NetApp System Manager: Optimizing Clustered ONTAP

By Brenda Ioris, OnCommand Product Marketing

Last month, I had the pleasure of listening to Dave Hitz talk about how clustered ONTAP is helping our customers improve their storage efficiency and get on with the business of doing some pretty amazing things. This includes NetApp’s support for data used by the CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the most powerful particle accelerator in the world, and making the film data stored on NetApp storage arrays readily available to the producers of The Hobbit

When he asked us to consider how clustered ONTAP impacted the products we work on, I thought it about how well it fit with OnCommand System Manager.  Most NetApp users start off with System Manager and simple device management because it’s the quickest and easiest way to do their day-to-day storage tasks.  With data management for up to eight NetApp data storage systems, an intuitive GUI and time-saving wizards, System Manager helps users set up and configure their individual NetApp systems. You also get basic monitoring and reporting for one system at a time, and it works for both a clustered or non-clustered environment. So what’s the difference and why does this matter to System Manager users?

Clustered ONTAP is designed to deliver infrastructure agility and scale, but in a clustered virtualized or mobile environment this movement and flexibility also adds complexity. Storage administrators want to be able to perform maintenance activities such as firmware and software upgrades, and hardware upgrades and replacements on NetApp clusters without disrupting service to their users.  In clustered ONTAP this can be done by moving active Vservers off of a cluster node, before performing an operation like storage provisioning.  If you’re using System Manager in a clustered ONTAP environment, the new storage can be brought online without interruption—your data is transparently moved to the new storage. System Manager makes it easy for users to see what’s happening across all Vservers not only for provisioning, but also to help make load-balancing decisions.  This helps improve operational efficiency.


So here is my back of the napkin take: If you’re planning for clustered storage and thinking about clustered ONTAP, then take the first step and watch this Get Successful video with Rich Corley, NetApp Director of Product Management to learn more about System Manager in a clustered ONTAP environment