May 26, 2015
Topics: Cloud Manager AWS3 minute read
So last week I was on a call with a customer. This customer had been with NetApp for a long time (I found E-mail I had with him back to 2007.). You could say we go back. He had already configured the OnCommand Cloud Manager (hereafter OCCM) software. He had deployed Cloud Volumes ONTAP with it and even configured OCCM to show it a physical NetApp controller he had. Since he made it that far I thought I'd show him the feature I thought was the coolest hidden feature about OCCM. I call anything that's not obvious/intuitive hidden. This particular feature is super freaking handy because essentially in one gesture you can set up an operating hybrid cloud.
So on the Working Environment screen when you have Multiple working environments set up, you can drag and drop one Working Environment on top the other to start a snapmirror wizard. Click image for a video
This includes between physical controllers and cloud controllers. Make sure your security groups have the ports open to make all of this work.
Let me put some context on why I think this feature is so cool.
- I go way back in Data ONTAP as a customer back in 1999 with Data ONTAP 5.x. While snapmirror as a technology has always been innovative and an wonderful way to replicate data (I've said this since before working for the company), the commands to set snapmirror up haven't always been the friendliest. I'm reminded of the old unix adage: Unix is user friendly. it's just really picky about its friends. That's why for the longest time I was a fan of the GUI (filerview at the time) for the sole purpose of making sure the snapmirror syntax worked.
- Clustered Data ONTAP is great at scale out. It can do massive I/O on a scale on the low end an high end that few things can touch. The clustered Data ONTAP command syntax can be confusing if you're not following an express guide. Even the express guides can be less than ideal if you're working with different versions of ONTAP on both sides.
- A hybrid cloud can be very complicated to set up when you have to coordinate between the networking team doing things like DirectConnect from the cloud to the physical resources. Firewalls + AWS Security groups. It can be a lot of work when you look at it.
That's why when just give credentials for physical ONTAP and Cloud Volumes ONTAP (formerly ONTAP Cloud) and the software is cDOT capable, then doing snapmirror on an interface like this is a no brainer for me. Some things are still better handled in OnCommand System Manager, but the great thing about OCSM is that it's built in to Data ONTAP since 8.3. This means Cloud vOLUMES ONTAP has OCSM built in to it. Just point your web browser at it and off you go. I consider OCCM simpler than OCSM for setting up a SnapMirror relationship though.
Oh last thing that I don't think a lot of people know. You aren't required to run OCCM inside AWS. Sure you can launch an EC2 instance easily to do that, but you can also grab just the installer for Windows here
Make sure you set up the ports in the security group to your VPC and on your network firewall to let OCCM do things in your cloud though. I've been bitten by that a few times.
Setting up cloud resources isn't easy. Setting up a hybrid cloud can be even more difficult deciding how to bridge 2 completely different environments (the VPC and your traditional stuff). I think an interface to make some aspects of this easier is a good thing and hope it helps you too.