Saturday, 12 January 2008

I Stand Corrected

In a previous post earlier this year I mentioned the Onaro purchase by Network Appliance. As I said at the time, I wasn't aware Onaro's SANScreen product even had a NAS module. It seems I was wrong, and thanks for Deni O'Connor for indirectly pointing it out. In fact, SANScreen now has NAS Insight which provides for NAS monitoring support. However this feature was only made general availability on 31 December 2007, so you can hopefully excuse my oversight for not realising it has been released.

(On a side note, why are large Enterprises such as Onaro still not using RSS to announce product releases? I haven't got the time or inclination to trawl their websites each day. RSS is so much easier.)

I had a quick look at the NAS Insight press release and details on their website. Although there's a demo, I couldn't ascertain what NAS products (other than Netapp filers which are in the demonstration) the product supports. That makes me think it supports nothing BUT Netapp (although I again stand to be corrected). If that's true then NAS Insight is a pointless feature for many customers who would want to use the product for cross vendor consolidation and certainly doesn't demonstrate Onaro's NAS credentials. Compared to the last release of DFM I saw, NAS Insight is pretty poor.

To date my SANScreen exposure has been based on one large "global installation" of the product and presentations from the Onaro marketing team. When an instance of SANScreen was enabled in one location of the global deployment, it created thousands of exceptions which then required manual intervention. When I last had a presentation on the product (in October) there was a large number of SAN scenarios SANScreen wasn't reporting on, a lot of these relating to non-EMC and replication support. There's still a long way to go yet.

Up to this point, Onaro may have developed relationships with the vendors which provides for ongoing access to new releases of their management tools in order to extract configuration information. Going forward, will those companies still be as keen to provide that information to Netapp, who may be their direct competitor in the NAS (and non-NAS) marketplace?

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