NetApp Premium AutoSupport High Level Overview

December 29th, 2008
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

Let me first off tell you how excited I am to be able to share this with you!

I think “OMFG” can easily classify the type of excitement I have for this tool, the simplicity it will introduce into your life, and more.    I can honestly tell you, that without this tool a lot of the things I do on a regular basis would take a lot longer, so if you know anything about me, it is that I like simplicity with reason, efficiency and getting the most out of my resources.

For those of who you think “You can’t get excited over a tool, especially one involving storage” Well wait and see, because you’ll be drooling along with me! ;)

This is part 1 of an almost endless series because there will be more things coming out of this, that and I don’t want to create one massive difficult to read posting on Premium AutoSupport.

So, let’s get started!

All things begin with the NOW Page – So go ahead and login to now.netapp.com

NetApp On Web - NOW Support Site

 

Once you’ve logged in, you will see a section titled:

My Netapp Products

Within that section “My AutoSupport” it’s easy to see with the yellow “NEW!” – Go ahead and click on that and you will be ready to start taking advantage of Premium AutoSupport!

 

My AutoSupportHere it is zoomed up a bit so you can see what I’m talking about!

Alright, we’ve clicked in (Yes, this is very basic tutorial for now, I’ll get into the guts soon!)

View time line based events, health check recommendations, performance trends, site configuration summary, device configuration details, reference configuration comparisons, ONTAP upgrade advising, and AutoSupport message history for your NetApp systems.

 

Alright, you’ve gotten this far! Wow, there are some cool things on this page, which are often overlooked.   I’d like to point those out, just so I’ve done my civic duty!

 

This version of Premium AutoSupport only supports NetApp FAS, F-series, V-Series and NearStore storage appliances. Okay, here is the disclaimer text.   Browser Support lists IE 6,7 –  Firefox 1, 2, 3 (With SVG) And it cites that Apple Safari is not supported.   For the purposes of all of my screenshots I AM actually using Internet Explorer, however I exclusively use Chrome 99% of the time.   I’ll mention what works and doesn’t work across browsers, the IE and FF experience are absolutely great but you won’t be crippled if you’re not using them – You just won’t get as Rich of an experience.   And the facts behind that are, sometimes you won’t want the rich experience when doing some specific nitty gritty things.   So don’t fret over browsers there is much support!

imageAnother cool thing, which is a great supplement to this, is the WebEx Tutorials and Flash Demos!  Oh, and the iPod contest it mentions, which takes you to a Tech On Tap article from May of 2008.   If you’re seeing this post and not that one, it’s because it’s honestly hard to find anything from those, it’s a great article though by Jay Mistry! (FYI: The screenshots in the TOT Article do not reflect the way Premium AutoSupport looks today. :))

A brief quote from that article:

Now, Premium AutoSupport’s Upgrade Advisor tool does all the hard work for me, saving me four to five hours of work per storage system and providing an upgrade plan that’s complete and easy to follow. The tool works for both standalone systems and clusters and supports all Data ONTAP releases since 6.3. Among the things that it checks for are:

  • Known upgrade issues
  • Required firmware revisions
  • Applicable field alerts
  • Software license issues
  • Version compatibility of dependent  software products (SnapDrive®, etc.)

Another advantage of the Upgrade Advisor is that it gives us a complete plan to back out each upgrade should a problem arise. We’ve never had to use such a plan, but new regulations in the finance industry are starting to mandate this capability, so it’s nice to have it covered.

I mention this now, because I didn’t even plan to tap on Upgrade Advisor until much later ;) But nonetheless, we’re almost there! It’s time to click the “Premium Autosupport” link!

And this is the part where I stop, and take you directly to the dashboard of one of my demo systems!   You likely will be presented with a list of systems you manage, so select one and you’re ready to rock and roll!

NetApp Premium AutoSupportCertain sections have been blocked out, in order to protect my still having a job! ;)

However I’ll go into depth of each of these sections which are hard to read, how they can benefit you and a number of other cool things… In the next post :)

At the high level, the key sections I’d like to mention here which I’ll go into depth are:

…and more as I can :)

I did try to order them in the order I intend to deliver them, so if they don’t come out in that order, we’ll deal with that.   Nonetheless, this is the end of this high-level overview, hopefully you’ve learned a bit more about the Premium AutoSupport from this alone (Like its existence) and you’ll be on your way to ensuring a more simplified storage management experience.

I know once you start using these things you’ll be saying “OMFG” too. :)

Psst, see the Performance section? There’s a lot more in there as well, soooo super cool! I’ll try to get these other ones out there as soon as possible so you can benefit the same way I personally do with the magical mysterious things I do! :)

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Posted in Baltimization, Blog, Christopher Kusek, General, Informational, NetApp, Storage, Technology | Comments (2)

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