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Category Archives: VMware Partner: NetApp

VMware View 5.1: View Storage Accelerator & View Composer API Integrations with NetApp

Chris netapp
Posted by Chris Gebhardt
NetApp, Desktop
Virtualization Architect

Today VMware announced the release of VMware View 5.1.  View 5.1 has many new and improved advanced storage features that will help increase storage performance and scale.  In this blog post I will discuss some of the new and noteworthy storage related features.

One of the new technologies in VMware View 5.1 is the View Storage Accelerator (formally known as Content Based Read Cache or CBRC).  This technology helps reduce the amount of data needing to be read from a storage controller during simultaneous read activities such as a boot storm after maintenance or HA event.  With View Storage Accelerator, up to 2GB of memory is allocated from the ESXi host to be used as a host based read cache. Ultimately this helps VMware View environments perform better and scale during boot storm events.  Now you may ask, well what about NetApp and the use of Virtual Storage Tiering, doesn't that solve the boot storm problem. Well yea it absolutely does, but using View Storage Accelerator in conjunction with NetApp’s Virtual Storage Tiering allows customers to scale their View deployments even further, driving down the cost, boosting the performance and ultimately improving the End User Computing experience. 

Here is how it is configured:

  1. First log into the VMware View Administrator console.
  2. Select View Configuration on the left hand side.
  3. Select Servers under View Configuration
  4. If you already have a vCenter Server configure click the vCenter Server and click Edit…
  5. Here the Edit vCenter Server dialogue box will appear.  Click on the Host Caching tab.
  6. In the Host Cache Settings you can enable and disable host caching, change the default host caching size, and override individual host cache sizes.


  7. After you enable host caching, you can then create your desktop pool.  When you create an automated pool the Advanced Storage Options portion of the Add Pool wizard will appear.
  8. Here you will be able to enable host caching on a per pool basis.


  9. You can also choose if you want to cache just OS disks or OS and persistent disks.


  10. And also choose what days not to regenerate the cache.  For example, you may not want to regenerate the cache during normal business hours.


The second technology, which I have been waiting for a really long time and am incredibly excited about, is the View Composer API Integration. This VCAI primitive is currently in a Tech Preview status and it allows VMware View to automate the creation of NetApp Zero Cost clones (FlexClone) within the VMware View interface.  In the past, customers had to choose between NetApp clones with VSC provisioning and cloning in manual pools or VMware View Clones in Automated Pools.  There are benefits and drawbacks to both methods.  On one hand the NetApp clones are created at the hardware level (not using copy on write snapshots) and are pre-deduplicated. This method creates desktops that have superb scalability but to create NetApp clones requires two tools: the NetApp Virtual Storage Console and VMware View Administrator.  On the other hand, VMware View Clones in Automated Pools provide excellent management workflows and automation but rely on hypervisor snapshots as underlying the cloning mechanism, which if improperly designed can result in scaling issues. (Note: Proper design refers to the use of technologies that reduce the amount of write IO to the delta file.  Technologies like profile/persona management (User Data Disks) and end user home directories are examples of such technologies that remove IO and allow VMware Linked cones to scale.)

VCAI leverages NetApp’s native cloning capability – without requiring VSC - to improve desktop scalability and provisioning times in View Composer.

Here is a brief demo of how this cloning works. 

Today the View Composer API Integrations are available as a Technology Preview when using VMware View 5.1, vSphere 5.0, the ESXi VIB for VCAI and NFS on NetApp Data ONTAP 8.1 Cluster Mode.

Some other storage related features worth noting: Customizable View Composer disposable disk driver letter and support up to 32 (increased from 8) host in a cluster when using Network Attached Storage (NFS).

Also a shameless plug for one of my favorite works…

If you are interested in reading more on VMware View workloads, my colleague, Chad Morganstern, and I have done a considerable amount of work to try to better understand the lifecycle of a Virtual Desktop and how Virtual Storage Tiering can boost performance, allowing customers to size for steady state. https://communities.netapp.com/community/netapp-blogs/virtualization/blog/2011/09/06/netapp-and-vmware-view-5000-seat-performance-report

Entry Level FlexPOD Architectural Overview

Wen Yu
Posted by Wen Yu, Alliances
Staff Systems Engineer

Looking for a low risk, agile and efficient architecture for your small cloud infrastructure deployment?  Look no further because the VMware, NetApp and Cisco Entry Level FlexPod will be your answered.   Entry Level FlexPod provides the value of FlexPod sized right for smaller workloads. Suitable for uses that include midsize enterprise workloads and remote or branch offices, FlexPod ES brings large-enterprise-class IT infrastructure to smaller deployments at a price that fits limited IT budgets.  Let’s take technical dive into the architecture, and the built-in joint integrations that make life simple for IT architects and administrators.

Unified Highly Available, Scalable Architecture
Flexpod 2
Compute: Cisco UCS C200 rack mountable server connects directly to the Nexus 2000 fabric extender

Network: Cisco Nexus 2000 series Fabric Extender provides scalable unified server access across 1Gb to 10Gb Ethernet, and also serves as the extension to the access layer Nexus 5000 switch.  All C200 servers connected to the fabric extender become a single unified highly available management domain

Storage: NetApp FAS2240 storage, with built-in 10Gb support, and also capable of running Data ONTAP Cluster mode

Cloud Infrastructure
The above hardware architecture serves as the solid foundation for VMware Cloud Infrastructure, which consists of vSphere, vCenter and Site Recovery Manager, to provide end customers with a highly available, scalable solution with built-in automation, hardware acceleration, management and business continuity capabilities.

Built-in Integration At a Glance
Flexpod 2
In addition to the built-in integrations above, the following VMware Cloud Infrastructure features help providing additional benefits for IT Architect and Admin, please refer to NetApp and VMware joint best practices paper TR3749 for further details.

Key Takeaway
Want to be part of the cloud journey?  The first step is to lay the right foundation. VMware Cloud Infrastructure, together with Entry Level FlexPOD, provides customers with simple, low risk, highly available, highly efficient and highly scalable architecture – we can take you there!

Real-World Advantages for Mid-Size Businesses in Joint VMware and NetApp Solutions

David Auster
Posted by David Auster
NetApp Global Alliance

 As an IT manager in a small or midsized business, do you sometimes feel like all of the provisioning pressure is on you? Or that you’re always worried about system downtime? VMware and NetApp understand, which is why together we have launched a new solution featuring our joint real-world virtualization capabilities designed specifically to meet mid-market company needs.

Our goal is to help you solve your most pressing IT challenges with proven solutions built for growing businesses. From server and storage virtualization to integrated data protection to desktop virtualization, VMware and NetApp solutions simplify your IT—and your life.

Check out our new step-by-step guide to prepare to take the first step with us on your virtualization journey. Once you do, stop back and let us know your thoughts or questions in the comments section below.

Real world advantage

NetApp Releases Storage Best Practices for VMware vSphere 5

Posted by Wen Yu
Alliances Staff SE

VMware® vSphere® 5, which shipped in the summer of 2011, delivers better application performance and availability for all business-critical applications while automating the management of an increasingly broad pool of datacenter resources.  That includes storage technology from NetApp, a valued partner that has worked closely with VMware to develop solutions that work together seamlessly and accelerate the shift to cloud computing for our mutual customers.

As part of that effort, NetApp has released a comprehensive new publication that guides our customers through the deployment of solutions that combine vSphere with NetApp. The new NetApp Storage Best Practices for VMware vSphere (technical report TR-3749) includes valuable new content specific to the powerful new storage features in vSphere 5.

In his recent blog, Vaughn Stewart of NetApp raves about the report. It contains deployment considerations and best practices that have been validated by both NetApp and VMware. Contents include:

  • An introduction to storage concepts in vSphere 5
  • Updated storage maximums, supported options, and NetApp integration tables
  • Support for the VSC with the vCSA or vCenter Server Appliance
  • Host Profiles
  • VMFS 5
  • Storage DRS, affinity rules and maintenance mode
  • SIOC or Storage I/O Controls

Netapp bp

As you dig into this 118-page report, I suggest you pay close attention to the design best practices on the following topics that vSphere 5 customers are likely to find especially valuable:

  • Protocol choices - vSphere5 has full support for NFS, iSCSI, FCP and FCoE. Ever wonder which protocol to use and what to expect with each, in terms of usability, supportability and performance?  The protocol benefits and considerations sections of the report will give you a clear rundown of what to expect with each, and guides you through all the way.
  • Virtual Storage Console integration with VMware vCenter ™ - If you have not used the Virtual Storage Console, then this section is also a must-read.  Virtual Storage Console enables VI Administrators to have more visibility into the storage “black box”. When storage volumes are presented to the ESX server clusters, admins do not have any visibility into the volume: for example, datastore to flexvol relationship, dedup setting, actual volume size when thin provisioning is enabled.  VSC completes the picture and brings all relevant storage backend related info to the VI admin.
  • Storage IO Control usage with NFS and VMFS storage - With intelligent storage like NetApp FAS systems, SIOC settings can be configured to match with the array side for end-to-end quality of service control for the cloud infrastructure.
  • Storage DRS considerations - When Storage DRS is configured to run in automatic mode, the storage vMotion migrations of VMs between datastores have implications on dedup enabled volumes.  Read this section and make sure all considerations are understood when you consider using Storage DRS with NetApp storage.

The final product is more than a testament to a great partnership. It’s a standard-setting resource that will speed the journey to IT and business transformation for our customers. I invite you to take a look at the best practices in the report and share your feedback or questions in the comments section below. We're always looking for ways to make our customers' lives easier!

News Around the Network

Gina Bollenback
Posted by Gina Bollenback
Global Alliance Marketing
Communications Manager

In this week’s News Around the Network, we focused on highlighting successful joint products, upcoming events, and valuable resources for VMware and partner customers:

FlexPod Success Story: The Walz Group (The Virtual Storage Guy)
NetApp’s Vaughn Stewart highlights a key success story for FlexPod, including how the solution was implemented and results it achieved.

New EMC + vSphere Techbooks – Get ‘em While They’re Hot! (Virtual Geek)
EMC’s Chad Sakac offers the latest downloadable reference text for customers or partners who use EMC VNX arrays with vSphere.

VSI Install Guide – Unified Storage Management (vTexan)
Tommy Trogden provides a step-by-step guide to installing the free Unified Storage Management plugin.

How to Use Custom AD Group with ESXi 5 AD Integration (vReality)

vExpert Tomi Hakala outlines how to use user Active Directory for ESXi user authentication in vSphere 5.

VMware customers, if you want to see anything specifically highlighted in this blog please respond in the comments section or on Twitter or Facebook. VMware partners and community, please let us know if you have any stories you suggest we highlight in future weeks.

Seven Corners Builds Private Cloud Based on Cisco, NetApp and VMware Solutions

Seven Corners Inc.
Industry: Travel Insurance
VMware, Cisco, NetApp, Netech
Challenges addressed: Frequent server outages and implementing a private cloud

7corners Link Alander

Posted by George L Reed II, Seven Corners,
CIO and Pearl Goitia, VMware,
Sr. Customer Reference Manager

When travelers need international health insurance, trip insurance and specialty benefits, they look to Seven Corners, Inc. for protection. When Seven Corners needed to improve the availability, agility and efficiency of its IT infrastructure, it looked to solutions from Cisco, NetApp and VMware, delivered by Netech Corporation. 

We recently talked with George L. Reed II, Seven Corners CIO, to get his perspective on how he and his team went from wanting a new solution to stop frequent server outages and improve efficiencies to implementing a private cloud that will take Seven Corners to the next-level of self-service IT.

VMware: Can you give us some insight into what you were facing in mid-2010 when you put out your initial request for information?

George L. Reed II: We were still reliably delivering 24/7 services, but much of our technology was approaching end of life, and daily outage and recovery costs were approaching $3,000. We calculated that without new technology by December, we could be facing business-disrupting failures. We needed to quickly design and build out a more reliable infrastructure and look for ways to increase efficiencies that would reduce the time and costs of delivering new services to market and support the company’s eight-year plan for continued double-digit annual growth.

VMware: What did you do first?

Reed: I contacted three integrating partners and asked them prove to me that they understood my problem, then put together a solution from best of breed practitioners and a project plan that would show us up and running in three to five months. Netech, a Midwestern U.S. provider of IP-based integration services and participant in Cisco, NetApp, and VMware partner programs, came in with exactly what we needed—an already validated and proven Cisco UCS, VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus and NetApp storage solution that could be implemented quickly and without a lot of maintenance. That was the first step.

VMware: Was speed of implementation for the VMware, Cisco and NetApp solution a factor?

Reed: Yes. Speed to implementation was as critical a factor as scalability. In our business, customers are clamoring for new services and time to market determines which company gets their business—typically the first to deliver wins 60 percent of the revenue. The agility and flexibility we’ve gained from this infrastructure help us deliver products faster, quickly identify and reduce losses on unproductive programs, and rapidly capitalize on successes.

VMware: Did the joint solution deliver immediate results?

Reed: Absolutely. When the infrastructure went live mid-November, Netech helped with our initial physical-to-virtual (P2V) migrations, including a critical Web server scheduled for testing in the new environment before it was moved into production. Perhaps fortuitously, the failure we thought might happen in December occurred within just minutes of P2Ving our first Web system. When the physical server blue-screened, we were forced to forego testing and move the full production environment onto the new virtual server. It ran perfectly the first time and has worked flawlessly ever since.

VMware:  Since that time, what other results have you been able to achieve?

Reed: The biggest overall gain has been ROI. For example, by successfully reducing daily outages from an average of 12 across our core physical servers to zero, we’re saving at least $750,000 in annual downtime costs. In addition, in our test-driven software development environment that makes use of agile software development, we expect we’ll save more than $200,000 in development costs and take more than three months off delivery time. Since deploying the new shared IT infrastructure, we’ve also experienced other significant benefits, including:

  • Spending less time running reports - Aggregate performance reports that used to take up to six hours to complete now run in less than 10 minutes
  • Using less storage - With NetApp deduplication technology, we’re using 60 percent less storage, the equivalent of a year’s worth of new capacity
  • Gaining more time for new projects - Last year some 80 percent of our IT dollars went into break-fix. In the last three months, that percentage has dropped to 16 percent with recovered resources being applied to new-project work
  •  No downtime

We thank George for his time and invite you to learn more about the private cloud solution at Seven Corners.

Virtualize SAP: A Blueprint for Success

Posted by Vaughn Stewart
NetApp, Director & Virtualization

Since VMworld 2011 there’s been a noticeable increase in customer confidence around the ability to successfully virtualize the most demanding business critical applications. The list of applications commonly being considered often includes business applications powered by database technologies like Oracle RAC and Microsoft SQL Server and Messaging and collaboration platforms like Microsoft Exchange Server and SharePoint. With all of this activity the application that is generating as many discussions as any of the others is SAP.


With customers confident  in the capabilities of vSphere 5 to facilitate significant infrastructure cost reductions with multi-tier SAP landscapes, many still have questions on how to successfully virtualize such a large-scale architecture. You have to understand that for many customers SAP is ‘THE’ mission critical application within their organization. An interruption to SAP can have massive impact to an organization, thus there is no room for any unexpected ‘lessons learned’ like the early days of server consolidation, desktop virtualization, or lab automation initiatives.

Customers often pose the question…

                                  “How do I successfully virtualize SAP?”

 From my perspective this is a relatively simple question to answer…

“Deploy as SAP has, virtualize SAP with VMware on NetApp!”

SAP Runs SAP Virtualized with VMware and NetApp

In order to reduce ever increasing infrastructure costs and to automate the delivery of IT services, SAP committed to a ‘Virtualization First’ strategy in their global IT, SAP NetWeaver, SAP Center of Excellence and SAP Business ByDesign (SaaS & PaaS cloud service offerings) datacenters. To accomplish these goals SAP abandoned legacy architectures and began deploying their future with technologies and platforms from VMware and NetApp.

By the end of 2010 these efforts resulted in over 40% of SAP’s compute systems virtualized on VMware vSphere and 70% of their worldwide storage requirements residing on NetApp. Frankly, I don’t know if one can make it a simpler or more compelling case around how to virtualize SAP.

It’s not just SAP virtualizing SAP with vSphere on NetApp. Below is a list of customer case studies published within the past 12 months that highlight the outstanding results of their efforts.

vSphere 5 Powers SAP at Near Bare-Metal Levels

As one might expect, customers often want to understand a bit more than simply the architecture in which to virtualize SAP.. Many want assurances around the performance capabilities of the vSphere platform. Fortunately, there are a number of recently published benchmarks that demonstrate the capabilities of vSphere 5. In August, Fujitsu published the first SAP sales and distribution (SD) benchmark on vSphere 5 along with a corresponding benchmark comprised of a bare metal deployment comprised of the same hardware.

The benchmarks took advantage of the new larger VM support in vSphere 5, supporting 4,600 SD Users and 25,150 SAPs from a 24-vCPU VM on the Fujitsu Primergy server. These results were within 6% of what was obtained from the bare metal configuration (4,875 SD Users and 26,630 SAPs).


HP published an even larger scale benchmark, comprised of a three-tier SAP Landscape on vSphere 5 which supported 32,125 SD Users and delivered 175,320 SAPs. The results produced in all of these benchmarks are a testament to the performance capabilities of vSphere 5 and it’s ability to meet real world workloads.

FlexPod, CVDs, and Partners: Delivering Virtualized SAP Applications & SAP Landscapes

Building on the foundational architectures and performance capabilities, many seek assurances around the design and implementation of their solution. This is where the efforts of the FlexPod engineering teams really stand out. They have recently published a Cisco Validated Design for deploying SAP Applications and SAP Landscapes in vSphere on the FlexPod platform.

This private cloud architecture covers the entire infrastructure stack including SAP, Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS), NetApp Unified Storage, VMware vSphere, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Oracle Database. For those who need secure separation of resources in their shared infrastructure the CVD includes the designs for deploying in a Secure Multi-Tenancy architecture.



A number of FlexPod partners specialize in delivering SAP and have developed expertise in the area of migrating SAP to a virtualized FlexPod architecture. One leader in this space is Accenture, who has developed the SAP Private Cloud Solution. Collaboratively designed by engineering teams from Accenture, SAP, Cisco, NetApp, VMware and Red Hat, this solution expands the FlexPod CVD architecture by including services such as consulting, migration, and project management. Together these capabilities help make the migration of SAP to vSphere simple.

Through partners like Accenture, customers receive a standardized virtual infrastructure for SAP, dramatically shorter migration timeframes, advanced SAP automation and a number of advanced features such as SAP analytics and mobility capabilities.

Wrapping Up This Post

The move to virtualizing business critical applications like SAP is viewed by many as critical to the advancement of the maturity of their private cloud. Such applications are often significantly more complex in areas of design and scale. Projects to virtualize such complex and critical application are typically monitored a bit more closely and their success measured a bit more precisely than previous virtualization projects like server consolidations.

Ensuring the success of our customers and their virtualization initiatives is the focus of VMware, NetApp, SAP and our mutual technology partners. In this post I hope to have shared with you that the time is now to begin virtualizing your SAP Landscape. As I’ve shared in this post; SAP has done it, vSphere 5 can power it, the FlexPod platform was designed for it, and our SAP focused partners can deliver it!

If you’re interested in additional information around virtualizing SAP on VMware & NetApp please checkout the following links:



Episode II: GMP Completes Oracle Apps and RAC Database Virtualization

Posted by Bob Goldsand
Alliances Partner Architect

When VMware and NetApp team up, customers get a demonstration of our solutions’ abilities—availability, manageability, flexibility and mobility. That’s exactly what happened at Green Mountain Power (GMP), the  second largest utility provider in Vermont servicing more than 100,000 customers. GMP is a leader in wind and solar power generation.

During the company’s initiative to virtualize Oracle Applications and RAC Databases (see blog Episode I), Vermont was hit very badly by Hurricane Irene. Quickly, GMP had approximately 50,000 customers without power and call volumes to GMP went from about 4,500 calls per week to nearly 15,000 during the course of the hurricane.

At GMP, the mission-critical Storm Manager applications used during the crisis were virtualized and running on vSphere. GMP decided to shut down several test instances of Oracle and vMotion, non-critical applications running in its vSphere cluster to provide additional resources for its Global Information and Outage Management Systems. These mission-critical systems were being used by first responders, dispatch and customer service representatives throughout the disaster. The GMP decision to leverage vSphere workload management capabilities on its hosts was instrumental in keeping GMP mission critical systems from overloading as these very important systems running on vSphere remained 100 percent available throughout the hurricane and subsequent storm recovery.

GMP’s experience is just one example of how vSphere frees enterprise infrastructure from the physical limitations of a single server, and delivers the fundamental ability benefits—availability, manageability, flexibility and mobility—of running mission-critical systems in a virtualized infrastructure. By running its systems on vSphere, GMP was able to respond to its business needs faster and more efficiently than it ever could have running in an entirely physical infrastructure environment. With VMware and NetApp solutions, GMP restored 4 servers in less than two hours.

Lesson 4: Be Prepared and Know the Bottleneck

In a major event such as a hurricane, a lot happens and it happens very quickly. In GMP’s case, some of the non-critical vSphere hosts required recovery. The fact that these hosts were virtualized and deployed on NetApp storage greatly simplified and facilitated the recovery process. Using vSphere features such as host profiles and templates, as well as NetApp utilities like SnapManager for Virtual Infrastructures (SMVI) and SnapManger for Oracle (SMO) significantly reduced the recovery times from days to a matter of hours.

GMP’s Paula Fortin, a senior system administrator, believes the recovery would not have been possible if GMP had still been on physical servers. Hearing Paula Fortin describe what happened during Hurricane Irene and the subsequent recovery should help anyone still wondering about virtualization to answer the question: “Why should I virtualize?”

Lesson 5: Choose the Right Storage Provider

It’s critical to work with the right storage provider when deploying mission-critical applications. Not only do NetApp solutions integrate with vSphere, but the NetApp unified storage platform also integrates with Oracle features including Real Application Clusters (RAC), Recovery Manager (RMAN) and Automated Storage Management (ASM). Plus, as I mentioned, NetApp technologies played a significant role in the deployment strategies and recovery efforts.

Learn More

The GMP virtualization journey is proof that you can effectively run mission-critical Oracle enterprise solutions on vSphere and gain all of the ability benefits from a vSphere and NetApp environment. Whether your organization is running a single instance database, RAC databases or Oracle application suites, vSphere and NetApp solutions can run them more efficiently.  

Hear more from Nayab Saiyad and Paula Fortin of GMP from VMworld 2011.

Episode I: GMP Takes on Oracle Apps and RAC Database Virtualization

Posted by Bob Goldsand
Alliances Partner Architect

The question of whether mission-critical databases could be virtualized on the VMware platform was emphatically answered “yes” when we released VMware vSphere 4.0 in 2009. Since then, we have consistently rolled out features that support database virtualization and make management easier for database administrators (DBAs). For example, with the introduction of vSphere 5 this summer, DBAs now have the ability to scale up to 32 virtual CPUs. Since adding this new critical functionality, the question has become: “What database workloads can’t be virtualized on vSphere?”

To ensure that vSphere remains the best platform for virtualizing databases, we recently teamed up with strategic partner NetApp to assist a joint customer considering virtualizing its Oracle Enterprise Infrastructure. Together, VMware and NetApp participated as extended team members in the virtualization journey of Green Mountain Power (GMP), the second largest utility provider in Vermont servicing more than 100,000 customers. GMP is a leader in wind and solar power generation.

The GMP Initiative to Virtualize Oracle Enterprise Infrastructure

GMP was in the process of rolling out the Oracle Utility Suite, Real Application Clusters (RAC), Fusion Middleware and the Business Intelligence (BI) Suite. This comprehensive upgrade was an excellent opportunity for both VMware and NetApp to get a first-hand understanding of the customer’s virtualization path. Over a six-month period, VMware and NetApp participated in all phases of GMP’s Oracle project, including the initial design and review, deployment, functional testing, acceptance testing and ultimately, its move to production.

During the project with GMP, VMware and NetApp quickly learned that how to virtualize Oracle Enterprise Infrastructure on vSphere isn’t the question our customers are wrestling with internally. Both NetApp and VMware have published ample best practices documents, as well as tips and tricks white papers on these subjects. Rather GMP and other customers want to better understand why they should virtualize and what level of support they can expect for their Oracle implementations. What GMP learned is outlined in the following lessons:

Lesson 1: Oracle Supports VMware Solutions and Provides Excellent Support

GMP could not have accomplished such a dramatic transformation without Oracle support. During the project, GMP opened up more than 40 service requests with Oracle support and was never denied support or asked to reproduce issues in a physical environment. Any specific questions related to virtualization were correctly directed by Oracle to VMware. Listen to senior DBA, architect at GMP, Nayab Saiyad, discuss the excellent support he received during GMP’s transformation.

 To understand the VMware Support Policy with Oracle see the VMware Support Policy.

Lesson 2: Successful Virtualization Initiatives Require Executive Sponsorship

The GMP management staff includes visionaries that are supportive of the company’s journey. Unlike selecting a server, virtualization is a strategic objective at GMP and choosing an established vendor whose core competency is virtualization was a key consideration. VMware and NetApp worked closely with executives and technical personnel to provide them with logical and factual information that explained the benefits of virtualization—including expected capital and operational expense savings—and the realities surrounding Oracle solution support. Like we do for any customer, VMware provides extended Oracle support as part of its existing support agreement at no additional cost.

Lesson 3: Limited Resources Don’t Have to Limit the Environment

The GMP project was and is still quite complex. In just six months, GMP went from an almost 100 percent physical environment to approximately a 70 percent virtualized environment on vSphere. The ability for GMP to quickly backup and provide data protection to its Oracle environment is significantly increased because it has virtualized its Oracle environment using VMware and NetApp solutions. With the company’s limited resources, it is unlikely it would ever be able to effectively manage such a robust Oracle environment without its Oracle applications and databases running on VMware and NetApp technology. 

But this is just the beginning. Stay tuned for Episode II and more lessons learned during a very difficult time…

NetApp Insight: Live from the VMware Booth

Posted by Wen Yu, Alliances
Staff Systems Engineer

What an exciting week at NetApp Insight in Las Vegas! Like VMware Partner Exchange, NetApp Insight brings together the NetApp extended sales force with channel partners, systems integrators and strategic technology partners. As a worldwide Platinum sponsor of this year’s event, VMware attended to both learn about and share the latest and greatest technology innovations and solutions that will benefit our joint customers.

It’s been a busy week of demos and announcements, but I’d like to share a few highlights for our NetApp customers:

Tuesday, November 1 – VMware was featured in the general session, which shows just how important our relationship is with NetApp. During the presentation, our own Dave Shroeder, Sr. Director for Systems Engineering, described the intricate technical integrations that VMware and NetApp have been working on to ensure our solutions are compatible across every layer of the IT stack—infrastructure, applications and end-user computing.  

Wednesday, November 2 – More than 150 attendees showed up first thing in the morning to learn more about new VMware vSphere® 5 integration with NetApp solutions. Specifically, we discussed:

  • The full SIOC support for NFS storage
  • VAAI primitives to support NFS storage in space reservation and copy offload
  • VAAI support for thin provisioning LUNs to properly "stun" virtual machines during out of space conditions
  • VASA integration to ease profile-driven storage management
  • Storage Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) best practices for intelligent backend NetApp storage
  • VMware vCenter™ Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.0 SnapMirror integration for site protection, failover, re-protection and failback

We heard again and again how much the deep, engineering-level integrations between our solutions are resonating in the marketplace. In addition to the vSphere 5 session on Wednesday, VMware representatives were on hand to discuss SRM design and best practices, VMware View™ on NetApp, and vSphere on NetApp Cluster Mode scale out architecture. Each of these solutions is ultimately designed to enable our joint customers to accelerate their journey to the cloud, with agility and efficiency.

Thursday and Today, November 3 and 4 – These two days have been literally packed with information and attendees eager to hear more about design best practices for VMware vCloud® Director and how it works in conjunction with intelligent NetApp storage. We discussed integrations such as the vCO plugin for service-level agreement (SLA)-based storage provisioning and SnapCreator backup and restore for vApp. In addition, VMware Bob Goldsand gave a talk about Oracle RAC deployment with Green Mountain Power (GMP) that featured GMP’s successful production deployment. To learn more about our joint success at GMP, check our blog again soon.

With the knowledge shared this week between VMware and NetApp, there’s little doubt that existing and prospective customers' journey to the cloud will be a better than ever experience.