What SVMs are

SVMs contain data volumes and one or more LIFs through which they serve data to clients and hosts. Each SVM appears as a single dedicated server to a client or host.

A cluster must have at least one SVM to serve data. Multiple SVMs can coexist in a single cluster without being bound to any node in a cluster. An SVM has a separate administrator authentication domain and can be managed independently by its SVM administrator.

SVMs can contain files and LUNs. They provide file-level data access by using NFS and CIFS protocols for the NAS clients, and block-level data access by using iSCSI and Fibre Channel (FC) (FCoE included) for SAN hosts.

image illustrating how a Storage Virtual Machine works with FlexVol volumes