Bye for now….

22Nov15

If you are a listener of the Tech ONTAP Podcast, this will come as no surprise to you, but Friday 11-20-2015 was my last day at NetApp and Monday I start my new position at VMware (more on that later).   Professionally speaking, without question this has been the most difficult decision I have ever had to make.  NetApp and VMware have long been my two favorite tech companies and so while having to choose from the two companies you love the most is pretty much a first world problem, it didn’t make it any easier.

pete2-close-colorFour years ago I joined NetApp with one goal; become part of the VMware team there that caught my attention as a customer with technical reports, videos etc.  Rock Stars like Chris Gebhardt, Peter Learmonth, Nick Howell, Jack Mcloeud, Vaughn Stewart and Julian Cates. They taught me why NetApp was so perfect for VMware environments, and that was something I wanted to be a part of.

While on the team I quickly became the Business Continuity Disaster Recovery guy and did my best to spread the gospel of VMware on NetApp through all mediums possible.  I created Technical Reports, blog posts, PowerPoint presentations, reference architectures, and videos, spoke at various industry events and even built labs for NetApp employees and partners to test and share with our customers.  In my mind, the goal of a Technical Marketing Engineer (TME) is to evangelize the good news of your products and solutions in every medium possible.

The NetApp Communities Podcast

IMG_0068At the same time, my peer Nick Howell @datacenterdude came up with a new medium to use that quickly caught my attention.  He decided NetApp needed a voice in the community and  stood up the NetApp Communities Podcast. I was an instant fan of this effort and as luck would have it, Nick graciously invited me to be the co-host of the podcast.  Nick and I poured our hearts and souls into this side project and had over 80 episodes with a weekly cadence.  We brought in the experts and asked the questions our listeners wanted to hear, and the feedback was absolutely overwhelming.

One of our frequent guests was a NetApp expert by the name of Glenn Sizemore @glnsize.  We had Glenn on to talk Microsoft, FlexPod, and just about anything having to do with technology. Glenn possesses a skill that not many have.  It’s a skill I have secretly coveted for quite some time.  He has the ability to discuss most topics at a deep technical level, and effortlessly transition to a business value proposition. If you are a TME or are considering being one, take note.  This is the true essence of the position.  Nick and I had such a great chemistry with Glenn that it just made sense to bring him on as third host, and the three of us went on to do great things.

End of an era

For reasons above my pay grade (and understanding) Nick was impacted and moved on to do great things at a company called Cohesity.  That left Glenn and I with a huge void. We learned that this grassroots effort we built a few years ago was now gone with Nick.  So Glenn and I decided to start from the ground up and make this effort something with a strong foundation that would be an officially backed part of NetApp technical marketing.  We fought the system.  There were some tense moments. For the first time, they started to see the value in what we were doing, and boy did they hear from the listeners when we disappeared for a few weeks. In the end, I have to say from the highest level down, NetApp decided that what we were doing was making a difference and they welcomed us into the family.

The Tech ONTAP Podcast

tech-ontap-insight-vegas (1).pngThe Tech ONTAP group at NetApp was our new home, so we dove in creating new music, new logo, and a new format.   We brought in a new voice, but an old friend, Andrew Sullivan @andrew_ntap (aka Sully the Monster) Sully much like Glenn has the ability to cover a wide range of topics at all levels.  And so the three of us hit the ground running and produced weekly shows and daily recaps at various trade shows.  The feedback again was overwhelming. We had to walk through a valley of sorts and figure out a way to keep the NetApp voice in the community  but in a way that aligned with the goals of NetApp.  It wasn’t easy, and there are so many people behind the scenes that pour countless hours into making this thing work, but all in all I have to say I consider the Tech ONTAP Podcast one of the bigger accomplishments of my time at NetApp.  Seriously, when we started this thing, if you told me that I would be interviewing people like Matt Watts, Val Bercovici, George Kurian, Cynthia Stoddard and NetApp founder Dave Hitz I would have said you were crazy. IMG_1933

The feedback has been unbelievably overwhelming.  NetApp employees, partners, and customers have shared countless stories of where they listen, how it helps enable them to either learn NetApp or shorten their sales cycle. To each and every person I spoke with about the podcast, thank you, thank you, thank you for all your kind words. You ARE the reason we do it.

A new face (made for radio)

IMG_1987

If you’re a Tech ONTAP Podcast listener, then the name Justin Parisi @nfsdudeabides should not be unfamiliar to you.  Justin is many things; smart, vocal, talented, hilarious and an all around great guy.  When I knew I might be leaving, Justin was the first person that came to mind as a replacement.  I won’t miss an episode, and have already requested to be a guest on any episodes that I can contribute to. Best of luck Justin!

A new horizon

As I mentioned earlier, my two favorite tech companies are NetApp and VMware.  While at NetApp I had the opportunity to work some great guys at VMware, and so when an opportunity over there arose I saw it as a great chance to bring my passion for NetApp to Palo Alto.  I’m really excited about the new gig and will share more in a future post.

Forever grateful

The amount of brilliant and talented people at NetApp that have influenced me are too great to name. NetApp is a company with a strong culture. The technology is absolutely amazing and I am so excited to see the Blue N continue to do great things.  Thanks to the EBC for allowing me to speak to our customers.  Thanks to Sam Moulton and the A-Team for being such amazing advocates. You guys are amazing. Thanks to the Tech ONTAP family for welcoming us into your family. Thanks to all the TMEs at NetApp that do the hard job of explaining technical topics in ways that all can understand and benefit from.  Thanks to my team for inspiring me to be the best I can be.  Being on a team filled with the sharpest minds in the industry has truly been an honor.

B-TAFhACAAAcP8KAnd last but not least, to all my foosball opponents (you know who you are) you have not seen the last of me.  I will return (when invited) to deliver the great wrath you have come to know and love.  In the words of the late great Eric the Actor…..”bye for now”


Tech ONTAP Podcast

Tech ONTAP Podcast

Thousands of NetApp enthusiasts (employees, partners and customers) are Vegas bound, ready to teach, learn, network, socialize, make memories, and who knows maybe even make history!   NetApp Insight is in the Mandalay Bay from October 12-15, offering more than 300 technical sessions to choose from, self-paced Hands-On Labs, and free NetApp Certification exams.  GRAMMY-winning Train will be performing at our attendee appreciation event.  And if all of that isn’t enough to come, the Tech ONTAP Podcast will be there capturing every moment.  (and sharing the ones we can) 🙂

The Tech ONTAP studio is all packed up and ready for Insight 2015.  Glenn, Sully and I are gearing up for what is going to be four jam packeIMG_0976d days of speaking sessions, customer meetings, live interviews, daily recap podcasts, and we may even try to squeeze in a little fun.  All Tech ONTAP Podcasts are available at techontappodcast.com

I wanted to share our schedules with you in hopes that you will find time to track us down and chat with us.

Monday:

Breakout Sessions:

  • 11:00 AM  2001 – Continuous Availability with vSphere® 6 on MetroCluster™ 8.3 – Pete Flecha
  • 11:00 AM 2290 – What are Containers and Why Do You Care? – Andrew Sullivan
  • 1:30 PM 1871 – Designing a VMware® and NetApp® Private Cloud – Andrew Sullivan
  • 2:45 PM 2195 – Architecting FlexPod® with Microsoft® Private Cloud (Hyper-V) – Glenn Sizemore

Tech ONTAP Live Booth:

When we are not presenting, the Tech ONTAP podcast crew will be in the main expo (Insight Central).  Our booth is titled

“Tech ONTAP Live – Media Hub”

Throughout the day either 1,2, or all three of us will be interviewing various attendees (Employees, Partners and Customers).  be sure to swing by and say hi.

Tuesday:

Breakout Sessions:

  • 9:00 AM 2004 – NetApp® Best Practices for vSphere®–Leveraging Plug-ins – Pete Flecha
  • 9:00 AM 2039 – Microsoft® Hyper-V™ vs VMware® vSphere – Glenn and Andrew
  • 10:30 AM  2195 – Architecting FlexPod® with Microsoft® Private Cloud (Hyper-V) – Glenn Sizemore
  • 10:30 AM  2290 – What are Containers and Why Do You Care? – Andrew Sullivan
  • 2:15 PM – 2039 – Microsoft® Hyper-V™ vs VMware® vSphere – Glenn and Andrew

Tech ONTAP Live – Media Hub – Live interviews

  • 10:00 AM Lockheed Martin moderated by Andrew Sullivan
  • 11:30 AM  Baylor College of Medicine and Dave Hitz moderated by Pete Flecha
  • 1:00 PM Val Bercovici moderated by Glenn and Andrew
  • 5:00 PM Tech ONTAP Podcast daily recap show

Wednesday:

Breakout Sessions:

  • 10:30 AM 1998 – NetApp Best Practices for vSphere   – Leveraging Plug-ins Pete Flecha
  • 1:30 PM  1871 – Designing a VMware® and NetApp® Private Cloud – Andrew Sullivan
  • 2:15 PM 2001 – High Availability and DR Options for VMware® and NetApp® Customers – Pete Flecha

Tech ONTAP Live – Media Hub – Live interviews

  • 11:30 AM George Kurian – Podcast interview Pete, Glenn, Andrew
  • 1:00 PM NetApp A-Team and Kelly Hemphill moderated by Glenn Sizemore
  • 5:00 PM Tech ONTAP Podcast daily recap show

Thursday:

Breakout Sessions:

  • 9:00 AM 2001 – Continuous Availability with vSphere® 6 on MetroCluster™ 8.3 – Pete Flecha
  • 9:00 AM 2195 – Architecting FlexPod® with Microsoft® Private Cloud (Hyper-V) – Glenn Sizemore
  • 9:00 AM 2290 – What are Containers and Why Do You Care? – Andrew Sullivan
  • 1:00 PM 2004 – NetApp® Best Practices for vSphere®–Leveraging Plug-ins – Pete Flecha

Tech ONTAP Live – Media Hub – Live interviews

  • 10:00 AM Lee Caswell Moderated by Glenn and Andrew
  • 11:30 AM Denver Broncos, Cynthia Stoddard, and Val Bercovici – moderated by Pete, Glenn and Andrew
  • 5:00 PM Tech ONTAP Podcast daily recap show

I’m excited to present the first episode of the Tech ONTAP Podcast, hosted by Glenn Sizemore, Andrew Sullivan, and myself, Pete Flecha. If those names sound familiar, you may know us from our former podcast, the NetApp Communities Podcast. Although the name has changed, our mission is still the same: each week we will discuss industry news, all-things NetApp, and have a lot of fun.  We also have frequent interviews with subject-matter experts across the industry, and all the NetApp business units, to give storage insights, deep dives, and maybe a great story or two from fighting on the front lines of IT.

Subscribe on iTunes

For our inaugural episode, we are be joined by Jay Goldfinch, Technical Marketing Engineer for Data ONTAP. Jay will be walking us through the payload of Clustered Data ONTAP 8.3.1. For more details on Clustered Data ONTAP 8.3., visit the NetApp Support site to check out the release notes and documentation!

Jay Goldfinch

Looking to meet the Tech ONTAP Podcast team in-person?  We will be at Insight-US, Insight-EMEA, and VMworld-US.

Have You Registered for VMworld?

Register for VMworld today and visit the team on the show floor at booth number 1005. While at VMworld, don’t forget to attend these great NetApp sessions:

    • Mission Possible: Delivering IT continuity in the hybrid cloud era (STO6466-SPO)
    • NetApp Integrated VMware EVO:RAIL Solution Deep Dive (SDDC6595-SPO)
    • The Value of Speed: NetApp All Flash FAS (STO6567-SPO)
    • Virtual Volumes on NetApp – Ready For Prime Time! (STO5721)
    • Virtual Volumes Technical Panel (STO5522)
    • How the Denver Broncos Win With Advanced Technology OPT6693-SPO

NetApp Insight is Less Than 90 Days Away!

Have you registered for NetApp Insight yet? With over 300 technical breakout sessions to choose from, as well as Hands-On labs and onsite NetApp Certification Exams, Insight is one event you won’t want to miss. And if that isn’t enough, you can come and hang out with Glenn, Sully and me.

Each week, the Tech OnTap Podcast discusses all-things NetApp, interviews subject-matter experts, and provides insights into the storage industry. Follow the hosts on Twitter: Pete Flecha (@vPedroArrow), Glenn Sizemore (@glnsize), and Andrew Sullivan (@andrew_NTAP). Subscribe to the podcast on SoundCloud, iTunes or sign-up to receive the Tech OnTap newsletter.


Mark Kulacz @markkulacz brilliantly dissects the Gartner 2015 Magic Quadrant for Solid State Storage Arrays.

46and2bits

Intro

NetApp was not placed high in Gartner’s 2015 Magic Quadrant for Solid-state Storage Arrays. Your’s truly did some research to see if this was warranted or not. The result is this article.

This article reviews the 2015 Gartner Magic Quadrant for SSAs (Solid-state Storage Arrays), and notable changes to the ratings of key vendors in this market. There is a critical look to see if NetApp experienced improved results since 2014, and why (or why not). It concludes with a description of additional concerns that 46and2bits.com has with the Magic Quadrant for SSAs (concerns that are not specific to NetApp).

  • Note to the reader: The author of this article is a Competitive Analyst at NetApp. Statements and opinions made do not reflect those of NetApp Corp.

Background

What is the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Solid-state Storage Arrays?

According to Wikipedia.org, Gartner (founded in 1979) “is an American…

View original post 2,566 more words


Most of the questions I receive regarding the NetApp SRA are in some way related to the discovery of devices.  In SRA 2.1 for clustered Data ONTAP, there are many different configurations a user could have for their protected/recovery site export policies. This post aims to explain expected behavior for some of the more advanced configurations.

Alternative Export Policy Names
By default, clustered Data ONTAP includes an export policy named ‘default’. In some cases, users may want to use an alternative policy or a policy with a different name. While this is supported in SRA for the purposes of detecting exports on the production side, the user might encounter behavior different from what they expect in regards to usage of recovery site export policies and rules.

Here is an example of a perfectly acceptable alternative export policy name on your protected site, which SRA will detect and use for the purposes of discovery:

On your recovery site, you can choose to use only a single export policy called Conforming_Single_IP_Policy, which is set on both your root namespace as well as another datastore used for production VMs.

Here is an example of what the Conforming_Single_IP_Policy policy looks like on the recovery site.

After a recovery operation or test failover has completed, a few modifications should be noted on your recovery site. Firstly, the volumes that come online will ONLY be exported with the default policy (there is no way to select an alternative policy name in SRA):

Next, it can be seen that the default policy has been modified to include the VMKernel IP address of the recovery ESX host:

This is an important consideration, because if the existing ‘default’ export policy had existing rules, a new rule with IP 192.168.0.52 would have been ADDED to the end of the list (as we see is the result in the Export Policies with Subnets section). This could cause other volumes using this export to become inappropriately configured by virtue of increased unintended access to them. As a rule, you should NOT use the default policy for anything other than access to the root namespace when SRA is managing the recovery operations.

Export Policies with Subnets
SRA for Clustered Data ONTAP supports the detection of export policies on the protected site, which involves the use of subnets instead of individual IP addresses. The configuration on the protected site may look like this:

On the recovery site however, SRA will ignore existing rules involving subnets. Instead, SRA will modify the export to include each individual IP address that SRM classifies as an ‘access group’. Below is an expected export policy modification from the perspective of the recovery site, where a single ESX recovery host exists with VMKernel IP 192.168.0.52. It is important to note, during a recovery operation to your DR site and then another recovery back to your production site, you should expect to see the production site export policies modified to reflect each individual IP, regardless of whether it has a subnet rule:

Root Export Policy Modification on the Recovery Site
SRA for clustered Data ONTAP supports the use of different export polices at both the root namespace and sub-namespace level on both protected and recovery sites. For recovery site purposes, it is important to recognize that BOTH the root namespace policy and the policy assigned to the volume to be mounted will be modified, to include the IP addresses of each individual VMKernel port on the ESX hosts that are part of the SRM Access List.

Here, we can see a configuration where a single export policy named ‘Conforming_Subnet_Policy’ for both the root namespace and the sub-namespace is used on the recovery site.

The recovery site’s export policy ‘Conforming_Subnet_Policy’ shows the rule that includes the entire 192.168.0.0/24 subnet with full access, and the default export policy is empty:

Once a test failover or recovery is triggered, the volume will come online at the recovery site with the default export policy:

Take special note of what happened to the export polices on the recovery site; notice that the default policy has been modified to include the VMKernel IP address of our recovery ESX host, but that the export policy assigned to the root namespace was also modified to include the same. This is because SRA does not honor subnet exports on recovery; however, it will use them for the purpose of recovery on the protected site. It is therefore recommended that the default policy be used for the root namespace, to avoid the unintentional modification of an export policy used by other sub-namespaces:

Again these are advanced export policy configurations.  For most environments the default export policy should work fine.  Many thanks to Donald Patterson for putting together this collection of alternate configurations.


For those of you who attended my Insight sessions, as promised, the 5.0P1 patch releases for VSC and VASA Provider for clustered Data ONTAP are now available.  This patch fixes a number of issues found in VSC 5.0. (release notes)

To download, go to the NetApp Support Site Software Download page:

  1. From the Software Download page, scroll to the last row in the Product list: “To access a specific… .”
  2. From the <Select Software> drop-down list, choose Virtual Storage Console (VMware vSphere).
  3. Enter 5.0P1 in the version box and click “Go.”

Virtual Storage Console for VMware vSphere software is a single vCenter Server plug-in that enables you to manage complete virtual machine end-to-end lifecycles in VMware environments using NetApp storage systems.
VSC integrates smoothly with the VMware vSphere Web Client and enables you to use single sign- on (SSO) services. In addition, the VSC Summary page enables you to quickly check the overall status of your vSphere environment.
By running VSC, you can perform tasks such as the following:

  • Manage storage and configure the ESX host
  • Create storage capability profiles and set alarms
  • Provision datastores and clone virtual machines
  • Perform online alignments and migrate virtual machines individually and in groups into new or existing datastores
  • Back up and restore virtual machines and datastores

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!

A-Team

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!

davehitz

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