High-availability pairs Edit on GitHub

An ONTAP Cloud high availability (HA) configuration provides nondisruptive operations and fault tolerance. HA pairs are supported in AWS only.

Overview

ONTAP Cloud HA configurations include the following components:

  • Two ONTAP Cloud systems (nodes) whose data is synchronously mirrored between each other.

  • A mediator instance that provides a communication channel between the nodes to assist in storage takeover and giveback processes.

The mediator instance runs the Linux operating system on a t2.micro instance and uses one EBS magnetic disk that is approximately 8 GB.

Storage takeover and giveback

If a node goes down, the other node can serve data for its partner to provide continued data service. Clients can access the same data from the partner node because the data was synchronously mirrored to the partner.

After the node reboots, the partner must resync data before it can return the storage. The time that it takes to resync data depends on how much data was changed while the node was down.

RPO and RTO

An ONTAP Cloud HA configuration maintains high availability of your data as follows:

  • The recovery point objective (RPO) is 0 seconds.
    Your data is transactionally consistent with no data loss.

  • The recovery time objective (RTO) is 60 seconds.
    In the event of an outage, data should be available in 60 seconds or less.

HA deployment models

You can ensure the high availability of your data by deploying an ONTAP Cloud HA configuration across multiple Availability Zones (AZs) or in a single AZ. You should review more details about each configuration to choose which best fits your needs.

ONTAP Cloud HA in multiple Availability Zones

Deploying an ONTAP Cloud HA configuration in multiple Availability Zones (AZs) ensures high availability of your data if a failure occurs with an AZ or an instance that runs an ONTAP Cloud node. You should understand how NAS IP addresses impact data access and storage failover.

NFS and CIFS data access for clients within the VPC

When an ONTAP Cloud HA configuration is spread across multiple Availability Zones, three floating IP addresses are required for NAS data access from within the VPC. The floating IP addresses, which must be outside of the CIDR blocks for all VPCs in the region, can migrate between nodes when failures occur.

These floating IP addresses are not natively accessible to clients that are outside of the VPC.

You should review requirements for floating IP addresses and route tables before you deploy an HA configuration across multiple Availability Zones. You must specify the floating IP addresses when you deploy the configuration.

NFS and CIFS data access for clients outside the VPC

When deployed in multiple AZs, ONTAP Cloud HA includes a separate set of IP addresses for NAS clients that are outside of the VPC. These IP addresses are static—they cannot migrate between nodes.

iSCSI data access

Cross-VPC data communication is not an issue since iSCSI does not use floating IP addresses.

Storage takeover and giveback for iSCSI

For iSCSI, ONTAP Cloud uses multipath I/O (MPIO) and Asymmetric Logical Unit Access (ALUA) to manage path failover between the active-optimized and non-optimized paths.

For information about which specific host configurations support ALUA, see the NetApp Interoperability Matrix Tool and the Host Utilities Installation and Setup Guide for your host operating system.

Storage takeover and giveback for NAS

When takeover occurs in a NAS configuration using floating IPs, the node’s floating IP address that clients use to access data moves to the other node. The following image depicts storage takeover in a NAS configuration using floating IPs. If node 2 goes down, the floating IP address for node 2 moves to node 1.

Conceptual image showing storage takeover in an ONTAP Cloud HA pair: the floating IP addresses from node 1 move to node 2.

NAS data IPs used for external VPC access cannot migrate between nodes if failures occur. If a node goes offline, you must manually remount volumes to clients outside the VPC by using the IP address on the other node.

After the failed node comes back online, remount clients to volumes using the original IP address. This step is needed to avoid transferring unnecessary data between two HA nodes, which can cause significant performance and stability impact.

You can easily identify the correct IP address from Cloud Manager by selecting the volume and clicking Mount Command.

ONTAP Cloud HA in a single Availability Zone

Deploying an ONTAP Cloud HA configuration in a single Availability Zone (AZ) can ensure high availability of your data if an instance that runs an ONTAP Cloud node fails. All data is natively accessible from outside of the VPC.

This HA configuration is not supported in the Volume View.

Data access

Because this configuration is in a single AZ, it does not require floating IP addresses. You can use the same IP address for data access from within the VPC and from outside the VPC.

The following image shows an HA configuration in a single AZ. Data is accessible from within the VPC and from outside the VPC.

Conceptual image that shows an ONTAP HA configuration in a single Availability Zone that allows data access from outside of the VPC.

Storage takeover and giveback

For iSCSI, ONTAP Cloud uses multipath I/O (MPIO) and Asymmetric Logical Unit Access (ALUA) to manage path failover between the active-optimized and non-optimized paths.

For information about which specific host configurations support ALUA, see the NetApp Interoperability Matrix Tool and the Host Utilities Installation and Setup Guide for your host operating system.

For NAS configurations, the data IP addresses can migrate between HA nodes if failures occur. This ensures client access to storage.

How storage works in an ONTAP Cloud HA pair

Unlike an ONTAP cluster, storage in an ONTAP Cloud HA pair is not shared between nodes. Instead, data is synchronously mirrored between the nodes so that the data is available in the event of failure.

Storage allocation

When you create a new volume and additional disks are required, Cloud Manager allocates the same number of disks to both nodes, creates a mirrored aggregate, and then creates the new volume. For example, if two disks are required for the volume, Cloud Manager allocates two disks per node for a total of four disks.

Storage configurations

You can use an ONTAP Cloud HA pair as an active-active configuration, in which both nodes serve data to clients, or as an active-passive configuration, in which the passive node responds to data requests only if it has taken over storage for the active node.

You can set up an active-active configuration only when using Cloud Manager in the Storage System View.

Performance expectations for an ONTAP Cloud HA configuration

An ONTAP Cloud HA configuration synchronously replicates data between nodes, which consumes network bandwidth. As a result, you can expect the following performance in comparison to a single-node ONTAP Cloud configuration:

  • For HA configurations that serve data from only one node, read performance is comparable to the read performance of a single-node configuration, whereas write performance is lower.

  • For HA configurations that serve data from both nodes, read performance is higher than the read performance of a single-node configuration, and write performance is the same or higher.

For more details about ONTAP Cloud performance, see Performance.

Client access to storage

Clients should access NFS and CIFS volumes by using the data IP address of the node on which the volume resides. If NAS clients access a volume by using the IP address of the partner node, traffic goes between both nodes, which reduces performance.

If you move a volume between nodes in an HA pair, you should remount the volume by using the IP address of the other node. Otherwise, you can experience reduced performance. If clients support NFSv4 referrals or folder redirection for CIFS, you can enable those features on the ONTAP Cloud systems to avoid remounting the volume. For details, see ONTAP documentation.

You can easily identify the correct IP address from Cloud Manager. The following image shows the Storage System View:

Screen shot: Shows the Mount Command which is available when you select an ONTAP Cloud volume.

The following image shows the Volume View:

Screen shot: Shows the menu options for a volume