NetApp Premium AutoSupport Detailed Health Check

December 29th, 2008
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

Hooray! It is now time to drill into the Health Summary and Detailed Health check!

For those who remember the last Dashboard snapshot, we had a number of warnings and notices on this filer!

NetApp Premium AutoSupport

So, we’re going to drill down into the 12 warnings and 6 notices!

NetApp Detailed Health Check

The Health Check Details will provide you with a number of “sections” which will provide a number of bits of information (You may have one or more of the areas I’ll be quoting out)

It all starts with the Health Check Analysis:

Health Check AnalysisVery basic, straight forward and provides you with a timeline of what the recommendations are based upon.  This can be especially useful if you say “I fixed that!” you know when its referencing so as to not freak out!

Next comes System Level Warnings:

System Level Warnings

You’ll need to zoom in to see what kind of cool stuff there is, but I’ll zoom in for you in some areas I want to make sure you recognize.

System Specific Message

That little bad boy there, oh my god, so cool if you happen to want to actually find out Why there is an error instead of knowing there is one.

So, if we click on that lun.offline message to figure out “WTF” is going on, we get this!

Corrective Action! 

For simplicity sake, it showed us the exact error in the logs, showed us an indication as to why this happens and provides corrective actions on what to do!


There are other better examples of corrective actions (such as replace disk, unmap/remap luns, collect a trace) and so on and so forth to help you not only manage your system better, but come to better terms with the ‘warnings’ of your systems so you can be in better command and control of your own operations.

Next up is System Level Notices:

System Level Notices

This is cool because it tells you something outright, and then provides you a link to a Bug Report on it, so you can follow the status especially if it applies to you!

Now this is cool as well, Volume Related Notices:

Volume Related Notices

Note the disclaimer: These are based on conservative guidelines and may or may not be applicable to this system, but you should definitely know about it if you weren’t aware!

What I like about this, is it calls out specific volumes and discusses their snapshot usage, snapshot reserve and snapshot schedules (3 areas I find often accidently configured wrong and a hotbed of areas to clean up!)

And last but not least, another favorite area, Summary of Disks requiring Firmware Upgrade:

Summary of Disks Requiring Firmware Upgrade

I personally hate playing guessing games of “Hmm, are my disks on the right rev? Do I need to upgrade?” etc, etc, etc… that same old story.  No matter how many types or different disks you have in the system, this Health Check will tell you the skinny.  

The only thing which would make this cooler, is Shelf Firmware Upgrade:

(I had to go to another filer to get this screen capture, because all these filers are current ;))

Shelf Firmware Upgrade

One of my favorite parts of this Health Check tool is that after I’ve upgraded and updated a system and I want to feel all warm and fuzzy about the work, I’ll go look at these details and make sure I’m not seeing warnings, notices, backrevved disks or modules, etc.

This not only saves me and my customers time and money at that moment, it also pays off dividends in the long-term.  Less work to be done to manage and maintain, less chance for unknown downtime because you know the EXACT state of your system at any given point.

The Premium AutoSupport toolset (This being just one part of it) opens the door to allowing you to not only self manage, but self-control and I’ll tell you – any system I’ve felt comfortable and confident in after building it, has never gone down.

It’s not magic, a special arcane craft or art form.   It’s clear conscious best practices and using the tools available to you, an ounce of prevention is worth an hour of downtime! :)

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this segment, I’ll be hitting up Visualizations next so look forward to my delivery of that!

Disclaimer: The information above reflects only some of the type of notices you can receive.  If you do not see any of these notices on your system that is great! If you encounter additional ones (Aggregate Level Notices, Volume Related Warnings, etc) it is not a problem just an education of the current health of that particular system and should be reviewed.

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Posted in Baltimization, Blog, Christopher Kusek, Informational, NetApp, Storage | Comments (0)

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

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)

How do I fix the Tweetdeck API issue with Twitter?

December 24th, 2008
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

First of all, this is not an issue with Tweetdeck, this is an issue with Twitter!

How I personally handle this issue (And I haven’t hit an API limitation using just Tweetdeck)

Is go in and modify the API values to look like this:



As you can see, the major difference is the “All Friends” has been increased from 1min to 1min 12s.

That minor difference alone is easily enough to make up for the API limits on an hourly basis.

If you continue to run out of API calls in an hour, increase that number to 2 minutes or beyond.




While you’re at it, upgrade to Tweetdeck 0.21 Beta released: Christmas Eve!

Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Baltimization, Blog, Christopher Kusek, Geek, Informational, Social Media, Technology, Twitter | Comments (3)

8 Yr old MCP beats out previous 10 Yr old MCP! The Horror!

December 24th, 2008
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

Firstly, a hearty congratulations to the 8 Year old (and 1 day) Lavina Shree who recently completed her MCP Exam in C#.

[NDTV via NewLaunches]

She has made quite an accomplishment for defeating the previous title holder Arfa Karim from Pakistan who was 10 Years old at the time she completed her MCP exam in 2005.

Apparently, she is 8 years old, and not 9 years old as some of the stories report (Her own website reports this)

Okay, time for the Therapy Faq on this.

Q: Should I feel bad about myself and my own certifications?

A:  No, why should you feel bad?   If you had a photographic memory and were 8 years old, wouldn’t you be able to find the time to study just a bit? I mean, outside of your regular 80 hour workweek fixing networks or dealing with your significant other, I’m sure you’d be able to find a few minutes to study for an exam, right?

Q:  What? But seriously, she’s 8 years old! Not even 9 years old like the other reports are saying!

A:  Wait, you’re right.    I forgot these exams aren’t based upon sole memorization and require you to have to think about extremely bound concepts the likes of which cannot exist in books.   I mean when I go into the Oracle to take the exam, it analyzes what I have in my brain and then starts providing dynamic questions the likes of which noone could ever hold challenge to.

Q: Does this happening make the Certification process at all less valuable?

A: Absolutely not.   That same analysis could be said of the Bar Exam, SAT’s or GRE’s.    Some people are extremely good at certain things (say, memorization) but that is not to say that they know everything there is, only what they’ve read.   So, while you can know the ‘answer’ to a defined question, if provided with a question outside the context of original discussion that shows your true ability to innovate and provide a solution.   If I want someone to be able to recite back to me verbatim a fixed question/answer, I’d get Wikipedia or something.

Q: So you’re saying I should feel good for this girl, and not feel bad about myself?

A: Exactly.  I think it is great, prior to this a lot of people didn’t even realize there was such a thing as the MCP.  Now perhaps some may feel this is bad PR, but any PR is better than none, and this will pass.    Especially when a girl who is cited as having performed feats of memorization at age 3? No, this will definitely do wonders for the Certification community and help to improve the process as a whole for years to come.   We’ve been watching it come for the past several years as tests have improved to be more relevant, and this will be no different.

Good luck out there, get ready for a whole new Certification year! And I look forward to the new innovative Betas as you should!

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Posted in Baltimization, Blog, Certification, Christopher Kusek, Geek, Informational, Licensing, Microsoft, Technology | Comments (0)

Happiness is a warm tweet (Happytweets)

December 24th, 2008
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

Are you a happy tweeter? How can you tell? HappyTweets is here to actually give you a ranking along with a color coded soothing feeling to the situation!

So, how does it work? It’s actually extremely simple!

Go to Type in your name and click “Get Happy!” It’s that easy!


So lets see, just how happy am I today?



Wow, would you look at that! I’m very Happy! Even with a nice pretty orange to show just how happy I am!

But not everyone is happy, and the colors certainly do change based upon the numeric ranking out there!




image image

image image

So, whether you’re feeling orange with excitement, or blue or grey and down in the dumps, this certainly can be a good indicator “Hey, wait a minute, apparently I’m being a real downer in tweeterville! Maybe I should spin it up a bit!”

This is more than a social experiment as Tim creator of this tool has intended it to be.

This actually serves as a “Social Service” because if you’re down, and the software says you are – Do something about it! Tweet a little happiness into your life and I’m sure you’ll find your attitude towards the world shift!   Think about everything you have to take for granted, like food or civil rights! :)

So, thanks @u2elan for bringing us this! Have a Happy Holidays, and a Happy Tweetlandia! :)

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Posted in Baltimization, Blog, Christopher Kusek, Informational, Social Media, Technology, Twitter | Comments (2)

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