NetApp Automates Management of Petabytes of Data

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When it comes to provisioning servers, a tremendous amount of progress in recent years has been made in the way of increased automation. Progress in terms of extending that level of automation out to storage systems: not so much.

NetApp this week moved to address that issue with the release of an update to the Clustered Data OnTap storage software that pools the company’s line of storage systems into a set of shared resources.

Version 8.2 of Clustered Data OnTap adds the ability to seamlessly add resources to a NetApp cluster while at the same time have the cluster rebalance itself to support specific types of application workloads.

All told, Clustered Data OnTap can now support 69PB of storage across 24 controller nodes, 49,000 LUNs, and 12,000 NAS volumes in support of over 100,000 clients accessing a single container up to 20 PB.

According to Brendon Howe, NetApp vice president of product and solutions marketing, those capabilities are critical components that enable NetApp to support non-disruptive operations across a massive NetApp cluster.

The goal, says Howe, is to manage storage as a service much like any other part of the IT infrastructure environment. In fact, Howe says the whole concept of having a dedicated storage administrator that manually manages storage systems may soon be a thing of the past because IT administrators will be able to cohesively manage servers and systems using integrated sets of automation tools. For that reason, NetApp has improved integration with both the VMware and Microsoft management frameworks for virtual machine environments as part of a general move toward integrating software-defined storage systems with software-defined data centers.

While the amount of data in the enterprise to be managed continues to grow exponentially, the good news is that it appears that the process by which all that data is managed is becoming more automated.