Over the last month i have been pretty busy attending the NetApp insight conferences in both Las Vegas and in Berlin as well as doing my normal day job.

First up was Las Vegas for my first visit and my first US version of the event. You can see some of the tourist things i did whilst out there. I found the city to be of huge scale, and its a city where you dont want to be extending your stay past 4-5 days, it’s a city that takes a lot…. quite literally.

We then had a couple of weeks break then it was time to venture down to Germany for the EMEA event that was to be held at the CityCube in Berlin. Having only arrived back the day after Insight and writing this blog post its a much smaller scale on the event, simply because of the amount of people that attend the US conference against the EMEA one. I have been to Berlin a few times for work engagements but never for a conference or for a personal holiday. In my opinion the conference was great but i found the distance between hotels, the conference centre and events was too far and something that we didnt have in previous events. However we are back to Berlin next year, my fellow NetApp A Team members should be joining us next year.

In the last two weeks we have heard a number of announcments and i wanted to share some of them announments, updates and aquisitions with you.

New Releases

You have probably seen the announcements by now but I wanted to put something down and forward out the key things that i picked up and heard whilst at the events.

Firstly we have some big releases that have happened this week, i have also included the release notes where possible for the new releases.

These include:

OnCommand Workflow Automation 3.0 RC1 –  https://library.netapp.com/ecm/ecm_get_file/ECMP1644815

OnCommand System Manager 8.3 (back to onbox management software)
Extract below taken from the Clustered Data Ontap 8.3 release notes – https://library.netapp.com/ecm/ecm_get_file/ECMP1636023

Unsupported features for OnCommand SystemManager 8.3
Support for some System Manager functionality is discontinued in this release.

Installation changes
Starting with Data ONTAP 8.3, System Manager is no longer available as a stand-alone applicationand cannot be used to manage multiple storage systems running different versions of Data ONTAP.You can use System Manager 8.3 to manage only a Data ONTAP 8.3 cluster.You do not have to install System Manager 8.3 because it is included with Data ONTAP as a webservice, enabled by default, and accessible by using a browser.

Log file changes
You do not have to create a support bundle and send it to technical support to analyze and resolveissues with System Manager. The System Manager log files are located in the mlog directory alongwith the Data ONTAP log files and are included as part of the AutoSupport messages that aretriggered on a daily basis.

Password caching
You cannot enable password caching to save your storage system credentials

OnCommand Unified Manager 6.2 RC1 – https://library.netapp.com/ecm/ecm_get_file/ECMP1653274

OnCommand Performance Manager 1.1 RC1 – https://library.netapp.com/ecm/ecm_get_file/ECMP1552963

We of course saw the new release of 8.3RC1, a long awaited release from many of us, it now has true feature parity with 7mode and there are not many circumstances where 7mode will need to be used over Clustered Ontap with this latest release. In the next session i will list some of the new features that have come with the release of 8.3.

New Features

As i said above this release has taken a while to reach us but the features it brings are priceless. With a code name of “Full Steam” the release of 8.3 had to bring everything to the forefront for clustered ontap after the last three years we have progressively seen the numbers switch between 7mode and clustered ontap, and with clustered ontap 8.3 the use case has to be the majority.

In this section i am going to list a few of the new features and give a brief description on each one.

Automated Workload Analyser – The AWA feature analyzes the read-write workload mix and the percentage of reads and writes that are cacheable for an aggregate. This shows whether an HDD-only aggregate is a good candidate to be converted to a Flash Pool aggregate, and what an optimal cache size would be for your workload.

Onbox System Manager – with the release of 8.3 we have moved back to an onbox function, this will avoid lots of instances of management software spread around the environment and gives you that single access pane, as soon as i get the chance i intend to blog about this new onbox management piece.

IP Spaces – a very big feature release for multi tenacy environments is the addition of IP spaces, it allows for overlapping subnets and addresses. One IP space may contain multiple SVMs but to remove complication for other non multi tentant environments, there will be a default IP Space.

Root-Data HDD Partitioning for Entry Platforms – Internal enclosure HDDs are shared for root and data aggregates per node this will improve the storage efficency dramatically compared to the original dedicated root aggregate configurations. This will be the default configuration for FAS25** and FAS22** systems shipped with 8.3.

SSD Partitioning for Flash Pool Cache – This will allow for better SSD capacity effciencty by sharing SSDs across multiple flash pool aggregates, this will be achieved by reducing parity and spare SSD cost with up to 4 Flash Pool Aggregates.

Metrocluster – Over in Berlin this week this was the biggest feature release to date for clustered ontap, from a european point of view there is a strong use case for Metrocluster or multiple campas requirements for the same level of data and protection, hence why Metrocluster is big in EMEA.

Highlights for the metrocluster release:
-2 node cluster at each site
-Clients served from all 4 nodes in normal operation. All Nodes are ACTIVE!
-Local HA feature handles all local failures
-Inter-site links consolidation to reduce telecom cost
-Nondisruptive operation support.

We have also seen the release of 7MTT 2.0 which adds support for:
-8.3 destinations
-Transitioning into a clustered ontap 8.3 Metrocluster
-SAN transition to data ontap 8.3

The Hybrid Cloud Model

Along with the great features we have also heard a lot about “Cloud” and in particular the “Hybrid Cloud”

The Hybrid Cloud is a cloud computing environment in which an organization provides and manages some resources in-house and has others provided externally.

With that in mind NetApp have released two products this last month,

NetApp Private Storage
To summarise NetApp Private Storage (NPS) allows you to place your own physical equipment into a datacentre which holds the pop for either Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure, this will allow you to use your NetApp Storage systems with the AWS or Azure compute and network resource.

CloudOntap is a virtual machine instance that can be purchased currently on Amazon Web Services, but hopefully this will change in the forseeable future and be made available on other platforms. In brief cloudontap has many use cases, it could be from a simple backup stance where you currently have a FAS system on your premises, you could replicate from on prem to the cloud ontap instance for a backup offsite. you may also use cloud ontap for burstable workloads a seasonal e retailer would be an ideal candidate here, where over for example the Christmas period where workloads are increased, more compute can be used in the Hybrid cloud.

i intend to deep dive a little further into both of these areas and intend then to write about their progression and use cases over the next few months.

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