ONTAP 9.14

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SnapMirror licensing overview

Licensing has been simplified for replicating between ONTAP instances. In ONTAP 9 releases, the SnapMirror license supports both vault and mirror relationships. Users can now purchase a SnapMirror license to support ONTAP replication for both backup and disaster recovery use cases.

A SnapVault license was needed to configure vault relationships between ONTAP instances, where the DP instance could retain a higher number of Snapshot copies to support backup use cases where retention times are longer. A SnapMirror license was needed to configure mirror relationships between ONTAP instances, where each ONTAP instance would maintain the same number of snapshot copies (that is, a mirror image) to support disaster recovery use cases where cluster failovers would be possible. Both SnapMirror and SnapVault licenses can continue to be used and supported for ONTAP 9.x releases.

SnapVault licenses continue to function and are supported for ONTAP 9.x releases, but they are no longer being sold. The SnapMirror license continues to be available and can be used in place of SnapVault and can be used for both mirror and vault configurations.

For ONTAP asynchronous replication, a single unified replication engine is used to configure extended data protection mode (XDP) policies, where the SnapMirror license can be configured for a mirror policy, a vault policy, or a mirror-vault policy. A SnapMirror license is required on both the source and destination clusters. A SnapVault license is not required if a SnapMirror license is already installed. The SnapMirror asynchronous perpetual license is included in the Data Protection bundle which you can purchase for your ONTAP clusters. The Data Protection bundle price is based on the raw capacity of the cluster.

Data protection configuration limits are determined using several factors, including your ONTAP version, hardware platform, and the licenses installed.

SnapMirror Synchronous license

SnapMirror Synchronous relationships are supported. You require the following licenses for creating a SnapMirror Synchronous relationship:

  • The SnapMirror Synchronous license is required on both the source cluster and the destination cluster.

    The SnapMirror Synchronous license is enabled with either the Premium bundle or the Data Protection bundle.

    If your system was purchased before June 2019 with a Premium or Flash Bundle, you can download a Fujitsu master key to get the required SnapMirror Synchronous license from the DVD included in the Product.

  • The SnapMirror license is required on both the source cluster and the destination cluster.

Data Protection Optimized (DPO)

New ONTAP data protection features were packaged with the HX6100 as part of a solution called the Data Protection Bundle. This new hardware and software bundle included a new DP_Optimized (DPO) license that provided unique ONTAP features for secondary workloads. With the introduction of ONTAP 9.7 the DPO license increased the number of volumes per node from 1,000 to 1,500.

The DPO license was specifically designed for ONTAP clusters that were to be dedicated as secondary targets for SnapMirror replication. In addition to increasing the maximum volumes per node on the DPO controller, the DPO license also modified controller QoS settings to support greater replication traffic at the expense of application I/O. For this reason, the DPO license should never be installed on a cluster that supports application I/O, as application performance would be impacted. Later, Data Protection Bundles based on the HX6100 were offered as a solution and included programmatic free licenses based on the customer environment. When purchasing the solution bundles, free SnapMirror licenses would be provided for select older clusters which replicated to the DPO secondary.

Data Protection Optimized (DPO) License

Data Protection hardware and software solution bundles were based on HX6100 only. As these platforms matured and new platforms were introduced new requests to support ONTAP features for secondary replication use cases increased.

The standalone DPO license was supported on both ETERNUS HX and ETERNUS AX series and could be purchased pre-configured with new clusters or added to deployed clusters as a software upgrade in the field. Because these new DPO licenses were not part of a hardware and software solution bundle, they carried a lower price, and free SnapMirror licenses for primary clusters were not provided. Secondary clusters configured with the a la carte DPO license must also purchase a SnapMirror license, and all primary clusters replicating to the DPO secondary cluster must purchase a SnapMirror license.

Additional ONTAP features were delivered with the DPO across multiple ONTAP releases.



Max vols/node


Max concurrent repl sessions


Workload bias*


Cross volume aggregate deduplication for HDD


  • Details about priority for the SnapMirror backoff (workload bias) feature:

  • Client: cluster I/O priority is set to client workloads (production apps), not SnapMirror traffic.

  • Equality: SnapMirror replication requests have equal priority to I/O for production apps.

  • SnapMirror: all SnapMirror I/O requests have higher priority that I/O for production apps.

Table 1: Max FlexVolumes per node across ONTAP releases

9.7—​9.9.1 Without DPO

9.7—​9.9.1 With DPO
















Considerations for all new DPO installations

  • After it is enabled, the DPO license feature cannot be disabled or undone.

  • Installation of the DPO license requires a re-boot of ONTAP or failover to enable.

  • The DPO solution is intended for secondary storage workloads; application workload performance on DPO clusters may be impacted

  • The DPO license is supported on a select list of Fujitsu storage platform models.

  • DPO features vary by ONTAP release. Refer to the compatibility table for reference.

  • New ETERNUS HX and ETERNUS AX series are not qualified with DPO. DPO licenses cannot be purchased for clusters not listed above.

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