I am Scott Peiffer, Sr. Director from the ONTAP System Manager Product Management & Technical Marketing team. Thank you to our many passionate customers and partners for sharing your feedback on System Manager 9.8. This post is to provide you with background on the changes being made to ONTAP, information on how to learn more about these changes, and guidance on how best to provide feedback to NetApp.
ONTAP System Manager simplification is to directly address your changing needs as you work to support larger data sets, with new applications while expanding into hybrid multi-cloud environments. The simplification effort has been data driven. Significant time was spent on determining and setting smart defaults based on NetApp best practices, automating, and simplifying many of the everyday tasks, and then prioritized workflows that were most frequently used. Since ONTAP provides AIQ with metrics on feature usage, we were able to understand what features our customer use most and what is infrequently used.
The feedback that has been received is being considered and prioritized. To be transparent, there are other items which will not be addressed as they are considered complex, infrequent, or unneeded based on our desire to provide our customers with self-managing storage.
We also hear analysts, for example Gartner stating by 2023, 60% of organizations will use infrastructure automation tools as part of their DevOps toolchains, and improve application deployment efficiency by 25%. (source: Market Guide for Infrastructure Automation Tools, May 2020). API driven integrations will be essential to our customers success. Anecdotally, we have heard in our virtual EBCs that many of our globals and large enterprise customers are managing their infrastructure with tools such as Service Now and Remedy, and even homegrown tools that consolidate service management across various vendors in their data center, all based on API services. There are a number of such tools that operate in infrastructure and application context that we are looking to support...
To aid you in this transition we have published an extensive set of documents here: https://community.netapp.com/t5/Tech-ONTAP-Blogs/Where-can-I-learn-more-about-System-Manager-9-8/ba-p/162249
Please continue to share your feedback though your NetApp account teams! This is how we can best aggregate feedback, address your needs and respond. Help us along this journey with your improvement suggestions.
Ravi Chhabria (VP Engineering)
Scott Peiffer (Sr. Director ONTAP System Manager Product Management & Technical Marketing)
The problem for me is that ONTAP won't support anything higher than 9.8 on the 8080EX AFFs that we are still using. We pay NetApp a tremendous amount of money per year for support, but they won't supposedly do a full QA for old hardware that isn't retired yet, so we are stuck with 9.8 until we get off the 8080EXs.
It really is heartbreaking. I used to be a huge NetApp booster, but this experience has really soured me. I don't understand why a platform is fully supported, but somewhere in someone's mind that means newer code releases won't be allowed to run on it.
Needless to say, we have a real reason to go look at Pure this year when the 8080s are EOS and we have buy new filers or move to something else. This is the first time in 10 years that I am honestly looking at moving to another platform.
@SomeGuy I feel your pain. THAT is infuriating for a device that's still under support for WELL OVER A YEAR! I don't know how NetApp can possibly even consider justifying that. We JUST swapped from an 8080 to an AFF A700 so we got 'lucky' on this front (I didn't even know about the limit - never occurred to me to look it up as it would never have occurred to me that it would be dropped!). Having said that, this WILL affect me as we have an older 8080 we are using for our test system. I had no idea it would become obsolete a handful of months after I set it up. It's really inexcusable to drop a system with over a year left in support.
I just read release notes for 9.10.1 and noticed a lot of functionality appears to be restored. I am blown away that one of them was the simple capability to resize a volume. That means resizing couldn't be done in System Manager in 9.8 or 9.9.1. It seems like OnTAP 9.8 started from scratch and is re-adding normal routine features one version at a time.
Has anyone tried the 9.10.1 beta? I won't use it until there's been a few patches, but nice to know we may be finally getting some relief.
@ScottPeiffer, I'd like to hear from you again (if you're available) to see if this feedback is making it 'up the chain'. I'd like to see actions taken to repair these critical functionality issues in the GUI in the next release. I'm guessing everyone would. That way we would be able to upgrade again. Hope to hear your thoughts soon!
Looks like your response showed up twice for some reason so I'll add my reply here again.
Thanks for the response @ScottPeiffer ! Good to know NetApp is listening. I'm hoping 9.10.1 will be a much better experience for everyone.
The new UI is terrible. I have upgraded a small part of my environment and dread upgrading the rest. Please bring back the old one! I have put off upgrading as long as I can and am filled with dread on having to live with this in the main environment. For now, I plan to update to the latest 9.7 release and hold off from 9.9 as long as I can.
It would be great when someone from NetApp like the thread opener @ScottPeiffer could react on the last postings.
Maybe it is possible in future releases to add the option to switch to the "old" UI like on 9.7
The new UI is not usable at all, because you have to do most things via CLI.
Having just tried to increase a quota on a qtree post-9.8 upgrade, I can echo the "hot garbage" sentiment above regarding this release. Even as a novice/occasional NetApp admin, it was easier to assemble a lengthy command at the CLI than it was to use the new UI.
This new interface feels like it's trolling me.
Whatever Steve Jobs wannabe is responsible for this abysmal stupidity should be fired immediately. I don't really use the GUI that much so sorry for being late to the party. Here is my horror story. Last years I spent a couple of days documenting procedures for a customer: basic stuff like creating SVMs, volumes, policies, SnapVaults etc. So now the customer upgraded to 9.8 he comes to the conclusion none of the documentation is valid anymore and wants me to update the procedures. The fact that NetApp takes pride in changing terminology from one version to another just to confuse the hell out of everyone (cDOT to Clustered ONTAP, then Data ONTAP to ONTAP, vservers to SVM, aggregates to tiers, ifgrps to link aggregation groups, ... don't get me started on their cloud portfolio) or tosses things around in their GUI from time to time, that by itself shows they have very little understanding of what admins really care about. But to find out that half of the basic stuff that one spent days screenshotting and documenting has now simply become impossible really takes the cake. God this is depressing, on the brink of losing another customer because they are fed up with having to resort to lengthy procedures involving combined GUI and CLI actions to do BASIC STORAGE ADMIN TASKS...
We are also disappointed to have updated to 9.8P4. The simplest things no longer work through the UI.
Example: We have an SSD and a SAS aggregate. Depending on what the customer buys from us, the volume is configured to the appropriate aggregate. But this is not directly possible with the new UI because there is no option to select an aggregate (tier) when creating the volume. You then have to do a volume move via the CLI after creating the volume.
Not to mention the broadcats domains, over which you have no control anymore (except via the CLI).
There are some other examples I will not list here.
tl;dr The new interface makes a lot of manual rework necessary, rather than taking work off your hands.
System Manager v4 = Complete and utter garbage
Yes it may be simplifying the interface, but it has only done that by removing most of the functionality for performing day to day administration tasks.
- It is no longer possible to only display volumes that are more than a certain % used. You appear to only be able to filter on available space.
- Aggregates have gone. Now hidden in Tiers, where I can't get a simple table view, they are all spread out over a dashboard, that makes simple gathering of information near impossible. How can I see which aggregates have the most free space, or indeed are getting a bit full? The used and available figures are based on fantasy. I have approx 3.5PB of raw space on my cluster, but the new interface reports that I am "using" 85.5PB. Great for Marketing, but useless to a storage admin
- Slow is not the word. How much additional CPU drain is caused by the overblown "Early Learning" interface?
I have only been using the new "improved" interface for a very short while, so I suspect I will find even more annoyances as I go. Looks like it is time to move completely over to the CLI.
If this is simplifying the user experience it is akin to Ford simplifying the interface on their cars by removing the steering wheel and pedals, and filling the boot with bags of cement.