In light of last week’s All Flash FAS (AFF) announcement from NetApp, it seemed like a good opportunity to discuss some of the merits of deploying solutions from our OnCommand suite of Management Software and Management Integration Tools that provide the visibility you need to achieve common data management across resources in the Data Fabric, whether on-premise, or public cloud.


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On one hand, cloud can make the job of the IT department easier in the sense that you don’t need to go through the time-honoured process of working out what to buy, installing and managing it and keeping your fingers crossed that you bought the right solution, the correct amount and that it still does what you need it to do in 2-3 years’ time. One of the main attractions of cloud is that you pretty much buy what you need, when you need it, and you can, so to speak tune the carburetor (showing my age now) while the engine is running.


And now everything in the garden is rosy – right? Well, the fact is you still need to allocate, monitor and manage resources, SLAs, etc., across what is set to become an increasingly multi-services, multi-vendor environment. And, it could be argued, especially if not done right, that the situation might end up by being more complex and with less control than sticking with the traditional route of buying and managing IT, on premise.


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The need to retain control, particularly of data is one of the reasons why the majority of organizations that I speak with are going down the common-sense path of deploying a hybrid cloud environment to provide a balanced mix of private, on-premises solutions with public cloud. This is where solutions from NetApp’s OnCommand suite of management and integration tools really come into their own, in that they help to provide that all important visibility and management across the total environment, whether it be on-premises, in a cloud service provider, or from one of our hyperscaler partners; Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or IBM SoftLayer.


Which is one of reasons why with OnCommand Insight (OCI) we are experiencing such massive market traction, particularly as OCI provides in-depth management, monitoring and reporting across the entire storage environment (on-prem, cloud SP, and hyperscaler), and is totally storage-vendor independent.


As the old saying goes ‘if you can’t manage it, you can’t measure it’ and so having a comprehensive and robust set of ongoing performance metrics is crucial for businesses today, especially when deploying a mix of storage technologies (Flash, Disk, Hybrid) across what is an increasingly disparate, hybrid cloud environment. Now, when it comes to All Flash FAS (AFF), measuring instantaneous performance and setting thresholds becomes even more important. Therefore, in the latest 2.0 release of OnCommand Performance Manager we’re giving users an even more comprehensive dashboard to automatically evaluate performance and troubleshoot issues to maintain optimal system operations.


Complete end-to-end resource management

The OnCommand suite comprises: System Manager (device level management), Unified Manager (availability, capacity, performance and protection monitoring), Workflow Automation (automates commissioning, provisioning, de-commissioning tasks), Performance Manager (performance monitoring and root-cause analysis), Insight (multivendor storage configuration, performance, and capacity management and reporting). The suite has been further extended to now include Cloud Manager (used in conjunction with Cloud ONTAP – virtual storage appliance in AWS), API Services (addresses complex IT management challenges) and Shift (virtual machine conversion).


Since it’s part of the AFF announcement, I want to pick out a few highlights specifically around OnCommand Performance Manager, which in its latest 2.0 guise provides even more capabilities around management, measurement and threshold setting to make sure that users are getting the very best from their storage environment, whether that be disk, hybrid or AFF.


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Managing and monitoring performance – where the rubber hits the road

OnCommand Performance Manager (OPM) is a software solution that provides performance management capabilities in OnCommand Unified Manager for clustered Data ONTAP v8.2 and beyond. It was built from the ground-up to enable users to monitor and troubleshoot the performance of the clustered Data ONTAP v8.2 storage environment. Performance Manager integrates with Unified Manager, providing a single point of control over the storage environment, from IOPS and LUNs to system-wide storage management and protection.


Key capabilities include:

  • Alerts on storage performance incidents
  • Reduces MTTR with remediation guidance
  • Manages and assures clustered Data ONTAP performance

In a nutshell, Performance Manager delivers comprehensive data storage performance troubleshooting, isolates potential problems, and offers concrete solutions to performance issues based on its system analysis.


The intent of this blog is to highlight some of the benefits of using solutions from the OnCommand suite to help manage and monitor your storage environment. Expect to see information on other specific solutions from the OnCommand suite in future blogs.


From the Product, Solutions and Alliances Marketing EMEA team

Martin Warren


Also, click here to check out this great All Flash FAS announcement blog, published by my PASM colleague, Laurence James


Links to other related resources:  Lee Caswell Matt Watts Stetson


Martin Warren

Martin Warren is EMEA Cloud Solutions Manager at NetApp. Based in the UK, Martin has many years of experience working in data protection, data storage, virtualization, cloud, big data and networks. In his current role, Martin is responsible for NetApp’s EMEA cloud strategy and solutions with a focus on driving business growth and aligning NetApp’s cloud offering with customer and partner demand.

Martin is a specialist in private, public and hybrid cloud solutions, including the aspects of data storage and data management. He provides advice to businesses on the advantages and impact of different cloud and data storage solutions, helping them to meet their goals. In addition, Martin is a subject matter expert on the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Prior to joining NetApp, Martin held positions at Symantec, Sun and StorageTek. He also worked at IT service delivery and consultancy companies Misys and 4Front Services, advising businesses on adopting IT services specifically from a blended approach.