At NetApp, we strive to continually improve data protection and simplify data management. To enhance data backup reporting, the NetApp® SnapCenter® 4.2 dashboard has a fresh new look. Apart from an intuitive and comprehensive UI and data accuracy, the new dashboard offers a lot of value that IT generalists and backup administrators can use for day-to-day reporting.
Before I go into further information, here are some features that most IT generalists expect from a backup product dashboard:
- A quick glance at the overall status of data protection
- An easy way to check which areas need immediate attention, such as any job failures or system alerts
- Trends for NetApp Snapshot™ space usage over a period and estimated space savings by using NetApp SnapCenter and its features
- A clear view of how many jobs are still running in an environment
- Feasible drill-down options from the dashboard to other UI elements
- For customers who use NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP® or ONTAP Select, a brief summary of trends for costs
To meet these customer requirements, and to keep previous content available, NetApp added new widgets to SnapCenter 4.2. In this blog post, I will go over all the new widgets that SnapCenter offers and how they make your life easier as an IT generalist or a backup administrator. You can see the widgets that I will discuss in the screenshot of the new dashboard.
This widget helps you understand the current space usage on your overall primary and secondary controllers, which helps you plan your storage requirements for the future.
You get two pieces of information from the Storage widget:
- First, a line graph depicts the usage of primary and secondary snapshots for past 3 months. The Secondary Snapshots usage is a summation of NetApp SnapMirror® and SnapVault® information.
- Second is a bar chart, which compares storage usage and savings. The storage space that primary snapshots consume is compared with the storage savings by using NetApp Snapshot™ technology and with the space savings by using clones to create copies of databases.
To gather this information, SnapCenter makes NetApp Manageability SDK calls to ONTAP and uses an internal algorithm to fetch details about the estimated storage savings.
Recent Job Activities Widget
If you’re a SnapCenter user, you are familiar with the top five activities that are listed under the Resources tab at the bottom of the former dashboard. The new dashboard gives you similar functionality, but it’s not restricted per application plug-in. It also gives you a quick glance at the top seven activities, their status, and the time since the job was completed. You can also save time by browsing through the Monitor tab to check for any failed jobs.
NetApp added this new feature and this new widget in SnapCenter 4.2, which uses a configuration checker tool. By using SnapCenter, you can scan across your servers and detect any basic anomalies in the plug-in host. Some of the common scans that you perform with the configuration checker are space utilization, plug-in service status, and application version compatibility with SnapCenter.
You should configure your system alerts to run regularly. So that you can easily see urgent alerts, the new Alerts widget displays the top critical and warning messages. Currently, SnapCenter performs only basic checks, but alert performance will be enhanced in future releases.
Other Useful Widgets
The other widgets, such as Jobs, which shows the job completion ratio, and Latest Protection Summary, which shows a Primary and Secondary backup (SnapMirror and SnapVault) summary, are self-explanatory.