Automating Cloud Solutions with NetApp's Workflow Automation

By Kevin Hill, NetApp Automation Solutions Architect


I’m a little late in updating everyone about my experience with the great turnout we had at the NetApp booth for VMworld in San Francisco a couple weeks ago.   Mike Harding was able to get out a quick blog during the conference, and you can check that out HERE. This was my first year at VMworld, and I went to help spread awareness of how NetApp’s OnCommand Product Portfolio makes management of Cloud  and Virtualized Solutions easy. Those of you using NetApp Workflow Automation already know that this is a key strength and use case for Workflow Automation (WFA).  I was very happy to have the opportunity to educate the VMworld attendees on how WFA enables them to make their cloud initiatives a reality.


Being a newbie at VMworld, I really didn’t know what to expect. The absolute sea of people coming to learn more about NetApp and the solutions we were demonstrating on the SMART boards (if you’re not familiar with SMART boards… think of a 55” iPad…. waaay cool!).   The SMART boards were a big hit, and made giving the demonstrations both very effective and a lot of fun.  It was also interesting to find out how many NetApp people it takes to man the booth to cover the variety of topics, as well as the sheer amount of interest.  Great teamwork and very exciting!


I guess what was most exciting for me was the amount of interest there was in the Automation demos.  The demos (which I will post to NetApp TV very soon) were:

  • Achieve effortless vApp cloning with NetApp – Shows how Workflow Automation integrates with vCloud Director to clone a vApp.  You can now clone a vApp quickly and easily with one click.
  • Create your Secure Multi-Tenant Cloud Environment in MINUTES! – This demo shows how easy it is to create a secure Multi-Tenant environment …. Literally in minutes.  The workflow sets up the secure storage, presents it to vSphere, and creates datastores from the storage just created.
  • Deploy your Desktop as a Service for the Public Cloud – Shows how you can automate VDI provisioning within a Public cloud.  Again, creating the secure storage environment, and allowing you to select the number of Desktops to create and the template to use from vCenter, and also the number of datastores you want to spread the Desktops across.


These demos had great relevance, and matched the challenges many of customers and partners experience.  I know I got very animated when we discussed their challenges and were then able to whiteboard and show how Workflow Automation could help them.  It was absolutely great to see how excited they were, and to also hear the words “this is exactly what we need”.  They were even more excited to learn that the WFA workflows leveraged are available to them today since they are posted on the NetApp Workflow Automation Community site.  They simply need to download them and import them into their WFA system.


While I have the opportunity, I would also like to thank the folks in the Virtualization team.  It was not always possible for me to talk to everyone about WFA.  When I was occupied, they showed people the benefits of WFA… and I was very pleased to see how excited they were getting about how WFA helps make Cloud Solutions easy to deploy and manage.  Being able to initiate a Cloud Solution with one-click instead of getting into multiple user interfaces just makes sense.


If you’re not familiar with Workflow Automation you can still learn about Workflow Automation as well as the entire line of OnCommand management software products at