Typical FlexCache deployments

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FlexCache volumes are typically used for read-intensive workloads. You can have a FlexCache volume in the same cluster to accelerate performance for frequently accessed data or “hot objects”. You can also have FlexCache volumes to distribute data across multiple clusters to reduce WAN latencies.

You can have FlexCache deployments with AFF, FAS, or ONTAP Select systems. Starting with ONTAP 9.6, FlexCache deployments are also supported with Cloud Volumes ONTAP.

Performance acceleration for hot volumes

In a LAN deployment, the FlexCache volume is in the same cluster as the origin cluster. The FlexCache volume can be located in the same SVM as or in a different SVM than that of the origin volume.

The FlexCache volume is used for CPU-intensive workloads to offload work from busy file servers and to free system resources. You can use multiple mount points corresponding to different FlexCache volumes for reducing network latency because the data access load is shared among all of the caching systems. This type of LAN deployment reduces the workload of an overloaded storage system.

Cross-cluster data distribution

In a WAN deployment, the FlexCache volume is remote from the data center and is in a different cluster than the origin volume. When clients request data, the FlexCache volume caches popular data, giving the end user faster access to information. This type of WAN deployment decreases the average access time for remote clients.

The FlexCache volume is placed as close as possible to the remote office. Client requests are then explicitly directed to the FlexCache volume. If valid data exists in the cache, that data is served directly to the client. If the data does not exist in the cache, the data is retrieved across the WAN from the origin system, cached in the FlexCache volume, and then served to the client.