For those that do not know what NetApp Insight is, it is NetApp’s annual technical conference that is ran in Las Vegas to cover the Americas and  in Berlin to cover EMEA. I am extremely fortunate to be able to attend both conferences. As part of the NetApp A-Team, in Las Vegas not only were we able to get to the General Sessions or the Technical breakouts but we were also  able to network with some of our peers, within NetApp, that we may only get to communicate over email with that are. Alongside this we got to take part in certain press events and also the illustrious Tech ONTAP Podcast with Glenn Sizemore, Pete Flecha and Andrew Sullivan. The Berlin event will be a little different for me as I will be attending in a vendor role so although there will be A-Team activities I will mostly be spending my time on the Veeam booth.
The reason for the post is to outline the announcements and  where possible highlight some of the new features and enhancements that are coming in the NetApp portfolio.

Day One Announcements

The NetApp Data Fabric was still the main topic at this year’s event. These announcements were geared toward the Hybrid Cloud model and how  NetApp technology could be used to leverage between  Private and Public cloud offering to improve a whole variety of things for particular customers. The first announcements  this day was  around the following:

Data Fabric Solution Essentials – starter kits  that allow the customer to become hybrid cloud ready. Kits include three offerings: Accelerating Applications, Gaining Control of Shadow IT and Disaster Recovery Improvements.

The following are the titled kits available today to begin the data fabric journey:

  • Application Acceleration Solution Kit
  • OpenStack Solution Kit
  • Snap-To-Cloud DR Solution Kit

They also announced how they will be offering enablement services for the above kits  to assist customers in bring the data fabric to fruition.

These services are broken down into four offerings:

  • Cloud Sourcing Strategy Workshop
  • Service Catalog Design
  • Service Platform Design
  • NetApp Private Storage for Cloud Implementation Service

NetApp also announced that they had become a Google Cloud Platform Technology Partner.

There were also announcements around improvements for Cloud ONTAP software with increased data security, volume capacity increases and other enhancements.

NetApp also announced some enhanced security capabilities for the NetApp AltaVault range.

Day Two Announcements

The announcements of day two were very much aligned to the partners, enabling them to assist their customers in moving to this hybrid cloud model.

The most notable takeaway from this session was the partner specialization programs being made available by NetApp that will be used to increase partners knowledge and capabilities.

Anyone that has been involved with NetApp technologies over the past year or longer will know the pain points around transitioning from a 7mode system to a new Clustered ONTAP solution. Announced was a new training program aligned to enable the transition, called “Clustered Data ONTAP transition services”.

The second specialization was the Clustered Data ONTAP specialization and this is the enabler to size, sell and architect NetApp solutions.

On Day Two, we also got to see from Neto from Brazil who is a new member of the NetApp A-Team in a Technical Advisor capacity. This was the first real INSIGHT into what was happening from a technical release point of view. (I have linked the session in the additional resources section below.)

The demo consisted of a SQL database stored in a NetApp on premises system and then replicated to an off premises NetApp Private Storage system (NPS).

The database was consistently snapshotted (notice how I didn’t use the term backup) with a new product from NetApp called SnapCenter andthe database instance was connected to an Amazon Web Services EC2 compute instance. It was also spun across to Microsoft Azure where Neto from Brazil failed between the cloud providers with NO DOWNTIME.

The next interesting thing to see was the beta version of Cloud ONTAP running inside of Azure… and being able to migrate between a hosted database in AWS over to an Azure instance.

Given my role, I could probably steer clear of SnapCenter and not mention however, for intense and purposes I will give my opinion. This is a v1 product release from NetApp, where today only SQL is supported and I believe soon to be the virtual infrastructure. I can only imagine the roadmap consists of all the existing SnapManager range as well as more , with the integration to the SnapCreator framework there is very little that this new product shouldn’t be able to pick up. Without going to technical into this because I simply have not seen, I believe the SnapDrive agent is still deployed albeit through a central management server. I believe there also may be another agent similar but slim version of the SnapManager agent. So you still have that overhead of managing those agents however from one single central management server.


Interested to hear more about this product and where NetApp are heading with the whole Data Protection piece.

There was also a lot of hype about the NetApp All Flash FAS.Rightly so, Neto from Brazil, albeit using a canned demo, proved that an AFF cluster could achieve above 1.1million IOPS without any downtime or disruption to service.

In watching the demo video again, I noticed a hidden message. Check out below the workloads under the flash systems…. Neto from Brazil – #NetAppILoveThisCompany!

Day Three Announcements

Cisco & NetApp celebrate Five Years of FlexPod Customer Success

There was a lot of love between NetApp & Cisco around these announcements and maybe rightly so… its great technology and reaching 5.6Billion revenue!

From a technology point of view and hearing new stuff there was nothing new, just a great achievement between the two companies.

Day Four Announcements

There were no General Session on the 4th and final day but there was still plenty going on. I wanted to use this section to outline some of the new key  technologies and enhancements that NetApp discussed but I am in the process of finding out if I am actually able to do so.
On Day 4, myself and some of my fellow A-Team members, had the chance to sit with the Tech ONTAP podcast team and pull together a final thoughts session. Hopefully I will be able to get a 1:1 with the guys when in Berlin.

Next…..

Next up is NetApp Insight 2015 EMEA, which is to be held in Berlin at the same venue as last year and it will be running from the 16th November to the 20th. I will be at this event as well but I will be a booth babe on the Veeam stand for the morning shift. I am planning on being involved with some NetApp A-Team activities in the afternoon and also catching up with my fellow peers from across Europe.

Additional Resources

Read more about Bill Lipsin’s perspective on today’s news here
Find out more about our Data Fabric solutions on our blog
Neto From Brazil – Technical Demo – https://youtu.be/UluLv_YXx-o
The New Hybrid; Flash to Disk to Cloud – http://www.watts-innovating.com/the-new-hybrid-flash-to-disk-to-cloud/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-new-hybrid-flash-to-disk-to-cloud

Thank You for reading if you have any feedback or comments please feel free to get in contact either here or catch me on twitter @MichaelCade1

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