Sponsored by: Howard and I first talked with James Holden, NetApp Senior Product Manager for OnCommand Insight and Cloud Insights, last month, at Storage Field Day 16 (SFD16) in Waltham, MA. At the time, we thought it would be great to also have him on the show.
James has been with the NetApp OnCommand Insight (OCI) team for quite awhile now and is very knowledgeable about the product and its technology. NetApp Cloud Insights is a new SaaS offering that provides some of the same services as OCI without the footprint, focused on newer, non-traditional applications and available on a pay as you go model.
NetApp OnCommand Insight (OCI)
NetApp OCI is sort of a stripped down, souped up enterprise SRM tool, without storage and servers configuration-provisioning (see James’s introduction video from SFD15 for more info). It supports NetApp and just about anyone’s storage including Dell EMC, IBM, Hitachi Vantara (HDS), HPE, Infinidat, and Pure Storage as well as most major OSs such as VMware vSphere, Microsoft HyperV, RHEL, etc. Other storage can easily be added to OCI through a patch/minor update and is typically done by customer request.
NetApp OCI currently runs in some of the biggest enterprises in the world today, including top F500 companies and one of the world’s largest banks. OCI is agentless but does use a data collector server/VM onprem or in cloud that takes advantage of storage and system APIs to gather data.
OCI provides extensive end-to-end infrastructure monitoring and trouble shooting (see James’s SFD16 OCI monitoring & troubleshooting session). OCI monitors application workloads from VMs to the storage supporting them.
OCI also supplies extensive charge back capabilities (see his SFD16 OCI cost control/chargebacks session). In times like these when IT competes with public cloud offerings every day, charge backs can be very illuminating.
Also, OCI has extensive integration with ServiceNOW and similar offerings (see SFD16 OCI ecosystem session). With this level of integration, OCI can provide seamless tracking of service requests from initiation to completion through verification.
In addition, OCI can monitor public cloud infrastructure as well as onprem. For example, with Amazon Web Services (AWS), customers can use OCI to monitor EC2 instances EBS IO activity. OCI reports on AWS IOPS rates by EC2-EBS connection. Customers paying for EBS IOPS, can use OCI to monitor and tailor their EBS costs. OCI also supports Microsoft Azure environments.
NetApp Cloud Insights
NetApp Cloud Insights, a new SaaS offering, that is currently in Public Preview status but is expected to release in October, 2018 (checkout his SFD16 Cloud Insights session video).
Customers can currently register to use the preview version at Cloud.netapp.com/Cloud Insights. There’s a registration wall but that’s all it takes to get started. .
The minimum Cloud Insights instance is a single server and 5TB of storage. Unlike OCI, Cloud Insights is tailored to support smaller shops without significant infrastructure. However, Cloud Insight also offers standard onprem enterprise infrastructure monitoring as well.
Cloud Insights is also focused on modern, cloud-native applications whether they operate on prem or in the cloud. The problem with cloud native, container apps is that they come and go in seconds, and there’s thousands of them. Cloud Insights was designed specifically for container and other cloud native applications and as such, should provide a more accurate monitoring of operations for these systems.
We talked about Cloud Insight’s development cadence. James said that because it’s a SaaS offering new Cloud Insights functionality can be released daily, if not more frequently. Contrast that with OCI, where they schedule 3-4 releases a year.
Cloud Insight currently supports the Kubernetes container ecosystems today but more are on the way. Again, customers determine which Container or other cloud native ecosystems will be supported next.
The podcast runs ~22 minutes. James was very knowledgeable about OCI, Cloud Insights and infrastructure monitoring in general and he was easy to talk with. Howard and I had a great time at SFD16 and enjoyed our time talking with him again on the podcast. Listen to the podcast to learn more.
James Holden, Senior Product Manager NetApp OCI and Cloud Insights
James Holden is a Senior Manager of Product Management at NetApp, and for the last 5 years has been building the infrastructure monitoring and reporting tool OnCommand Insight.
Today he is working across NetApp’s Cloud Analytics portfolio, including Cloud Insights, a new SaaS offering currently in preview.
Prior to NetApp, James worked for 14 years at CSC in both the US and the UK on their storage, compute and automation solutions.