NetApp SnapCenter Room for Improvement

Aaron Isaacson
Storage Administrator at a aerospace/defense firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
There is one area that needs improvement and that's in the alerting. When you set up your SMTP alerts, it only has - and I don't understand why - the ability to send an anonymous SMTP. It doesn't do basic authentication, which frustrated me for a while until I figured out that I'm not missing something. It's just not there. That's been a drawback and we're trying to figure out some kind of workaround. Obviously, you don't want to have an SMTP server using "anonymous." You want it to be locked down to some kind of authentication domain level. I would like to see that changed. The SMTP thing is a concern for me. At the moment, we're just using it anyway, until we can figure out something else. In the worst-case scenario, I can set up my own PowerShell script to send an email and use "secure" that way, based on the reports that it's generating. But I can still log in to the website because it's got a web portal. I can go into my web portal and see, "Okay, the backups finished last night." That's not as simple as getting an email, but at the same time I can just open up a website and see the results anyway. View full review »
Ivo Dissel
Senior Systems Administrator at a healthcare company with 5,001-10,000 employees
I feel a little bit that during the whole process of putting this software into production we were like a beta program. It was full of bugs. I have made something like 20 calls to NetApp regarding this product. I've used a lot of products in my life and this one has needed the most interaction with the company that made it, to get it working properly in production. There were a lot of bugs and things that didn't work. For example, we had a problem with truncating our Exchange log files. Exchange creates log files of the mailbox databases. After a full backup of Exchange, those log files were being cleared. It was not working. So we created a backup with SnapCenter of our Exchange environment but the logs were not truncating. Finally, we got in contact with someone from NetApp in Holland and he directed us to a university somewhere here in Holland and they explained to us what they did to fix it. It has improved over time. And the GUI is still so-so. I' don't use the GUI that often anymore because it's really slow, refreshing disks, refreshing hosts, and you have to click a lot. In addition, we had a major production problem due to SnapCenter, because we also use SnapCenter to back up our whole VMware environment. When we did an upgrade of the SnapCenter Server and its plugins - because SnapCenter puts plugins on the host and, in this instance, it puts a plugin on our VMware server - SnapCenter was then supposed to snap our virtual machines and then the whole volume on which the virtual machines reside, and then delete the snaps. This last step, deleting of the snapshots, did not happen. It wasn't deleting snapshots anymore. Our fault was that we didn't record this. We didn't have any measurement of the number of snapshots which were on our VMware infrastructure. After two weeks there were 14 snapshots of each VM in our whole park, and this created a huge performance issue. After we discovered this, we had to delete them and then everything ran fine again. So after the upgrade of the plugin, there was a bug. We could only work around this bug through manual scripting. Now, we are running a beta plugin from SnapCenter to overcome this problem. So, there have been a lot of bugs. It's a beautiful product. You can put multiple systems in it but I think they're still really in the stage of developing it. They used SnapDrive before, and now its SnapCenter of course, to create a more general approach, which is great. But they should have tested more and more. View full review »
Manuel Maurer
ICT System Engineer at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
We are struggling a bit with the permissions and roles. We are not sure if there is an issue at our end, if we didn't get set things up correctly, as per plan. When you have role-based access, for example, it's a bit of a problem that the person who creates the backup job is the owner of it. We are struggling a bit with this, that everyone has the same view and the same permissions in there. I don't think it's really an issue with SnapCenter. I think it's more that we aren't using it correctly. In terms of additional features, if it was possible to create backups on non-NetApp storage, that would be helpful. For example, if you have a standalone host, you cannot back it up with SnapCenter. You have to make sure that everything is on NetApp. It would be nice if you could also back up systems that are not on NetApp storage. For example, if you have a standalone ESX host, and it is running a few VMs, it would be nice if you could back up those VMs, even if those files don't rely on NetApp storage. It would be a nice feature if it was possible to back up those VMs. At the moment, we are using another backup solution, Commvault Simpana, for those situations. View full review »
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Engineer1785
Engineer at a non-profit with 201-500 employees
It hasn't improved our organization because we're going through some kinks with the product as of right now. We've had several tickets open, but because it's replacing SMO we have to get used to using it now. As far as ease of use, the DBAs are comparing it to SMO but it doesn't have a lot of the functionalities that SMO has. My major issue is when I upgrade. I have to touch every last client that I have in SnapCenter, and right now I have 60. I have to touch all of them. They said that in another release that will get better, but right now it's not better and I've had to do this three times. That's my biggest headache, having to touch each client to upgrade this product, via GUI or manually. View full review »
SysEngineer3401
Senior Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
The integration with the vCenter could be better in the sense that the only plain view you have is the data stores. In previous versions of the plugin for the VSC, before Snap Center, you could view the virtual machine that you wanted to snapshot. It would include all the data stores that were in part of that specific virtual machine. Now, you select the data store and it should tell you whether or not there's a virtual machine you're looking for included in that resource group or that data store. I don't know if the roadmap includes SnapCenter for Hyper-V. We tend to have a lot of Hyper-V and we also have a Hyper-V environment and that is backed up through SnapManager for Hyper-V. So now we have two management consoles and we would ideally like to leverage SnapCenter to include Hyper-V. I understand that restoring directly from SnapCenter would be a bit complex. And they have the plugin. For me, the two obvious features to add would be that the plugin in vCenter should be more granular, enabling you to select what you want to back up in the resource groups. And I would like to see a plugin for Hyper-V. View full review »
Matthieu Devulder
Support Manager at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
What I did witness lately are issues with some Microsoft KBs, the updates. But it happened only once, and not on a major platform, it was on a small one. We're doing a major one for a customer in Paris with many SQL servers and, to date, everything is going well. I have not yet had experience with version 4.0 - that is the latest one - but I have gone through the release notes and it seems to have some improvements. View full review »
Rostislav Pilka
Senior Systems Engineer at Our Space Appliances
The Microsoft environment is its biggest disadvantage due to the central management of all the actions. Because the SnapCenter server is where we deploy everything, it also affects the Microsoft environment, which can cause many difficulties when resolving issues like Windows update problems. We had less issues with SnapManager, the previous product before SnapCenter came out, where there were standalone installations. We are having issues with SnapCenter because of its central management. While it is fine if it's working, sometimes it's quite heavy to figuring out what's wrong, and mostly the problems are because of some Windows updates. We would like NetApp to develop some better diagnostics to report when an installation is performing uncharacteristically. This would allow us to resolve issues and do troubleshooting instead of opening a support case for these issues. Some of the minor functionalities from SnapManager did not transfer over to SnapCenter. These should be added in future releases. I know that NetApp is currently working on this. View full review »
Keith Alioto
Lead Storage Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
The documentation could be a little bit better so that we could handle more of the troubleshooting ourselves, rather than having to go through support. Other than that, it's been a pretty easy product to deal with. View full review »
StorageA7b81
Storage Administrator at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
I would like to see replication support between systems. Right now, it's kind of limited. We manage them separately from the storage system interface, not from SnapCenter. It would be nice if it was integrated into SnapCenter. View full review »
Yanuar Priambodo
Technical Service Engineer at Comsys Telecom & Media
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. View full review »
Nikolay Gorbunov
Lead Engineer at a integrator with 201-500 employees
* It would be a good idea to add date support and improve on resource management, not the backup itself, but in the manageability. Groups might be helpful for each site or data center so that we know a given data center has these resources while another data center has those resources. It's not always easy to group hosts by type. * A host is trying to set up a connection with every SVM configured on SnapCenter Server. This is not good, especially if, like in our environment, each SVM is configured for particular department and is beyond a firewall. As far as I know developers are aware of this issue. * It would be nice to have native plugins not only for Oracle and MS SQL. Community plugins can cover your needs, but I'd like to have more functionality. * I would like to have more friendly logging. Sometimes this could save time for our team and allow us not to create new case in support. View full review »
Edgars Jansons
Storage Architect at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
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. View full review »
ITManagec1d3
IT Manager at a tech company with 51-200 employees
The replication feature needs improvement in future releases. View full review »
reviewer974046
Sr. Unix Systems and Storage Administrator at a retailer with 51-200 employees
* The Dashboard view needs to be more compressed with better ease of access and drill-down features. * DB plug-in cloning should have similar SnapManager features which allow reuse of specific cloning parameter features. * Reinstate Linux filesystem backups of storage volumes (which existed in the prior version). * Add integration into OCUM and Active IQ. View full review »
JoaoLavrador
Storage Architect at Arrow Electronics, Inc
The compatibility with other manufacturers, like Oracle and Hyper-V, could be improved. I would like to see it be more compatible with other software. View full review »
StorageE2f71
Storage Engineer at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
For OnCommand Insight, they could do cloud-based stuff as well. It would be nice if they could integrate everything inside, so it would be easier for management: One tool used for everything. I want to see a few more features add that will help our team in managing solution better. View full review »
Arnold Romeijn
Technical Architect at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
The reporting could be better. It's good, but reporting of the jobs could be better. View full review »
StorageA9fdd
Storage Architect at a software R&D company with 51-200 employees
Plugins should be developed in shorter times. Performance generally could be a little bit faster. View full review »
reviewer952908
Storage Engineer at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
We would like to see more granular repording and reporting in bigger sets available in SnapCenter. View full review »
SrSystem599e
Sr Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
It needs to support vSphere 6.7. View full review »
Find out what your peers are saying about NetApp, Veeam Software, Cohesity and others in Backup and Recovery Software. Updated: November 2019.
379,241 professionals have used our research since 2012.
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