Highlights from the ONTAP 9.3 RC1 Release Notes

I always like to keep an eye out for the first release of the Release Notes for a new ONTAP version. And finally, the ONTAP 9.3RC1 Release Notes have dropped. For the full PDF, check this link: https://library.netapp.com/ecm/ecm_download_file/ECMLP2492508. I’ve highlighted things below that particularly interest me.

But first... ONTAP 9.3 was announced at the NetApp Insight conference in Las Vegas, and this following link covers the ONTAP 9.3 announcements well (as it should being written by Jeff Baxter the NetApp Chief Evangelist for ONTAP): https://blog.netapp.com/announcing-netapp-ontap-9-3-the-next-step-in-modernizing-your-data-management/. Three bullet points that perhaps don’t come across in the release notes:
- ONTAP 9.3 offers up to 40% increased performance compared to previous versions.
- ONTAP 9.3 offers up to 30% increased capacity savings by optimizing deduplication.
- ONTAP 9.3 offers new encryption, authentication, and compliance capabilities.

New and changed features in ONTAP 9.3
This release includes the following new and changed features:

Data protection enhancements
- Support for Volume Append Mode
- Support for Legal Hold feature
- Support for Event Based Retention feature
- Support for configuring a data protection relationship in a single step
- XDP replaces DP as the SnapMirror default in ONTAP 9.3
- Support for simplified cluster and SVM peering
- Support for volume protection
- Support for SolidFire to ONTAP Backup
- Support for breaking protection relationships between ONTAP and SolidFire systems

File access protocol enhancements
- Support for name service caching
- Export policy configuration checker
- Domain controller discovery options for improving performance
- Support for NFS security tracing
- Enhanced support for SMB protocols

Hardware support updates
- Support for the X1135A/X1135A-C FC adapter

Manageability enhancement
- Support for provisioning an SVM by using a preconfigured template

MetroCluster configuration enhancements
- Support for Brocade 7840 FC switches
- Support for Brocade G610 switches

Networking and security protocol enhancements
- Support for SAML authentication for web services
- Support for SSH multifactor authentication

Storage resource management enhancements
- Enhancements to FlexGroup volumes in ONTAP 9.3

Storage efficiency enhancements
- Support for Automatic Background Deduplication on AFF systems
- Support for cross volume deduplication on AFF systems

Upgrade enhancements
- Enhancements for cluster join and unjoin
- Support for additional upgrade, downgrade, and revert paths