FlexClone volumes, files, and LUNs
FlexClone technology references Snapshot metadata to create writable, point-in-time copies of a volume. Copies share data blocks with their parents, consuming no storage except what is required for metadata until changes are written to the copy. FlexClone files and FlexClone LUNs use identical technology, except that a backing Snapshot copy is not required.
Where traditional copies can take minutes or even hours to create, FlexClone software lets you copy even the largest datasets almost instantaneously. That makes it ideal for situations in which you need multiple copies of identical datasets (a virtual desktop deployment, for example) or temporary copies of a dataset (testing an application against a production dataset).
You can clone an existing FlexClone volume, clone a volume containing LUN clones, or clone mirror and vault data. You can split a FlexClone volume from its parent, in which case the copy is allocated its own storage.