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NetApp goes a bundle with OnCommand

Storage management upgrade for the cloud

Remote control for virtualized desktops

NetApp aims to be a best-of-breed supplier of storage to cloud computing stacks. As such, it wants its arrays to be easy to use and manageable at the storage admin and cloud orchestration layer levels.

The company is doing by extending and integrating various management software apps under the OnCommand brand and providing API-level integration facilities for cloud orchestration products.

OnCommand provides a cloud storage service catalogue, facilities to analyse cloud storage delivery, automated data and virtual machine (VM) movement, and user self-service.

The catalogue lists storage functions such as thin provisioning, de-duplication, high-availability, protection and disaster recovery, and these operate on data in allocated storage from a central virtual pool.

There are two top-level OnCommand pieces; management and integration. Management is divided three ways into control, automation and analytics.

  • Control breaks down into System Manager and My AutoSupport.
  • Automation comprises a unified manager and SnapManager software
  • Analytics comprises Insight Assure, Insight Platform, Insight Plan and Insight Balance.

The automation feature means VMs and data can be moved and their storage policies move with them. Self-service portals let users request storage services using service definitions set by the storage admin.

Service analytics provides capacity planning data, service delivery metrics and performance optimisation. The Insight Balance offering is based on NetApp's February Akorri acquisition in February, which bought in the BalancePoint products.

The other Insight products come from SANscreen products, which NetApp obtained when it bought Onaro in 2008.

The integration part of OnCommand divides into access and development pieces. Access comprises a plug-in for VMWare vSphere and another for Microsoft Hyper-V. The development piece is an SDK.

NetApp partner story

NetApp cloud management partners include BMC Software, CA Technologies, Tivoli and others. These organisations can offer full IT stack integration to their customers using the NetApp FAS arrays and the OnCommand software suite.

NetApp has extended its IT stack infrastructure partner list to include SAP applications and Citrix XenDesktop. It's also now in Microsoft's Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track with Cisco. The partners define pre-sized and validated data centre infrastructure stacks comprising server, storage and network components.

Customers can buy all of OnCommand or pieces of the bundle. Availability and pricing are not revealed. Find out more here (pdf). ®

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