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Comparison of FlexVol volumes and Infinite Volumes

Both FlexVol volumes and Infinite Volumes are data containers. However, they have significant differences that you should consider before deciding which type of volume to include in your storage architecture.

The following table summarizes the differences and similarities between FlexVol volumes and Infinite Volumes:

Volume capability or feature FlexVol volumes Infinite Volumes Notes
Containing entity Vserver; single node Vserver; can span nodes  
Number of associated aggregates One Multiple  
Maximum size 32-bit volumes: 16 TB

64-bit volumes: model-dependent

Up to 20 PB For information about the maximum size of 64-bit volumes, see the Hardware Universe.
Minimum size 20 MB Approximately 1.33 TB for each node used  
Type of Vserver Vserver with FlexVol volume Vserver with Infinite Volume  
Maximum number per Vserver Model- and protocol-dependent One For more information, see the Hardware Universe.
Maximum number per node Model-dependent Model-dependent For more information, see the Hardware Universe.
Types of aggregates supported 64-bit or 32-bit 64-bit  
SAN protocols supported Yes No  
File access protocols supported NFS, CIFS NFS, CIFS For more information, see the Clustered Data ONTAP File Access and Protocols Management Guide.
Deduplication Yes Yes  
Compression Yes Yes  
FlexClone volumes Yes No  
FlexCache volumes Yes No  
Quotas Yes No  
Qtrees Yes No  
Thin provisioning Yes Yes  
Snapshot copies Yes Yes  
Data protection mirrors Yes Yes For Infinite Volumes, only mirrors between clusters are supported.
Load-sharing mirrors Yes No  
Tape backup Yes Yes For Infinite Volumes, you must use NFS or CIFS rather than NDMP.
Volume security styles UNIX, NTFS, mixed Unified For more information, see the Clustered Data ONTAP File Access and Protocols Management Guide.