Thanks to the use of FlexClone technology, it is possible to provide instant replication of datasets and volumes into thin virtual copies based on NetApp snapshots, without affecting the performance of the storage system. Cloning information using this method guarantees an increase in the overall performance of the data center and saves space for data storage. The overall performance of the system, however, remains unchanged.

In the process of creating a clone of data in the form of instant volume copying, it is not necessary to allocate any additional space to the system specifically for a separate storage.

NetApp Data Storage Systems

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Despite the “sophistication” of nature, each resulting clone is a full—fledged copy of the data, which in the future can be used for such tasks:

  • software testing and debugging;
  • operational allocation of resources;
  • builds of any platform;
  • application updates;
  • performing multiple simulations when working with large volume data;
  • performing remote testing;
  • the release of different software versions for certain markets, etc.

The use of FlexClone is a great opportunity to save on disk space, as well as significantly reduce financial expenses. And all thanks to the ability to create any number of data clones, simultaneously increasing the overall productivity of the company.


The use of FlexClone technology has a number of very significant advantages:

  • extremely little time is spent on deploying a new development or testing environment, which ultimately allows you to quickly bring new products to market;
  • replication is performed instantly due to the fact that virtual copies of files, volumes, and even LUNs are created;
  • resource allocation can be scaled almost instantly to work machines and dedicated servers;
  • energy costs are significantly reduced, and the area used is reduced.

How FlexClone works

There are 3 options for creating a clone of the data that are used most often today:

  1. The usual copying of information to the free space of the drive, with further maintenance of this information up to date. The method is expensive and slow. Requires the use of a lot of additional storage space.
  2. Creating COW copies (Copy on Write). For example, the software under test wants to add its data to such a copy. A special reserved space will be used in the process, but the original data set will be preserved.
  3. The WAFL (Write Anywhere File Layout) method implemented in the NetApp ONTAP storage system. Changes to the blocks in it are made not inside the blocks that are actually being changed, but into the free space of the volume, into which new pointers of the current data state are then written.

The third option is the most effective and popular. You can use it to create up to 255 clones on each volume.

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