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Cloud ONTAP - Keeping costs down for demo puposes

[ Edited ]

May I start by mentioning my appreciation for Kevin's excellent video.

 

Like many large organisations, it is easier for me to request a $50k piece of capital equioment than to justify $20 per month on my corporate CC. At risk of raising a daft question, if I add the Cloud ONTAP appliance and the requisite server instance to run Cloud Manager will I see a zero monthly charge whilst these are shut down?

 

I suspect that I need to delete all stored data, snapshots and volumes.

 

I gues what I'm asking is whether there are any "hidden" charges I should be aware of?

 

Best wishes from Sunny (at the moment) South of England.

Pete Springfield

Re: Cloud ONTAP - Keeping costs down for demo puposes

 

Pete -

 

Yes, there's a charge associated with keeping tha back end storage for Cloud ONTAP.


I hope this response has been helpful to you.

At your service,

Eugene E. Kashpureff, Sr.
Independent NetApp Consultant http://www.linkedin.com/in/eugenekashpureff
Senior NetApp Instructor, IT Learning Solutions http://sg.itls.asia/netapp
(P.S. I appreciate 'kudos' on any helpful posts.)

Re: Cloud ONTAP - Keeping costs down for demo puposes

Apreciate the reply, many thanks.

 

However, it's still not clear whether it's mandatory to maintain the backend storage. Remember this is just for demo purpoes not production.

 

Kindest Regards,

Re: Cloud ONTAP - Keeping costs down for demo puposes

 

PSpringfield -

 

You could wipe out the instance entirely, and then set it up again on-demand every time you need to do a demo.

 

I've looked at using Cloud ONTAP to run class lab environs on demand.

The repeated set up I'd need to do was non trivial.

We continue run on using simulators instead.


I hope this response has been more helpful to you ?

At your service,

Eugene E. Kashpureff, Sr.
Independent NetApp Consultant http://www.linkedin.com/in/eugenekashpureff
Senior NetApp Instructor, IT Learning Solutions http://sg.itls.asia/netapp
(P.S. I appreciate 'kudos' on any helpful posts.)

Re: Cloud ONTAP - Keeping costs down for demo puposes

More great feedback, Thank you Eugene,

 

I'm primarily interested in showing the process behind setting up a cloud instance so that I can clearly explain this to partners and customers. It had crossed my mind that using Cloud ONTAP for demo rahter than hardware or simulator is a possibility but I don't think it would be cost effective to keep a configured environment on standby.

 

Again, thanks for confirmation from your experience of th eenvironment.

 

Kindest Regards,

Pete Springfield

Re: Cloud ONTAP - Keeping costs down for demo puposes

Hi Pete,

 

A couple of responses for you.  This may be a little long winded... and I'm not certain they will help you with your decision, but I do hope that they help:

 

  • First is that... nothing is ever 'free' in the cloud.  You may come close, but maybe not totally free
  • I think that using Cloud ONTAP to demo things is great.  I do it all the time.
  • First is that … nothing is ever totally 'free' in the cloud.  You can come close, but with AWS there will always be some sort of charge, even if minor
  • I think that using Cloud ONTAP to demo anything 'NetApp' is really the way to go… in the long run it will save you time, effort (and yes, money) since you don’t have to continually recreate your environment and ensure everything is working correctly… every time.  You now just need to configure it once… and turn it on when you want to use it.

 

  • Things that 'cost':
    • The Cloud ONTAP instance hourly charge
      • These charges can be mitigated if you turn off or terminate the Cloud ONTAP instance
    • The underlying EBS storage – This is for Boot, Root, and Data:
      • Sizes for Boot and Root are fixed and can’t be changed
      • You can control the size of Data aggregate if you choose.
        • The default size is 500GB EBS.  You CAN elect to create a single 100GB disk aggregate, move your root volume over… then remove the default aggregate, if you want.  Your performance WILL suffer because of the smaller 'disk', just so you are aware.
        • Now with Cloud Manager 2.0 and Cloud ONTAP 8.3.1 you can choose between EBS GP2 or Magnetic disks
          • The costs of EBS Magnetic is roughly 50% less than that of EBS GP2
        • Sample MONTHLY costs for the Data Aggregates (region us-east-1):
          • 500GB EBS GP2: $50 / month
          • 500GB EBS Magnetic:  $25 / month
          • 100GB EBS GP2: $10 / month
          • 100GB EBS Magnetic: $ 5 / month
    • EBS Snapshots for Boot and Root
      • These are taken if you choose to stop the Cloud ONTAP instance
      • This action can be toggled off (which I do almost every time)
    • Data Ingress / Egress.
      • This means if you have a snap mirror relationship in place that will transfer data to/from your Cloud ONTAP instances

Another 'hidden' charge you may already be aware of is going to be for the Cloud Manager instance you’ll be using to monitor / manage your Cloud ONTAP systems.

 

Here’s what I do:

  • When not in use, I have all of my Cloud ONTAP instances AND my Cloud Manager instance turned off
  • When I need to use them, I go into my AWS EC2 console and turn on my Cloud Manager instance
  • I then use Cloud Manager to turn on the Cloud ONTAP instances I want
  • I then do my video, demonstration, test… whatever
  • When I’m done… I turn off all the Cloud ONTAP instances…. Or Terminate the ones I know I don’t need
  • Then I go back into the AWS EC2 console and turn off my Cloud Manager instance

 

There is also a fairly detailed AWS Cost Calculator that might help if you’re looking for more granularity: http://calculator.s3.amazonaws.com/index.html

 

I do understand how it is often easier to expense a much larger charge than some minor costs… however, you also might want to point out to your management, what the costs will be for you to instantiate a fresh environment each and every time you need to conduct a demonstration… vs. the minute or two to turn on a Cloud ONTAP system…. Fully configured and ready to go.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Kevin 

Re: Cloud ONTAP - Keeping costs down for demo puposes

This helps more than you can imagine Kevin and I greatly appreciate the time and trouble taken to prepare your reply.

 

I interpreted what you said there as that I "must" take one 500GB EBS chunk of capacity for the Cloud ONTAP instance simply to spin up the appliance and then a minimum of 500GB for my data back end storage so the minimum I could get away with is two 500GB chunks of magnetic at $50 plus my hourly charges for Cloud Manager and Cloud Instances.

 

I'm sure in three months time, I'll be embarassed at such naive questions. 

 

Kindest Regards,

Pete

Re: Cloud ONTAP - Keeping costs down for demo puposes

Hi Pete,

 

I'll try to clarify a little more.  Currently when you spin up a new Cloud ONTAP instance it will create a data aggregate with at least one 500GB EBS GP2 volume or EBS Magnetic volume.  The numbr of 'disks' will depend on the size of the volume you may optionally create when you stand up the Cloud ONTAP system.

 

Now... when once you have a Cloud ONTAP instance stood up you have a couple options.  You can keep the default aggregate, or... you can create a new aggregate with either a larger 'disk' size, or in your case... a smaller disk size.  Specificaly, creating a new aggregate with a single 100GB EBS 'disk'.  Once the new aggregate is in place, you can then use 'vol move' to move the root volume from the original aggregate to the new aggregate.... and then you can delete the original aggregate to release that 500GB of EBS storage.

 

I wasn't clear on if you have TWO Cloud ONTAP systems, or if you only have one.  I'm simply trying to explain that if your main focus is cost, you can reduce your cost by switching to a 100GB Data aggregate.

 

I would also be remiss if I didn't mention the other underlying storage componenets for a Cloud ONTAP system... meaning the Boot and Root disks.  These are needed to start up the AWS EC2 instance, as well as what is needed for Data ONTAP operating system.  Specifically, each Cloud ONTAP system will have:

 

  • Boot Disk - 42GB EBS PIOPS - 1250 IOPS
  • Root Disk - 140GB EBS GP2

Hope this helps!

 

Kevin.

 

Re: Cloud ONTAP - Keeping costs down for demo puposes

Kevin,

 

Can I start with two points?

 

Firstly, you've been too modest to mention your superb series of videos on Youtube (NetApp TechComm TV) and which have clarified a number of issues for me. For anyone is following the thread, view the first in the series of videos on YouTube here: - 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmUyb3-8-iI&list=PLdXI3bZJEw7nNDo_SpLHYrSmx2f-FOIK3

 

 

Secondly, you've displayed a lot of patience with my basic questions here.

 

I'm only intending to set up one instance of Cloud ONTAP and I think I now can see how a single EBS block of storage supports both the root volume and any additional data volumes that I create. I see that this storage needs to be persistent in order to preserve the state of the Cloud ONTAP instance while it's turned off.

 

Are the Boot and Root disks you mention incorporated wihtin this intial 500GB or so they appear as separate billable entities? I'd love to see a sample Billing Report to understand how a Cloud ONTAP envrionment is billed after it's set up. The AWS calculator is great but it certainly doesn't offer the level of detail that you have here. 

 

Finally, I'm sure I read in Amazon's Ts & Cs that the Free Tier effectively dissapears once you start using a chargeable service so I'm anticipating a requirement for an EC2 compute instance to install OCCM onto.

 

Kindest Regards,

Pete

Re: Cloud ONTAP - Keeping costs down for demo puposes

Hi Paul,

 

Thanks for the kind words on the videos, and I'm glad you find them helpful.  And since we've just released Cloud Manager 2.0 and Cloud ONTAP 8.3.1, there are some new videos.  A complete playlist can be found here: Cloud Manager and Cloud ONTAP videos

 

With regards to the Cloud ONTAP Boot disk (42GB), and Root disk (140GB), these are seperate from the Data Disk.

 

As for a billing report... Cloud Manager does have a Costs report once you have the S3 bucket configured to host the reports.  The Cost Reports will show you the breakout between Compute and Storage charges.  It will also show the percentage of storage savings you might be getting by using NetApp's storage efficiencies.  There is an initial video for this here: Understanding OnCommand Cloud Manager cost reports

 

I believe the last statement was for guidance around the Instance Type for Cloud Manager... assuming you're running everything in your AWS account.  The recommendation here is a t2.medium or an m3.medium.  I can tell you from personal experience, I usually use the t2.medium and it works fine.  Sometimes I have seen better responsiveness from the m3.medium in some regions, but since the t2.medium is effectively half the cost of the m3.medium... it's what I ususally go for.  Also.... when I'm not doing any demos or other work on my instance, I will use the AWS EC2 console to turn off my Cloud Manager system.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Best,

 

Kevin