I remember when I picked up my first new Lexus from the dealership. The salesman wouldn’t allow me to leave without spending 30 minutes going through the operation of the car—all the bells and whistles, the GPS, the sound system, the wheel lock, the Bluetooth operation, etc. Of course, being the techie I think I am, I stopped him dead in his tracks. “I’ll figure it all out, that’s half the fun,” I told him. Sure enough, within an hour or so, I’d mastered all the cool stuff that came with the car.

 

I would NOT recommend this approach when dealing with your NetApp storage platform.

 

That’s not to say that learning about all the amazing things the NetApp Data Fabric can do isn’t fun—it most certainly is. But we’re talking about solving business problems with technology here, not just futzing around with cool new toys. The technology NetApp brings to the table is extremely powerful, and I’ve read somewhere that “with great power comes great responsibility.”

 

There is simply so MUCH power available in NetApp’s platforms that without guidance, advice, and training, there’s a good chance you’ll miss some piece of information that would have allowed you to unlock the investment your organization made in NetApp technology.

 

Formal classroom and web training will only get you so far. While it will provide you with great context to ask the right questions, to arrive at the optimal configuration and process for your specific use cases, you’re going to need some informal or even crowdsourced knowledge.

 

Enter NetApp Insight: the place where you learn how to unlock the value of your NetApp investment.

 

Insight is the venue NetApp provides to show you everything they’ve got on every platform. You get to network with NetApp “technorati,” as well as NetApp’s customers and partners, all of whom are in the real world solving real data services challenges. You get to attend sessions that talk about the good AND the bad, and the caveats for using the great features of ONTAP and NetApp’s other platforms. NetApp admins and engineers leave Insight with a lot of personal action items, so that they can test specific things like cloning, automation, replication, SVM DR, FabricPool, and so many others. Glimpses of future direction are shared so that they can plan for even more new features and functionality.

 

Attendance at NetApp Insight should be considered the finishing touch on an investment in NetApp technology. You certainly don’t want to be that person fiddling with all the (virtual) switches and buttons to figure out how everything works.

Glenn Dekhayser

Glenn is a NetApp storage expert by day and an avid musician by night. He plays guitar and keyboards, and he sings in his two-man band, The Dumbwaitors.