DATE: Thursday, August 30 , 2007
TIME: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Peter Corbett
Network Appliance

NetApp's Data ONTAP GX

Data ONTAP GX is a clustered Network Attached File server composed of a number of cooperating filers. Each filer manages its own local file system, which consists of a number of disconnected flexible volumes. A separate namespace infrastructure runs within the cluster, which connects the volumes into one or more namespaces by means of internal junctions. The cluster collectively exposes a potentially large number of separate virtual servers, each with its own independent namespace, security and administrative domain. The cluster implements a protocol routing and translation layer which translates requests in all incoming file protocols into a single unified internal file access protocol called SpinNP. The translated requests are then forwarded to the correct filer within the cluster for servicing by the local file system instance. This provides data location transparency, which is used to support transparent data migration, load balancing, mirroring for load sharing and data protection, and fault tolerance. The cluster itself greatly simplifies the administration of a large number of filers by consolidating them into a single system image. Results from benchmarks (over one million file operations per second on a 24 node cluster) and customer experience demonstrate linear scaling.

Dr. Corbett received his BASc and MASc from the University of Waterloo in 1983 and 1985, and his PhD from Princeton University in 1990. He is a Senior Technical Director at Network Appliance, where he is one of the primary architects of the Data ONTAP storage system. He has worked on advanced file systems and storage systems for most of his career, beginning with the Vesta parallel file system at IBM Research, and continuing with Data ONTAP and Data ONTAP GX at Network Appliance. He also has a strong interest in RAID, and is the inventor of two different optimal double disk failure correction algorithms. Early in his career, he co-developed a silicon compiler for digit serial DSP chips at General Electric Corporate R+D. He also spent several years working on the database that underlies the Lotus Domino server.

Dr. Corbett is the author of over 30 technical journal and conference papers, and holds over 20 U.S. patents for his work in the VLSI CAD, file systems, RAID, parallel computing and storage areas.

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