New ZenPack for NetApp Uses ONTAP to Monitor Clustered Storage and Thus, More Beer

June 5 2013 | By | in Monitoring

379027524_27e588ee7cMy take-away from NetApp’s video about storage clustering is that the 1st & foremost benefit of clustered storage is *more beer for you*. Sure, the video mentions other benefits, like adding & re-arranging storage on-the-fly without taking applications down, & scaling your storage capacity without adding incremental staff. But the video makes it clear that these are distant 2nd and 3rd benefits.

Whether or not beer is your main reason for clustering your storage, I’m happy to share that Zenoss has released a new NetApp ZenPack that monitors your clustered NetApp storage. This ZenPack takes advantage of NetApp’s native ONTAP protocols (in addition to SNMP) instead. The main benefits of this approach include:

Support for clustered NetApp storage

  • See the video above. I’m not kidding about the beer. But if you’re clustering so you can scale up your storage efficiently, you’re not alone.

10x faster performance

  • With SNMP, my large thousand-volume array couldn’t be covered within a 5-minute polling window, so I’d have to poll less frequently. Now with Zenoss APIs via ONTAP, I can monitor much faster and therefore more frequently/thoroughly.

Previously unavailable component metrics

  • Zenoss Service Dynamics ships with out-of-the-box templates for monitoring NetApp, but if our templates don’t include the granular details you want, you can go to town – gathering any data points that ONTAP makes available, such as disk I/O and latency. You’re no longer limited to what SNMP can get you.

I actually got to visit NetApp (who use Zenoss internally) in North Carolina to help them check out the new ZenPack. Seeing it in action in their engineering labs was quite cool.

Zenoss Service Impact remains the offering out there with a Real-Time Service Model. This tells our customers – automatically – the exact cause of any IT infrastructure problem, in context of any applications, services, or customers being served by the faulty component. When you know exactly how any dependent virtualization & workloads are impacted (plus who all may be affected) your team is more likely to make informed choices as to whether your limited staff should be pulled off their other duties today to address a SAN or NAS issue. Maybe it needs a fast fix. Or maybe it can wait. Getting this decision right can mean everyone goes home (or down to the pub) at a reasonable hour.

To sum up, commercial Zenoss licensees can go grab the new NetApp ZenPack now and enjoy their adult beverages of choice. Cheers!

Photo Credit: mfajardo via Compfight cc

With a decade’s experience in Unix Administration, Eric Edgar’s AIX/UNIX/LINUX skills–plus development of 16 ZenPacks–have earned him the certified “ZenMaster” title. You can shout out to him on the Zenoss IRC chat as ‘rocket’ and also find him on GitHub as eedgar and Twitter @ericedgar.