TECH:: New post on DataCenterDude! – Cloud Inception

Have you been feeling like you’ve heard this cloud marketing pitch before? Does it feel “buzzy”? Deja-vu?

There’s a reason for that – you have. Read about it all here!

Cloud Inception

allyourcloud

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TECH::What’s the latest ONTAP 8.3 release?

For cDOT 8.3.1 news, check out my other blog post.

The following covers the latest 8.3 patch release for the 8.3 flat version. I highly recommend going to the latest patch release of 8.3.1 instead.

UPDATE: 8.3P2 is now available!

8.3P2 can be found here:

http://mysupport.netapp.com/NOW/download/software/ontap/8.3P2

Some of the pertinent NAS related bug fixes include:

If you’re planning on doing a transition from 8.2.x 7-mode to cDOT, be sure to use 8.3P2


Data ONTAP 8.3 was the first clustered Data ONTAP-only release delivered by NetApp – cloud-ready, with the closest feature parity ever in clustered Data ONTAP (cDOT) and richer feature sets than previous versions of cDOT. For more information on 8.3, check out the Top 5 Enhancements in Data ONTAP 8.3 and What’s New for NAS is Data ONTP 8.3.

Great. What’s a GA?

GA = General Availability

Prior to GA, 8.3 had two release candidate (RC) versions. RC versions have completed a rigorous set of internal NetApp tests and are are deemed ready for public consumption. Each release candidate would provide bug fixes that eventually lead up to the GA edition. Keep in mind that all release candidates are fully supported by NetApp, even if there is a GA version available. However, while RC is perfectly fine to run in production environments, GA is the recommended version of any ONTAP software release.

This NetApp page (requires NOW account) discusses the differences between the types of release in more detail:

NetApp Release Model (Post July 2010)

Awesome! Where can I get it?

The download page for the Data ONTAP 8.3 release can be found here:

http://mysupport.netapp.com/NOW/download/software/ontap/8.3/

For Data ONTAP 8.3 product documentation:

http://mysupport.netapp.com/documentation/docweb/index.html?productID=61999&language=en-US

For the Data ONTAP 8.3 express guides:

http://mysupport.netapp.com/documentation/docweb/index.html?productID=61885&language=en-US

Upgrade and enjoy!

TECH::vSphere 6.0 – NFS thoughts

vSphere 6.0 is GA today, so re-blogging this with some added information!

Why Is The Internet Broken?

DISCLAIMER: I work for NetApp. However, I don’t speak for NetApp. These are my own views. 🙂

I’m a tad late to the party here, as there have already been numerous blogs about what’s new in vSphere 6.0, etc. I haven’t seen anything regarding what was missing from a NFS perspective, however. So I’m going to attempt to fill that gap.

What new NFS features were added?

Famously, vSphere 6 brings us NFSv4.1. NFSV4.1 is an enhancement of NFSV4.0, which brought the following features:

  • Pseudo/unified namespace
  • TCP only
  • Better security via domain ID string mapping, single firewall port and Kerberos integration
  • Better locking than NFSv3 via a lease-based model
  • Compound NFS calls (i.e., combining multiple NFS operations into a single packet)
  • Better standardization of the protocol, leveraging IETF
  • More granular ACLs (similar to Windows NTFS ACLs)
  • NFS referrals
  • NFS sessions
  • pNFS

I cover NFSv4.x in some detail in TR-4067

View original post 783 more words

TECH::How to be better at searching for NetApp documentation

I get asked a lot of questions. I get them via email, phone calls, walkups, Twitter, and communities. There is always a common theme with many of the questions – where do I find information?

Search has come a long way over the last decade or so. Search engines are caching our history (like it or not) and helping direct us to where we look most. They are being crawled and indexed constantly. Invalid or inappropriate results get moved to the bottom of the lists, while the most useful ones are moved to the top. However, even with all the search improvements out there, it’s still hard to find stuff.

Here’s some of the reasons why:

  • There’s a lot to learn.
  • We don’t know what we’re looking for.
  • We don’t ask the right questions.
  • Technology changes faster than we can learn it.
  • Documentation is long and boring.

All of the above are valid excuses why we can’t find information. At NetApp, we have three main places for customers to search for information about ONTAP and associated products: kb.netapp.commysupport.netapp.com and the NetApp communities.

mysupport.netapp.com

This site has two gateways. One is for general public consumption and does not need a login. The other is for people who sign up for a support login account. The general public one gives less access than the one you sign in for. For instance, only registered users get access to download NetApp software and tools.

I’ll keep this post limited to the general one that everyone sees. With this one, you get access to documentation and the knowledge base in your search results.

The site itself looks like this in its current iteration:

supportsite1

For product documentation, you simply click “Documentation” and you get the following:

supportsite-doc

As you can see, the above shows that registered users get more access. But you still can see basic stuff like the product docs. Also, if you notice, there is a “Product Category” button you can click to change the way the results are displayed:

supportsite-doc-category

If you’d rather do a keyword search, use the search box either at the top of the page or on the right side:

supportsite-doc-search

When doing the keyword search, there are a few tricks to keep in mind.

Spell correctly.

Sometimes misspelled words can work, but the results may vary greatly.

For example, the results for “ldap” vs “ladp” can vary quite a bit.

misspell-search

correct-spell-search

Use the filter.

Notice in the above results, we get things we don’t really need/want? But even then, maybe I need more detail, such as what TR-4073 provides. With the default settings I have above, I am getting EVERYTHING with the word LDAP in it. KB articles, product documentation, TRs… by the time I find TR-4073, I am on page… ah, who am I kidding. I gave up by page 16.

When I use a base search, notice how many documentation options are included in the search:

documentation-list

However, most of that stuff, I know I don’t need. For instance, I can leave out “express guide” because I’m not registered. And do I really need anything related to “hardware” here? If I know all I need are TRs and Product Docs, I should just check those. In my case, I know I want a Technical Report (because TRs are awesome!), so I just check that one and… voila!

filter-tr

Use multiple search terms.

In addition to filtering, keywords should also be used with multiple entries. Doing this helps the search figure out what you are really trying to ask it. Notice in the results how all the keywords added to the search are in bold type.

filter-tr-multiple

Use the search tips!

In the images above, you might notice that there is a “Search Tips” box under the search field. These rotate as you are on a page and give information on how to better navigate the support site search. There is also a hard landing page. Bookmark it!

For instance, did you know you could use Boolean logic in searches?

When using Boolean logic, use all CAPS for the operators.  Example: hats AND gloves NOT socks

  • The “+” and “-“ symbols also work as shortcut keys for Boolean operators.  Using the example above, you can also type: hats +gloves –socks

kb.netapp.com

Another place to find information is via the NetApp Knowledge Base. This site covers mainly the KB article side of the house, so if you know you are looking for KBs, use this site. However, you can also find KB articles via the support.netapp.com site (with appropriate filters).

What is a KB?

A KB is an article written by NetApp employees to cover specific issues seen in the field. These can be break/fix, how to, FAQs, or troubleshooting guidelines. They aren’t going to be as in-depth as TRs and will usually cover specific scenarios, but you can still find some useful information.

When you arrive at the landing page, there is a handy-dandy list of recent and popular articles.

kb-landing

In the “popular articles” section, you can also click for “recently viewed” or “triage templates.”

Triage template?

Emergency Room

A triage template is a list of questions that are asked to cover most generic issues and potentially solve a problem before it comes to the point of a support case – similar to a triage room at a hospital. There is also a main landing page that can be found here.

On that page, you can even filter by ONTAP mode.

triage-categories

And as you drill down, you can filter by other categories, like performance.

triage-categories-2

Yeah, but what about search?

Oh, right. You want to *find* stuff.

Well, on the kb.netapp.com page, there is a search field. (Duh)

kb-search

This also does a keyword search, similar to the support site, but only searches for KBs.

Keep in mind that this site can be tricky, as there are two search fields. One searches kb.netapp.com. The other searches support.netapp.com. Yes, they’re labeled. In gray, easy-to-miss text. 🙂

kb-search-fields

Like the support site, the KB site has filters:

kb-filters

And in case you want to be meta, a KB that talks about how to search KBs. Even has a video!

https://kb.netapp.com/support/index?page=content&actp=LIST&id=1013388

NetApp KB even has a Twitter handle. Follow it! https://twitter.com/netappkb

And a KB TV YouTube channel! https://www.youtube.com/user/netappkbtv

NetApp Communities

Another useful resource to find information is the NetApp Communities. These operate like any other support community – you can search for keywords, read posts and find information from other users outside of NetApp for a more balanced view.

Like any community, they are what you put into it. Feel free to ask questions, but also answer questions. If you don’t get a response, then you may have to go other routes, but you can at least put out feelers. But, chances are, you aren’t  the first person to run into the issue you are seeing.

In addition to forums, the communities also include blog posts from NetApp technology leaders as well as the TechONTAP Newsletter!

Did this blog help you find what you needed? Yes or no, comment or send a Tweet @NFSDudeAbides

TECH::NFSDudeAbides and DataCenterDude team up!

If you’ve ever been to datacenterdude.com, run by the @datacenterdude himself (Nick Howell), then you’ll know it’s chock full of tech goodness for virt and storage nerds. I recently had the opportunity to volunteer my services to his efforts and now am officially a part of the datacenterdude.com team!

My first contribution was about snapshots and backups called Snapshots & Polaroids: Neither Lasts Forever. Check it out!

I’ll still be manning this blog as well. I’ll just be pulling double duty!

It’s not just me, though. There are a number of other rock solid tech experts. Meet the tech super-friends at http://datacenterdude.com/about/!

superfriends