NetApp SnapCenter Review

Enables us to clone databases and create test environments quickly


What is our primary use case?

We are a NetApp partner. For our systems, we are using SnapCenter only for testing purposes. For customers, we started to install when it was SnapManager, quite some years ago. We have many installations with SnapManager and some installations with SnapCenter. We're at the stage of migrating from SnapManager to SnapCenter.

Our customers primarily use SnapCenter for SQL Server and VMware.

How has it helped my organization?

When we're talking about databases, it gives us a fast way to make clones and test environments.

What is most valuable?

Restoring and cloning are easy to do.

What needs improvement?

I'm waiting for SnapCenter for hybrid solutions. Right now, we only have SnapManager for hybrid. I need agents for that. People are looking to install SnapCenter in a SQL environment, but where they're running SQL on Hyper-V and using virtual files. Currently, we don't have support for hybrid. We can't do that.

People are also asking about SnapCenter for SharePoint. There was a SnapManager, but SnapManager is being brought to an end and now there is nothing for SharePoint. We don't have the ability to do snapshots for SharePoint.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Now, the stability is good. The first release was not very stable, but now it's okay.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I haven't had any issue with scalability. In our country and for our customers, it's okay. We haven't used it in the cloud yet. I think it's quite good.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good, but it just depends on how difficult the case is. 

I have problems with the documentation, for connecting new shelves to the old FAS models. The case is marked "resolved," but I haven't received the documentation.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We used SnapManager. We switched because SnapCenter provides centralized management. It's also a newer product and it supports new databases and operating systems.

How was the initial setup?

I think the initial setup is straightforward, but it depends on your skills. For us, it's straightforward.

The installation time depends on how many agents I need for the number of databases there are or how many systems. But in general, the initial configuration takes something like two hours.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also provide SnapVault and Veeam. I'm a NetApp specialist, I don't install these other products. We have another person who does.

What other advice do I have?

Our customers generally have one or two users using SnapCenter. They aren't very big companies which have a dedicated SQL or& Oracle or VMware administrator. Most of the users are DB admins and system administrators. For deployment and maintenance, two is a good number, so that there is some redundancy. But one person is enough to install it and maintain it.

I would rate SnapCenter at eight out of ten, because it doesn't have functionality for Hyper-V, etc. I need more agents and support for more systems.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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