7 Reasons To Love NetApp

For the record: There could easily have been a post on say 'Reasons to Love HP P4000 iSCSI SANs' – with their ease of clustering, 'Reasons to Love 3PAR' – with 3PARs excellent "stay-thin" and "Peer Motion" technologies, ... and the list goes on – vendor agnosticism and open-mindedness are fantastic traits to have. An important part of being able to sell a product – either internally to your own company, or externally to a customer – is that you are passionate about what you are trying to sell; so this post attempts to put down in text some ammunition for answering the question – "Why NetApp?"
1: NetApp are a Pure Player
NetApp's strategy is pure play storage. Storage is what they do and that single focus helps them to excel at what they do – make excellent highly-featured storage.

2: Data ONTAP
The same operating/management system – Data ONTAP – applies to the complete range of FAS series devices, from the FAS2000 series at the small to medium enterprise end of the market, through the FAS3000 series, and up to the enterprise level FAS6000 series. Also, Data ONTAP is much more open in terms of accessing the underlying operating system CLI than other rivals offerings, which is excellent for techies.

3: Fantastically Innovative
NetApp are great innovators: from WAFL (1992), through Snapshot technology (1993), NDMP (1996), SnapRestore (1999), SnapManager (2000), MultiStore (2001), NearStore (2002), SnapLock (2002), SnapVault (2002), V-Series (2003), RAID-DP (2003), FlexVol thin provisioning (2004), MetroCluster (2005), Unified Deduplication (2007), Performance Acceleration Module (PAM) (2008), to NetApp Data Motion technology (2010) and much more.

4: The NetApp Community
See: http://communities.netapp.com , YouTube, and various blogs.
NetApp have a fantastically large and thriving community of enthusiasts, geeks, bloggers, YouTube film makers, storage administors and architects.

5: NetApp is a Great Place To Work
Any company that looks after its staff well is onto a winner – happy staff leads to good work, good customer service, and good results; and NetApp have won major awards for their workplace and as a company to work for:
NetApp Ranked #6 in FORTUNE's 100 Best Companies To Work For 2012
NetApp Ranked #3 in World's Best Multinational Workplaces 2011

6: A Company That Listens To And Values Its Customers and Partners
This point comes from various sources, especially NetApp TV and NetApp's highly informative website. Of course all good companies out there are doing (or at least trying to do) the same – hey, needed something to get me to number 7!

7: Range of Storage and Software Features
Check out http://www.netapp.com/products/ for the complete listing.

Data ONTAP 8:
Comes in two versions:

7-Mode: allows FAS arrays to be deployed as a local two-node cluster, a geographically spanned MetroCluster, and as a remote distributed FlexCache.
Cluster-Mode: expands a NetApp storage cluster from 2 nodes to 24 nodes, increases the features found in 7-mode to include endless scaling, global name spaces, and the complete separation of data and data access from the hardware layer in the form of next generation vFilers.
Note: It is not possible to change from one mode to the other without a rebuild – check out netapp.com for the limitations of a particular mode.

FAS Series Software Packs:
*Some of the features may not be available for all models.

Base Pack:
Operations Manager, SnapShot, FlexVol, Thin Provisioning, RAID-DP, FlexShare, Deduplication (note that the deduplication does have some limitations around unused physical memory required in the filer {~1GB} per TB of deduplication), NearStore, SyncMirror (both copies of the data are owned by the same controller), System Manager, FilerView, FC protocol, iSCSI protocol, HTTP protocol

Foundation Pack:
SnapRestore® - File/volume restore from Snapshot copies
SnapVault® Primary - Enable disk-to-disk backup from primary system
Provisioning Manager - Automates provisioning workflow
Protection Pack:
SnapMirror® - Remote replication
SnapVault Secondary - Enable disk-to-disk backup on secondary system
Protection Manager - Policy-based data protection
Application Pack:
SnapManager® - (for Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SharePoint Server, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, SAP, Virtual Infrastructure) - Enable and streamline application-aware backup, recovery, and cloning
SnapDrive® (for Windows, UNIX®) - Automated provisioning; makes sure of host-consistent Snapshot copies
Single Mailbox Recovery - Enable recovery of messages, attachments, and mailboxes for Microsoft Exchange
NetApp DSM Load-balancing and failover capabilities
Server Pack:
SnapManager for Virtual Infrastructure - Simple, policy-based backup and recovery of virtual machines
SnapDrive (for Windows, UNIX) - Automated provisioning; makes sure of host-consistent Snapshot copies
NetApp DSM - Load-balancing and failover capabilities
Advanced Pack:
FlexClone® - Instant virtual clones of production data
MultiStore® - Secure partitioning and storage consolidation
SnapLock® Compliance - Data permanence for government requirements
SnapLock Enterprise - Data permanence for corporate requirements

Additional Capabilities
Data Motion – Always-on data mobility. Perform live data movement without the need for planned downtime.

OnCommand Management Software
Control: System Manager, My AutoSupport
Automate: OnCommand, Workflow Automation
Analyze: OnCommand Insight

Protection Software
Backup and Recovery: Open System SnapVault, SnapProtect, SnapRestore, SnapVault
Business Continuity: MetroCluster, SnapMirror
Archive and Compliance: SnapLock


Storage Acceleration Products
Performance Acceleration Module (PAM) cards
Storage Acceleration Appliance
Flash Cache


  1. NetApp has long been considered one of the most innovative products developed to provide companies around the world with the best IT solutions. It can deliver maximum data protection and performance on your server. One particularly useful program from NetApp is SnapRestore. This software is capable of using backup copies called Snapshots to recover file systems or data volumes consisting of any number of files in just a matter of seconds. This is particularly useful for storing large amounts of sensitive information in order to prevent complete data loss.


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