Quick question: What is the most valuable commodity in the universe? Gold, Bitcoin, spinning storage disks? Nutella? Nope. It is time. Sorry for the trick question, but the point is in fact simple. In our busy lives, especially in our hectic workdays, we know that time is scarce. We all wish we could have more of it. But we can’t—it is finite, and we can’t just order more (there is no Amazon Dash Button for it). So, the next best thing is to buy things, or do things, that help conserve this precious resource. One thing you can do to save time is to use one of the new tools that the fine folks at NetApp have created: Interop Advisor.


Don’t worry—Interop Advisor does more than just give advice; it actually does much of the work for you. Interop Advisor (IA) needs to be paired with another NetApp® star tool, OneCollect, to make the magic happen. IA uses your saved OC file to automatically figure out which product components you have in your environment, bounce them against the Interoperability Matrix Tool (IMT) database, and give you a report about the compatibility of these items based on what NetApp officially supports. How cool is that?


The current version of the tool focuses on FAS SAN Host elements, which means you can make sure your host-side products are compatible with a given version of NetApp ONTAP® data management software. It considers host OS, protocol, host bus adapters, Host Utilities, and host file system. You’ll save time, because you won’t have to look up each dataset separately in IMT to verify compliance.


Since this tool was developed as a microservice, it can be integrated into workflows wherever it is needed. That means you will see it around town, so to speak, in more than one place. One way you can get to this tool is through the NetApp Active IQ® portal. Select Interop Advisor from the left menu; it appears as long as you have already selected a particular system ID or serial number. However, one of the most common uses of Interop Advisor occurs in an ONTAP upgrade. In this scenario, you first select Upgrade Advisor (it’s the squiggly up arrow), and then in the upper-right corner of that screen, you will see the Interop Advisor Beta button. Yes, it is a beta—I said it was new, right?


After you click the button, you advance to the IA main screen, where you can either search for an OneCollect AutoSupport data (by serial number, cluster ID, or OneCollect job ID) or upload an OneCollect file from local sources. Once you do that, the magic begins!


The tool guides you through the five steps as it does the heavy lifting, and you provide some input along the way. Then the tool creates a report that highlights which component sets are compatible and which ones are not. It also gives suggestions on how to remediate any compatibility issues. I will cover the steps in this process in more detail in my next blog post. In the meantime, go check it out, either directly or through the Active IQ app.

Cory Cataldo

Cory Cataldo is a product manager at NetApp, where he has worked on various tools for the past 10 years. His passion is to guide his teams to create tools that save NetApp customers time, money, and energy. He works out of Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. When he is not working on the next big NetApp feature, Cory spends time waterskiing, wakeboarding, and surfing with his boat crew. Catch him on Twitter @NetApp_Rocks.

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