NetApp SnapCenter Other Advice

Aaron Isaacson
Storage Administrator at a aerospace/defense firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Make sure that you've got some kind of a server in mind for it. If you're not going to be using just an IP address, if you want to use a domain, make sure that you've got access to your domain controllers so that you can create a DNS record. Just download the installation guide form NetApp. A high-schooler could probably pull it off. As for the number of users in our organization, I'm really the only one. I do all the SAN storage and I overflow into the VMware and the enterprise networking. I'm the only one that interacts with it, although we've got three different people who could if they actually wanted or needed to. It would be easy enough to set up a user for them. We've got one VMware lead, and he primarily takes care of that. I just back him up when he's not here. We've got a primary network lead, and he does our routing and switching and firewall work. Either one of them could step in, had they the need to do so, but right now, I'm really the only guy with a SAN or NAS-type storage background or certifications. They usually just leave it alone. They get a copy of the backup reports if something fails, so at least they are aware of it, even if they don't have to go do anything. It has been very low maintenance so far. I'm the only one who maintains it. Running whatever upgrades that come out for the OS is really all I have to do. Even if something broke, it doesn't take that much time out of one person's schedule to find out what's wrong. I honestly haven't found anything wrong, other than those couple of points that I mentioned and that wasn't actually broken, it just doesn't function like that. There is a possibility that we could add backups for Oracle, if for some reason their native backups don't pan out but, other than that, we just see minor growth in the virtualized area. If we have to add more servers, that's really the only kind of growth we're anticipating. I'm giving it an eight out of ten because, while I really like the way it works and how bulletproof it has been, I believe they could improve it by adding some kind of authentication to their SMTP. Also, they probably could improve by having a single, central spot that can handle multiple vCenter sites. Those two concerns aside, I'm completely happy with it. View full review »
Ivo Dissel
Senior Systems Administrator at a healthcare company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Hire someone who has already installed the product ten times, an experienced SnapCenter installer who can implement this product very easily and who knows all the ins and outs and bugs and which patch he should run. Get guidance. In terms of maintenance, I convinced my colleagues, our Exchange people and our SQL people, to use it often and look into it. We all get alerts if SnapCenter fails or if a backup does not complete, but I'm the main person who is looking at it. There are three people in our organization using it: our Exchange admin, our SQL admin, and our VMware storage admin (me). SnapCenter is an eight out of ten. In general, it's a great product, and it does what it's supposed to do, but it's buggy. They should spend some more time on the web GUI for users who don't use the CLI that often. I thought, initially, it was slow because of the resources we gave to SnapCenter Server, but that wasn't it. It has slow reaction times and does not radiate security. View full review »
Christian Gruetzner
Architect, Storage Services at All for One Steeb AG
You should definitely plan some time to understand the concepts behind it. What we've seen is that each backup and user permission has its own defaults. You have to plan some implementation time. You can't simply install it and then it's working. It takes some time to understand how it is working. But it's definitely a huge improvement because you can easily automate it. If you have a larger environment, as we have, use the REST API. It's a lot faster and a lot better for scaling. We requested improvements that they have already implemented. For example, there were some GUI improvements, especially for the scalability, where there was no search available. You just had a static list and not a search field to limit the results. And in the last release was the fulfillment of a request where they provide workgroup support, and not just servers in one single domain, because we have multiple domains. For the day-to-day maintenance, we've automated almost everything in our environment. We use the REST API from SnapCenter. Everything is direct from an external tool we have called UC4. It's rare that we log in to SnapCenter itself and administrate anything there, for our main backup operating team. We have seven storage and backup administrators and there are nine people using it on the applications team. We want to expand it to our SAP colleagues, and they're 60 people or so, but that's in progress. We also have 300 outsourcing customers and 200 additional customers we run the backups on. We have a total of about 4,000 systems. It's quite a bit to administrate. Right now, I would rate it as a nine out of ten. If they fix the problem with our SVMs I would give it a ten. Overall, it's good, it's working. View full review »
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Manuel Maurer
ICT System Engineer at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Go for it and have a look at it. You don't really need much time for the implementation, but you have to make sure that you have a bit of know-how on how the Snapshot technology from NetApp works with the SnapMirror labels, etc. That is very important. At the moment, there are three persons using it in our company: My backup colleague, the database specialist also has access, and I. In a future step, we are planning to move our Exchange backups to SnapCenter. We are using about 60 percent of the functionality, and we are planning to go up to between 80 and 100 percent. I would rate SnapCenter at a good seven out of ten. As I mentioned, one time it didn't work because the page was blank. That was a bit strange. We don't really know what happened there. And the other issue is the roles; it's not very user-friendly. So we have to check this out in the documentation first. Those are the two main points for why I only give it a seven. View full review »
Engineer1785
Engineer at a non-profit with 201-500 employees
Test out every function that you think you'll need before you implement it in your production environment. My role is just to do the configurations. The DBAs actually use the product because it's more of a set it and forget it. I configure it on the server then they get to use it. We have only SQL DBAs and Oracle DBAs using it, a total of about eight people. For deployment we just need the storage team which consists of two people. If it botches, we will move more into Commvault, because we do have Commvault for backups. But with Commvault backups, it would be the storage team in control of their clones and restores, and we don't want that. So we're going to push forward with SnapCenter because, for the most part, it does what it's supposed to do. I would rate SnapCenter a seven out of ten, only because of the kinks that we have to keep going through to get what we need. They end up fixing it in a different version, but I wish it was just ready for us on implementation, and then the DBAs would be off my back. View full review »
SysEngineer3401
Senior Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
It works. It's reliable. There are no real negative aspects. It's a very solid product. We only have one dedicated user. We haven't defined roles, we haven't used that functionality. We just provide one user with administrative access and that's being shared. We have three staff members managing the solution: SnapCenter, NetApp, and VMware. They all have access to SnapCenter. One is a backup administrator, another is the infrastructure manager, and we have a person who looks after the networking infrastructure, etc. I would rate SnapCenter at nine out of ten. It's not a ten because of the limitations of the backup, of the granularity, and that it's missing the features for Hyper-V. View full review »
Matthieu Devulder
Support Manager at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
My advice is the same for all of the offsite products made by NetApp. You need to look carefully at the prerequisites to avoid any bad surprises afterward. But if you follow the rules, it should go easily. The solution is mostly is used by backup administrators and sometimes DBAs. From my side it's really hard to tell who is using it because I am always in touch with the same one or two people at every company, because these are the people who are opening the tickets. I would rate this solution at seven out of ten. It's more than "fair," but it's not perfect. But I will be pleased to have a look at version 4.0 to see what the improvements are. View full review »
Keith Alioto
Lead Storage Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
I'd recommend SnapCenter, if you're currently a NetApp shop and you're using a variety of other backup systems like NetBackup or others. This is much easier to administer and maintain and upgrade. View full review »
StorageA7b81
Storage Administrator at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Check the compatibility of all components before, although it's pretty common. After you check the compatibility, then deploy SnapCenter and the plug-ins. Don't try to implement and then troubleshoot. It makes things more complex. Backup and recovery software solutions are very important for every company. SnapCenter is pretty cheap, and that's important as well. Sometimes, customers don't want to pay a lot for backup solutions. That is why SnapCenter is good. We do implementations from time to time, where customers have no backup solutions at all. It's better to have something that is actually free rather than nothing. Case by case, if we have no backup system, we use SnapCenter, but I don't think the number of our installations will grow significantly. I would rate SnapCenter at seven out of ten because of the lack of replication management, which is very important. View full review »
Yanuar Priambodo
Technical Service Engineer at Comsys Telecom & Media
Just try it. I would rate SnapCenter at eight out of ten because it needs some improvement, as I outlined above. View full review »
Nikolay Gorbunov
Lead Engineer at a integrator with 201-500 employees
SnapCenter is really good for VMware, it's really nice. It's also very good for SQL and Oracle. But you need to test it properly each time because there are times you will need to reconfigure your infrastructure. We have plans to increase usage of this product. It currently covers about half of our infrastructure. I would rate SnapCenter at seven out of ten. It's very good, allowing us to do fast backup and recovery, but like every product, it has its flaws, limitations and it has a room for improvement. It may not be useful for certain companies. But anyway, when I look at other backup solutions, I have not yet seen a product that is a ten out of ten. View full review »
Edgars Jansons
Storage Architect at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
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. View full review »
ITManagec1d3
IT Manager at a tech company with 51-200 employees
It's really useful if you are using NetApp storage. If you have NetApp storage in your environment and want to take a Snapshot, I recommend purchasing this software. We have five users of it in our organization. In most environments, one person is enough to manage the software. I would rate it at eight out of ten. It's useful. If you don't have a backup application, you can use SnapCenter. View full review »
reviewer974046
Sr. Unix Systems and Storage Administrator at a retailer with 51-200 employees
* Evaluate in-depth features you require * Validate interoperability (very critical) * Thoroughly inventory every existing component of the business that will use it or be impacted * Evaluate the installation, configuration, and ease of use with an eval or vendor * Do a price comparison, once all components needed are identified View full review »
JoaoLavrador
Storage Architect at Arrow Electronics, Inc
Try it and buy it. Try the product to see the features, the easy installation, and how easy it is to implement and to work with. We have five or six end customers, users, who are system admins. For deployment and maintenance, it requires two people. I would rate SnapCenter at seven out of ten. The tool could be faster. View full review »
StorageE2f71
Storage Engineer at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
Gather the requirements and see what your application team needs. View full review »
Arnold Romeijn
Technical Architect at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Do a PoC to see if it's a viable product for you. In our company, we have about 20 users of SnapCenter. They are managed services backup administrators. Our management also uses the reporting. On the customer side, there are also have the people responsible for the virtual environment and the application owners. Those are the types of people that are using the product. View full review »
StorageA9fdd
Storage Architect at a software R&D company with 51-200 employees
You should always look at best practices and the interoperability matrix. View full review »
SrSystem599e
Sr Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
My advice to someone who is looking into implementing this product depends on their environment, whether they're using several SnapManager products, whether they've been using SnapManager before, or if it's a new install. It would also depend on the versions of the products being protected. The solution needs one primary administrator for 400 or 500 users. View full review »
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