Christian GruetznerService Architecture at All for One Group AG
Rodney BarnhardtServer\Storage Administrator at Charlotte Pipe and Foundry
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"The FlexClones make all the management easier for us."
"NetApp's XCP Migration Tool... was pretty awesome. It replicated the data faster than any other tool that I've seen. That was a big help."
"NetApp's Cloud Manager automation capabilities are very good because it's REST-API-driven, so we can completely automate everything. It has a good overview if you want to just have a look into your environment as well."
"Another feature which gets a lot of attention in our environment is the File Services Solutions in the cloud, because it's a completely, fully-managed service. We don't have to take care of any updates, upgrades, or configurations."
"Unified Manager, System Manager, and Cloud Manager are all GUI-based. It's easy for somebody who has not been exposed to this for years to pick it up and work with it."
"We use the mirroring to mirror our volumes to our DR location. We also create snapshots for backups. Snapshots will create a specified snapshot to be able to do a DR test without disrupting our standard mirrors. That means we can create a point-in-time snapshot, then use the ability of FlexClones to make a writeable volume to test with, and then blow it away after the DR test."
"We're using snapshots as well and it's a pretty useful feature. That is one of the main NetApp benefits. Knowing how to use snapshots in the on-prem environment, using snapshots on the cloud solution was natural for us."
"The solution’s Snapshot copies and thin clones in terms of operational recovery are good. Snapshot copies are pretty much the write-in time data backups. Obviously, critical data is snapshotted a lot more frequently, and even clients and end users find it easier to restore whatever they need if it's file-based, statical, etc."
"I only deal with the infrastructure side, so I really couldn't speak to more than load balancing as the most valuable feature for me. It provides specific actions that prevent resource starvation. It always keeps things in perfect balance."
"It also brings up a list of machines and if something is under-provisioned and needs more compute power it will tell you, 'This server needs more compute power, and we suggest you raise it up to this level.' It will even automatically do it for you. In Azure, you don't have to actually go into the cloud provider to resize. You can just say, 'Apply these resizes,' and Turbonomic uses some back-end APIs to make the changes for you."
"The automated memory balancing, where it looks at whether it's being used in the most efficient way and adds or takes away memory, is the best part. If it didn't do that, it would be something that I would have to do. We have too many machines for one person to do that. The automation helps me in that it is done in a really efficient way and a balanced way because of the policies. It really helps."
"It has automated a lot of things. We have saved 30 to 35 percent in human resource time and cost, which is pretty substantial. We don't have a big workforce here, so we have to use all the automation we can get."
"The proactive monitoring of all our open enrollment applications has improved our organization. We have used it to size applications that we are moving to the cloud. Therefore, when we move them out there, we have them appropriately sized. We use it for reporting to current application owners, showing them where they are wasting money. There are easy things to find for an application, e.g., they decommissioned the server, but they never took care of the storage. Without a tool like this, that storage would just sit there forever, with us getting billed for it."
"Turbonomic has helped optimize cloud operations and reduced our cloud costs significantly. Overall, we are at about 40 percent savings, and we spend about three million a year just in Azure. It reduces the size of the VMs, putting them into the right template for usage. People don't realize that you don't have to future-proof a virtual machine in Azure. You just need to build it for today. As the business or service grows, you can scale up or out. About 90 percent of all the costs that we've reduced has been from sizing machines appropriately."
"We have a system where our developers automate machine builds, and that is constantly running out of resources. Turbonomic helps us with that, so I don't have to keep buying hardware. The developers always say, "They don't have enough. They don't have enough. They don't have enough," when they just configured it improperly. Therefore, Turbonomic helps us identify configuration issues on their side so it doesn't cost me money on the other end to buy resources that I don't really need."
"In our organization, optimizing application performance is a continuous process that is beyond human scale. We would not be able to do the number of actions that Turbonomic takes on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. It is humanly impossible with the little micro adjustments that it can make. That is a huge differentiator. If you just figure each action could take anywhere very conservatively from five to 10 minutes to act upon, then you multiply that out by thousands of actions every month, it is easily something where you could say, "I am saving a couple of FTEs.""
"The only issue we had lately was that outside our VPC we could not reach the virtual IP, the floating IP. I heard that they have fixed that..."
"Scale-up and scale-out could be improved. It would be interesting to have multiple HA pairs on one cluster, for example, or to increase the single instances more, from a performance perspective. It would be good to get more performance out of a single HA pair."
"One difficulty is that it has no SAP HANA certification. The asset performance restrictions create challenges with the infrastructure underneath: The disks and stuff like that often have lower latencies than SAP HANA itself has to have."
"Some of the licensing is a little kludgy. We just created an HA environment in Azure and their licensing for SVMs per node is a little kludgy. They're working on it right now."
"The DR has room for improvement. For example, we now have NetApp in Western Europe and we would like to back up the information to another region. It's impossible. We need to bring up an additional NetApp in that other region and create a Cloud Manager automation to copy the data... I would prefer it to be a more integrated solution like it was in the NetApp solution about a year ago. I would like to see something like AltaVault but in the cloud."
"How it handles erasure coding. I feel it the improvement should be there. Basically, it should be seamless. You don't want to have an underlying hardware issue or something, then suddenly there's no reads or writes. Luckily, it's at a replication site, so our main production site is still working and writing to it. But, the replication site has stopped right now while we try to bring that node back. Since we implemented in bare-metal, not in appliance, we had to go back to the original vendor. They didn't send it in time, and we had a hardware memory issue. Then, we had a hard disk issue, which brought the node down physically."
"We have used technical support. As long as they don't call me at four o'clock in the morning to tell me that a drive failed and they are sending me another one, I like it. They have a tendency to do that."
"Multipathing for iSCSI LUNs is difficult to deal with from the client-side and I'd love to see a single entry point that can be moved around within the cluster to simplify the client configuration."
"It would be good for Turbonomic, on their side, to integrate with other companies like AppDynamics or SolarWinds or other monitoring softwares. I feel that the actual monitoring of applications, mixed in with their abilities, would help. That would be the case wherever Turbonomic lacks the ability to monitor an application or in cases where applications are so customized that it's not going to be able to handle them. There is monitoring that you can do with scripting that you may not be able to do with Turbonomics."
"There is room for improvement [with] upgrades. We have deployed the newer version, version 8 of Turbonomic. The problem is that there is no way to upgrade between major Turbonomic versions. You can upgrade minor versions without a problem, but when you go from version 6 to version 7, or version 7 to version 8, you basically have to deploy it new and let it start gathering data again. That is a problem because all of the data, all of the savings calculations that had been done on the old version, are gone. There's no way to keep track of your lifetime savings across versions."
"The planning and costing areas could be a little bit more detailed. When you have more than 2,000 machines, the reports don't work properly. They need to fix it so that the reports work when you use that many virtual machines."
"There are a few things that we did notice. It does kind of seem to run away from itself a little bit. It does seem to have a mind of its own sometimes. It goes out there and just kind of goes crazy. There needs to be something that kind of throttles things back a little bit. I have personally seen where we've been working on things, then pulled servers out of the VMware cluster and found that Turbonomic was still trying to ship resources to and from that node. So, there has to be some kind of throttling or ability for it to not be so buggy in that area. Because we've pulled nodes out of a cluster into maintenance mode, then brought it back up, and it tried to put workloads on that outside of a cluster. There may be something that is available for this, but it seems very kludgy to me."
"The issue for us with the automation is we are considering starting to do the hot adds, but there are some problems with Windows Server 2019 and hot adds. It is a little buggy. So, if we turn that on with a cluster that has a lot of Windows 2019 Servers, then we would see a blue screen along with a lot of applications as well. Depending on what you are adding, cores or memory, it doesn't necessarily even take advantage of that at that moment. A reboot may be required, and we can't do that until later. So, that decreases the benefit of the real-time. For us, there is a lot of risk with real-time."
"I would love to see Turbonomic analyze backup data. We have had people in the past put servers into daily full backups with seven-year retention and where the disk size is two terabytes. So, every single day, there is a two terabyte snapshot put into a Blob somewhere. I would love to see Turbonomic say, "Here are all your backups along with the age of them," to help us manage the savings by not having us spend so much on the storage in Azure. That would be huge."
"They could add a few more reports. They could also be a bit more granular. While they have reports, sometimes it is hard to figure out what you are looking for just by looking at the date."
"It would be nice for them to have a way to do something with physical machines, but I know that is not their strength Thankfully, the majority of our environment is virtual, but it would be nice to see this type of technology across some other platforms. It would be nice to have capacity planning across physical machines."
"They allow a special price if you are working closely with them. Since we have a lot of NetApp systems, we got some kind of discount. That's something they do for other customers, not just for us. The price was fair. In addition to the licensing fees, you're paying Amazon for your usage..."
"The standard pricing is online. Pricing depends. If you're using the PayGo model, then it's just the normal costs on the Microsoft page. If you're using Bring Your Own License, which is what we're doing, then you get with your sales contact at NetApp and start figuring out what price is the best, in the end, for your company."
"In addition to the standard licensing fees, there are fees for Azure, the VMs themselves and for data transfer."
"Cloud is cloud. It's still expensive. Any good solution comes with a price tag. That's where we are looking to see how well we can manage our data in the cloud by trying to optimize the costs."
"I know the licensing is a bit on the high-end. That's when we had to downsize our MetroCluster disks and just migrate to disks that were half used. We migrated into those just to reduce maintenance costs."
"Cost is a big factor, because a lot of companies can't afford enterprise grade equipment all the time. They skimp where they can. I would recommend that they improve the cost."
"Our licensing costs are folded into the hardware purchases and I have never differentiated between the two."
"For NetApp it's about $20,000 for a single node and $30,000 for the HA."
"If you're a super-small business, it may be a little bit pricey for you... But in large, enterprise companies where money is, maybe, less of an issue, Turbonomic is not that expensive. I can't imagine why any big company would not buy it, for what it does."
"I'm not involved in any of the billing, but my understanding is that is fairly expensive."
"We see ROI in extended support agreements (ESA) for old software. Migration activities seem to be where Turbonomic has really benefited us the most. It's one click and done. We have new machines ready to go with Turbonomics, which are properly sized instead of somebody sitting there with a spreadsheet and guessing. So, my return on investment would certainly be on currency, from a software and hardware perspective."
"When we have expanded our licensing, it has always been easy to make an ROI-based decision. So, it's reasonably priced. We would like to have it cheaper, but we get more benefit from it than we pay for it. At the end of the day, that's all you can hope for."
"I know there have been some issues with the billing, when the numbers were first proposed, as to how much we would save. There was a huge miscommunication on our part. Turbonomic was led to believe that we could optimize our AWS footprint, because we didn't know we couldn't. So, we were promised savings of $750,000. Then, when we came to implement Turbonomic, the developers in AWS said, "Absolutely not. You're not putting that in our environment. We can't scale down anything because they coded it." Our AWS environment is a legacy environment. It has all these old applications, where all the developers who have made it are no longer with the company. Those applications generate a ton of money for us. So, if one breaks, we are really in trouble and they didn't want to have to deal with an environment that was changing and couldn't be supported. That number went from $750,000 to about $450,000. However, that wasn't Turbonomic's fault."
"It is an endpoint type license, which is fine. It is not overly expensive."
"The pricing and licensing are fair. We purchase based on benchmark pricing, which we have been able to get. There are no surprise charges nor hidden fees."
The leading enterprise-grade storage management solution, delivers secure, proven storage management services and supports up to a capacity of 368TB. Software service supports various use cases, such as: File shares and block-level storage serving NAS (NFS, SMB / CIFS) and SAN (iSCSI) Disaster Recovery, Backup, and Archive DevOps Databases (SQL, Oracle, NoSQL) Cloud Volumes ONTAP is offered in a standard single-node configuration or in a High Availability (HA) configuration.
Turbonomic Application Resource Management matches application demand to infrastructure supply to continuously ensure application performance. The software integrates with leading APM and IT service management solutions to form a control plane to automate IT resource management, on-premises and in multicloud environments.
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NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP is ranked 1st in Cloud Migration with 30 reviews while Turbonomic is ranked 2nd in Cloud Migration with 10 reviews. NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP is rated 8.8, while Turbonomic is rated 9.0. The top reviewer of NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP writes "Enables us to manage multiple petabytes of storage with a small team, including single node and HA instances". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Turbonomic writes "Helps us optimize cloud operations, reducing our cloud costs". NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP is most compared with Azure NetApp Files, Red Hat Ceph Storage, VMware vSAN, IBM Spectrum Scale and Portworx Enterprise, whereas Turbonomic is most compared with VMware vRealize Operations (vROps), CloudHealth, Densify, VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) and Cisco Intersight. See our NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP vs. Turbonomic report.
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