ONTAP 9.14

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Difference in space usage displayed by a quota report and a UNIX client overview

The value of used disk space that is displayed in a quota report for a FlexVol volume or qtree can be different from the value displayed by a UNIX client for the same volume or qtree. The difference in usage values is because of the difference in methods followed by the quota report and the UNIX commands for calculating the data blocks in the volume or qtree.

For example, if a volume contains a file that has empty data blocks (to which data is not written), the quota report for the volume does not count the empty data blocks while reporting the space usage. However, when the volume is mounted on a UNIX client and the file is shown as the output of the ls command, the empty data blocks are also included in the space usage. Therefore, the ls command displays a higher file size when compared to the space usage displayed by the quota report.

Similarly, the space usage values shown in a quota report can also differ from the values shown as a result of UNIX commands such as df and du.

How a quota report accounts for disk space and file usage

The number of files used and the amount of disk space specified in a quota report for a FlexVol volume or a qtree depend on the count of the used data blocks corresponding to every inode in the volume or the qtree.

The block count includes both direct and indirect blocks used for regular and stream files. The blocks used for directories, Access Control Lists (ACLs), stream directories, and metafiles do not get accounted for in the quota report. In case of UNIX sparse files, empty data blocks are not included in the quota report.

The quota subsystem is designed to consider and include only user controllable aspects of the filesystem. Directories, ACLs, and snapshot space are all examples of space excluded from quota calculations. Quotas are used to enforce limits, not guarantees, and they only operate on the active filesystem. Quota accounting does not count certain filesystem constructs, nor does it account for storage efficiency (such as compression or deduplication).

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