All Things NetApp

VMworld is running at the moment, and there’s a bunch of new information coming out from various vendors. One of those vendors is NetApp, makers of storage hardware and software.

I’ve had a bunch to do with NetApp in recent years. In fact, I’ve spent almost all of my time working on NetApp installations. “So what?” I hear you say. “There are thousands of NetApp shops in the world, with loads of people working in them. What makes you so special?”

Well, nothing much. Only NetApp just announced their Dynamic Data Center architecture, and mentioned the customers it came from: Telstra, Sensis, Suncorp. Guess where I’ve been working? Yep. All three.

The NDDC is a big thing, and lots of people had a hand in bringing it all together. It’s complex, truly Enterprise customer stuff. I reckon my contribution was somewhere in the middle between ‘super-smart dude who invented the cool bits’ and ‘pointless hanger on’.

The thing is, there’s a bunch of hype around this stuff (apparently it’s now all Cloud-y), and I know a thing or two about the reality… because I was there. I know this stuff really well (it’s my job), but I don’t work for NetApp. I’ve spent a total of 3 months as a NetApp contractor in my life; the rest has all been as a contractor to the customer. I do spend loads of time with NetApp people, whom I respect and admire, but I’m not a corporate mouthpiece or rabid fanboi.

So I want to share some insights on how this stuff actually works in real life, as distinct from the marketing spin (pro- and con-) and the breathless hype. In coming days/weeks, I’ll be giving you some info on how it can actually make your life better.

Why? I genuinely think it’s a great solution to a problem. The biggest issues I’ve seen with it are when people thought it could do x when it actually does y. Sure, if you try to use it to solve a problem it’s not designed for, you’ll experience pain. I want to help you avoid that. As they say: the devil’s in the details.

And, well, I’m a huge nerd and I like talking about this stuff.

If there’s something specific you want to know, I’m @jpwarren on twitter, or just leave a comment here. I’ll do my best to answer; I do have confidentialty clauses that I have to honor, so I’ll be keeping them in mind while giving you useful info at the same time. I just ask for your patience if I end up in an impasse.

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