NetApp has long wanted to be known for its “unified storage” offerings, storage arrays that combine NAS and SAN. But the company has expanded its storage software footprint as well, and recently unified these offerings under the “OnCommand” banner. Some of these products are intended solely for NetApp storage, but many are suitable for heterogeneous and even non-NetApp environments. Let’s take a look!
OnCommand: A Broad Banner
The “OnCommand” name applies generally to much of NetApp’s storage software, from their System Manager to the Insight analysis products to integration plug-ins for vSphere and Hyper-V. It took me a while to get my head around just what was and wasn’t part of this cadre of products, as well as what it all was useful for. Here’s my attempt, but I apologize in advance if I get it wrong!
OnCommand includes both management and integration software, much of which is specific to NetApp’s well-known “Filer” storage arrays. The “Manage” range includes the OnCommand Insight family, which draws from the Onaro (SANscreen) and Akorri (BalancePoint) acquisitions.
SANscreen had been part of the NetApp lineup since the company’s 2008 acquisition of Onaro, but the five SANscreen components have been rationalized into three:
- OnCommand Insight Assure includes the Service Insight, Service Assurance, and VM Insight components of SANscreen
- OnCommand Insight Perform maps to the former Application Insight software component
- OnCommand Insight Plan is the Capacity Manager component of SANscreen
NetApp acquired Akorri in February of this year, and has moved quickly to begin integrating their BalancePoint software into the OnCommand family. As discussed at Tech Field Day, BalancePoint is now known as OnCommand Insight Balance and has been updated.
Customers can order all of OnCommand Insight as a single package including all four components, or can purchase them separately. NetApp is actively working to integrate these products, including updating the look and feel, combining authorization, and pulling everything into a portal with multi-tenant support.
NetApp picked some good products when they acquired Onaro and Akorri, and it is great to see them moving forward with cross-platform support. Frankly, if these were rolled into some NetApp-only suite they would have been wasted and withered on the vine. But it remains to be seen if customers will select NetApp software for storage and service management, especially if they are not NetApp storage shops!