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What LIF roles does clustered Data ONTAP use to establish connections to remote servers?

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Applies to

  • Clustered Data ONTAP 8.3
  • Clustered Data ONTAP 8.2
  • Clustered Data ONTAP 8.1
  • Clustered Data ONTAP 8


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Data ONTAP services may initiate network connections from a node in the cluster.  For example: AutoSupport, SNMP, time synchronization, and syslog. When a Node Management interface is configured and available, it is preferred for these connections.

When Data ONTAP contacts name services like Active Directory, NIS, DNS, or LDAP, it prefers to initiate these connections from Data or SVM Management interfaces belonging to the Storage Virtual Machine (SVM).

While Data ONTAP prefers these type interfaces, it will initiate the connections based on the running configuration.  Some factors that will affect IP routing decisions include :

  • Configured IP addresses, netmasks, and routes
    Data ONTAP nodes may host many network interfaces for client access, data replication, and system administration.  When configuring multi-homed network hosts, take care to ensure the network will support the hosts' communication needs.

  • SVM name services configuration
    Early releases of Clustered Data ONTAP (cDOT) allowed a Data SVM to use the name services configured on the cluster.  cDOT 8.3 and above require each Data SVM to use its own name services configuration.

  • IPspace configuration
    Data ONTAP does not route network traffic between IPspaces.

  • Release of Data ONTAP
    As new features and improvements are added to Data ONTAP, some networking rules and capabilities may change as well.  We document these changes with each release; See references below:

For Ethernet Storage Design Considerations and Best Practices for Clustered Data ONTAP Configurations, see TR-4182.

​A note about node management interfaces:

In Data ONTAP 8.x 7-Mode, e0M is usually the node management interface.  Clustered Data ONTAP administrators may configure a node management LIF on separate ports.

A node's node management interface should be configured on a separate IP subnet from other types of traffic (e.g. Data, Intercluster, and SnapMirror). In most configurations the node management interface should have a route to other hosts such as the syslog, time, or mail servers.

Considerations for different releases of Data ONTAP: 

  • While 7-Mode Data ONTAP networking is different from cDOT, it will select a source interface for network traffic using similar IP routing logic.
  • Prior to cDOT 8.3, it was possible for a cluster node to initiate network traffic from any LIF it hosted.
  • Beginning with Clustered Data ONTAP (cDOT) 8.3, network traffic is isolated such that an SVM may only initiate connections from its own LIFs.  For exmaple: A Data SVM can only initiate traffic from its own Data or SVM Management LIFs; The nodes themselves, as part of the Admin SVM, cannot initiate traffic from a Data SVM's LIFs.

  • We publish a Network Management Guide for each release of Data ONTAP :

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