Filerview and CLI experiences?

I understand that Filerview and CLI are technically not supported, but does anyone run them in production? And if so, have you run into any problems in doing so? We plan to do some testing on a new unit.

There are some limitations to SVM, and it looks like Filerview is the best workaround. For example, we'd like to use volume snapmirrors instead of q-tree ones, or perhaps turn off the thin-provisioning of /exports.

It is pretty clear that implementing such features will confuse SVM, and therefore make it unusable in the environment.

Any feedback would be appreciated.

Re: Filerview and CLI experiences?

I have been using FilerView and the CLI since the installation of my S550.  I only used SVM to enter in the license keys since they are a different format than what FilerView will accept.  I manage this S-series just like a full-sized filer with volume layout, snapshot schedule, shares, etc., and it's been working just fine.  And yes, this is in production.  I understand that some advanced features are not supported but I'm using this device strictly as a CIFS NAS server so I'm not too concerned.

Now that the S-family is history, so is SVM, so I could care less at this point.  All the people bellyaching over the S-family going away never used a FAS device most likely.  SVM was a horrible piece of software.  They should really look into the FAS2000 series, I think it will be a much better platform for the money for these SMB users.

Re: Filerview and CLI experiences?

I agree with you that the SVM is a horrible piece of software, but please don't downplay the legitamacy of our "bellyaching".  For NetApp to leave people hanging with years left on support contracts, forced to use SVM on XP and buggy versions of OnTap is shameful.  I wish I had the luxury to be able to afford a FAS or the past history that it sounds like you have had to be able to use the S-Family more like a FAS.  Many people using the S-Family are new to NAS/SAN hardware, including myself, and using unsupported tools with mission critical data is too risky.

Re: Filerview and CLI experiences?

Like a lot of users, I was hoping that NetApp would continue the S-family line and maybe even expand on it.  I was interested in it as a replacement for branch-office file servers.  Unfortunately, they decided to go in a different direction.

Look, just because there are disclaimers in the CLI and FilerView does not mean it is necessarily "risky."  In fact, I spoke with my local NetApp engineer and he said customers with large deployments were requesting full support for these tools and they were making exceptions for these cases (and I'm sure higher cost support contracts).  Storevault chose not to support the full scale management tools as a way to save on costs.  They also were banking on non-technical people working in smaller shops not knowing the difference (or caring).  I think this had a lot to do with the dissolution of the S-Family.  It was too conflicted, and probably watered down the brand.  At the end of they day, ONTAP SVE is 90% of the codebase of the full-blown version of ONTAP.

I apologize if I sounded like I was downplaying your plight.  You and users like you have a legitimate beef.  However, what's the alternative?  Sure, HP will sell you a cheapo NAS based on Windows Storage Server (i.e. a ProLiant file server).  Or you could go with a SUN Solaris-based NAS and use their ZFS file system, which is an open source rip-off of WAFL that was developed in 2004.  In either scenario, I wish you the best of luck!

I believe NetApp is going to offer a trade-up program for S-family users to a special FAS2020 bundle.  I would look into this and compare it against other offerings (and not just initial cost).

Re: Filerview and CLI experiences?

What beefs me even more is that S550 users *do* get a trade-up path. My S500 which I've only have for 1.5 years is *not* eligible for trade-up. I'm still waiting on the quote for a FAS2020 bundle, but I'm guessing it's going to be unreal.

If what you say is true that ONTAP SVE is 90% of the codebase, then it even furthers the ridiculousness that they will *never* support Server 2008 on these StoreVaults. Seriously, how many man-hours would it take to just get it there and stable? Then they can feel free to drop it. At least then I'd be able to keep this thing for a few years until I can budget for something else.

Re: Filerview and CLI experiences?

While my original question was more technical in nature, it seemed that it hit a sore spot with some people.    We have long since ditched the SVM, and only use filerview/cli as well.   We've not run into issues with this, and it's good to know that others have had the same results.

As for the upgrade path for the S-Series, they do have upgrade bundles to the FAS2020, but I can see where they may not satisfy some of the existing customer base... particularly those who were using it as a Windows CIFS/Snapmanager SMB solution.

Fortunately for us, we mostly use the S units to replicate low-io NFS volumes or as a low cost ndmpcopy backup target for larger FAS units.    We'll continue to get ROI on them for several years.