Snap Creator Engineering Team - 2014 Innovation Challenge

Greetings all,


I wanted to share the innovation challenge that the Snap Creator Engineering team recently held internally.

Our team was really excited about this opportunity and had a great time participating.


Inspired by a similar innovation challenge in NetApp, the development team members that participated in the challenge broke up into 8 teams of 1-4 people and spent two days developing a solution of their choosing.

The teams were then judged and scored on three categories:  Innovation, Implementation, and Customer Value.  Each category was assigned 10 points with a maximum possible total of 30 points.

The judges were impartial members of the extended Snap Creator team that were not participating in the event.


Note: The innovations showed in this video are NOT scheduled for inclusion in a specific release.

They are simply examples of what our developers can come up with and develop in a short period of time and is meant to highlight the capabilities of the Snap Creator Framework.


The teams are listed below in the order that they signed up for the challenge.

The presentations were done live as part of a 90 minute session, but for convenience I've broken up the videos for ease of viewing. 

Each video below is roughly 10 minutes, give or take a few minutes.

Please keep in mind that this presentation was done for an internal, developer oriented audience, so apologies if there are terminology that is not clarified.

Though this was an internal challenge, we thought it would be interesting to you to showcase the  cool things the development team can do in a short period of time.


Team 1: The A-Team

Team Members:

     Keith Tenzer

     Clemens Siebler

Description: Remote Agent Management


Video Link : 3637


Related to this video, but not an official part of the innovation challenge, Keith and Clemens also created a video on how to manage plugins, building on the information in the video above.

This was not taken into account during judging, but as it is related to the A-Team's presentation I am including it here.


Video Link : 3632


Team 2: Day of the Debacle

Team Members: Thomas Lichtenstein

Description: SnapStack – integrating SCF with OpenStack

Note:  Thomas' demo had issues during the presentation itself and has provided another demo.  As a result it has a slightly different feel from the rest and is a touch longer (15 minutes instead of 10).


Video Link : 3636


Team 3: A2N (Backup from Open systems to cDOT)

Team Members:

     Sajeev Aravindan

     Shivakumar Venkatappa

     Harishankar Patro

     Naga Anjaneyulu

Description: Any 2NetApp (A2N) for clustered Data ONTAP, subject to prototype A2N libraries available in working condition


Video Link : 3628


Team 4: SCF in Hand

Team Members:

     Amarnath Rachapudi

     Charly Joseph

     Nishant Mittal

Description: Notification Android App for Snap Creator Framework (SCF)


Video Link : 3629


Team 5: Snap2Cloud

Team Members:

     Justin Skariah

     Akhilesh Pandey

     Shreya Kamath

Description: Using Snap Creator Framework to backup Snapshots to the Cloud


Video Link : 3630


Team 6: Automated secondary activation in SM configuration.

Team Members:

     Suganya K

     Jacob A

     Vivek Mattur

Description: Automated workflow to make secondary as primary when primary volume goes down in SM relationship and continue the backups on the config.


Video Link : 3631


Team 7: The Vagrants

Team Members:

     Chuck Fouts

     Jonathan Rippy

     James Short

Description: Docker containers for local testing


Video Link : 3633


Team 8: Inception

Team Members: Siva Ramanathan

Description: Docker containers for scalability testing

Note: In this video Siva skips explanation of docker containers as it was covered in The Vagrants' presentation.


Video Link : 3634


The Results:


The judges met after the innovation challenge was complete and tallied their scores.

The top five teams were:


1st Place: Team 3: A2N (Backup from Open systems to cDOT)

2nd Place: Team 1: The A-Team

3rd Place: Team 7: The Vagrants

4th Place: Team 5: Snap2Cloud

5th Place: Team 2: Day of the Debacle


All of the participants and judges really enjoyed this challenge.

We're talking about doing an innovation challenge between every release.


Keep posting  ideas into the ideas section and you may see your idea come to life as part of one of the innovation challenges.


If you have any questions please feel free to comment below and we'll do our best to get the question answered.


Hope you enjoyed this insight into the workings of the development team.


Happy Snap Creating!


Guys, A2N (Backup from Open systems to cDOT) sounds AWESOME! I have at least one client who will be very interested in this. Keep up the good work and please post any updates to this project - very interested. Thanks!


Thanks for the feedback Kevin!

I forwarded it onto the A2N team so that they could see the interest.

If there are any updates we'll do our best to post them.



Definitely +1 for me. We have a couple of customers we'd like to move to cDOT but we're held back due to the lack of OSSV support. We are/were looking into alternatives such as Microsoft DPM. In fact I am having a discussion about this topic at a customer this week.

Any time estimates or possibility to run things in alpha/beta ?

Regarding A2N.  It seems this is almost exactly what SyncSort (now Catalogics) have been doing for quite some time, except they don't use the snapshot of the host filesystem, they keep their own block change map (with the inherent difficulties that arise from that). 

Why haven't we come up with a facility to take a 7-mode lun, clone it, and then walk the block map and transmit each block into the same spot in a c-mode lun?  It would make migrations SO much easier in UCS environments where it's hard to get an easy migration without the use of an outside appliance.