NetApp test aborted.


Disappointing but true: due to the nearly complete lack of documentation and time we aborted the test of the NetApp FAS270 and DS14MK2 today.


The management software is… well – not self explaining at all. Since we do not have a documentation that goes further than setting up the basics we where unable to create a volume big enough to test with – we even where unable to create a iSCSI LUN/volume at all.


Of course we tried and looked – it’s not as if we’re totally unexperienced with such devices. But all hope that we possibly would see a concept that would self explain what to do to get to the goal was not fulfilled.


Very disappointing – unfortunatly the time we had for testing is over – so good bye NetApp – hello IBM. The next thing to test is the IBM storage solution – hopefully better documented and manageable.


The last words of this article by the NetApp:

fem-iscsi-test> halt
Thu Jan 1 01:23:47 GMT [fem-iscsi-test: kern.shutdown:notice]: System shut down because : “halt”.
Thu Jan 1 01:23:48 GMT [fem-iscsi-test: iscsi.service.shutdown:info]: iSCSI service shutdown



CFE version 1.2.0 based on Broadcom CFE: 1.0.35
Copyright (C) 2000,2001,2002,2003 Broadcom Corporation.
Portions Copyright (C) 2002,2003 Network Appliance Corporation.


CPU type 0x1040102: 650MHz
Total memory: 0x40000000 bytes (1024MB)
CFE>

  1. #1 by Stefan Funke on November 25, 2005 - 18:24

    Lack of documentation? You’ve probably never used your NOW account, don’t you? Even if they missed to send you the typical bunch of (14+) books(*) for your test installation, you could have downloaded all off them online, used the NOW forums, searched the knowlegde base, open a case, read the manual pages (**), call your netapp sales rep or ask your questin to the open “toasters” mailing list. 😉 Managing and knowing bigger storage solutions safeley takes it’s time.

    (*) Software Setup Guide, Quick Reference Guide, File Access Management Guide, Storage Management Guide, Network Managemtn Guide, Data Protection Guide, Hardware Guide, Site Requirements Guide, Ontap Upgrade Guide, Hardware And Service Guide, Cluster Guide, Block Access Management Guide, ‘Commands: Manual Page Reference’ […]

    (**) ‘man <command>’ at the command line or online via FilerView

  2. #2 by bietiekay on November 25, 2005 - 23:43

    Of course now.netapp.com – i tried and it just did not work. I registered and to download anything (the books you mentioned) I had to be authenticated by the Netapp support. But they just did not authenticate me. No error message. No eMail. Nothing at all. – Since there was only a sheet of paper in the package telling me to register at NOW and download the documentation there … well you know: Impossible. I called the sales rep and they sent me the “Administrator Documentation” – which is around 300 pages and not rudimental what’s needed to setup the machine.

    The point is: I worked with some NAS and SAN solutions the last months – and I never saw something more confusing and unstructured than the netapp filer management. I put one part on the lack of documentation for me – but the other thing is that it’s not intuitive at all. Other manufactures succeed in creating intuitive management interfaces.

  3. #3 by Surreal on December 7, 2005 - 23:16

    hmmmm, god help you in the Storage and enterprise market if you find Netapp managment confusing and unsturctured. If you cannot operate basic wizards or are unable to type “lun setup help” from a command line, then you will have serious trouble with configuring any other storage manufacturers products. I was introduced to Netapp storage after working with both EMC and HP and found them difficult to manage, multiple tools to carry out simple tasks and very confusing and unhelpful when it came to configuration

  4. #4 by Bietiekay on December 8, 2005 - 00:19

    wtf? It’s not the point that possibly maybe because of a coincidence I would have typed “lun setup help” – the point is that there was no documentation. With a documentation I would have known what to do. Without one – no way. You maybe should read before you bash.

  5. #5 by Matt on December 21, 2005 - 04:23

    Wow, its a shame you were not able to get a lun setup. I’ve used and installed NetApp’s for the last 5 years, one customer has over 30 IPSAN’s all running Red Hat, and even the minimal documentation its extremely easy to use. I’d reconmend that you try again and this time make sure that the re-seller gives you 5min of their time to show you a lun setup. May I ask what the initator was going to be? Windows, variants of Linux, Mac or even SGI? Anyways give it another go, as you will be amazed by its ability to snapshot a 1Tb lun in a second 🙂

  6. #6 by John on February 4, 2006 - 20:56

    I hate to tell you this, but if you found the NetApp box confusing and hard to use you’re going to be in for a shocker with the IBM stuff. Getting documentation off of IBM’s web isn’t a treat, I can tell you that.

    For the life of me, I don’t know what you found so difficult about the NetApp interface.

  7. #7 by Ian on April 18, 2006 - 19:43

    Netapp documentation difficult to get to and understand?? You must be joking! I’ve been using Netapp’s for over 5 years now and absolutely love them. They are super easy to set-up and the support site is the best! IBM???? Are you joking? I couldn’t find information on a brand new IBM server on their support site if someone gave me the exact url. Their site is terrible. Give Netapp another try!! 🙂

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