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Mar 27, 2014 Back to Basics: Virtual Machine Format Considerations for Backups
How you format your virtual machines will affect the backup operation.  I wanted to use this blog post to summarize the results and reasons associated with backup behavior based on
Mar 10, 2014 Application or Hypervisor – Who Should Own the Backup Operation
This past week I had an opportunity to sit in on a number of design discussion for non-converged and converged infrastructures used to host application on virtualized infrastructures.  One of
Feb 14, 2014 All Your VM Backups Are Belong To Us – part 3 of 3
The market is full of backup software solutions that span from scripts, hosted services, to web-based and thick applications.  These backup solutions target end-users, small, medium and enterprise business and
Feb 13, 2014 All Your VM Backups Are Belong To Us – part 2 of 3
I’ve stated before that the sole purpose for backups is to facilitate recovery.  In a previous post, I also argued for the characterization of data as the first step to any
Feb 12, 2014 All Your VM Backups Are Belong To Us – part 1 of 3
We’ve all heard it before… virtualization continues to change everything related to how we utilize our IT resources.  These changes provide for agility and automation within the data center resulting in flexibility that
Feb 5, 2014 Data Characterization – part 3 of 3
Closing off this series is both necessary and difficult.  It is difficult in that there is much more that I would like to share – we didn’t even discuss backup
Feb 3, 2014 Data Characterization – part 2 of 3
GEICO, eSurance, Farmers, Allstate – in the United States, these companies are synonymous with insurance (auto, home, and/or life).  As the insurer of data, you are no different.  Sure, you
Feb 1, 2014 Data Characterization – part 1 of 3
Over the past year I had a number of opportunities to engage with people at various industry events.  At the events where I was given a platform to speak, I
Dec 8, 2013 HP Discover, Barcelona 2013
The location is set, the participants have registered and the venue is being setup.  I’m just over 8 hours before I board the plane to head to HP Discover in
Dec 4, 2013 A Much Needed Hiatus
‘ve not intentionally been slack on blogging the last couple of weeks – wait, yes I have and on purpose too.  I took a much needed vacation to my other

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VMworld is in full swing on Day 2, and the Hands on Lab program is well underway with people looking to walk home with knowledge and skills that have been earned through fingers on the keyboard.  This year, VMware was kind enough to offer Netapp, Cisco and EMC and opportunity to participate in the program.  As you might imagine we were all excited about the opportunity and dedicated some of our best resources at it.


That said, I'd like to share with you some of the current stats mid-way through the event.  Of course, there are 2 and half days or so, so these numbers are likely to change.  If you click on the image below, you'll see that we are doing well as the top partner lab and rank #12 based on all of the labs deployed as of 3:13pm on 8/30.



A very special thanks goes out to the staff: Jim Weingarten, Julian Cates, Peter Learmonth, Nick Howell, Brian Schofer and Lisa Crewe on all of the hard work to showcase a killer NetApp product demonstration set.  The labs turned out great and people have walked away very excited about what they learned and how the pieces fit together.


VMworld 2011 is turning out to be an amazing show!!

Well, v0dgeball 2011 has come and gone, and I must say that all teams present put up an incredible show of skill and sportsmanship.  As you'll recall, I posted earlier that this event was a fundraiser with money going to the Wounded Warrior Project.  I can say that as a former member of the US Armed Forces, I do very much appreciate the generosity that was at the heart of this competition.  That said, I'd like to extend the spirit of giving by offering an opportunity for you to be part of our team.  If you would be interested in purchasing one of our team shirts, I'll charge you cost + $5.00.  The $5.00 will be donated to the same program as v0dgeball.  If you're interested, please complete the following form:


If you're interested, here is what I need from you. Please complete and send me an email by clicking here before Sept 7th, 2011 : Email Scott


I'll confirm the final price and we can make payment arrangements via paypal.  I'll drop a follow up post on the blog once the money has been collected for a final contribution count.


Thanks for the continued support - Go NetApp v0dgeballers!

It is win or go home. No questions. You have to bring your best or you will have to wait for next year.  And of course the winner will remind you until then.

My love for this game was cemented last year when I watched the friendly competition between NetApp and EMC as the favored underdog storage vendor was down by one.There was very little time left.

Inbound play. Last second throw by the NetApp right wing. The release… A red blur over mid-court… direct hit as the stomach of the EMC player reverberates in a slow ripple effect from the shock… WIN!

If you read that sentence slowly you will get the feeling I felt as the ball bounced around on the floor. After finally knocking out the last EMC player, the audience and the NetApp team jumped up off the bench and with a vicious fist pump screamed,“V0dgeball Baby!” The commentators even shared in the jubilation:

Cotton McKnight:Do you believe in unlikelihoods? Netapp’s shocking the v0dgeball world and upsetting EMC in the championship match!

Pepper Brooks:Unbelievable!

Cotton McKnight:Ladies and gentlemen, I have been to the Great Wall of China, I have seen the Pyramids of Egypt, I’ve even witnessed a grown man [redacted] a camel. But never in all my years as a sports caster have I witness something as improbable,as impossible, as what I’ve witnessed here today!

This is oneof my favorite moments in v0dgeball, and I expect nothing less from the 2011v0dgeball tournament in Las Vegas, NV

. . .

Stories are an integral part of sports. There is no single competition that is not made more enjoyable and satisfying when the stories of the individuals and the program are known. If you’ve engaged in the story of an athlete or a team, you know the different forms that a story can take. The Star Athlete suffers from a triple-digit fever, but turns in the performance of his life. The Juggernaut v0dgeballprogram loses their right-winger; can they still dominate? The longest vOdgeball Series drought in v0dgeball history – will it end this year?

Perhaps the most compelling stories in sports, though, are those that center around the desire, determination, and faith of a group of individuals that by all accounts has no business succeeding in their chosen arena. Think Rocky. Think Hoosiers.Think Miracle. These Cinderella stories capture the hearts of anyone who listens, sports fan or not, because of the transcendent nature of the story they tell. This is not just about athletics, this is about being human. It’s about that indelible part of the human soul that burns to be part of something larger than itself. And the longer the odds are in the beginning, the more compelling the journey to glory becomes.

Enter NetApp’s Dominate v0dgeball Team:The Crazy Nasty-Ass Honey Badgers.


While NetApp may be known for it's wildly successful storage and software products, there is perhaps no team in the IT industry more prepared to be the next great Cinderella sports story than the Honey Badgers. As for humble beginnings, this rag-tag collection of virtualization zealots has not played together before.  Can their passion for virtualization transcend the v0dgeball courts and bring a blazing victory and all of its bragging rights home to NetApp? Time will only tell, but odds seem insurmountable and building a strong v0dgeballpedigree takes a determined team.

In v0dgeball,as in all sports, success breeds success. Talented players go to winning programs. Without a successful past, history-changing players rarely fall intoa team’s lap. Without wins, a program must be built from the ground up to be competitive, and that takes a special kind of leader. A program builder. A captain capable of creating a total far greater than the sum of its parts.

Enter Vaughn Stewart.

Vaughn came to NetApp in January of 2000, and in 2010 began building that program. In the last 2 years Vaughn has made an unbelievable run at recruiting the best players from NetApp throughout the continental united states.  This,according to Vaughn is the first priority and key ingredient to creating a winning program. Vaughn's grueling recruiting efforts took him to the back waters of Louisiana to capture the widling Cajun dodgeballer - Julian Cates; the barren north of Alaska for the "right-wing yeti" we know as Joel Kaufman; to Brownsville, TX to grab the panhandler-turned-guard Jim Weingarten; to Detroit, MI to convince 80's hair-band lead Michael Slisinger to come out of retirement; knocking on the door of a secluded SoCal monastery to cash in on the favor owed to him by Adam Fore; to finally rescuing Set Forgosh from a collapsed table caused by the 5.4 earthquake that rocked the east coast.

Not all was success though, early in the recruiting process, the once famed Nick "that1guynick" Howell who dominated the dodgeball courts at South Charlotte Elementary (before Charlotte PD asked him to leave), that bad-boy from the south, suffered a broken nail and was red-shirted for the game.  He'll be there in body, but I worry that the break in that nail may have reached his spirit, and that my friends is the essence of a true player.

As captain of the Honey Badgers and NetApp’sv0dgeball program, Vaughn took even took his sister team, the vBallers, a struggling program in its own right, and built them into a powerful “B” team. He has earned captain of the year honors in 2010 and took his team to the v0dgeballfinals.

“Vaughn is a captain that has had success at every stop along his career path,” Arkansas Gazette Athletic Analyst Larry “Courtside” Williams has said. “His ability to develop and take multiple programs to unprecedented levels is no fluke. He is a program builder and his record speaks for itself. Vaughn values the importance of virtualization and applies it to his philosophy of teaching on the court,making him an excellent addition to NetApp’s v0dgeball program.”

The history of NetApp’s v0dgeball program is about to become just that: history.They’re finished taking abuse from the wicked stepsisters, nay-sayers and competitors, and they’re preparing to climb up out of the musty, dank cellar of the Las Vegas Sports Center. You can wait until they’ve become royalty to pay attention, but then you’ll miss entering into – and becoming part of – the story as it unfolds.

VMworld 2011 is upon us and the excitement around the event continues to build.  Like many vendors, NetApp has quite a lot going on and I thought it would very beneficial to offer you a set of CliffNotes to make sure you don't miss anything.  With that, here's your TOC:


TOC: Everything NetApp


It's Not All Work

Put Your Hands On It Without Violating HR Policies

What If I Wanna Hear Your Take

What Can I See At The Booth

Thanks For All Of This, But I'm In It For The Prizes


It's Not All Work


NetApp, in conjunction with EMC, Cisco, VMware, VCE, and others are participating in the 2nd annual vOdgeball event.  This year, the teams have chosen the Wounded Warrior Project as the recipient of the money we raise for the event.  The details about the event are here and if you don't have anything to do on Sunday between 7pm and 10pm, please come out and support some friendly competition and an amazing charity.  For NetApp, we will be sponsoring 2 team -- The NetApp HoneyBadgers and The NetApp vBallers:



The HoneyBadgers include: Vaughn Stewart (Captain), Julian Cates, Scott Baker, Adam Fore, Joel Kaufman, Michael Slisinger, Jim Weingarten, Seth Forgosh, and Nick Howell (Red Shirt).

The vBallers include: Friea Berg (Captain), Nick DeRose, Lisa Crewe, Chris Gebhardt, Rob McDonald, Heather Sutherland, Nick Triantos and Chris Wells


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Put Your Hands On It Without Violating HR Policies


NetApp, EMC and Cisco were invited by VMware to provide a "pod" for the VMworld Hands On Lab.  The team worked some long nights to pull this off and as a result, I'd encourage you to take time out of your time at VMworld and use the HoL program to gain some immediate insight on the integrations, storage efficiencies and steady state infrastructure analysis tools to improve your virtualization initiatives.  The lab highlights our Virtual Storage Console, Insight Balance Product, Plug-ins and it's all presented in a day-in-the-life of an administrator who is asked to make decisions as workloads and requirements change.  Consider your schedule and stop by.  Besides, if you are prize collector, attending the HoL will get you a special pin used by our prize patrol team.  Located in the Sands Exhibit Hall D, the HoL hours are: Sun 2-8pm, Mon 8am-3pm, Tue 10am-10pm, Wed 8am-6pm, and Thu 8am-4pm.


What If I Wanna Hear Your Take


NetApp has a series of speaking sessions throughout the event.  Some are traditional, some support other customers/partners, and some are panels.  Here are the details where key members of the NetApp team will be participating in speaking engagements:


Session IDDayTimeTitle NetApp Speaker
SPO3987Mon10am - 11amSponsor Breakout: Seven Corners and NetApp Accelerate the Journey to the Cloud TogetherSpencer Sells
VSP1956Mon1pm - 2pmThe ESXi Quiz ShowVaughn Stewart
SEC2942Mon2pm - 3pmBuilding Trusted Clouds: Proof Points, Not PromisesRavi Kumar
SPO3988Tue10:30am - 11:30amSponsor Breakout: Oak Hills and NetApp Do the Math: Implementing a Practical VDI Solution Designed to Scale Beyond 50,000 SeatsVaughn Stewart
SEC2942Tue3pm - 4pmBuilding Trusted Clouds: Proof Points, Not PromisesRavi Kumar
VSP1361Wed8am - 9amPowerCLI 101Glenn Sizemore
SUP1009Wed9:30am - 10:30amSuper Session: Thomson Reuters and NetApp Build a Successful, Efficient CloudVal Bercovici
VSP3223Wed2pm - 3pmStorage as a Service with vCloud DirectorNick Howell & Jack McLeod
BCO2863Thu11am - 12pmHow to Use Distance to Your Advantage to Create a Unified Data Protection StrategyScott Baker & Larry Touchett
EUC2692Thu11am - 12pmPanel: Rethinking Storage for Virtual DesktopsVaughn Stewart


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What Can I See At Your Booth


This year, NetApp have a front-row booth at VMworld, booth number #401. Our booth will provide focus area and live demonstrations related to Cloud Computing, Integrated Infrastructure Stacks with FlexPod, Virtual Desktops and Enterprise Business Applications.  The Cloud Computing booth will demonstrate our plugin to vCenter Orchestrator, tenant-level backups with our SnapCreator product, building SLA-based storage service catalogs with OnCommand, and we will show steady state analysis with the OnCommand Insight products.  For Virtual Desktops, we'll demonstrate storage efficiencies from NetApp, virtual storage tiering, space reclamation for thinly provisioned pools, and our partner Liquidware Labs will be there to highlight our partnership and their product portfolio.  In the Enterprise Biz Apps booth, we'll highlight disaster recovery with SRM5, app-consistent backups and multi-level restores with our new product SnapProtect, and how to isolate workload anomalies with Insight Balance (such as misaligned VMs).  Lastly, in the FlexPod booth, we'll demonstrate mixed workload deployment and management, secure multi-tenancy, steady-state analysis with our Insight products, and our partner Cloupia will be there to demonstrate an industry leading unified infrastructure management tool and a truly amazing new release that they will unveil.


There is a lot more to see, and certainly spending 1:1 time with some of NetApp's vExperts and professionals to talk about your virtualization initiatives, considerations you are making in your designs, and how to broaden the adoption and proliferation of VMware technologies will be a major benefit to you.


NetApp Booth.png


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Thanks For All Of This, But I'm In It For The Prizes


This year we will have some really great opportunities to go home with more than some bag inserts, pens, hand sanitizers and the like.  Your first job - help drive NetApp brand awareness by stopping by the booth and picking up your official NetApp hat:


NetApp hat.png  Congrats.png

Wear the hat - literally everywhere, because our prize patrol could be anywhere; the exception will likely be your hotel room.  If you're spotted wearing it, they'll hand you the card like the one shown (I know, it was for CiscoLive -- it'll be branded appropriately) and you have a chance to win: a BlackBerry 32GB tablet, XBox Kinect, Sony Internet Blu-Ray Player, Amazon Kindle, and different tiers of gift cards.  Now I pointed out that we will be participating in the VMworld HoL and that we would be running live demonstrations at our booth.  That said, as you complete visit and complete each of these, you'll be given a pin to add to your hat.  The pins are holographic (expect the one for the HoL which flashes - hint: that will grab the attention of the prize patrol if you have it going) and look like the following:




Collect them all, and the prize patrol could tap you to be put in a raffle to win a 46" Sony Internet TV (and yes, we'll send it to you to forego any headaches of getting it into the overhead compartment).


Folks -- we are going to have an absolute blast at the event and we want you to be a part of it.  Looking forward to seeing you there!