New Storage Management Reviews: Roundup from Our Users

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In IT Central Station’s user community, 1,915 users follow the Storage Management category. In this week’s review roundup, we compare the following Storage Management solutions:

Continue reading to learn how these four software management solutions compare in terms of their respective valuable features and overall room for improvement.

NetApp OnCommand

Valuable Features

  • User-friendly Graphical User Interface

Matej Kocmur names “the system manager itself” as NetApp OnCommand’s most valuable feature, explaining that the GUI is very user-friendly, which they use to create “aggregates, storage virtual machines, volumes, shares (like CIFS and NFS)…”

Komcur adds that the GUI provides “fast (simple) configurations, simplified management, extensive administrative capabilities, unlocking the power of clustered Data ONTAP and also clustered scale-out storage.”

Room for Improvement

After listing several areas that need improvement, such as “wizard-driven configuration” and “automated non-disruptive (DATA ONTAP) upgrade”, Kocmur shares that “It would be great if the GUI can perform the same configurations as the CLI can” and he also argues that “we are missing more graphical diagrams” that would help make managing NetApp “more easily.”

EMC VPLEX

Valuable Features

  • Data Mirroring

“VPLEX Metro is the most valuable feature” writes Mourad Belkhodja.  

Belkhodja explains that because VPLEX Metro “permits the synchronous mirroring of data between two distant data centers…this gives more protection to production data.”

For Cobus Smit, the ability to “move LUNs non-disruptively between arrays”, as well as the “mirrored LUN between data centers” are both “very helpful features.”

  • Data Migration and Clustering

Belkhodja also adds that because of the data migration capabilities, transparent data migration from one storage to another is made possible, and downtime or impact on user applications is eliminated.
Harris Gomes shares a similar experience, describing EMC VPLEX’s most valuable feature as “the ability to move disks online without disruption to the environment.”

Mentioned both by Gomes and by Philippe Tagoum, Gomes speaks of the “ability to create geographically distributed clusters.” Similarly, Tagoum explains that “clustering (Metro or Geo) helps organizations instantly replicate their data to the backup site, while making this totally transparent to the end users.”

Room for Improvement

  • Data Migration and Clustering

Joining the discussion on data migration, Harsh Chauhan shares that his healthcare company’s original incentive for buying EMC VPLEX was “doing online data migrations without data disruption”, before soon realizing that “there’s a limit to backend storage that can be encapsulate.”

Philippe Tagoum also suggests setting up a “one-to-many cluster, instead of just a one-to-one”, arguing that if there were a way to “establish a cluster from one VPLEX to many VPLEX(s)”, that would allow organizations to be able to duplicate and backup their data (for recovery).

  • Back End Storage Abilities

In addition to Harsh Chauhan pointing to the need for “more backend storage per VPLEX”, Cobus Smit also suggests improving “the thin reclaim on certain arrays.” Belkhodja elaborates similarly, explaining that “storage tiering cannot be handles by VPLEX, as it is performed by back end arrays.”

  • Mirroring Response Time

Belkhodja also argues that when configuring a mirror (RAID1) device on two devices, the mirroring performance lacks a preferred access path setting, and instead, its performance is dependent on (and ultimately compromised by) the individual speed(s) of each mirroring device, and its response time will be equal to the response time of whichever device is lower.

CA Vantage Storage Resource Manager

Valuable Features

“Monitoring, trending, and automation” writes Chakib El Warari, explaining that these features have helped him (as a storage administrator in his role to) “control my storage capacity and keep it clean in terms of both data and storage”, as well eliminate the need to purchase storage “as aggressively as we used to.”

Room for Improvement

Warari describes CA Vantage Storage Resource Manager as having many things to improve, albeit being “a work-in-progress product”, explaining that “when we find issues, we contact their support team and they are always quick to react.”

CA 1 Tape Management

Valuable Features

Informatcd0f shares that his organization “heavily relies” on CA 1 Tape Management for their tape management, which he describes as “the industry standard.”

“I personally enjoy the fact that I get great support from CA. They’re actively giving new improvements with every release and, really, the stability of it. I’ve had zero problems since I’ve installed it, so it’s been great.”

Room for Improvement

Informatcd0f  continues that “I think I need a little bit better understanding, to be honest, but…the documentation would really, in my opinion, be a better improvement to the product….it’d be nice to have a little bit upfront.”  

Which other features do IT Central Station users emphasize or seek improvement in when it comes to Storage Management solutions?

Read our full collection of Storage Management reviews by real users.

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