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How to Introduce Netapp into a VMWare environment

Hi All

A smallish company is considering the prosepect of quoting for a VMware solution running on a set of Blade servers (Dells), but we have not got the first clue on where we start or what considerations in terms of hardware configuration and licencing.

The plan is to have around 4 blades connected to a MSA, with VMware running locally. They would then virtualise the production servers, snapshotting along the way.

Netapp was also mentioned as a storage option too or would it not matter here? They have about 150 - 180 users but a lot of data - both development and data files

The solution is an alternative to live replication between pairs of servers and to save space with not having lots of hardware.

In essence they need to have Exchange, SQL/Oracle, File-Print and Domain Controllers, and I assume the vhd files and the user data is held on a MSA of some sort.

I believe we will need to get some consultants in to advice but this will be a new challenge for me and I'm relishing it but will need some help too so I have a head start and better understanding of what we are trying to achieve.

Are there any examples to follow?

Do we create a Vlan so we don't interfere with our production environment?

Any assistance will be welcome even with some diagrams simple enough for me

It would be really appreciated.

Kind Regards

Re: How to Introduce Netapp into a VMWare environment

Ok....tons of thoughts here....given the lateness of the hour (here at least that is), initially they are....

  • Yes....NetApp is a great fit in any VMware environment -- see this post for some specific reasons around NFS usage (there's more than that but those are some).
  • Given the immensity of what's out there, I'd really try to engage a NetApp partner with specific VMware experience to come in and spend some quality time on a pre-sales basis (explore/understand your environment, explain where and how NetApp could fit, whiteboard time, etc.). This is what I do fairly regularly and I find that an hour or three in a conference room can accomplish more than emails ever can.

Full disclosure: I'm a systems engineer with a NetApp & VMware VAR so this is the kind of thing I do regularly (both the pre-sales mapping out/understanding the environment/explaining benefits and the actual implementation)....NetApp + VMware (particularly if involving deduplication and NFS are just about my favorite projects)....so much goodness there (or cost savings or whatever you like to call it).

Re: How to Introduce Netapp into a VMWare environment

Hi,

On the technical side these are good starting points:

- http://www.netapp.com/us/library/technical-reports/tr-3749.html (for vSphere 4)

- http://www.netapp.com/us/library/technical-reports/tr-3428.html (for VI 3.5)

...plus few other interesting docs which are publicly available on http://www.netapp.com/us/library/ (type "VMware" as the key word & limit results to "Technical Reports")

On the commercial side this is your elevator pitch:

http://www.netapp.com/us/solutions/infrastructure/virtualization/guarantee.html

And as this is Microsoft environment this may be convincing as well:

http://www.netapp.com/us/company/news/news-rel-20090624-storage-partner-award.html

Hope it helps.

Regards,
Radek