Insight US 2014 Recap

LasVegasComing off of my 3rd consecutive NetApp Insight I have to say NetApp Insight 2014 set the bar extremely high.  Maybe it’s because I was newer to NetApp, but previous years paled in comparison. I’m not sure if it was the timely announcements of NetApp Cloud ONTAP, clustered Data ONTAP 8.3, the acquisition of Riverbed’s SteelStore product, or the inclusion of our customers for the first time, but this year was very different. Never before have I felt so excited to be part of a winning team like NetApp.

NetApp Cloud ONTAP was announced last week at Insight US as a simple solution to control public cloud storage resources with NetApp Data ONTAP. This is a software-only storage appliance that allows you to provision and manage storage on Amazon Web Services. Having the same storage operating system in the cloud as you do on-premises brings you the true value of a hybrid cloud environment without having to train your IT staff new methods to manage your storage.

The first version of Cloud ONTAP is deployed and managed from OnCommand Cloud Manager as a virtual machine on Amazon EC2 compute instances managing Amazon EBS storage, allowing customers to build a virtual storage solution directly on Amazon resources.  It allows you to provision both NAS and SAN storage for your application environment with CIFS, NFS, and iSCSI support. Using Cloud ONTAP you get the same performance and storage efficiency you know and love with Data ONTAP (i.e. zero-impact Snapshot copies, Deduplication and data compression) as well as storage replication SnapMirror® technology, which brings your hybrid cloud together by tying your on-premises FAS storage to your Cloud ONTAP environment.

There are also multiple consumption models that range from the smaller Pay-as-You-Go solution at 2TB to the larger Subscription model of up to 50TB.

Clustered Data ONTAP 8.3 was also announced last week with several new features.

  • MetroCluster: Transparent fail-over protection and zero data loss. Synchronous replication and local HA.
  • SnapMirror and SnapVault enhancements: Shorter backup windows and higher speed granular restores.
  • Automated Nondisruptive Upgrade (NDU): Cuts manual steps to upgrading clustered Data ONTAP from 35 to 3 steps.
  • SMTape: Simplifies and speeds backups to tape.

There were tons of sessions covering the various features of 8.3 at Insight.  If you are coming to Insight Berlin in two weeks check the bottom of this post for session recommendations.  if you are unable to attend and are interested in clustered Data ONTAP 8.3 check out TR-4053

The NetApp Private Storage solutions team launched it’s latest solution at Insight called NetApp Private Storage for SoftLayer solution.  This is a hybrid cloud architecture that allows enterprises to build an agile cloud infrastructure that combines the scalability and flexibility of the SoftLayer Direct Link service with the control and performance of NetApp enterprise storage. NetApp storage is deployed at a colocation facility where the SoftLayer Direct Link service is available, and the NetApp storage is connected to SoftLayer computing resources through the SoftLayer Direct Link service.

Having Customers attend Insight was awesome.  It hit me on the very first session I presented.  Just before the session started, I looked up and noticed a sea of light blue badges (Indicating customers).  At that moment it got real for me. We finally get to host our customers at our show.  For years it bothered me to have to attend partner events (i.e. VMworld, TechEd, Cisco Live, Oracle OpenWorld etc.) to see our customers. Of course I love attending those events, but having customers in NetApp specific sessions and offering our Labs to customers was huge.  I had some really great conversations with several customers and I even teamed up with one in Foosball and ran the tables at the NetApp party. I can’t wait to do the same in Insight EMEA in two weeks.

Together We Can was the theme for the General Sessions. On day two of Insight I was in the Speaker Resource Center preparing for my session and they were live streaming the General Session.  I was trying to focus on my task at hand, but NetApp CEO Tom Georgens was delivering the most compelling discussion on how together we can embrace Hybrid Cloud and together we can create competitive advantage for our customers.  WOW.  If you are a NetApp employee, partner or customer and missed this keynote, stop what you are doing and make a point to watch it.  As the day went on I noticed several of my session attendees had these Lego blocks.  Later when entering the expo I saw an enormous NetApp “N” that was built by the individual Lego blocks belonging to employees, partners and customers. Brilliant visual to support the theme of Insight this week. Together We Can!

The NetApp Communities Podcast
Pete, Nick and Glenn

It was great to bring the NetApp Communities Podcast back on the road. Nick, Glenn and I recorded daily wrap-ups while at Insight US and will be doing the same in Berlin.  The boys and I were really stoked to meet so many listeners of the podcast.  Thanks for the positive feedback!  Be sure to listen to the next episode of the NetApp Communities Podcast as we bring in Kevin Hill to learn more about NetApp Cloud ONTAP.

I also got to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones.  I finally got to chase down the NetApp A-Team.  These guys and gals were on fire this week with Twitter chats and interviews with Forbes NetApp Voice crew. It was great chatting with Adam Bergh, Jesse AndersonvMiss, Michael Cade and crew. You guys rock!

The A-Team

Insight EMEA in Berlin is just around the corner.  Our technical team is locked and loaded and ready to make an even better presentation of NetApp content to our attendees. If you are attending, be sure to take a look at the Session Catalog.  below you will find a few of my recommendations.

I will be presenting the following sessions:

  • VI-2-2201 NetApp Best Practices for vSphere Part 4: Integrations—Leveraging Plug-Ins, VAAI, and VASA
  • VI-3-2263 Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery—Choosing the Best Option to Protect Your Business
    • This will be co-presented with VMware Sr Technical Marketing Engineer Ken Werneburg @vmken 
  • VI-2-1892-TT – Site Recovery Manager on Clustered Data ONTAP
    • This will be co-presented with VMware Sr Technical Marketing Engineer Ken Werneburg @vmken 

Some other really great sessions to catch are:

  • VI-2-2024 VDI Design, Architecture, and Best Practices for Citrix and VMware
  • VI-2-2109 VMware Storage Management Tools from NetApp: What They Are and Why You Need Them
  • VI-2-2076 Test/Dev Automation Using the NetApp Powershell Toolkit and VMware PowerCLI
  • VI-2-2243 NetApp Best Practices for vSphere Part 1: VMware on Clustered Data ONTAP
  • VI-2-2202 NetApp Best Practices for vSphere Part 2: Sizing and Performance
  • VI-3-2236 NetApp Best Practices for vSphere Part 3b: Avoiding the Seven Deadly Sins of VMware
    Storage Networking, Part 2, Advanced
  • PL-3-2188 FlexArray Virtualization Best Practices for E-Series
  • PL-1-1923 Introduction to NetApp StorageGRID
  • VI-2-2178 Understanding and Designing the Software-Defined Data Center with NetApp and VMware
  • DP-2-1780 Introduction to MetroCluster

And lastly, I may or may not have hugged one of the founders of NetApp and took a selfie, so scratch that off the bucket list. 🙂

Hope to see you in Berlin,

Bye for now… or Auf Wiedersehen!

I don’t always take selfies, but when I do it’s with NetApp founder Dave Hitz

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s