In the early 2000’s, Gartner predicted the relentless increase in the “3 V’s” of data-Volume, Variety, and Velocity. The 3Vs are often discussed in the context of “big data”, but the same challenges apply to about any kind of data, “big” or not.


Volume Variety Velocity
Exponential data growth Support for a range of structured and unstructured data Accelerated rate that data is coming in


In fact, over the years, things have become more difficult for IT-as data has spread across more locations, with more classes of storage than ever before. As a result, IT architects and administrators have increased spending and effort to get it right-or in many cases, get it wrong when it comes to price, performance, or availability.


What is needed is a way to deal with all this complexity in a way that doesn’t feel complex. Instead, technology should manage the complexity for you. And that is exactly the challenge NetApp tackled with NetApp® Service Level Manager.


NetApp Service Level Manager (NSLM) is a new product that is unique in the industry. It allows IT to simultaneously achieve multiple storage-and data management goals without requiring armies of developers to create and manage customized IT infrastructures.


With NSLM, the administrator or architect defines multiple storage service level classes that reflect the combinations of performance and capacity that exist in their IT environment.


Below is the Administration Console where the admin can perform all of the necessary tasks for service level management such as defining service level classes, in addition to configuring and managing NetApp ONTAP®, Cloud ONTAP, OnCommand® Cloud Manager and/or OnCommand Unified Manager instances.


NetApp Service Level Manager


After the storage service level classes have gone through a one-time set-up, administrators can easily provision storage by specifying how much storage capacity is needed, from which storage service level class, and they are done. It’s that simple.


In fact, it is so simple that you can even allow operators with minimal training to deploy storage capacity repeatedly and predictably as-needed-knowing that company standards have been met for price-performance.


Achievements NetApp Service Level Manager Delivers
Extreme ease-of-use, with minimal training Radically simplify the provisioning of capacity and performance even at-scale, in large environments.
Manage storage and data with service level objectives (SLOs) Automate, monitor, and regulate activities to systematically meet storage SLOs- that are mapped to service level agreements (SLAs).
Assure compliance using a central Service Catalog Demonstrate compliance with company standards using pre-defined or custom policies to provision capacity and performance on a consistent basis.
Automatic discovery Quickly discover the capabilities of your NetApp storage, and automatically map it into pools of service levels.
Intelligent, automated provisioning Simply state your objectives, and NSLM automatically deploys capacity in the right place, with the right configuration-based on analytics that understand the capabilities of your NetApp storage.
More predictable and efficient provisioning Meet your storage service levels from the very beginning-without resorting to unnecessary and inefficient overprovisioning.
Automatically monitor and adapt to workload changes Monitor and adjust the number of IOPS available by scaling throughput limits as your requirements grow, to deliver a reliable, predictable experience for application users.


Improve operations with predictable capacity and performance

NetApp Service Level Manager is a “game-changer” for storage and service level management-simultaneously increasing ease-of-use, ease-of-scale, and general reliability, predictability and consistency of storage services. Things are always done right the first time-and every time.


NSLM improves cost and efficiencies in other ways as well. Using NetApp’s analytics and automation to provision performance and capacity correctly from the start means a reduction in unexpected issues or outages down the road. So administrators can reduce the time and cost spent troubleshooting and problem remediation. And with NSLM’s SLO conformance monitoring, you can easily track how you are delivering against your SLOs, allowing you to take proactive steps to avoid or eliminate trouble.


Last but not least, NetApp Service Level Manager functionality is exposed as REST APIs to enable highly integrated, highly automated data center operations. For example, NSLM-based storage provisioning can be integrated with custom-developed, 3rd party orchestrators, or IT service desk products to coordinate the provisioning of storage with other resources, such as servers or virtual machines.


Users looking for the most efficient and effective way to scale the management of their storage should put NetApp Service Level Manager at the top of their list.


Listen to these two Tech ONTAP podcasts to learn more about Storage Service Design.

  1. Episode 18 Storage Service Design
  2. Episode 33 The Return of Storage Service Design


And be sure to check back next week when for my next blog when we’ll take a closer look at how NetApp Service Level Manager makes storage management easy.

Adam Hawley

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