By Jim Bahn, Lisa Crewe, Zev Rubenstein, Kevin Hill
From our point of view, Insight in Las Vegas was a huge software-fest, with more than 15 sessions this year just on storage management and data protection. Topics covered included:
- Simplifying clustered Data ONTAP
- Intro to OnCommand Performance Manager
- Connecting WFA to External Systems
- Advanced MetroCluster
- Extending FlexPod with MetroCluster
- SnapProtect v10: Next gen Backup
Just to name a few.
Did You Say “Free Assessment”?
If your NetApp VAR was there, ask him/her about one of the hottest new things introduced: a free multi-vendor Infrastructure Assessment powered by OnCommand Insight software. This assessment is ideal for large enterprise multi-vendor storage environments. In less than two weeks, you will get a comprehensive understanding of the performance, configuration, and capacity of your entire heterogeneous storage infrastructure. We’ll help you understand where you can gain storage efficiencies and save costs, then determine an optimized infrastructure to ensure you meet future business needs. Did we mention that it’s free?
If you missed it, we handed out an IDC White Paper, which includes two case studies from Home Meridien and Floyd Medical sharing how they benefited from the assessment.
FlexPod and Simplified Data Protection
On the Data Protection (DP) side of the house, one big perk this year was our presence in the Cisco booth, where we talked about both of the new FlexPod Datacenter solutions with data protection. The DP story is simple: You’ve acquired a FlexPod for a particular application. The next question is “how do you plan to protect that data?” The answer? NetApp’s premier B&R solution: SnapProtect. People buy FlexPod for its unified management; SnapProtect offers the same benefit, a SPOG for all B&R … and replication. The MetroCluster pitch is equally simple: You’ve acquired a FlexPod to create a virtualized infrastructure. While no single application is mission-critical, if all 100+ applications were to stop working at the same time, then nobody in the company is working, right? Therefore, it’s the infrastructure that is mission-critical, and mission-critical means you need MetroCluster.
So it was no surprise to us that MetroCluster generated a lot of excitement – both FlexPod sessions were standing room only. What did those hundreds of VARs hear? That the combination of MetroCluster and Cisco Nexus 7000 with Overlay Transport Virtualization (OTV) is really powerful. MetroCluster enables zero RPO and RTO and seamless failover between sites, while OTV makes both sites appear to be a single data center, and manages the failover process seamlessly. The Cisco Validated Design (CVD) is due to publish in mid-November, just in time for the Insight Dublin event.
Similarly, the SnapProtect sessions were standing room only, as SnapProtect V10 offers a bunch of new features. The BIG NEWS? SnapProtect can now offer end-to-end management of backup/restore and disaster recovery across Data ONTAP in 7-mode and clustered Data ONTAP, for FAS, V-Series and even IBM N series units – all from a single pane of glass. Plus, it handles disk-disk-tape, role-based-access, FlexClone management, deferred indexing, and enables application-consistent backup/restore. And that’s just scratching the surface. Now that we have a FlexPod Datacenter with SnapProtect Implementation Guide, it’s easier than ever to deploy.
Last But Not Least - Automation
Another big hit was OnCommand Workflow Automation (WFA). We saw WFA just about everywhere—in the Virtualization and Cloud sessions, as well as in the Data Protection sessions, and also in the Core ONTAP and Manageability sessions. WFA showed us how easy it was to enable Quality of Service (QoS), apply SnapVault relationships to our volumes, as well as being able to non-disruptively move volume around while the applications are online. These are just the latest and greatest examples that you can also see on the OnCommand community, in case you missed them at Insight. If you’re just starting to think about storage automation, you’ll want to check out the WFA community and learn more about automated provision, migrating, cloning, and more. Plus WFA helps you adhere to defined standards and best practices, and reduce operational costs too. Amazing stuff!
If you’re a VAR who’s planning to attend Insight in Dublin, November 18 – 21, 2013 please stop by to meet the team and pick up a free gift. Or maybe we’ll bump into you at the Guinness factory, if you’re going to spend some extra time in one of our favorite cities. If you’re NOT a VAR, ask yours what he’s bringing you back from Ireland.