This post was originally published on TomTALKS

 

Tom Mendoza talks about the honor of being ranked for the second year in a row at #3 on the Great Place to Work Institute’s “World’s Best Multinational Companies to Work for” list.

 

Posted by David Dale

 

snwBox.pngSNW Europe, together with the collocated Virtualization World and Datacenter Technologies events, shrugged off the recession and delivered a two-day event in Frankfurt last month which included over 130 sessions and was supported by a record number of 73 sponsors, 27 of which were new to the events for 2012. More than 1,200 quality delegates (end users, resellers, consultants, press, bloggers and analysts) were in attendance with over 1,650 total attendees, and a record 60 journalists, bloggers and analysts attended from nine countries.

 

So what does it take to run a successful event such as this? Walking around the show, four aspects jumped out at me.

 

Firstly, the content and structure of the sessions was excellent.  Each track corresponded to an important area for IT managers, and included a range of viewpoints including analysts, vendors, and vendor-neutral tutorial sessions. Each track ended with a well-moderated panel discussion including all the speakers, and the range of viewpoints was really interesting in most cases – I certainly enjoyed the panels that I participated in. The agenda didn’t make the mistake of including only the fashionable new-technology topics, but really covered IT issues (the data protection and tape sessions were fascinating).  And of course, the major new technology directions were comprehensively covered – the solid state storage track was very up-to-date, balanced, and informative.

 

The second aspect that struck me was the physical layout of the event.  The sessions and presentation tracks were very close to the expo (vendor booths area), and food was provided at the back o the hall.  There was also plenty of space for individuals to stop and chat and network. This really optimized the traffic flow.  It felt busy almost all the time, with a constant buzz.

 

The third aspect wasn’t evident to me until I thought about the range of sponsor vendors and talked to them.  The show organizers really tried to deliver an affordable sponsorship model that could be tailored to address each vendor’s goals for the show.  For instance, NetApp tied in a visibility campaign at the Frankfurt airport and railway station with messaging in the show entrance and booth. We also featured our cycling team in some activities, people could stop to get their photo taken for a billboard sign and hired a local band to add some fun to the show floor. Most people I talked to were really happy with the results.  (The only exceptions I ran into were vendors who had decided not to be a sponsor at the event, and realized that this was probably a mistake.)

 

The fourth aspect of the show is its strength as a press event.  The conference regularly attracts a large number of journalists and bloggers from around Europe.  The press room was packed throughout the show.  There was also blogger get-togethers (storage-beers) in the evening. This activity underscores the show’s position to what I believe is the biggest storage conference in Europe.  It adds to the buzz, and provides a great opportunity for vendors to update the press.  I always look forward to re-connecting with my favorite journalists at this event.

 

So, the bottom line here is that SNW was a fun and successful event this year.  I believe it really reinforced its position as one of the industry’s  “must attend” events.

DaveNesvisky.pngWhat are some of the NetApp activities happening at the Radiology Society of North America 2012 conference and what does NetApp want to achieve at the conference?

Attending and hosting an exhibit at RSNA is always a wonderful opportunity for us. We have been involved in the imaging market for more than 10 years, and it continues to be a critical space for us. RSNA also allows us to introduce current clients, prospective clients and partners in the healthcare imaging space to new innovations and our core brand in general. This year, we will promote FlexPod® that is enabled for Vendor Neutral Archiving (VNA). Essentially, this is a data center platform that consolidates medical records and images from multiple disparate source systems and applications.   Additionally, FlexPod can easily combine and scale up into larger configurations through our Clustered Data ONTAP offering.  FlexPod that is enabled for VNA delivers an agile, efficient architecture that is straightforward to install, easy to manage and highly scalable, enabling IT to quickly deliver a highly functional and reliable system to clinicians.


Transitioning to electronic medical records (EMR) is a federal mandate, and an explosion of data has escalated – especially in the imaging space. How is NetApp assisting customers in this regard?

In Meaningful Use Phase 2, imaging has been included as an essential element of the EMR.  Our primary goal is to provide the reliable, certified enterprise-class storage for our clients’ applications that range from small medical centers to large hospitals.  Essential to this is to understand what our clients need.  Through our CXO Advisory Board and other communication channels, we ensure we are in alignment with our clients’ requirements.  NetApp delivers a comprehensive suite of cost-effective storage solutions that provide increased flexibility and efficiency without compromising reliability.  This makes patient data, including images, easily assessable, which is critical to insure continuity of care.


Although many hospitals have EMR systems, many are unprepared when it comes to heightened imaging needs. What kind of problems are you seeing with imaging data storage, and how are you helping to address them?  

Images make up a big part of a patient’s electronic health record.  Look around. In general, image modalities are becoming more fine grained and denser, requiring more storage. Add to this the increased volume of images in general and the regulatory requirements demanding that they be retained for a longer period of time and you’ve got a huge data storage challenge on your hands. At NetApp we have teamed up with the leading PACS and VNA system providers to address the problems and offer solutions. We reduce the need for IT management, enable seamless scalability, and provide high availability, meaning we have accelerated backup and recovery capabilities which minimizes downtime.   We also have partnered with industry leaders like Iron Mountain to provide innovative off premise cloud solutions for imaging back up, DR and VNA.

 

What’s on the horizon for the healthcare industry in terms of imaging storage needs, and what is NetApp doing to help customers stay ahead of the game?

Because of the regulatory requirements and the analytics required to make ACOs run effectively, what’s on the horizon is clearly an increase in data consumption.  To meet these challenges while recognizing a diverse set of requirements, NetApp has developed a range of offerings.  Although some are similar, a large academic medical center generally has different needs than a small radiology clinic. From our distributed content repository offering, Storage Grid, to the very large volumes available through Clustered Data ONTAP, NetApp has developed a scalable family of products to handle all these different workloads and allow our clients a roadmap to future growth without painful data migrations and fork lift upgrades.

By Dan Clarke and Chris Yory,  employee co-sponsors of The Tech Museum

 

Here''s the second installment of our blog series devoted to showcasing the way in which NetApp teams across the globe are giving back to their communities.

 

What’s not to like about helping school kids,  learning a little ‘hands-on’ science, and having a blast at a leading non-profit museum in the Bay Area? That’s just what happened to a group of NetApp volunteers at a recent ‘VTO on the Go’ day,    who shared their time and talents at The Tech Museum in downtown San Jose, CA on October 18, 2012.    Tech Museum-Oct.2012-8.jpg

 

These ‘Lucky 13’ volunteers helped at various exhibits at The Tech,  such as the ‘Flugtag’ station (helping design flying objects from a catapult system), The Great California Shakeout  (participating in Earthquake Preparedness activities with hundreds of school children), and the ever popular ‘Alka Seltzer’ rockets (take a plastic test tube, rubber stopper,  Alka Seltzer tablets, and a little water--  combine ingredients, shake it up, and watch results!)

 

By assisting school children and museum guests, NetApp volunteers helped make a difference at The Tech,  and had fun while doing it. The Tech Museum’s Volunteer Services Manager Karen Hennessy remarked :   ‘Great day at the museum with the NetApp team. You were a great team, and we would love to invite you  and others to volunteer again.    So pleased you were all part of this special day’

 

Comments from our enthusiastic NetApp volunteers:

 

‘We had a wonderful time!’    

 

‘I had a fun time volunteering and learning some fun hands-on science stuff’


‘Can be a good team bonding event as well’

 

We couldn’t agree more, and we look forward to sponsoring more VTO days at The Tech in the future.

Taylor Morrison .jpg

Welcome to NetApp 360! Taylor Morrison was honored as a finalist at this year’s Innovation Awards in the category of Efficiency Innovation. Why don’t we start by telling our readers a bit about you and your company?

My name is John Lucas and I’m the director of IT for Taylor Morrison, a private homebuilder company in North America. With more than 130 communities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, and Texas, we offer first-time midmarket and mid-to-upscale housing in both master-planned communities and urban infill neighborhoods. I am proud to say our commitment to customers goes beyond simply building great homes; it extends to building a house our homeowners can be proud of, a home tailored to the specific needs of the modern family.


Can you tell us a bit about why you decided to overhaul Taylor Morrison’s IT infrastructure and why technology is so important to the company?

The housing industry continues to be a dynamic environment with both challenges and opportunities for today’s homebuilders. Our decision to rejuvenate our IT infrastructure resulted from the merging of Taylor Woodrow and Morrison Homes in July 2007. Given the volatile nature of the homebuilding market, we felt particularly pressured to quickly reduce costs following the merger.


In thinking through innovative ways to improve business operations, we set out to develop a consolidated IT infrastructure that would deliver a new level of efficiency and manageability to the newly formed company. In addition to consolidating our storage infrastructure and extending our virtualization capabilities, we wanted to better protect the merged assets and business applications—including Microsoft® and custom homebuilding solutions—with enhanced disaster recovery practices.


Can you expand a bit on the IT choices that you made and how NetApp’s systems came into play?

The tape-based backup infrastructure we had in place was time consuming to manage and failed to provide the recovery-point and recovery-time objectives needed to ensure business continuity. I chose to work closely with NetApp corporate reseller Insight Direct USA, Inc. for its extensive technical expertise and relationships with leading storage providers. After comparing numerous storage solutions, we chose to virtualize and gain other efficiencies through NetApp® storage.


We then deployed a NetApp FAS3140 storage system in our production data center in Scottsdale, Arizona, backing up to a NetApp V3140HA open storage controller in our disaster recovery site in Irvine, California, using NetApp SnapMirror® technology. NetApp Professional Services provided the design, implementation, installation, and data migration services for a smooth transition to the new infrastructure. The new solution utilizes iSCSI protocol support, which is important to me because it provides cost and manageability benefits to the virtual server environment. The storage environment now supports 350 usable terabytes and 482 raw terabytes of data. I rely on NetApp storage to run our mission-critical applications including Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL Server®, Microsoft SharePoint Server®, and NEWSTAR Enterprise homebuilding software.


With the infrastructure overhaul we also decided to use NetApp solutions for the Taylor Morrison corporate Web site, which stores important customer, employee, and project information and helps provide an uninterrupted communication and collaboration environment for our employees and partners throughout day-to-day operations and revenue-generating building projects. We use a full suite of NetApp tools, including the Data ONTAP® operating system, Provisioning Manager, Operations Manager, Protection Manager, and others, offering the team advanced monitoring, management, analytics, provisioning, and reporting along with the ability to leverage existing storage assets. We also depend on the NetApp NOW® site and the My AutoSupport tool to support our management activities. Our virtualization activities are central to the company’s efforts to be as efficient as possible while maintaining quality.


What tangible business benefits has your company received?

While we do not compete with other homebuilders on IT, from a cost perspective our IT agility is directly related to how efficiently we produce and to our advantage with time to market.

 

Our server environment is now 99%+ virtualized, running 32 Microsoft Hyper-V blades on NetApp storage. With NetApp supporting the Microsoft hypervisor-based server virtualization technology, we can take advantage of the cost savings of virtualization through Windows Server® 2012 and reallocate those funds to further enhance our IT infrastructure. As a principal virtualization project for us, we presented a session-based desktop to all 750 users across the company. With growing construction project files, e-mails, databases, and application data, we were running out of storage space. By consolidating and virtualizing on NetApp storage through a remote desktop service, we can now execute applications remotely, delivering 100% of company data to all employees from one server location rather than three, and reducing our infrastructure and IT administration cost per user by 10%.

 

How has this impacted business?

We are achieving additional efficiencies through NetApp deduplication, seeing as much as 60% storage reduction and saving approximately $65,000 annually in storage costs. Previously we relied on host-based replication, only replicating tier 1 applications such as Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft SQL Server. Recovery times typically exceeded 24 hours. NetApp SnapMirror has dramatically improved disaster recovery and replication practices, reducing daily backup management from 5 hours to 30 minutes. Using SnapMirror and NetApp SnapManager® technology, we efficiently replicate 99% of our production storage to the disaster recovery site, continually protecting data throughout activities such as the preconstruction, building, and warranty periods of construction projects.


Data restoration using NetApp Snapshot technology is easier and more reliable than before. IT now creates Snapshot copies hourly for backup purposes and retrieves 100% of the lost data in 10 minutes. NetApp SnapManager for Exchange, for Hyper-V, for SharePoint, and Microsoft SQL Server simplify management and increase productivity for backup, restore, and disaster recovery operations and help to improve backup and recovery times.


NetApp Single Mailbox Recovery reduced mailbox recovery times from up to 48 hours to less than 1 hour, enhancing productivity for our staff. We are taking advantage of the unified NetApp storage platform, managing the entire storage platform with the equivalent of one full-time IT staff person. With the time saved by managing NetApp storage instead of our previous solution, my IT group has been able to reassign those resources to convert to a 100%-virtual infrastructure, deliver end-to-end remote desktop services, and provide a whole new network infrastructure for the company.


In total, we eliminated 11 of 14 server rooms through NetApp and Hyper-V consolidation and virtualization, saving thousands in annual costs and reducing backups from five hours to minutes.


What advice would you offer other IT directors looking to leverage their infrastructures for a competitive advantage?

My advice to IT directors is to partner with a strong storage provider and use as much of their technology as possible. Just like surrounding yourself with the best people, surrounding yourself with the best technology ultimately guarantees your competitive advantage. 

 


John Lucas is the director of IT for Taylor Morrison and has been in this position since 2008. Prior to working at Taylor Morrison, he was the senior technical trainer at Creative Business Concepts and IT manager of Technical Support Techserv Systems. You can connect with Taylor Morrison via Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/taylormorrison.

Every Monday we bring you top stories featuring NetApp that you may have missed from the previous week. Let us know what interests you by commenting below.

 

25 Best Global Companies to Work For - FORTUNE

NetApp ranked 3rd on the World’s Best Multinational Workplaces list. FORTUNE calls out some of the key aspects of NetApp’s culture and values that make the company so unique.

 

NetApp's Parrish Promoted To CMO, Search Is On For New Channel Chief - CRN

NetApp’s channel chief, Julie Parrish, has been promoted to chief marketing officer (CMO). Julie talks to CRN about her new role and offers a glimpse of the company’s future marketing strategy.

 

Tech Powers F1 Cars in Austin - CNET

Ahead of yesterday’s race in Austin, CNET published NetApp’s graphic giving a behind the scenes look at the technology and data that powers the Formula 1 cars.

 

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NETAPP_360

NetApp has a New CMO!

Posted by NETAPP_360 Nov 16, 2012

Julie Parrish, NetApp, discusses her new role as Chief Marketing Officer and offers a glimpse of the company's future marketing strategy.

 

NETAPP_360

Racing with NetApp

Posted by NETAPP_360 Nov 16, 2012

In Austin, Texas, this week everyone is anxiously anticipating for the first Formula 1 race in the USA since 2007. NetApp thought this would be a good time to take a behind the scenes look at Formula 1 --- the technology and data that powers the race --- then and now.

 

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Posted by Rob Salmon

 

One of the best parts of my job is spending time with our customers and partners and seeing first-hand how NetApp is making an impact on their business and in our communities. Every year I look forward to launching our Innovation Awards program where we recognize and celebrate customers who are implementing some of the most groundbreaking solutions built on NetApp technology. I continue to be impressed by our customers’ creative approach to solving problems and accelerating business.


As of today, our ninth annual Innovation Awards program is officially under way.


Past winners have included executive and IT champions and various public and private sector organizations. This year’s winners will be chosen from three categories: Pioneer, Go Beyond, and Visionary Leadership. In addition, the top nominations will be judged in a special Innovator of the Year category, which will recognize one winner for the U.S. public sector and one winner from each of the following three global geographies: Americas, APAC, and EMEA.

 

In addition to gaining recognition as an innovator among your peers, award winners will also receive:

  • Two round-trip tickets to San Jose, California, in June 2013 and accommodations for three nights’ stay to attend exclusive events at NetApp, including an awards ceremony and dinner with NetApp executives and industry analysts
  • Exposure at NetApp Analyst Summit—one-on-one meetings with analysts and/or NetApp executives to share ideas and collaborate on the next wave of innovation

 

Winners will be determined by a distinguished third-party panel of judges. The nomination process is easy. Anyone can submit on behalf of a customer, including all NetApp employees; Channel and Alliance partners; and, of course, customers themselves. Simply submit your nomination through the online nomination form. Nominations will be accepted until midnight Pacific Time on January 8, 2013. Please visit the 2013 Innovation Awards page for more information.


 

I look forward to celebrating this year’s award recipients’ success and innovation.

By Patrick Rogers, vice president, solutions and integrations, NetApp

 

Today, NetApp is excited to celebrate Cisco’s acquisition of Cloupia, one of our FlexPod Validated Management partners. Cloupia was an early member of our FlexPod Validated Management program.  With the acquisition, customers and partners will have easier access through Cisco to one of the most innovative provisioning, monitoring and management solutions for FlexPod, and it ensures that Cloupia’s solutions will continue to receive the support and funding of a large data center provider.

 

Since its introduction in late 2010, the FlexPod® data center platform has been wildly successful. Just a week ago, Cisco and NetApp celebrated the solution’s two-year anniversary, announcing that more than 1,600 customer sites in 35 countries have deployed FlexPod configurations. We attribute this phenomenal success to fact that FlexPod integrates critical compute, networking and storage components into a single, flexible architecture that increases efficiencies, reduces risk and improves ROI. These converged infrastructure benefits, combined with clear technical implementation best practices, help accelerate the move many customers are making to cloud-based, agile data infrastructures.

 

Much of FlexPod’s success is due to collaboration with partners. For FlexPod management and orchestration, we continue to work with partners to inform customers that these solutions are validated as part of our FlexPod Validated Management program. FlexPod Validated Management partners comply with FlexPod Infrastructure Management development requirements for end-to-end automation and unified manageability across the combined Cisco® UCS™, Cisco Nexus® and NetApp FAS components.  These solutions have been tested in NetApp and Cisco labs to verify that they meet a common and extensive set of requirements.

 

As one of our earliest FlexPod Validated Management partners, Cloupia delivers:

  • Single-click infrastructure provisioning of FlexPod™, including bare-metal compute provisioning, allocating and mapping share storage (LUNs and volumes), and advanced network provisioning to support both physical and virtual workloads.
  • The ability to install and implement a truly integrated out-of-box solution to begin FlexPod™ resource deployments, monitoring/analytics and management within a few hours, alleviating the need for multiple tools, disparate bolt-on technologies, and professional services.
  • Automated and nondisruptive FlexPod™ scaling, adding more compute, storage, and network resources to meet the dynamic demands of the data center without disrupting current workloads.
  • Management and real-time monitoring from a single pane of glass for each infrastructure component in the FlexPod™ configuration.
  • Integrated cloud automation capabilities that include end-user self-service portal, design deploy component-level service catalog, and chargeback management that avoids additional tools to transform FlexPod™ configurations to clouds.

Today’s data center architectures are increasingly complex, with a mix of physical and virtual infrastructure, including servers, storage, networks and virtualization. Having a diverse set of management tools for physical and virtual components not only adds to complexity, but also increases the failure rates. Data center admins spend countless hours coordinating, configuring, and provisioning across isolated silos of server, storage, networking and virtualization and this leads to longer service delivery times, operational inefficiencies, and higher costs. Next-generation data centers require the speed and agility to quickly provision, configure and manage virtual and physical infrastructures. FlexPod Validated Management partners, including Cloupia, CA, and Gale Technologies ensure end-to-end automation and a unified approach to manageability for FlexPod. 

 

Cloupia is an important example of how we enable a broad ecosystem of FlexPod management partners. Part of the value of FlexPod is its “flexibility” and we remain committed to working with customers and partners to provide the best solutions for their specific implementation challenges.


Congratulations to the Cloupia team, and to Cisco for recognizing the long-term value of Cloupia’s innovative approach to data center infrastructure orchestration.

NetApp 360 spoke with Gwen McDonald, executive vice president of Human Resources for NetApp, to get her thoughts about why culture is such an important component of company success.  Reinforcing the company’s commitment to culture, NetApp once again was ranked as one of the world’s best workplaces according to the latest rankings from the Great Place to Work Institute.

 

 

 

NetApp was ranked one of the world’s best workplaces. Can you tell us a little about the ranking and why it is important to NetApp?

Let me start by congratulating and thanking our 12,000+ employees from around the globe that helped to make this tremendous recognition possible.  This “World’s Best” recognition is the culmination of all the Great Place to Work achievements for NetApp in 2012 and is a tremendous honor. It is a genuine reflection of our strong company culture.  What is interesting and exciting about these rankings is that they are based primarily on employee survey results from around the globe. They highlight our commitment to creating a fantastic work environment for our employees, but this also translates into an environment where customers and partners want to work with us as well. It is a true differentiator for us.


In your opinion, what are some of the key elements that make a company like NetApp a great place to work?

We are a model company built on 20 years of strong values and an un-paralleled culture. We are One Team truly dedicated to our customers and each other. We believe in doing the right thing and going beyond to get things done.


 

What distinguishes us is that we enable our employees to make a real impact to the business, which empowers them to do great things. In NetApp’s egalitarian culture, employees are respected at all levels and are given the tools, resources, and autonomy to perform their job with success. We have a collaborative and open communication environment where everyone is expected to contribute and their input is valued, which sets the foundation for our innovation and building a great workplace. Executives and managers companywide encourage candor and transparency, and they are known to be approachable by all employees.


 

How do you differentiate perks from a culture that delivers real impact and matters to employees?

Our culture is more than offering great perks and benefits – it’s about creating an environment where people are happy to come to work, enjoy the work they do, have trust in management, and enjoy who they work with. This helps make all employees feel part of the team, creating a sense of unity and camaraderie. And while we do have terrific perks, we focus on those areas that employees tell us are important to them, like our Volunteer Time Off (VTO) program where employees receive 5 paid work days to volunteer within their communities. 


How can culture impact customers or partners?

Creating a great workplace is important to NetApp because we want to create a phenomenal employee experience, but also because we strongly believe that engaged, passionate employees lead to business success for our customers, partners and for NetApp.  Our employees give us their best everyday and we are extremely grateful and believe that our employees living our values and powering our dynamic culture is our greatest differentiator.

By Bob Lofton, Sr. Director, IT Strategic Infrastructure Services

image00.jpg

 

On November 2, 2012, less than one year after the ground breaking ceremony of the new NetApp Data Center in Hillsboro, Oregon, the official Grand Opening took place.

 

With the facility complete and the Data Halls populated with the computing equipment, the invitations went out and 230 people representing the program team, the local Hillsboro government, the partners, and the customers who were interested in this achievement all took part in an event that will be remembered for some time.

 

The grand opening was celebrated with a Sake Barrel Ceremony. This ceremony is performed at celebratory events in which the lid of the Sake barrel is broken open by a wooden mallet and the sake is served to everyone present. In addition, a more traditional ribbon cutting ceremony.

 

This data center launched with the deployment of Clustered OnTap, FlexPOD, and other supporting technologies. Within the FlexPOD environment, which is deployed on using Clustered OnTap, we had 12 active applications and are adding new applications daily.

 

With the data center grand opening behind us, we now shift our focus to the production application migrations out of the Sacramento and Sunnyvale data centers. All these applications will also migrate to the Hillsboro Data Center, which leverages an Agile Data Infrastructure over the next 3 to 4 years. Wish us luck.

 

image02.jpgLeft to right: Cynthia Stoddard, Dave Caron, Jay Kidd and Mayor Willey performing the Sake Barrel ceremony

 

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Left to right: Keith Dines of Digital Realty, Cynthia Stoddard and Jay Kidd of NetApp, Mayor Willey of Hillsboro, and Dave Caron of Digital Realty performing the ribbon cutting


Last week, NetApp announced an extension to our FAS3200 midrange storage platform, with the FAS3220 and FAS3250. The updated systems deliver a superior mix of industry-leading performance, capacity scaling and value to create an infrastructure foundation that accelerates business growth. The FAS3200 platform is ideal for enterprises and midsized businesses seeking enterprise agility and performance at a mid-range price point.

 

Looking back, we wanted to share a few select pieces that best illustrate the growing capabilities of NetApp in enabling our customers to go further, faster.

 

NetApp FAS Storage Systems Offer Data OnTap Technology - eWeek

The FAS3220 and FAS3250 storage systems come with a host of features to enable non-disruptive operations and high scalability.

 

NetApp Launches New Mid-Tier Storage Arrays - Network Computing

Network Computing focuses on the quality of the storage upgrade, noting that NetApp's OS is a point of differentiation in terms of ease of management and upgrade paths.

 

NetApp upgrades midrange storage arrays - Computerworld

NetApp goes after shared virtualized infrastructures in a big way with the upgrades made to the midrange storage arrays.

 

NetApp Intros New Midrange Storage Arrays - CRN

NetApp's new FAS3220 and FAS3250 meet customers' growing needs for the ability to scale capacity up and down and the growing storage requirements for running mission- and business-critical applications.

 

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The media and entertainment industry may be one industry but it’s made up of many diverse workflows. E-Series historically has excelled at fast hard disk FibreChannel RAID workflows where bandwidth for many streams of HD, multiple 2K or even 4K playback is required. Today’s announced enhancements to E-Series extends the flexibility of the platform into several additional use cases.

 

SSD cache will greatly reduce latency in high IOPS workloads such as metadata or proxy intensive workflows or media transactions where large numbers of transactions are being serviced by databases. Some workflows can be best supported with appliances where a direct SAS connection will prove to be more efficient. And the iSCSI interface will be attractive to those facilities who don’t want to install FibreChannel and want to simply use the Ethernet network they have in place. All in all, NetApp sees E-Series becoming a workhorse across many of the workflows found across film, broadcast, cable, Internet and mobile media.

 

To learn more about the latest enhancements made to the E-Series platform, read here.

This infographic on Five Steps to an Agile Data Infrastructure describes how to improve the scalability, performance, and reliability of your storage environment using NetApp's new FAS midrange storage systems.

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You can also view this infographic on the NetApp Slideshare page here: http://nt-ap.com/SOrRkp

Posted by Mike McNamara

 

Across all types and sizes of business and organizations, mitigating the disruptions of downtime has become an increasing imperative. But for MSBs and smaller enterprise organizations, downtime can be particularly painful. Tasked with meeting similar needs as larger organizations, but with smaller staffs and tighter budgets, MSBs are finding that recovering from downtime is more challenging, more time consuming and more costly than ever before.

 

Planned downtime accounts for nearly 90 percent of all outages while unplanned downtime is responsible for only 10 percent. The 10 percent of downtime that results from a natural disaster or unforeseen catastrophe can be more expensive, the 90 percent of planned downtime is far more disruptive, with greater impact on business cycles and operations.

 

So what is the alternative if a component or storage controller has failed, a network interface card or chip needs to be replaced, an operating system needs to be updated, or an older system no longer has the horsepower to contend with the increased operational requirements of a growing business?

 

At NetApp, we utilize clustering technology and a feature called Data Motion for Volumes. This is how it works: Say you have a cluster of a FAS310, a FAS2220 and a FAS3240. Within that cluster you would have three systems, with each system having two controllers, for a total of six nodes. Within those six nodes, it would be possible to move data between those systems based on what is required of the application.

 

Perhaps the FAS310 in that cluster needs to be taken offline and upgraded. Since the FAS3140 is part of the cluster, we are able to efficiently conduct a volume move, remove the data that was on the FAS3140 and distribute some to the 2200 and some to the 3240. We could then take the 3140 offline, bring in a new system and move the data back on to it. We also can take advantage of the fact that we can now do load balancing with the systems in the cluster, moving some data non-disruptively from the 2200 to the 3240 for faster performance.

 

It doesn’t matter what the protocol is, what the workload is or even what storage system is being used—whether it is NetApp’s FAS2000 series up through the FAS3000 to the FAS6000. If the customer has storage from other companies, we can use our V series in a cluster, allowing them to reuse the investment they have already made and take advantage of NetApp’s storage efficiency benefits, with the added flexibility and resiliency that a cluster brings to bear.

 

To the users, and the organization, the entire process would be undetectable. Throughout it, they would still be getting full, uninterrupted access to the data—making the unavoidable inefficiency and frustration of even the most carefully planned downtime a thing of the past.


Earlier this week, NetApp announced new models in its FAS3200 Series with the release of the FAS3220 and FAS3250. To learn more about the products and how they help eliminate downtime, you can go to the
formal announcement.

By Simon Dutton

 

As we come up on the holiday season, NetApp 360 is pleased to launch a new blog series devoted to showcasing the way in which NetApp teams across the globe are giving back to their communities.

 

On Thursday 11th October, a team of 18 hardy NetApp Stockley Park employees braved the drizzle and made the short walk down to the banks of the Grand Union Canal, which runs alongside the estate. Why? Well, we were there to meet the crew of the Elsdale II, or “The Floating Classroom” as it is known. According to their website, the boat offers “an award winning schools programme … our aim is to ensure that young people are offered a varied and stimulating range of learning opportunities that support their personal development and raise awareness and attainment.”

 

The boat is operated by a local charitable organization, and at over 70 feet long is the largest electric barge currently operating in the UK. Because it’s so big, it really needs the canal to be as clear as possible from fallen trees and overgrown vegetation to ensure that it can navigate safely. Unfortunately, this is not the responsibility of the local authorities, so the boat’s operators need to either do it themselves or get some outside help. And that’s where NetApp came in…360pic1.jpg

After a short safety briefing and an outline of the plan for the day, we set off down the canal to the first obstacle, a large fallen tree. Charlie the skipper jumped off and set to work with his chainsaw, and it was left to the NetApp team to figure out how to drag the boughs and trunk across from the other side to the towpath, get the tree out of the water, and then cut it up into small enough pieces to be safely disposed of in the surrounding bushes. It was hard, wet, dirty work, but a really good laugh and everyone mucked in one way or another – either sawing up logs or lopping off branches, clearing away the cuttings, or simply pruning back the overhanging vegetation to make the towpath clearer for everyone in the community to use.

360pic2.jpgAfter an hour or so, scratch one tree - so it was time for lunch and a cruise further down the canal to where a series of crack willow trees had fallen and taken root in the canal bed, halving the width of the waterway. This was a much bigger job, taking almost four hours – and this time it was raining. Nevertheless, again we all pulled together – literally, when trying to get thirty feet of wet dead tree out of a canal – and were soon finished and back on board for the short cruise back to the office. 360pic3.jpgCharlie the skipper was delighted – “dead chuffed” in his own words. He was really pleased with how much we’d managed to do (more than he was expecting) and how neat and tidy we’d left the towpath afterwards – which was important as it’s used by runners and cyclists and a stray tree trunk could mean a very wet accident…

 

So, all in all a fantastic experience – having fun, doing good for the community and team building all at the same time. All made possible by the NetApp VTO program, and brilliantly organized by the UK intern team.

 

For more information about the Elsdale II, visit www.elsdale.co.uk

Every Monday we bring you top stories featuring NetApp that you may have missed from the previous week. Let us know what interests you by commenting below.

NetApp to open Hillsboro data center Friday - Portland Business Journal
NetApp and Digital Realty opened the doors to the new Hillsboro data center on Friday, an efficient, cost-effective solution to the fast-paced business climate and explosion of data.

 

NetApp’s new datacenter: 54 weeks from contract to realityZDNet

NetApp and Digital Realty teamed up to deliver a new cloud-focused Hillsboro data center in just 54 days, featuring the Cisco/NetApp FlexPod.

 

Firms push for Big Data solutions to tap newer revenue str arms Bloomberg Businessweek

As companies look to tap newer revenue streams based on real-time insights on customers and markets, they are looking to NetApp and other vendors offering Big Data solutions.

 

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Posted by Matt Miller 

 

As data and device usage escalates, smaller enterprise and mid-sized businesses (MSBs) are finding that they now have the storage, capacity and scaling needs of larger enterprise organizations, but must contend with MSB-sized budgets and operating expenses. The NetApp FAS3200 series midrange storage systems have allowed companies to consolidate their infrastructure operations onto a shared, unified SAN and NAS storage platform, giving them a high degree of flexibility and scale.

 

Today NetApp is excited to announce the release of two new additions to the FAS3200 portfolio—the FAS3220 and FAS3250. With up to 80% more performance and up to 100% more capacity scale for a comparable price, the new FAS3200 systems offer much more value for both smaller enterprise and mid-sized business customers

 

The new FAS3200 series serves as the optimal foundation for an agile data infrastructure, enabling business operations to run faster, scale further and be more efficient in use of storage.  The new systems can be tailored for virtual, cloud or traditional environments requiring only a few terabytes of storage to over 2PB in a single system.

 

Support for clustered Data ONTAP offers capabilities such as non-disruptive operations and seamless scaling to meet the ever changing requirements of today’s data driven environments.  Non-disruptive operations essentially eliminate the need for planned downtime by enabling customers to execute transparent upgrades, system replacements and performance balancing with no disruption of service to users.

 

NetApp also supports Flash technology on the new FAS3200 systems. Businesses have the flexibility to choose how to employ Flash, either within the server or at the storage level through a comprehensive, end-to-end portfolio of Flash offerings. Flash Accel caches “hot” data in the server for extreme application performance needs, and Flash Cache and Flash Pools can both increase performance in the storage layer, and improve storage efficiency by enabling reductions in overall storage footprint and space requirements. 

 

Both the FAS3220 and FAS3250 systems can boost application responsiveness by up to 90 percent with support for up to 2TB of Flash memory. Leveraging Flash, organizations can also gain storage efficiencies in excess of 60 percent by enabling the right storage media to be used at the right time for the right data

 

Combining performance and value, NetApp’s 3200 series is the ideal platform to address the performance and capacity needs of today’s growing enterprises and MSBs, offering the ability to dynamically adjust and scale to the needs of the future—without requiring downtime or an increase in IT budget or administrative overhead.

 

To learn more about the announcement, you can visit the product page on NetApp.com.

In a recent customer meeting, Steve Averay - one of our strongest Enterprise sales executives - told his C-Level audience: “If you’re just using your NetApp systems as storage arrays, you’re realizing less than half of their real value.”

 

Previously, I wrote about how fewer than 1% of application developers and their executives had heard of NetApp, much less understood the tremendous value we bring to their organizations. In this blog, we’ll look at some numbers, ratios validated across multiple customers and partners, that quantify the benefits NetApp brings to the application development community.

 

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Let’s say an organization spends $10M annually on hardware infrastructure, with somewhat less than half, or $4M, going to storage. NetApp, along with our partners Cisco and Red Hat, engage in a bid, and present a compelling value proposition with a 35% TCO improvement achieved by migrating from legacy UNIX/SAN to Linux/NAS.  To everyone involved, this looks exciting and compelling, right up to the point it’s put into the context of the larger project.

 

Customers spending $10M on infrastructure are likely spending five to eight times that amount on developing and maintaining applications. This customer spends $60M on application development, both internally and through contracts with a systems integration partner, such as Infosys, Wipro, or Accenture.  In this larger context, the $3.5M savings in infrastructure now amounts to a 5% TCO improvement.  The cost and risk of migration don’t justify such a move.  Even if NetApp were to give the storage away for free, migration risks would still outweigh the hardware TCO benefit.

 

This is where NetApp’s value proposition of accelerating the application lifecycle comes in.  NetApp consistently demonstrates the ability to save customers in excess of 20% on their application development cycles, while simultaneously improving productivity, product quality, and time to value.  This is the big story behind ING Direct, Thomson Reuters, Seven Corners, and multiple other clients who leverage the full value of their NetApp systems to drive substantial top and bottom line growth for their companies today.

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