NetApp, Microsoft Unveil New Integrated Data Center Management Tools

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2010-06-08

Exactly six months after signing a three-year development alliance that tightened up a 10-year-long partnership, NetApp and Microsoft June 8 announced the first new products and services resulting from that agreement.

The two companies announced that IT managers now can utilize their standard Microsoft management tools to monitor and manage virtual environments that include NetApp storage arrays.

NetApp has integrated its storage software so that it works automatically with Microsoft's Dynamic Datacenter Toolkits. Through this so-called "tight integration," NetApp said, it now offers fast provisioning and cloning of Windows PowerShell cmdlets for the toolkit, which in turn provides a foundation for building private clouds.

A cmdlet is a lightweight command used in the Windows PowerShell environment. The PowerShell runtime invokes cmdlets within the context of automation scripts that are provided at the command line. The Windows PowerShell runtime also invokes them programmatically through Windows PowerShell APIs.

In Microsoft's Dynamic Datacenter Toolkit for hosters, NetApp now delivers scripts that use its own Windows PowerShell cmdlet library for automated failover and rapid provisioning and cloning, NetApp said.

The NetApp Windows PowerShell cmdlet library allows users to invoke the capabilities of NetApp storage software via Microsoft System Center, or similar tools.

On June 8, NetApp also launched a new management pack that enables Microsoft users to manage NetApp storage efficiency technologies, plus basic self-healing capabilities with Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager.

NetApp ApplianceWatch PRO 2.1 includes new PRO Tips that provide granular control and include auto remediation for common storage utilization, replication and configuration issues that can affect Hyper-V virtual machines.

As a result, Microsoft users can now create automated reports, troubleshoot storage issues and view mapping of storage to individual VMs via System Center Operations Manager.

"We're seeing a very different data center being built now," David Greschler, director of Integrated Virtualization Strategy at Microsoft, told eWEEK back on Dec. 8. "Virtualization has taken the data center by storm and changed almost every aspect of it-from the infrastructure layer to the management layer to the app layer.

"The No. 1 question we're asking, in regard to the relationship with NetApp, is this: How can we make it easier for customers to integrate this at all three layers?"

The answer is tight integration, said Garth Fort, general manager of Microsoft Systems Center marketing group.

"Tight integration with leading partners like NetApp enables joint users to better manage their storage and all of their physical and virtual environments in a more cohesive manner," Fort said. "They will be able to reduce costs and streamline management."


Rocket Fuel