ONTAP 8 Cluster-mode: NetApp’s Dash of Special Sauce

Way back in 2003, an eternity in tech years, Network Appliance purchased Spinnaker Networks an appliance maker that utilized SpinFS. Since the acquisition NetApp , as it is now called, has developed two different operating system offerings a.k.a. their “special sauce.” The original ONTAP “flavor” (ONTAP 8 7-mode) and the ONTAP 8 Cluster-mode, a reincarnate of technology acquired from Spinnaker and previously known as ONTAP GX.

Getting Started with NetApp Storage Efficiency

This is my advice for customers who want to get started with storage efficiency: • Consider SATA drives instead of Fiber Channel • Enable Dedupe • (Use Flash Cache as insurance against bad performance) NetApp has other efficiency features too (thin provisioning, cloning, compression, and so on), but I’ve found that customers often start with SATA and dedupe. SATA because it saves so much money, and dedupe because it’s so easy to turn on and comes free with ONTAP. When I talk with customers who are using SATA and dedupe, they are usually happy with NetApp, and pleased with their storage costs. When customers are haggling over price but haven’t at least considered these features, I wonder what they are thinking. SATA with Flash Cache doesn’t always match the performance of Fiber Channel, but when it does, it can cut your costs in half. It’s definitely worth considering! We have many happy customers using it for production data. Home directories are a good place to start. Email, especially with the most recent versions of Exchange. Some customers use it for database, depending on the workload.

Symantec and NetApp…more than the sum of the parts

Data protection is an essential part of every IT strategy. A good data protection plan minimizes the risk of downtime and data loss as well as the risk of a compliance incident. Most enterprise level data protection implementations are complex, costly and require thoughtful planning to ensure that the risk of data loss is reduced to an acceptable level. As with any technology there is no shortage of catch phrases to distract the overburdened administrator as well as the budget conscious executive. Phrases like “Integrated Data Protection”, “Industry Leading”, “End to End” and yes, even “cloud”. Let’s face it. The only reason you spend a dime on this stuff is to reduce risk because risk adds cost to your operation. The cost of data re-entry, the cost of down time or the cost of compliance fines. How simple or complex the system that you create to deal with risk is not the issue. The issue is whether the cost of the system is less than the risk of doing nothing.