Considerations for FC-NVMe configurations


Beginning with ONTAP 9.4, the non-volatile memory express (NVMe) protocol is available for SAN environments. FC-NVMe allows you to run NVMe over an existing FC network with an AFF system. FC-NVMe uses the same physical setup and zoning practice as traditional FC networks but allows for greater bandwidth, increased IOPs and reduced latency than FC-SCSI.

  • Beginning in ONTAP 9.6 volume move with mapped namespaces is supported.

    Volume move with mapped namespaces is not supported in ONTAP 9.5 or 9.4.

  • Beginning in ONTAP 9.6, namespaces support 512 byte blocks and 4096 byte blocks.

    4096 is the default value. 512 should only be used if the host operating system does not support 4096 byte blocks.

  • You can set up your FC-NVMe configuration with single nodes or HA pairs using a single fabric or multifabric.

  • NVMe is supported on AFF platforms that have 32G FC ports.

  • Beginning with ONTAP 9.5 multipath HA pair failover/giveback is supported for NVMe configurations.

    Path failover/giveback is not supported in ONTAP 9.4.

  • NVMe can be the only data protocol on the storage virtual machine (SVM).

  • FC-NVMe can be the only data protocol on data LIFs.

  • LUNs and namespaces cannot be mixed on the same volume.

  • You should configure one management LIF for every SVM supporting SAN.

  • The use of heterogeneous FC switch fabrics is not supported, except in the case of embedded blade switches.

    Specific exceptions are listed on the Interoperability Matrix.

  • Cascade, partial mesh, full mesh, core-edge, and director fabrics are all industry-standard methods of connecting FC switches to a fabric, and all are supported.

    A fabric can consist of one or multiple switches, and the storage controllers can be connected to multiple switches.

The following applies only to nodes running ONTAP 9.4:

  • NVMe LIFs and namespaces must be hosted on the same node.

  • The NVMe service must be created before the NVMe LIF is created.

The following ONTAP features are not supported by NVMe configurations:

  • NVMe namespace move

  • NVMe namespaces (Copy on Demand)

  • Creating namespaces on a volume transitioned from Data ONTAP operating in 7-mode.

  • Sync

  • Virtual Storage Console

  • Application Aware (AppDM/Balanced Placement)

See the Hardware Universe for a complete list of NVMe limits.

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