NetApp OnCommand Insight Review

Reporting functionality enables us to look at our heterogeneous infrastructure and troubleshoot

What is most valuable?

It is the reporting functionality. We haven't gone to the extent where we are using the anomaly detection, but from a reporting perspective and single-pane-of-glass perspective, to look at our heterogeneous infrastructure, it is doing a great job.

How has it helped my organization?

Right now, it's our single pane of glass to monitor our entire infrastructure. It is the first point of troubleshooting where we go to see any anomaly, or for troubleshooting any performance issue. It's doing a good job so far. We're happy.

With a single pane of glass to look at, regarding any outage or any disconnect or regarding any TDP issues in our vSphere environment, we can go back and look at the data warehouse and see any changes in the infrastructure; like a port going offline or a port flapping. That's something that we haven't had the flexibility to do before, so that's the number one addition to our infrastructure.

What needs improvement?

It's the interop matrix. And if there was a chance to orchestrate on a heterogeneous structure using OCI, that would be a great start; or at least a plugin to each one of them, that would be a great start too.

Also, right now we don't have any management functionality using OCI. It's all about monitoring.

We have floor automation but I don't think we can include heterogeneous components into that. If there was a solution or plugin on OCI which could give us that functionality, where we could manage heterogeneous data sources, that would be great.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We had some issues when we upgraded OCI. Right now we are having an issue where the reporting functionality is looking at the numbers of other vendors in a different perspective, and we are having some issues with interpreting them. So our usable, on-the-storage array is different from what OCI is reporting to us.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are an 18 to 20 petabyte environment. So far we haven't hit any issues where scalability was a issue.

We grew from 14 petabytes to 20 petabytes as of now. Maybe it's because of our relation with NetApp, we haven't had an issue with that so far.

How is customer service and technical support?

We're happy so far. Whenever we are dealing with NetApp products, we have really good success. But when we are talking about other vendors like ENT or UCS - even now, UCS isn't supported on the interop matrix. That would be something which would look forward to be because we are a highly converged infrastructure. We have like 60 to 70% of our infrastructure on UCS so we thought that it being complaint in our OCI data sources - we're kind of missing a major chunk of our infrastructure.

What other advice do I have?

When selecting a vendor to work with, the most important criteria for us are support and its foothold in the market. If you're talking about storage arrays, it's the federation and the high availability components. Recently we had some mishaps where we had outages. So, high availability of the array is a big decision-maker for us.

I gave it a six out of 10, not because the company is doing anything bad but taking simplicity into consideration, it's not simple. OCI works such that you get out of it what you invest in it. So if you know what to make out of OCI, you can get really good reports and really good insight into your infrastructure. But it's not that simple. It needs to be simple, more intuitive.

We have had great success with OCI from the reporting perspective, but when it comes to other heterogeneous data sources, there might be some disconnects. So we need to look at both OCI and the vendor-specific tools to get the actual numbers and get some understanding of it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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