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Tiering inactive data to low-cost object storage

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You can reduce storage costs for Cloud Volumes ONTAP by combining an SSD or HDD performance tier for hot data with an object storage capacity tier for inactive data. Data tiering is powered by FabricPool technology. For a high-level overview, see Data tiering overview.

To set up data tiering, you need to do the following:

Number 1 Choose a supported configuration

Most configurations are supported. If you have a Cloud Volumes ONTAP Standard, Premium, or BYOL system running the most recent version, then you should be good to go. Learn more.

Number 2 Ensure connectivity between Cloud Volumes ONTAP and object storage

  • For AWS, you’ll need a VPC Endpoint to S3. Learn more.

  • For Azure, you won’t need to do anything as long as Cloud Manager has the required permissions. Learn more.

  • For GCP, you need to configure the subnet for Private Google Access and set up a service account. Learn more.

Number 3 Ensure that you have an aggregate with tiering enabled

Data tiering must be enabled on an aggregate in order to enable data tiering on a volume. You should be aware of the requirements for new volumes and for existing volumes. Learn more.

Number 4 Choose a tiering policy when creating, modifying, or replicating a volume

Cloud Manager prompts you to choose a tiering policy when you create, modify, or replicate a volume.

What’s not required for data tiering?
  • You don’t need to install a feature license to enable data tiering.

  • You don’t need to create the capacity tier (an S3 bucket, Azure Blob container, or GCP bucket). Cloud Manager does that for you.

  • You don’t need to enable data tiering at the system level.

    Cloud Manager creates an object store for cold data when the system is created, as long as there are no connectivity or permissions issues. After that, you just need to enable data tiering on volumes (and in some cases, on aggregates).

Configurations that support data tiering

You can enable data tiering when using specific configurations and features:

  • Data tiering is supported with Cloud Volumes ONTAP Standard, Premium, and BYOL, starting with the following versions:

    • Version 9.2 in AWS

    • Version 9.4 in Azure with single node systems

    • Version 9.6 in Azure with HA pairs

    • Version 9.6 in GCP

      Data tiering is not supported in Azure with the DS3_v2 virtual machine type.
  • In AWS, the performance tier can be General Purpose SSDs, Provisioned IOPS SSDs, or Throughput Optimized HDDs.

  • In Azure, the performance tier can be Premium SSD managed disks, Standard SSD managed disks, or Standard HDD managed disks.

  • In GCP, the performance tier can be either SSDs or HDDs (standard disks).

  • Data tiering is supported with encryption technologies.

  • Thin provisioning must be enabled on volumes.

Requirements

Depending on your cloud provider, certain connections and permissions must be set up so that Cloud Volumes ONTAP can tier cold data to object storage.

Requirements to tier cold data to AWS S3

Ensure that Cloud Volumes ONTAP has a connection to S3. The best way to provide that connection is by creating a VPC Endpoint to the S3 service. For instructions, see AWS Documentation: Creating a Gateway Endpoint.

When you create the VPC Endpoint, be sure to select the region, VPC, and route table that corresponds to the Cloud Volumes ONTAP instance. You must also modify the security group to add an outbound HTTPS rule that enables traffic to the S3 endpoint. Otherwise, Cloud Volumes ONTAP cannot connect to the S3 service.

Requirements to tier cold data to Azure Blob storage

You don’t need to set up a connection between the performance tier and the capacity tier as long as Cloud Manager has the required permissions. Cloud Manager enables a VNet service endpoint for you if the Cloud Manager policy has these permissions:

"Microsoft.Network/virtualNetworks/subnets/write",
"Microsoft.Network/routeTables/join/action",

The permissions are included in the latest Cloud Manager policy.

Requirements to tier cold data to a Google Cloud Storage bucket

Enabling data tiering after implementing the requirements

Cloud Manager creates an object store for cold data when the system is created, as long as there are no connectivity or permissions issues. If you didn’t implement the requirements listed above until after you created the system, then you’ll need to manually enable tiering, which creates the object store.

Steps
  1. Ensure that you’ve met all requirements.

  2. On the Working Environments page, double-click the name of the Cloud Volumes ONTAP instance.

  3. Click the menu icon and select Enable capacity tiering.

    A screenshot of the Enable capacity tiering option that is available from the working environment menu if an issue was encountered when Cloud Manager tried to enable data tiering.

    You’ll only see this option if data tiering couldn’t be enabled when Cloud Manager created the system.
  4. Click Enable so Cloud Manager can create the object store that this Cloud Volumes ONTAP system will use for tiered data.

Ensuring that tiering is enabled on aggregates

Data tiering must be enabled on an aggregate in order to enable data tiering on a volume. You should be aware of the requirements for new volumes and for existing volumes.

  • New volumes

    If you’re enabling data tiering on a new volume, then you don’t need to worry about enabling data tiering on an aggregate. Cloud Manager creates the volume on an existing aggregate that has tiering enabled, or it creates a new aggregate for the volume if a data tiering-enabled aggregate doesn’t already exist.

  • Existing volumes

    If you want to enable data tiering on an existing volume, then you’ll need to ensure that data tiering is enabled on the underlying aggregate. If data tiering isn’t enabled on the existing aggregate, then you’ll need to use System Manager to attach an existing aggregate to the object store.

Steps to confirm whether tiering is enabled on an aggregate
  1. Open the working environment in Cloud Manager.

  2. Click the menu icon, click Advanced, and then click Advanced allocation.

  3. Verify whether tiering is enabled or disabled on the aggregate.

    A screenshot that shows information about an aggregate in Cloud Manager which includes the tiering status.

Steps to enable tiering on an aggregate
  1. In System Manager, click Storage > Tiers.

  2. Click the action menu for the aggregate and select Attach Cloud Tiers.

  3. Select the cloud tier to attach and click Save.

What’s next?

You can now enable data tiering on new and existing volumes, as explained in the next section.

Tiering data from read-write volumes

Cloud Volumes ONTAP can tier inactive data on read-write volumes to cost-effective object storage, freeing up the performance tier for hot data.

Steps
  1. In the working environment, create a new volume or change the tier of an existing volume:

    Task Action

    Create a new volume

    Click Add New Volume.

    Modify an existing volume

    Select the volume and click Change Disk Type & Tiering Policy.

  2. Select a tiering policy.

    For a description of these policies, see Data tiering overview.

    Example

    Screenshot that shows the icon to enable tiering to object storage.

    Cloud Manager creates a new aggregate for the volume if a data tiering-enabled aggregate does not already exist.

Tiering data from data protection volumes

Cloud Volumes ONTAP can tier data from a data protection volume to a capacity tier. If you activate the destination volume, the data gradually moves to the performance tier as it is read.

Steps
  1. On the Working Environments page, select the working environment that contains the source volume, and then drag it to the working environment to which you want to replicate the volume.

  2. Follow the prompts until you reach the tiering page and enable data tiering to object storage.

    Example

    Screenshot that shows the S3 tiering option when replicating a volume.

    For help with replicating data, see Replicating data to and from the cloud.

Changing the storage class for tiered data

After you deploy Cloud Volumes ONTAP, you can reduce your storage costs by changing the storage class for inactive data that hasn’t been accessed for 30 days. The access costs are higher if you do access the data, so you must take that into consideration before you change the storage class.

The storage class for tiered data is system wide—​it’s not per volume.

For information about supported storage classes, see Data tiering overview.

Steps
  1. From the working environment, click the menu icon and then click Storage Classes or Blob Storage Tiering.

  2. Choose a storage class and then click Save.