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NetApp Insight 2018 Trip Report, Part 2

Welcome back to the continuation of my trip out to NetApp Insight 2018 (read Part 1 if you haven't yet)! I'm going to pick back up at the beginning of the third day of the conference, which began with the morning General Session.

Day 3

Similar to Tuesday, there was a Wednesday morning General Session that featured some interesting customer stories as well as several product demos. The ones that stood out to me in particular were the NetApp Kubernetes Service announcement which likely comes as a result of the StackPoint acquisition and the demo of NetApp Data Availability Services (NDAS). Again, I won't go into super deep detail about the Wednesday General Session since you can watch it on YouTube here, but it was really cool to see how easy it was to deploy applications and services from Cloud Central.

I had one of my Tweets show up on the big screen before the General Session; I think I'm famous now
I thought Dave Hitz's speech at the end of the session was a nice …
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NetApp Insight 2018 Trip Report, Part 1

If you haven't heard of NetApp Insight, it is NetApp's yearly conference that is held in the US in Las Vegas (and in Barcelona in December, although sadly I will not be at that one!). It's a great place to meet and talk to people not only in the NetApp organization, but also other partners and customers that are likely trying to solve the same problems that you are.

This was my second time at Insight US - I went in 2017 as well - and this year didn't disappoint. There were a lot of cool announcements, both for new products that are now available and for existing products that are continually seeing product development updates.  Here are some highlights:

Day 1 (October 22nd)

Once I got checked in on Monday morning, I hit up a couple of sessions right away. By far the coolest session of the day was the one by Skottie Miller, Technology Fellow at DreamWorks Animation. His session was all about how DreamWorks Animation uses NetApp technologies to produce all of their movie…

NetApp Cloud Insights Preview, Part 4: Troubleshooting

Thank you for tuning in once again to my blog series on NetApp Cloud Insights. If you haven't seen the previous entries, here are some links:
Part 1 - Installing the Acquisition Unit Part 2 - Queries, Annotations, and Performance Policies Part 3 - Applications & Dashboards
In this post, I'm going to cover a really straightforward troubleshooting workflow that you can do within Cloud Insights to help you zero in on the root cause of some VM latency.  We'll start by searching for an asset (a VMware virtual machine in this case) from the search bar at the top of the Cloud Insights dashboard.

We can see a bit of increased latency beginning at approximately 12:00AM that we want to take a look at. On the right-hand side of the screen, Cloud Insights has identified other objects that it believes are correlated with the asset in question. The top correlated object, for example, is the VMware datastore where the VM is located. If we click the checkbox next to the datastore asset,…

NetApp Cloud Insights Preview, Part 3: Applications and Dashboards

Welcome to Part 3 of my blog series on NetApp Cloud Insights. In previous posts (see Part 1 and Part 2 here) I've covered getting the Acquisition Unit installed and Data Collectors set up. From there, we saw how you can begin to operationalize the collected data via queries, annotations and performance policies.

In this post, I'll be covering Applications and Dashboards - what they are, why you might want to use them, and also an example of creating simple versions of each.


Applications within Cloud Insight are a method by which you can group different objects together as they relate to business applications within your organization. For example, if you have a group of VMs that are part of your Exchange environment, you can group them together so that their data can be viewed cohesively. Even cooler though, is that you can group different object types together as well, not just VMs - Applications can be associated with VMs, hypervisor hosts, storage volumes, and m…

NetApp Cloud Insights Preview, Part 2: Queries, Annotations, and Performance Policies

If you haven't read Part 1 yet, check out the first post in the series HERE to find out how to get involved in the preview, install the Acquisition Unit, and get your Data Collectors up and running. 

Now that I've gotten my locally installed Acquisition Unit up and running and my Data Collectors configured and collecting data, I'm going to attempt to put all of this glorious data to work and display it in a useful fashion.


A query is, at its most basic level, a filter-based search of the components of your environment designed to return relevant information based on the type of component selected. (for example: volumes over 90% capacity or hypervisor hosts with high memory usage). In my example, I'm going to be creating a query that will display all non-DP (data protection) volumes with a capacity that exceeds 85%.

1. Start by clicking on Queries on the left-hand navigation bar and then selecting + New Query from the pop-out menu.

2. At the top of the screen, let…

NetApp Cloud Insights Preview, Part 1: Installing the Acquisition Unit

For those of you that aren't familiar with NetApp Cloud Insights, it is an infrastructure monitoring tool that is currently available as a Public Preview. It is designed to provide, well, insight into the often diverse sets of storage and networking components in use across your entire environment - everything from on-premises ONTAP deployments to public cloud offerings from Amazon, Microsoft, and others.

Recently, I registered for the preview and just received my email welcoming me into the preview last week. I am planning a series of posts to cover my experiences with Cloud Insights and share the information with other people for whom a vendor-agnostic SaaS monitoring solution might be a good fit.

As a disclaimer: my experiences will be limited to what is in use in my environment, so the coverage of the public cloud features will likely not be covered in great detail - it will primarily be on-premises ONTAP and VMware monitoring data that I'm looking at.

However, there is a…

How To: Unjoin NetApp Nodes from a Cluster

Let me paint you a word picture:

You've upgraded to a shiny new AFF - it's all racked, stacked, cabled and ready to rock. You've moved your volumes onto the new storage and your workloads are performing beautifully (of course) and it's time to put your old NetApp gear out to pasture.

We're going to learn how to unjoin nodes from an existing cluster. But wait! There are several prerequisites that must be met before the actual cluster unjoin can be done.

Ensure that you have either moved volumes to your new aggregates or offlined and deleted any unused volumes.Offline and delete aggregates from old nodes.Re-home data LIFs or disable/delete if they are not in use.Disable and delete intercluster LIFs for the old nodes (and remove them from any Cluster Peering relationships)Remove the old node's ports from any Broadcast Domains or Failover Groups that they may be a member of.Move epsilon to one of the new nodes (let's assume nodes 3 and 4 are the new nodes, in th…