning engines for NFS VAAI clones.
  • When ONTAP receives an NFS VAAI clone request, it uses a built-in copy manager to determine which cloning engine to use.
    • NetApp Spin Copy Engine (SpinCE)
      • Used when the source and destination locations are on different nodes
      • Performs block-for-block copies of the file
      • Has no acceleration beyond offloading the operation to storage
    • NetApp Block Copy Engine (BCE)
      • Used when the source and destination locations are within the same node
      • Performs block-for-block copies of the file
      • Has no acceleration beyond offloading the operation to storage
    • NetApp FlexClone SISClone Engine (SCE)
      • Used when the source and destination location is the same volume and FlexClone is licensed and the volume is configured for deduplication
      • Uses FlexClone for a faster, more space-efficient clone
Hole Punching
  • Hole punching is the process of removing sparse blocks (holes) from copied blocks after a copy offload operation.
    • This keeps thin provisioned VMDKs thin provisioned, but it can also slow copy times.
  • Hole punching is enabled by default on ONTAP storage. You can further improve clone performance by disabling hole punching.
    • Note: If this is disabled, any thin VMDKs will become thick after being copied.
  • To disable hole punching, refer to the diagnostic level command vserver copy-offload modify in your ONTAP command manual.

 

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