NetApp SnapManager for VI 2.0 (SMVI)

For those of you using NetApp for your back-end virtual machine storage, there is a new version of their SnapManager for Virtual Infrastructure (SMVI) tool that was recently released. SMVI 2.0 will include a number of enhancements that really push the bar when it comes to NetApp/VMware integration.

Some of the enhancements to the 2.0 product include;

  • Autosupport Integration
  • Backup Enhancements & GUI Re-design
  • Snapshot Naming Changes
  • Scripting
  • Restore Enhancements
  • Single File Restore
  • Self-Service Restore
  • Limited Self-Service Restore
  • Administrator-Assisted Restore
  • Restore Agent

What really excites me with this new version is the ability for an end-user to do a single file restoration, this will dramatically decrease the labor required at the server administration level for these types of requests.  Most of us already using the 1.0 product have seen the benefits of the VMware/NetApp snapshot integration, how NetApp utilizes VMware Tools to quiesce the virtual machine(s) within a datastore then do a NetApp level snapshot. Then there is also the ability to tie this all into SnapMirror, which works great.

Check out this video demonstrating some of the new features in SMVI 2.0

For those of you using NetApp, I’d strongly recommend adding SMVI to your FY11 budget!

Created on September 16, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Backup & Recovery, NetApp, Storage.

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NetApp, VMware and SQL TechTalk – Q&A Transcript

Most of you know that I was the featured guest on a Live TechTalk last week, NetApp has furnished me with the transcripts from the Q&A of the event – for those of you that submitted questions but were unable to get a response – the transcript below should have your answer.   I’m extremely excited to say that this transcript will only be available on and NetApp will even be sending the link to their customers, hopefully this will increase the traffic on the site.

If you have any additional questions in regards to the TechTalk event, please feel free to submit a comment to this post – or email me at rick (at) vmwaretips (dot) com.

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Created on June 3, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Conferences, NetApp, VMware.

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Take a Break – Play NetApp Data Defense

So, this is a game that I’ve been playing now for almost a month!  It is addicting!  The marketing team over at NetApp have been working on this around the clock, I was fortunate enough to get in on the beta. Today I was told I can finally blog about it and give you all the URL to go play for yourself. This will not be announced to the public until May 27th, so go check it out before anyone else knows about it!

Created on May 21, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Good Reading, NetApp.

This blog has 13,182 views and 2 responses.

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Join Me for a NetApp TalkTech on Virtualizing SQL

Join me on Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 11:00am Pacific Time for a discussion on Virtualizing SQL on VMware with Confidence.

Virtualize SQL on VMware with Confidence
What You Should Know and How to Get Started

Join us for a live Webcast and hear how Rick Scherer from San Diego Data Processing Corporation overcame server sprawl by successfully implementing SQL Server® on VMware®.

> Register Now

In addition, experts from NetApp and VMware will host an interactive discussion on best practices that will help you weigh your deployment options. You’ll learn how virtualization solutions can help you:

  • Gain performance advantages when virtualizing SQL.
  • Optimize storage utilization without impacting performance.
  • Implement centralized and cost-effective backup and disaster recovery.

Created on May 21, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Conferences.

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VMware vSphere and the vStorage API

During my trip to Palo Alto for the VMware vSphere Launch I met with some NetApp engineers at their Executive Briefing Center in Sunnyvale.  This was perhaps one of my favorite meetings while in the Bay Area that week.

There are going to be a lot of exciting things coming with the GA release of vSphere, one of the biggest in my opinion will be with vStorage API’s, which will allow vSphere to offload tasks to the storage subsystem.

I was told by NetApp that in vSphere when you initiate a Clone of a Virtual Machine or Deploy from Template, this process will be sent to your FAS system to process, rather than it happening at the ESX host level as it traditionally was done.

Other things that will be sent to the storage system include De-Duplication (if your storage supports it), commands sent by VMware Data Recovery and also automated provisioning in VMware View can be offloaded.  For VMware View, NetApp provided the example of their Rapid Cloning Utility and how it already integrates with the VI Client – the new release will be a lot more streamlined since it will use vStorage API calls.

So, what does all of this mean?  It shows that VMware is working close with the hardware vendors to truly build a Virtual Eco-System, and it shows a lot of exciting new potential that vSphere will bring. Pushing storage related processes back to the storage subsystem will not only increase the speed of these transactions, but it will also relieve a lot of CPU and I/O from the ESX hosts.

Created on May 5, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under NetApp, Storage, vSphere.

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The Things You’ll Find When You Google Yourself

My boss asked me today to provide a list of things I’ve done the past year for my upcoming performance review.  I typed up all I knew off the top of my head, but I decided to do a Google Search on my name to see what it comes back with.  To my surprise I found a interview that Gartner did of me a few months back in regards to virtualization and storage. What’s funny is that it feels like I did this years ago and that everything I mention is such old and outdated technology! 

Check it out for yourself, hope you enjoy it!  Here is the abstract and link to view it;

DataCenter Virtualization: Why You Need It and Best Practices for Success

Server virtualization has fast become the way to cut costs. If you are interested in maximizing the benefits of virtualized servers and extending those benefits toward storage, then check out this new program now.

In this program you will learn how server virtualization:

  • Can save you money
  • Help with server sprawl
  • Free up data center space
  • Support your x86 server architecture
  • Enhance disaster recovery
  • Provide dynamic flexibility
  • Allow for rapid deployment

You will hear experts from featured analyst firm, Gartner, Inc., and industry experts from NetApp, and San Diego Data Processing Corporation discuss:

  • The reasons your organization should choose server virtualization for storage.
  • The benefits server virtualization can bring to your company.
  • The objectives your company can achieve with server virtualization.

Plus you’ll have access to a number of case studies, white papers and other supporting materials, which will be interesting and useful to you as you make the move towards virtualization.

See for yourself. Check out this new program now and learn more.

Created on April 16, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Backup & Recovery, NetApp, Storage.

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SDDPC is a Finalist for SNW Best Practices Award

I’m extremely excited to announce that my employer, San Diego Data Processing Corporation (SDDPC), has been announced as a finalist for a Storage Networking World Best Practices in Storage Award in the ROI and Best Practices in Green Computing and the Data Center category.

ROI and Best Practices in Green Computing and the Data Center: 
This category includes one or more of these three areas:The nominations may highlight the business and economic impact of green IT initiatives. The convergence of pressures to reduce IT operational costs and the need to be more energy efficient presents new opportunities. The nomination may highlight challenges, initiatives and improvements in energy consumption and a transition to sustainable computing models. Enterprise-wide efforts would be appropriate. The nomination may highlight data center-based challenges, initiatives and solutions to become greener is growing to be an important operational area for IT management attention. All green IT data center and virtualization initiatives may be included. 

The “Best Practices in Storage” Honorees will be announced on Tuesday, April 7th during SNW, taking place April 6-9, 2009 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Florida.  

Special thanks to NetApp for nominating our environment for this award. It sure makes us feel good to be noticed for the hard work we’ve put into building The City of San Diego’s storage infrastructure.

Created on April 7, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Conferences, Good Reading.

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Two Weeks Until the Release that Changes it All


On April 21, 2009, VMware will be unveiling how they are taking IT to new heights of efficiency, choice and control through service-level automation—dramatically reducing capital and operating costs and maximizing IT efficiency—with the freedom to choose any application, OS, or hardware.

Here are some highlights of what is coming on April 21st;

  • Saves enough energy to power Denmark for 10 days
  • Frees up enough storage to host 50 times the current volume of photos on Facebook
  • Offers 4 times more memory per virtual machine
  • Handles 8,900 transactions per second in a virtual machine
  • Handles 3 times eBay’s daily traffic on a single server
  • Supports 4 times more operating systems than the competition
  • Offers twice as many vCPUs per virtual machine
  • Supports up to 40GB of network throughput per host
  • Is completely awesome!

    Join Paul Maritz, President and CEO of VMware, as he and other VMware leaders officially unveil the next generation of virtualization technology from VMware.

    I am proud to announce that VMwareTips will be on-site at VMware’s Corporate Offices in Palo Alto, CA for this event. Special Thanks to NetApp for covering my travel/lodging expenses. I still have the need for another sponsor though as I would like to purchase a camcorder to video record the event and post on Sponsorship would include free advertising on, contact me for more info.

    Don’t miss your chance to participate in one of the most groundbreaking events this year. Look for full coverage of this event on and also via simulcast by registering here.

    Created on April 6, 2009 by Rick Scherer

    Posted under Conferences, vSphere.

    This blog has 3,833 views and 2 responses.

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    REAL Systems Engineers Don’t Need GUIs

    Today I needed a little amusement.  In an article posted on Tech Target, Beth Pariseau discusses the new upcoming NetApp System Manager (NSM). In a comment from Reinoud Reynders, IT manager for the University of Hospitals of Leuven in Belgiumin, he states:

    “In general, a GUI is a sexy tool, that all vendors like to demonstrate but a “real/old fashioned” system engineer will use it not very often. For vendors, it’s very important that they have one (for pre-sales activities), but after that, the use is less important.”

    Being a UNIX Administrator at heart, this made me chuckle.  But then I started thinking about ESXi and how you need the VIC (vSphere Client) to maintain and manage….I almost started crying, I’ll be forced to use a GUI to manage my own systems…but then I remembered, ESXi has a hidden console!  Whew!

    Check out the award NetApp won at VMworld Europe.  This post also includes screen shots from the upcoming NetApp System Manager.

    Created on March 5, 2009 by Rick Scherer

    Posted under NetApp, VMworld.

    This blog has 3,792 views and 2 responses.

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    NetApp Battles the Competition

    In a clever marketing video NetApp produced (in house), NTAP takes on DD and e2 in an 8 Mile style rap battle. This was quite entertaining, thanks for the 4 minute break from a stressful day NetApp!

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    Created on February 25, 2009 by Rick Scherer

    Posted under NetApp.

    This blog has 4,040 views and one response.

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