NetApp is starting to make a bit of noise about Project Shift, a tool that makes it possible to take a virtual machine running under one hypervisor and shift it to another. Project Shift can pull off that trick because a tool to convert VMware's VMDK virtual disk format to Microsoft's VHDX virtual disk format is a part of Data …
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They can also move disks from virtual format to direct attach LUNs with the same process, so customers for instance who used VMDK for Exchange data can migrate to direct attach for proper VSS snapshot backups. This can also be useful when going from virtual to physical too and between NFS, CIFS and SAN protocols (they don't differentiate between FC and iSCSI and you can multipath between the two if you really want to.
Project shift is on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OE2JCkVgv38 which is pretty cool.
The other thing is that they always mention easy migrations to cloud platforms - wouldn't it be cool if you had a NetApp in Azure and could just convert and snapmirror the machines up into the cloud? They already integrate with AWS so it's a logical next step even if they won't admit they are working on it.
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That is... a really cool feature. Might work with SQL servers as well, depending on if the DBA in question is using a 'sane' layout for the database and T-log files. (i.e., parking the database files on a separate drive from the OS drive, and the T-logs on another separate drive.)
It's make recovery a bit easier- the OS rolled over and died? attach the disks to a backup or auxiliary server, re-connect the databases to the backup, and keep rolling after the integrity check.
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It does work just as well for (as you say) properly configured SQL servers. NetApp have some great talent and deliver some great stuff, and every single thing they say they'll deliver they do and in reasonable time. The only downside is the IQ required to get them running, after 3 years I still panic when leaving site in case I forgot something or didn't read the right TR. On the flip side, when you get it right customers genuinely feel like they are in the future and laugh about the good old days of tape and streaming backups :) Switch is a great example of this - you mean your SAN can't convert a Vmdk into a LUN and then present it simultaneously to 7 hosts via both iSCSI and FC with the OS drives converted to HyperV disks and others snapped into the cloud? How quaint ;)
The flex pod people were pushing this a lot...
Well they have to do something to try and close the gap when the opposition is using EMC storage...!
When you say "close the gap" I assume you mean EMC already had a way to instantly convert between virtual disk formats and storage types. Could you please point us in the direction of this EMC technology?
I was under the impression that EMC's "unified" storage was just two boxes plugged together in a chassis so they can't even ODX between fibre channel LUNs and CIFs shares but I've not done much with EMC so could be wrong.
Lusty was very kind there, what about all the other features and functions EMC does not have...
Want a list TheVogon? It would take a while to write.
You are correct about market position though (market gap). Kind of like saying Toyota has more market share than Ferrari, but who makes the better car and by a large margin???
Because all the other gaps, NetApp is ahead.
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