Well, the VMworld show in San Francisco was a buzzin’ last week. This was my first time attending VMworld, and I must say that it is a really good show. The show had great attendance and the interest by the attendees was very high. Many shows can be so broad that you get a very small amount of customers actually interested in what you have to offer. It seems like the best you can do is scan a badge and hand out swag. Not the case with VMworld. Maybe it was just me?
The hot ticket, from my point of view, was the announcement and offering of NetApp’s new Virtual Storage Appliance, Data ONTAP Edge. We actually announced this product in June, but it may have been overshadowed by the many other things we announced in that timeframe. We handed out thousands of evaluations copies at VMworld (learn more about the giveaway on Vaughn Stewart’s blog). And the giveaway wasn’t just for anyone who walked by the booth. Anyone who received a copy of the evaluation product sat through one of our mini-theater sessions, attended the hands on lab, or sat through one of our sessions at the show!
So, what is Data ONTAP Edge? Well, Data ONTAP Edge offers customers the ability to deploy a full featured version of Data ONTAP, NetApp’s storage OS for FAS and V-Series storage systems, on a virtual machine. We’re talking features like Snapshot, deduplication, thin provisioned volumes (FlexVol), thin clones (FlexClone), and thin remote backup with SnapVault. And you can export data via iSCSI, NFS or CIFS to any application on or off the virtual server. So, now you can deploy the same enterprise storage services, at your remote or branch office that you enjoy with NetApp Inc. storage in your datacenter. You essentially extend the datacenter to the remote office. And you can use the same management tools to do it, such as CLI, the System Manager GUI or VMware vCenter with our Virtual Storage Console plug-in.
What if you weren’t able to attend VMworld? Well, I’ll tell you. NetApp Inc. is offering a free 90 day evaluation of Data ONTAP Edge (the same evaluation software offered at the show) to customers and prospective customers. You can register for this evaluation copy at www.netapp.com/data-ontap-edge-eval. If you don’t have a NOW (NetApp on Web) account, you can create a guest account and be directed to the software and documentation online, including a quick install guide. You will then receive an email with the 90 day evaluation feature licenses. It’s as simple as that.
Additionally, we will follow up with you after you register, because we will be posting tutorial videos online to help you learn the features of the product, including how to install and setup and perform various storage tasks, such as remote backup and storage provisioning. So, don’t opt out of the online marketing.
Finally, you can participate in an online community where our experts can help address any technical issues and you can engage with other end users to share experiences and use cases and ask questions. Data ONTAP Edge is a fully released product and support will follow the normal support channels. However, the evaluation version doesn’t come with any support. So, the community is available to help with any tricky questions.
Happy evaluation! And let us know what you think!