NetApp's FilerView management product is going to be replaced by NetApp System Manager, a Windows application built as a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) 3.0 snap-in, and available in a few months.
The concept behind it is to provide management of one or many NetApp arrays through a simple and easy to use GUI. FilerView is HTTP-based and has been around in NetApp for a long time. According to NetApp company bloggers, customers deserve a more modern interface.
The new NSM product will be included with all FAS arrays, starting with FAS2000 and 3000s, and has a Windows Server 2008 look and feel. It supports "discovery, setup, FCP, iSCSI, CIFS, NFS, deduplication, provisioning, thin provisioning, snapshot and configuration management of multiple NetApp storage systems from a single pane of glass".
It's reckoned that a FAS array can be set up for the first time in around five minutes, with initial system configuration only needing two screen window pages. Subsequently FAS arrays can be set up in two minutes. It's said that there is auto-discovery for Active Directory, LDAP, DNS and DHCP. Add a host name to NSM and "you're up and running with all licensed protocols".
NSM is integrated with the Windows System Tray and will alert a sysadmin to monitored NetApp system problems.
NetApp best practise settings for its arrays come with the product. Sysadmins will be able to use wizards to create LUNs, volumes and aggregates, with only three clicks needed for aggregate creation. We're told that "all disks in the aggregate are balanced across multiple back-end loops".
There is a specific wizard to support provisioning for VMware systems. When creating an NFS datastore in a VMware environment, "the process is similar to creating a volume, however, the wizard will also ask for the VMkernel IP address of the ESX host(s) so the NFS volume gets exported. The dedup option is also there."
IBM N-Series system users will get NSM too, and beta NSM builds will soon be available on the NetApp online Beta Community. ®