Monday, April 25, 2011

NetApp Training Brain Dump: Terms and Acronyms

Here is a list of useful acronyms and definitions.  The list is seriously incomplete, I'll keep it updated as I learn.  These definitions are not meant to be exhaustive, but are meant to be concise and accurate to give you the general idea, in plain english, quickly.


  1. Anodefile: Haven't defined this yet.
  2. The RLM/BMC/SP have essentially the same functionality.  They are control modules for management of the device, giving you remote console access in case other connections go down.  RLM is the oldest, SP the newest version of this module.
  3. FlexClone: Copy of an existing volume.  Looks like a volume, acts like a volume, takes up no space until you change something from the original.  R/W.  Basically a writable snapshot.
  4. Snapshot: Point in time copy of an existing volume.  Cannot be changed.  Snapshots take up no space until data is changed on the  original, because it's really just a bunch of pointers that are still pointing toward the original blocks.
  5. Fingerprint database:
  6. Deswizzling: background WAFL scanner establishing the relationship between the PVBNs and VVBNs.  Only impacts destination, only impacts volumes.

  1. Product designations*2
    1. Denotes single CPU Module (Controller):
      1. FAS CI (Controller/IOXM): One controller, one IOXM, one chassis.  IOXM adds PCI slots to support additional ports.
      2. FAS CB (Controller/Blank): Self explanatory.
      3. FAS E (Expansion): One controller, one IOXM, one chassis. 
    2. Denotes only HA (dual) CPU Modules: 
      1. FAS CC (Controller/Controller): Two controllers, one chassis
      2. FAS c (Controller/Controller): Two controllers, one chassis
      3. FAS AE (Active/Expansion): Two chassis set up for an HA pair.  One controller, one IOXM per chassis.
      4. FAS A (Active/Active): Indicates the same thing as CC.
  2. VIF (Virtual Interface):  virtual NIC, known as Trunked or Teamed NIC.  They come in single mode (redundancy) or multi mode (load balanced).  There are two types of Multi-Mode VIFs, Static Etherchannel and LACP.*1
  3. Static Etherchannel: older protocol for combining  NIC's into a single virtual NIC.  Load balances just as well as LACP.
  4. LACP (Link Aggregation Control Protocol): Newer protocol for combining  NIC's into a single virtual NIC.     This is an enhanced option over Static Etherchannel because of better error detection and handling.  Pick LACP when possible.
  5. ACP (Alternate Control Path): Backup path for the CPU modules to control the shelf modules.
  6. Wiregauge: software that tests whether a FAS system is correctly wired for MPIO/HA.
  7. NGS: NetApp Global Support.
  8. NRD (non-return disks): Client has paid for the right to keep disks after they've failed.  Never take these offsite.
  9. IOXM (Input/Output Expansion Module): Module that goes in the place of a CPU module in a FAS system.  Provides more PCI slots for network connectivity.
  10. IOM3/IOM6 (Input/Output module): Redundant shelf module for DS42XX series.  
  11. FC-AL (Fibre Channel-Arbitrated Loop):
  12. FC-VI (Fibre Channel-Virtual Interface):
  13. TOI (Transfer of information).  
  14. IMAC (Install, Add, Move, Change).
  15. NDMP: Network Data Management Protocol.  This protocol sets up communication between the NAS device (e.g. Filer) and your backup device (e.g. tape library), bypassing the backup server.  Typically the backup server is running enterprise backup software to facilitate the exchange, but doesn't want to be the middleman in the flow of data.  You can think of the backup server as the witness in a duel, and the code of honor each dueler follows as NDMP.  When the witness says go, take 10 steps, turn and shoot - very important, but the witness doesn't want to stand in between the two and pass on the bullets :-)
  16. WWPN or WWN (World Wide Port Name): In a SAN, these unique names are used at a software level to route data to and from the correct ports.  Each port has a unique name, ostensibly unique in the world
  17. NPIV (N_Port ID Virtualization): How multiple 
    1. For more info on this, check out
  18. RDM (Raw  Device Mapping): A term for presenting the LUN to the server via SCSI/FCoE/FCP.
  19. VMFS (Virtual Machine File System): VMware's cluster file system.
  20. NDU (Non-Disruptive Upgrades): refers to whether a firmware upgrade takes down the service.
  21. PVBN (Physical Volume Block Numbers): how WAFL identifies the blocks of data.  Essentially an address.
  22. VVBN (Virtual Volume Block Numbers): how WAFL identifies the blocks to mirror changes.  Each block has the same VVBN on the source and dest volume. 
  23. FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt): how small minded people justify avoiding work.
  24. QSM (Qtree SnapMirror)
  25. RTO (Recovery Time Objective): How long it takes to failover and be up from a disaster.
  26. RPO (Recovery Point Objective): How much data the system will lose in the event of a disaster.  Zero RPO means no data lost.
  27. SDS (Storage Design Studio): Software within NetApp Dynamics that is used to design a SAN, including network, disk, and volume levels.
  28. ALUA (Asymmetric Logical Unit Access): Since only one controller at a time owns and writes to each hard drive, ALUA software uses awareness of this to send traffic to the owning controller.  This optimizes performance.
  29. LREP (Logical Replication): Used for the first, full transfer of data for either replication of backup.  
  30. ASIS (Advanced Single Instance Storage)*3: NetApp's old name for data dedupe.
  31. RBAC (Role Based Access Control)
  32. RAS (Reliability, Availability, and Serviceability)
Positions (loose definitions):
- TPM (Third Party Maintainer): 3rd party NetApp contracted break/fix/install.
- ASE (Accredited Services Engineer):  Somewhat analogous to TPM.
- FSE (Field Services Engineer): Third party firefighter.  Expert level ASE.
- PSE (Professional Services Engineer): Consultant expert for implementations and base software like Operations Manager.
- TSE (Technical Support Engineer): The guys at NGS.  
- PSC (Professional Services Consultant): Consultant guru, highly specialized expert.  Architect.


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