OnCommand Insight - cutting through storage complexity



Complexity can be difficult to manage


I’ve lost count of the number of customer meetings I’ve sat in where the underlying discussion point has been around the need to reduce complexity and make things simpler to manage. Seems to me that as soon as a shiny new IT solution is introduced to solve some problem or the other, then paradoxically that same solution over the course of time becomes the problem in the sense that it’s just something else to understand and manage, thereby unintentionally creating more complexity or yet another silo. As we all know, data storage if not part of an integrated and well-orchestrated architecture can result in islands of data, often stored on equipment from competing vendors and using disparate variety management tools. A similar situation can of course also occur when faced with multiple, often incompatible software applications.


Delete key.jpgIn a world where the ‘delete’ key has become somewhat of a stranger, multiple copies of redundant data are all too common. Added to which expensive application licenses are often unnecessarily kept in place to manage data that is no longer needed. Arguably the cloud has brought about the biggest single disruption in IT and business in decades and can certainly deliver huge benefits in agility and cost, but it still needs to be managed and increasingly can involve the use of multiple cloud providers or cloud-based applications, thus potentially increasing complexity and risk if not planned correctly.



So what’s the answer?


Customer experience has shown us that using an open software platform for on-premises and hybrid cloud-based data centre management, such as NetApp OnCommand Insight (OCI) not only identifies the data types and where it’s stored (on premises, or cloud) but also by virtue of its powerful reporting function provides the opportunity for huge amounts of potential storage capacity to be freed up. And, as many of you will have experienced first-hand, it’s not just corporate data that’s hogging valuable storage capacity, it’s often what can amount to huge volumes of employees’ personal data as well… The other great thing about the OCI solution is that it looks across not just the storage element but includes virtualized servers and Fibre Channel switches from Brocade, Cisco, and QLogic and can also monitor and report on storage from other major vendors.



OCI screenshot.jpg


Okay, so prove it!


To see what’s possible in real life, just have a look at the savings that this international UK-based financial institution were able to achieve. In this example, a massive 2.7 Petabytes of orphaned storage capacity was uncovered, meaning that this valuable storage space could be then reallocated elsewhere. The other bonus was that software licenses tied to the orphaned storage could be also be eliminated, which resulted in even further cost savings.


We have also made some changes outlined in this press release to make OCI an even more powerful tool to help IT deliver value back to the business. The release also references data protection solutions covering: Microsoft Office 365, AltaVault (NetApp integrated cloud backup) - plus news on our Snapshot and data replication solutions.


From the EMEA Product & Solutions Marketing team

Martin Warren