Behind the Scenes: Episode 108 – #NetAppInsight 2017: Las Vegas Recap (with the #NetAppATeam)

Welcome to the Episode 108, part of the continuing series called “Behind the Scenes of the NetApp Tech ONTAP Podcast.”


This week on the podcast, we rounded up some of the NetApp A-Team members to discuss NetApp Insight 2017 in Las Vegas. Included in the podcast were:

You can listen to this week’s episode here:

Here are some shots of us recording:

For the blog referenced in the podcast:

The Importance of Perspective in Crisis

I also made a video of my side trip to Zion:

Finding the Podcast

The podcast is all finished and up for listening. You can find it on iTunes or SoundCloud or by going to

Also, if you don’t like using iTunes or SoundCloud, we just added the podcast to Stitcher.

I also recently got asked how to leverage RSS for the podcast. You can do that here:

Our YouTube channel (episodes uploaded sporadically) is here:


Ready for Insight 2017?

NetApp Insight 2017 is rapidly approaching and I’ll be making my 5th appearance. This year, I’m doing another FlexGroup session, but I’m also picking up the general ONTAP session to discuss what’s new in ONTAP 9.3, and how ONTAP is modernizing your datacenter. This is me last year at Insight, discussing FlexGroup volumes in a shorter video:

These are the session numbers and abstracts, if you’re interested in signing up on the schedule builder:

16594-2 – Accelerate Unstructured Data with FlexGroup: the Next Evolution of Scale-Out NAS

NetApp FlexGroup volumes were introduced in NetApp ONTAP 9.1 and were designed to deliver capacity and performance benefits over not only NetApp FlexVol volumes, but also over competitive solutions. This session will include an overview of what NetApp FlexGroup volumes are, how they work, where to use them and an update on the new features and functionality.

30682-2 – Modernize Your Data Center with a Sneak Peek at the Latest ONTAP 9 Improvements

NetApp ONTAP 9.2 brought a slew of improvements that have enabled NetApp customers to modernize their data management infrastructure. Come for a review of the top enhancements in ONTAP 9.2, and stay for a sneak peek at improvements likely coming soon in the next major release of ONTAP.

I’ve also created a Hands On Lab for FlexGroup volumes that any Insight attendee can sign up for and will be handing out Tech ONTAP Podcast stickers and t-shirts. This year, we have a special edition featuring artwork by Ashley McNamara:


You can find them in the Social Media Hub in Insight Central.

Other sessions of interest

Here are a few other sessions you may want to check out:

  • 18544-2 – Optimize Your NetApp ONTAP 9 All Flash FAS and FAS Systems
  • 13902-2 – Securing and Hardening NetApp ONTAP 9
  • 16700-2 – FabricPool in the Real World: Configurations and Best Practices
  • 18012-2 – NetApp ONTAP SAN Best Practices
  • 12708-2 – How NVMe and Storage-Class Memory Are Reshaping the Storage Industry
  • 16944-2 – Shrink Your DMZ Infrastructure with ONTAP and Other Networking Best Practices
  • 16947-2 – Thwart Threats and Add Functionality to Your NFS Storage
  • 17323-2 – Simplifying the Transition from 10GbE to 40GbE Infrastructure
  • 17703-2 – Simplify NetApp ONTAP Operations Management with Integrated Unified Manager
  • 18576-2 – Store Your Data in the Right Place on Multiple-Storage-Tier ONTAP 9 Clusters

Also check out NetApp A-Team member Ruari McBride’s NetApp Insight blog here:

BREAKING NEWS at #NetAppInsight – ONTAP VVol Support?


Along with the announcement that vSphere 6.5 went GA today, I’ve got some pretty cool news that I was just given permission to share, on the caveat that I can’t actually give the “when” portion of this…

VVols 1.0 is currently being qualified for ONTAP 9.1!


That’s right… Both SolidFire *and* ONTAP will have support for VVols. Somewhere, Pete Flecha (@vPedroArrow) is smiling.

If you have a vested interest in this news, please email me at or comment below with some contact information and I will pass the word on to the ONTAP team.

So, while you’re at NetApp Insight in Berlin, go find Pete at the VMware booth, or attend one of the VMware specific sessions:

  • 60831-2: How Customers and Partners use NFS for Virtualization
  • 62151-2 – VMware Horizon Portfolio on NetApp
  • 61521-2 – VMware on NetApp ONTAP 9: New Tricks and Best Practice Update
  • 61718-3 – Creating a Storage Portal Using VMware vRealize and NetApp
  • 88633-2 Bridging the Gap: Networking for Storage and Virtualization Administrators
  • 88644-2 – New Capabilities in NetApp ONTAP 9, Optimized for All-Flash Virtualized Workloads
  • 61476-2 – VMware Virtual Volumes: Deploy, Implement and Troubleshoot

For NFS-specific information on vSphere 6.5, see:

vSphere 6.5: The NFS edition

For a rundown on the new ONTAP 9.1 features:

ONTAP 9.1 RC1 is now available!

One down, one to go. #NetAppInsight

NetApp Insight 2016 in Las Vegas is in the books. All the months of hard work leading up to the show finally came to fruition and the payoff is seeing how well you were able to deliver your message.

I wrote two blogs leading up to the event, too. If you’re interested:


Will I see you at #NetAppInsight 2016?

What I was up to

This Insight was particularly busy for me. I had 3 sessions which I presented 7 times total. In addition, I had some booth duty, Tech ONTAP podcast recordings and editing, customer meetings, general session presentation and just general networking. Lots of walking, too.

Fitbit says I walked over 60,000 steps for a total of ~28 miles from Sunday to Thursday! My feet agree.


Before I arrived at the conferences, I took a road trip to Zion, which I covered in #NextStopInsight. Lots of photos from there in the blog. Some of my favorites:








I had 3 different sessions. Each one had pretty decent scores and attendance. Sessions get rated 1-5, with 5 being “best.”

60191-3-TT: Authentication Deep Dive

This was the internal/partner only session on Authentication. I take pride in making deep dive sessions into true deep dives. I think I did ok with this one, given the numbers.

Here are the stats:

  • Presented: 2
  • Total attendance: 63
  • Session score average: 4.82
  • Presenter knowledge average score: 4.86

60411-2: FlexGroup Technical Primer

This was the session for the new feature NetApp FlexGroup, which I cover in FlexGroups: An evolution of NAS. Expect the FlexGroup Technical Report to be publicly available soon.

This session seemed to generate a ton of interest and questions. The scores reflected that.

Here are the stats:

  • Presented: 3
  • Total attendance: 285
  • Session score average: 4.69
  • Presenter knowledge average score: 4.86

60831-2: How Customers and Partners use NFS for Virtualization

This session was a co-present session with Dave Morera, who did an excellent job as he departs from the NetApp A-Team on to VMware. Most of the scores were pretty good, but I think a few people thought the session was going to be more technical than we had it. Hard to gauge expectations; level 2 sessions are generally going to be a mix of technical and practical. We’ll take the feedback and apply it to the Berlin session.

Here are the stats:

  • Presented: 2
  • Total attendance: 143
  • Session score average: 4.38
  • Presenter knowledge average score: 4.69

So, overall, I think the sessions were successful. Looking forward to improving them a bit for Berlin. Come check them out there if you’re going!

Tech ONTAP Podcast

I kept the tradition of daily recap podcasts and they can be found here:

Most of the people I grabbed were partners or employees. I wanted to get more customers involved, so I’ll focus on that in Berlin.

General session (Tech Team Forum)

The Tech ONTAP podcast team was fortunate enough to be invited by Roger Anderson to do a live podcast. The fact that he trusted us enough to go live and unscripted speaks volumes to his admiration of the podcast. I managed to get ahold of some video of the opening and will post the whole session later.

Networking, etc.

Met lots of new people. Some from sessions, some from the Podcast, some from the general session exposure. Some were names I recognized from emails – both from internal NetApp to customers I used to help in support. All in all, was good to put names to faces.

Also gave away a bunch of shirts!

And the Flash made his (final?) appearance:

See you all in Berlin!

Behind the Scenes: Episode 59 – NetApp Volume Encryption

Welcome to the Episode 59, part of the continuing series called “Behind the Scenes of the NetApp Tech ONTAP Podcast.”

This week, we welcome Juan Mojica (@Juan_M_Mojica), product manager for the new feature NetApp Volume Encryption (NVE). NVE is available in ONTAP 9.1, which is being announced today at NetApp Insight!

We actually had planned for this episode to go out before Insight,  but realized we couldn’t announce any 9.1 stuff until the 26th. So you got Episode 57 on Scale Out Networking instead. 😛

What is NetApp Volume Encryption (NVE)?

Previously, to encrypt data at rest on ONTAP systems, it was an all or nothing deal. ONTAP 9 introduced the ability to do an on-box key management, but you still were encrypting everything.

With NetApp Volume Encryption (NVE), you can encrypt data at a per-volume level, giving you more flexibility and avoiding the need to encrypt entire systems.

Because NVE leverages the AES-NI capabilities on CPU, there are hardware restrictions.

Supported platforms include:

Find out more in the episode below.

Finding the Podcast

The podcast is all finished and up for listening. You can find it on iTunes or SoundCloud or by going to

Also, if you don’t like using iTunes or SoundCloud, we just added the podcast to Stitcher.

I also recently got asked how to leverage RSS for the podcast. You can do that here:

You can listen here:


NetApp Insight 2016 in Las Vegas is finally here. Months of preparation and tons of Powerpoint slides are coming to a close and next week, I’ll be able to deliver on the work I’ve put in. If you’re interested in what sessions I’m doing, I list them in Will I see you at #NetAppInsight 2016?


This year, the hashtag #NextStopInsight is being promoted to track the exploits of the various speakers and attendees making their way there.

I flew out on the 23rd and got a rental car. I lucked out – I got a nice Fiat 500 SUV, with a sunroof!


The drive to St. George was about 2 hours, so I made sure to fuel up on some In N Out burger before I left. Because health.


The speed limit between Vegas and St. George is 75 most of the way, which is nice. There’s also a really cool segment of highway that winds through some immense mountains. Makes you feel super small and insignificant. I’m going to try to set up the camera to get some video during the drive on the way back if I can.

Once I arrived, I made my way out to take a short hike in Pioneer Park. Climbed some big ol’ rocks.


Tomorrow, I head out to Zion National Park to do some hiking. Hopefully, I don’t end up like this guy:



I arrived at Zion on Saturday around 11AM and took the shuttle in from Springdale. I had planned on hiking the Narrows but decided I didn’t feel like dealing with the water and changing shoes. So I chose Angel’s Landing, due to its expansive views and the challenge.

It was quite an effort getting up there. Lots of inclines and switchbacks. Reminded me a bit of Waipi’o Valley in Hawaii, but a little harder. Easier than Fuji though.

It took me a few hours to get up there, and the last leg of the hike was a bit treacherous, but I made it and it was worth it.

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14470650_10154002411267075_4448128506937014293_n 14457549_10154002411292075_2587925117120777540_n

14457341_10154002411312075_5699176978341795368_n 14462789_10154002411352075_3281220674495226699_n

14440677_10154002411387075_2335608414036550016_n 14359206_10154002411477075_7114581201712354369_n

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Valley of Fire

The next day, on the way to Las Vegas for Insight, I made a stop through the Valley of Fire. It was pretty cool, but after Zion, meh. 🙂



I’m in Vegas now, so come find me and see if I have any Tech ONTAP podcast swag on me!

Check out a photographic account of my travel exploits on my way to Insight:

Photos from Zion

I also made a video. Because I’m a nerd.

Clustered Data ONTAP 8.3.2 is here! (plus, Insight EMEA 2015 recap)

It’s finally here!

Clustered Data ONTAP 8.3.GA is up and available here:

I can also finally talk about the live demo I was working on for NetApp Insight. I even made some videos for it:


As for what’s in the release, I’ll keep it high level here and start with what I was showing off…

Copy-Free Transition!

One of the biggest pieces of FUD being thrown around regarding NetApp was the fact that the transition from Data ONTAP operating in 7-Mode to clustered Data ONTAP was a “forklift upgrade.”

Given the fact that the operating systems were vastly different, it wasn’t 100% inaccurate, but it was definitely an exaggeration in my opinion.

However, one of the main things people kept asking for was a way to simply move the shelves from the old 7-Mode heads to the new cDOT heads.

“Shouldn’t it be easy?” they (rightfully) asked?

Well, now it is. The live demo we did showed a Copy-Free Transition (CFT) in real-time from 7-Mode to cDOT and it took less than 20 minutes.

Some other notable features of this release:

  • SAN Break-Resync-Break for 7àC Snapmirror relationships
  • MCC Improvements – Cisco 9250i switch support, sharing 8G card FC-VI/FC-Initiator
  • In-line Deduplication
  • Volume Re-host
  • QoS node limit increase (24 nodes!)
  • SVM DR MSID replication (filehandles!)

I wrote up a more in-depth post on CFT after Insight. Also, be sure to check out the TechONTAP Podcast episode where we cover all the new goodness of the 8.3.2 cDOT release!

Episode 15 – Clustered Data ONTAP 8.3.2RC1

NetApp Insight EMEA Recap


NetApp Insight EMEA is all over and if you noticed I didn’t have any recaps posted, it was because I was INSANELY busy.

In addition to my sessions and the CFT demo, I also joined the TechONTAP podcast as a co-host, which is awesome – but when you have daily recaps, that means you are doing daily edits. So, not a lot of sleep involved.

If you’re interested, here are the daily recaps of the conference:

Day 1 Recap

Day 2 Recap

Day 3 Recap

Day 4 Recap

The Flash did make another appearance, and he even did a video with our All Flash FAS TME, Dan Isaacs called “Flash on Flash”:

I also had the opportunity to talk Data Fabric with NetApp A-Team member Paul Stringfellow:

Stay tuned for more information about 8.3.2 on this blog and by following me on Twitter @NFSDudeAbides, as well as listening to the TechONTAP podcast.

NetAppInsight:: #NetAppInsight 2015 – Berlin is just days away!

With NetApp Insight 2015 – Las Vegas in the books, my focus has shifted to the next big thing – NetApp Insight 2015 in Berlin!

In many ways, I enjoy the Insight shows in EMEA more than the ones in Las Vegas. Here’s why:

  • I don’t really like Las Vegas – at all.
  • I love Europe in general.
  • Tiergartenquelle
  • Warm pretzels
  • The stuff I work on – NFS and name services – are *huge* in Europe.

I consider what I work on to be the Hasselhoff of the protocols.

However, I got a lot of positive feedback on the stuff I did in Las Vegas. My sessions were generally well received and decently attended. The live demo we worked on had the most booth traffic of any booth at Insight.

And I even was able to meet the Flash…

For more information about how Vegas went, check this out:

What I’ll be up to at NetApp Insight 2015 – Berlin

I have a feeling that as busy as I was in Las Vegas, I’ll be even busier in Berlin.

First and foremost… sessions!

This is my session schedule. Be sure to reserve your spot today with the NetApp Insight Schedule Builder if you want to see one of them.

1884-2: Unlocking the Mysteries of Multiprotocol NAS 

This is a level 2 session where I will attempt to demystify multiprotocol NAS and discuss some best practices with regards to clustered Data ONTAP. The feedback for this session was mostly good, but I’ve taken some of the constructive feedback and improved the session even more for Berlin. Come check it out!

  • Tuesday, Nov 17, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
  • Wednesday, Nov 18, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
  • Thursday, Nov 19, 2:15 PM – 3:15 PM

1881-3-TT: SecD Deep Dive

This is a level 3 session where I go pretty deep into how SecD works and how to use it to troubleshoot. Feedback from this session was overwhelmingly positive, as people felt this session was one of the most technical ones they had attended.

  • Monday, Nov 16, 2:45 PM – 3:45 PM
  • Wednesday, Nov 18, 2:15 PM – 3:15 PM

I’ve also got a Hands On Lab!

1804-2: Hands-On Lab for Configuring and Using Multiprotocol with LDAP in Clustered Data ONTAP® 

Live Demo

We’re also doing our live demo at booth C8 in the exhibitor hall. Be sure to come check out one of the hottest booths at NetApp Insight!

Our booth schedule:




I’ll be helping the Tech ONTAP Podcast guys out a bit more in Berlin, so be sure to stop by the podcast booth to meet the podcast team, get a free podcast shirt and sticker!

Meet the Engineer

Schedule a meeting with me to chat about NFS, Name Services, clustered Data ONTAP or life in general!

Geek and Greet

Have you been NetApp certified? If so, you likely have an invitation to the NetApp Geek and Greet. I’ll be there Tuesday November 17, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

NetApp A-Team

In addition to all of the other stuff, I’ll be hanging out with the NetApp A-Team and helping out as much as I can. Come find me if you want more information on what we do and what it takes to be a member. Follow them on Twitter @NetAppATeam.

Finally, if you need to contact me or just want to see what I’m up to, follow me on Twitter @NFSDudeAbides.

For some highlights of last year’s Berlin trip, here are some photos:

Berlin 2014

See you all in Berlin!

NetAppInsight::One down, one to go!

NetApp Insight 2015 – Las Vegas is over and, by most accounts, was a rousing success!

We announced a ton of new, innovative things (which I can’t detail yet). My sessions went pretty well. The live demo we did got a lot of visibility and people were excited about it. The NetApp Data Fabric story became a little more clear with some help from Dave Hitz. Neto (from Brazil) did a live demo of AFF failover that was pretty hot. And a 3x Flash Performance Guarantee marketing initiative called EMC You Later was announced. Coincidentally (yes, really), that week another EMC announcement was made.


And the Flash even made a cameo at the Insight party with Train:

Now that it’s all over, it’s almost time to do it again. Insight EMEA starts up on November 17 in Berlin!


What to expect

Expect even more information on the Data Fabric, upcoming features and announcements for NetApp as a whole.

In addition, expect more live demos in the exhibit area. Stay tuned for location info, schedules, etc.

For a recap of some of that from Vegas, see these posts.

Also, expect daily recaps from the Tech ONTAP podcast team.


Sign up for Meet the Engineer in the Berlin schedule builder to meet me or other NetApp experts.

And last, but not least, my session schedule…

This year, I’ll be focusing solely on multiprotocol in clustered Data ONTAP in an attempt to help people better understand the myriad questions surrounding the use SMB and NFS on the same unified data storage. I’ll be doing a session on general multiprotocol best practices and operation called:

1884-2:  Unlocking the Mysteries of Multiprotocol NAS in Data ONTAP

Having trouble understanding multiprotocol? Can’t figure out the difference between authentication and authorization? Do you think a name mapping rule is something doctors provide to new parents at the hospital? Wondering what a “CIFS/SMB” and “NFS” is anyway? This session can help! We cover all things NAS in clustered Data ONTAP, from the basics to the best practices, and try to help make multiprotocol a little clearer for storage administrators.

Session schedule for 1884-2:

Tues Nov 17: 11:30AM – 12:30PM

Wed Nov 18: 10:30AM – 11:30AM

Thurs Nov 19: 2:15PM – 3:15PM

For a deeper understanding of the inner workings of authentication in clustered Data ONTAP (which is integral to multiprotocol), I’ll be doing a session called:

1881-3-TT: Authentication in Clustered Data ONTAP: SecD Deep Dive

Authentication in clustered Data ONTAP uses the security daemon (SecD) for connectivity to external dependencies for NAS protocols such as Active Directory, LDAP, NIS and DNS. This session will cover how SecD works in clustered Data ONTAP 8.3 and beyond, as well as how to troubleshoot issues and what kind of statistics are available for SecD and external name services.

Session schedule for 1881-3-TT:

Mon Nov 16: 2:45PM – 3:45PM

Wed Nov 18: 2:15PM – 3:15PM

See you in Berlin!

NetAppInsight::Entering the home stretch of #NetAppInsight 2015 in Las Vegas

Well, it’s Wednesday night in Las Vegas and NetApp Insight 2015 is wrapping up.

If you use a Fitbit, then you know you can track your steps. I have one of the little ones that fit on your pocket, so I don’t think it’s super accurate, but for the sake of information, I totaled the number of steps/miles I walked this week so far (starting Sunday).

Steps walked: 50,102

Miles: 22.75

(Yes, my feet are killing me.)

By far, this has been the busiest I’ve been at a NetApp Insight event. I had 5 sessions, did 5 live demos, a meet the engineer session and multiple NetApp A-Team events, as well as trying to help out with the Tech ONTAP podcast and meeting with various customers and partners. But, busy is good – it means you’re doing things people are interested in.


I had two sessions this year. One on multiprotocol NAS and one doing a deep dive into authentication. I’ve presented 4 of the 5 as of Wed night and so far, so good. People seem to be pretty interested in the topics. Attendance was modest, but I think I presented ok. My next session is Thursday at 9AM, so that ought to be… interesting. 🙂

After that, I won’t present them again until NetApp Insight Berlin!

Live Demos

This was one of the busiest parts of the conference for me. We were given about 2 weeks to put together a live demo that was going to have a ton of visibility and generated a LOT of excitement. So, we had to spend extra time ensuring things didn’t blow up on us. There were a few hiccups, but over all, the demos seemed to be a success. Large crowds and lots of buzz!

As we get closer to the release date for the new feature, I can talk more about it. Until then, stop by booth 303 at NetApp Insight 2015 in Las Vegas to see what’s been generating so much interest!




Meet the Engineer

This was an hour long session where I actually was able to SIT!

Customers and partners would come up and pick my brain on all things NFS/NAS. Had some pretty good conversations and was able to help clarify things for some people.

NetApp A-Team

If you’re not familiar with what the NetApp A-Team is, it’s a group of really smart partners and resellers that are advocates of NetApp stuff.

I operate as a technical adviser to the group and attempt to answer questions or at least help the group get the answers they need.

Most of the gang was in Las Vegas and were having a great time at the conference. They were able to talk to some members of the press, join the Tech ONTAP podcast and attend several functions with members of NetApp.

I assume they had a good time. Some had *too* good of a time. (yes that is me in a pirate hat)

NetApp Insight Party

At the end of the evening, we were treated to a NetApp event featuring Train playing a concert. Since we’re in day 3 of the show, I believe I reached critical mass and just let it all hang loose.

All Flash. All the time.