Posts Tagged ‘NTAP’

NetApp System Manager – I can almost talk about it!

March 4th, 2009

So seriously, if you haven’t seen this post by Steve or Val, well.. until things are released I cannot say much more than them! But once I can, you’ll get the motherload of it!

What can I say, which has already been said though…

For those of you who manage NetApp filers, you likely are familiar with the Command Line (CLI) or FilerView.   I’d like to say “Welcome to the change to that experience” and that change comes in the form of an MMC snap-in which looks a bit like this!


Believe me, if I didn’t fear for my own disclosure, I’d say more!

One of my favorite bits of this, is the fact that I can manage multiple filers from this single interface – Add them in and they’re ready to go.  The same can be said for multiple members of a cluster.  What? It knows who its cluster pairs are and can tell you about issues? no that’s far too cool to be true.

There’s so much more… which I look forward to disclosing when this officially launches, but just do know that it is really-cool and will improve your management experience even more-so than you currently have today!

I will say nothing more on this! :)

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

Who the What The?! Storage Rap Off?

February 24th, 2009

This isn’t the notorious fluffy G, but instead is an (honestly) very well produced piece on Deduplication as it stands with the competition – Or as described in the YouTube release:

NetApp sets the record straight on dedupe.

So, my personal and honest assessment? Which I’m sure you’re waiting to see ;)

I have to say, it’s very well produced, orchestrated and organized.   It didn’t look tacky (like those EMC dating videos I’ve seen, or Virtualization Girl)  The filming quality, audio representation, and the dynamic of the event – started off in a very emotional context.   For some reason, e-Squared reminded me a bit of Chuck Hollis (The beast from the east :)) .. I’m not sure why that is, but I think that’s kind of cute in my own mind ;)

I don’t really have an impression of double-D as to who they’re really giving me an impression of, I guess that’s just par for the course though. ;)

What really gets me is the “my technology crunch data anywhere” near the end, which really speaks well to the deduplication in primary as well as secondary, instead of some other methods in which it’s done.. But I won’t enter into that religious debate solely on this video alone, but those of you out there know exactly what I mean ;)

Final Assessment: Very well done, I don’t feel like it’s a 1990’s dating video recorded in someone’s basement, real cred, value and rocking ;)

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

NetApp Premium AutoSupport Visualizations Exposed!

January 1st, 2009

YES! Here on the Eve of the New Year, I am bring this super cool module to you!

Just a recap of the last Dashboard snapshot, the portion we’ll be addressing is Visualizations!

NetApp Premium AutoSupportNetApp Premium AutoSupport Visualizations

Once you click that little gem of a link you’ll be brought to a page which looks like this:

NetApp Premium AutoSupport VisualizationsAs usual I censored out the Filer name, Serial # and other things, but I did leave in some nice details.   Note:   based on latest loaded AutoSupport: 2008/12/27 06:00:00 PM -06:00

The reason I mention that is, you can run one Visualization report for say, December, and then pull one for November and then compare them for whatever reasons you need.

That single benefit alone makes it even more super cool ;)

At this point, click one of the objects in there (System, Disks, Raid, QTrees or Storage)

It will render the data and make it available to you: You can also export it to PDF of XLS

Time for a view of the System Tab:

NetApp Premium AutoSupport Visualizations - System Tab This is the top portion of the System Tab.  Notice how it breaks things down as if it were an actual system, giving you details.  Something which you may not notice unless you hover are these cool popups (Popups do not function in Chrome)

System Options Popup System Options

Services PopupServices

VIF3 PopupVIF3

And so on and so forth! You can hover over any object (Interfaces, Shelves, Loops) and it will provide you information which you’d normally spend your time scouring through sysconfig’s in order to find.  That little bit right there is pretty damn sweet if you ask me!

Now when you go over to Disks you get a similar picture:

NetApp Premium AutoSupport Visualizations - Disks Tab And hovering over one of our disks gives us information like this:

Item Details PopupDetails of a Disk 

Now taking this journey along, we visit the Raid View of the Disks:

NetApp Premium AutoSupport Visualizations - Raid TabThis one is fairly straight forward, same type of pop-up data – Very useful, but not really super exciting, unless you are looking forward to this specific data (I do at times, but at the moment, It feels anti-climactic with what is coming ahead! :))

Here is where it gets really cool (Part1) with Volume Logical Layout: QTrees and LUNS:

NetApp Premium AutoSupport Visualizations - QTrees Tab

This is the first of the coolness! Below I’ve included something with LUN’s in it so you get that perspective as well.  

A LUN with a View!

LUN Popup

And last but definitely not least Capacity View! *Cheer!* Err.. :

NetApp Premium AutoSupport Visualizations - Storage TabWhile there are so many things I can hover over and get details on (When you hover it will ofcourse tell you information about the volume, settings, etc) I want to make a special focus on the one with the yellow border!)

See RecommendationsNotice the “See Recommendations” That is amazingly cool, if you ask me ;)

A little click on that and suddenly you see:

Volume Notices

Remember as I’ve mentioned this before, this is a suggestion of discussing your state and that you ought to look at it.  If it is part of your design to run something where you get a notice, that’s just fine! If you weren’t aware of it on a volume though, definitely worth investigating!

And that brings us to the end of the NetApp Premium AutoSupport Visualizations segment.   I’d like to note the export to PDF and XLS are very cool, however you do not retain that same level of ‘interactive popups’ in PDF format that you do accessing it via WebGui.   So, this is a pure case of What you See is What you Get – once you export out to PDF.  And when you export to XLS You don’t get any pretty pictures, but you do get all of the raw data that you would see in the Popups, so they’re very complimentary to each other, and your ability to present and manipulate the data!

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this segment, I’ll be working on Configurations next so look forward to my next post!

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

NetApp Premium AutoSupport Detailed Health Check

December 29th, 2008

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

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)

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