NetApp upgrades management software for cloud systems

OnCommand now part of single user interface for servers, storage

NetApp today announced a new version of its OnCommand management software, which now allows its storage arrays to plug into most leading cloud management systems to be shared across an IT infrastructure.

OnCommand 5.0 management software operates in a shared storage infrastructure, allowing administrators to optimize utilization, set service level agreements and boost performance, NetApp said.

Using its Alliance Technology Partner Program, NetApp has integrated OnCommand with nearly 20 cloud management partners, including BMC, CA, Fujitsu, Microsoft, newScale, IBM Tivoli and VMware. The vendors' cloud management software products enable automation and management of the cloud infrastructure and integrate with NetApp OnCommand to incorporate NetApp's storage management interface so that there's one user interface to control both servers and storage.

According to Chris Cummings, NetApp's vice president of product and solutions marketing, administrators can still use different consoles to manage their environment, including virtual machine admins from VMware vSphere and Microsoft System Center for Hyper-V. "However, the new NetApp OnCommand 5.0 introduces a new dashboard that provides a unified view of the managed storage environment, with point-and-click drill-downs into the relevant management functionality," he said. "An admin can use this to single interface to view alerts, system status, storage that is running out of capacity the fastest, etc., across the environment."

OnCommand, which uses open APIs and a software development kit (SDK), combines key functions of storage management so that a user sees a single view of all storage, a unified backend architecture, and a common configuration repository, NetApp said.

NetApp's new OnCommand management software delivers four fundamental elements that compose a cloud: service catalog, service analytics, automation and self-service. The new NetApp OnCommand unified manager enables the creation of a storage service catalog and provides policy-based automation, including provisioning, data protection and service monitoring.

OnCommand's new Insight tool provides the service analytics for storage and the rest of the infrastructure so users have visibility into their infrastructure in order to optimize a cloud service delivery. This includes usage-based metering, service-level monitoring, and performance and capacity modeling and planning.

"The promise of cloud implementations, including private, public, and hybrid approaches ... [makes] business more agile while making IT more efficient. Thus there are substantial pressure and opportunity for those organizations and cloud service providers to build innovative, economic, and secure infrastructures," Steve Duplessie, senior analyst at market research firm ESG, said in a statement. "Today's NetApp announcements focusing on service automation and analytics are destined to be a cornerstone for any cloud environment because these capabilities along with adjoining partners' feature sets help optimize service levels at the lowest possible cost."

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is

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