NetApp SnapCenter Review

Integration with VMware Snapshot makes it easy to use

What is our primary use case?

It's for storage. We sell a call center and voicemail solution and we store the recordings there. We also store the configuration file there. We use it for redundancy. We are using an HA proxy for redundancy so if one fails we can use another node.

How has it helped my organization?

We have new software releases every month, or every week, and we can implement them directly on our system without worrying about the backup because we have SnapCenter. We can just roll back if there are any issues with the new software.

It helps with workflow because we used to need to create a Snapshot every time we wanted to upgrade things in vCenter but we don't need to do that because we have SnapCenter. It cuts down the time compared to what we previously needed to do.

What is most valuable?

It's very helpful because SnapCenter is already integrated with VMware Snapshot, so it's very easy to use.

What needs improvement?

I have an issue with SnapCenter because sometimes a VM cannot be backed up. All the other VMs have already been backed up, but this one particular VM is not being backed up because it has errors. It's causing a problem in the whole thing because after the next round of backups, not all the backups are removed. It's because we have an error on a particular VM where it could not create a Snapshot. That is really annoying because we need to check for that issue every week.

The way SnapCenter works is that it makes a backup of all the VMs and then it removes all the old backups. If one VM cannot be backed up for some reason, it has already created a new backup for all the VMs but it cannot remove the old backups. It ends up creating so many backups in VMware and it will cause a performance problem if the condition is not fixed.

It's really a huge issue. When one VM causes this problem it's too much. It could just skip that one VM and do the remove for the rest of the VMs. That's how it needs to work.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable. We don't have any issues with SnapCenter.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

SnapCenter has no issues with scalability. We have plans to increase usage in the future. When we add new customers, that will increase our usage of SnapCenter.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good. They are responsive and really helpful. If I want, I can contact them directly.

How was the initial setup?

The deployment took about a week. I had some issues and I needed to contact NetApp support.

The setup was complex. When you deploy SnapCenter it requires integration with vCenter which is a firmware thing and it doesn't always work the first time. I had an issue that I thought was coming from SnapCenter but it was coming from VMware. NetApp needs to create documentation on the firmware setup.

Our implementation strategy was just to follow the recommendations and, if there were any issues, to ask the NetApp support agents. They were very helpful in finding the issue.

The integration required just one person, me. We have five people supporting it, from our engineering team.

What was our ROI?

If we were to lose that data it would mean we would lose customers.

What other advice do I have?

Just try it.

I would rate SnapCenter at eight out of ten because it needs some improvement, as I outlined above.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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