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2018-10-31T13:46:00Z
Julia Frohwein - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Director of Delivery at PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
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What needs improvement with NetApp SnapCenter?

Please share with the community what you think needs improvement with NetApp SnapCenter.

What are its weaknesses? What would you like to see changed in a future version?

21
PeerSpot user
21 Answers
KH
Infrastructure Manager at FIS
Real User
Top 10
2021-04-28T15:22:47Z
28 April 21

The usability of the solution could be much better. It's something the solution could improve upon. The UI, the User Interface, needs to be improved. It's not as clean or modern as it could be. Some of the granularity isn't there when you compare it to solutions like Rubrik, which are much slicker.

Yanuar Priambodo - PeerSpot reviewer
Technical Service Engineer at Comsys Telecom & Media
Real User
2019-05-09T13:20:00Z
09 May 19

I have an issue with SnapCenter because sometimes a VM cannot be backed up. All the other VMs have already been backed up, but this one particular VM is not being backed up because it has errors. It's causing a problem in the whole thing because after the next round of backups, not all the backups are removed. It's because we have an error on a particular VM where it could not create a Snapshot. That is really annoying because we need to check for that issue every week. The way SnapCenter works is that it makes a backup of all the VMs and then it removes all the old backups. If one VM cannot be backed up for some reason, it has already created a new backup for all the VMs but it cannot remove the old backups. It ends up creating so many backups in VMware and it will cause a performance problem if the condition is not fixed. It's really a huge issue. When one VM causes this problem it's too much. It could just skip that one VM and do the remove for the rest of the VMs. That's how it needs to work.

Rostislav Pilka - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Systems Engineer at Our Space Appliances
Real User
2019-01-13T11:37:00Z
13 January 19

The Microsoft environment is its biggest disadvantage due to the central management of all the actions. Because the SnapCenter server is where we deploy everything, it also affects the Microsoft environment, which can cause many difficulties when resolving issues like Windows update problems. We had less issues with SnapManager, the previous product before SnapCenter came out, where there were standalone installations. We are having issues with SnapCenter because of its central management. While it is fine if it's working, sometimes it's quite heavy to figuring out what's wrong, and mostly the problems are because of some Windows updates. We would like NetApp to develop some better diagnostics to report when an installation is performing uncharacteristically. This would allow us to resolve issues and do troubleshooting instead of opening a support case for these issues. Some of the minor functionalities from SnapManager did not transfer over to SnapCenter. These should be added in future releases. I know that NetApp is currently working on this.

ID
Senior Systems Administrator at a healthcare company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
2019-01-10T08:22:00Z
10 January 19

I feel a little bit that during the whole process of putting this software into production we were like a beta program. It was full of bugs. I have made something like 20 calls to NetApp regarding this product. I've used a lot of products in my life and this one has needed the most interaction with the company that made it, to get it working properly in production. There were a lot of bugs and things that didn't work. For example, we had a problem with truncating our Exchange log files. Exchange creates log files of the mailbox databases. After a full backup of Exchange, those log files were being cleared. It was not working. So we created a backup with SnapCenter of our Exchange environment but the logs were not truncating. Finally, we got in contact with someone from NetApp in Holland and he directed us to a university somewhere here in Holland and they explained to us what they did to fix it. It has improved over time. And the GUI is still so-so. I' don't use the GUI that often anymore because it's really slow, refreshing disks, refreshing hosts, and you have to click a lot. In addition, we had a major production problem due to SnapCenter, because we also use SnapCenter to back up our whole VMware environment. When we did an upgrade of the SnapCenter Server and its plugins - because SnapCenter puts plugins on the host and, in this instance, it puts a plugin on our VMware server - SnapCenter was then supposed to snap our virtual machines and then the whole volume on which the virtual machines reside, and then delete the snaps. This last step, deleting of the snapshots, did not happen. It wasn't deleting snapshots anymore. Our fault was that we didn't record this. We didn't have any measurement of the number of snapshots which were on our VMware infrastructure. After two weeks there were 14 snapshots of each VM in our whole park, and this created a huge performance issue. After we discovered this, we had to delete them and then everything ran fine again. So after the upgrade of the plugin, there was a bug. We could only work around this bug through manual scripting. Now, we are running a beta plugin from SnapCenter to overcome this problem. So, there have been a lot of bugs. It's a beautiful product. You can put multiple systems in it but I think they're still really in the stage of developing it. They used SnapDrive before, and now its SnapCenter of course, to create a more general approach, which is great. But they should have tested more and more.

Arnold Romeijn - PeerSpot reviewer
Technical Architect at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
2018-12-24T07:47:00Z
24 December 18

The reporting could be better. It's good, but reporting of the jobs could be better.

Edgars Jansons - PeerSpot reviewer
Storage Architect at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
2018-12-24T07:46:00Z
24 December 18

I'm waiting for SnapCenter for hybrid solutions. Right now, we only have SnapManager for hybrid. I need agents for that. People are looking to install SnapCenter in a SQL environment, but where they're running SQL on Hyper-V and using virtual files. Currently, we don't have support for hybrid. We can't do that. People are also asking about SnapCenter for SharePoint. There was a SnapManager, but SnapManager is being brought to an end and now there is nothing for SharePoint. We don't have the ability to do snapshots for SharePoint.

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Keith Alioto - PeerSpot reviewer
Lead Storage Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
2018-12-24T07:46:00Z
24 December 18

The documentation could be a little bit better so that we could handle more of the troubleshooting ourselves, rather than having to go through support. Other than that, it's been a pretty easy product to deal with.

MM
Senior Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
2018-12-24T07:46:00Z
24 December 18

The integration with the vCenter could be better in the sense that the only plain view you have is the data stores. In previous versions of the plugin for the VSC, before Snap Center, you could view the virtual machine that you wanted to snapshot. It would include all the data stores that were in part of that specific virtual machine. Now, you select the data store and it should tell you whether or not there's a virtual machine you're looking for included in that resource group or that data store. I don't know if the roadmap includes SnapCenter for Hyper-V. We tend to have a lot of Hyper-V and we also have a Hyper-V environment and that is backed up through SnapManager for Hyper-V. So now we have two management consoles and we would ideally like to leverage SnapCenter to include Hyper-V. I understand that restoring directly from SnapCenter would be a bit complex. And they have the plugin. For me, the two obvious features to add would be that the plugin in vCenter should be more granular, enabling you to select what you want to back up in the resource groups. And I would like to see a plugin for Hyper-V.

MM
ICT System Engineer at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
2018-12-24T07:46:00Z
24 December 18

We are struggling a bit with the permissions and roles. We are not sure if there is an issue at our end, if we didn't get set things up correctly, as per plan. When you have role-based access, for example, it's a bit of a problem that the person who creates the backup job is the owner of it. We are struggling a bit with this, that everyone has the same view and the same permissions in there. I don't think it's really an issue with SnapCenter. I think it's more that we aren't using it correctly. In terms of additional features, if it was possible to create backups on non-NetApp storage, that would be helpful. For example, if you have a standalone host, you cannot back it up with SnapCenter. You have to make sure that everything is on NetApp. It would be nice if you could also back up systems that are not on NetApp storage. For example, if you have a standalone ESX host, and it is running a few VMs, it would be nice if you could back up those VMs, even if those files don't rely on NetApp storage. It would be a nice feature if it was possible to back up those VMs. At the moment, we are using another backup solution, Commvault Simpana, for those situations.

TR
Engineer at a non-profit with 201-500 employees
Real User
2018-12-20T09:37:00Z
20 December 18

It hasn't improved our organization because we're going through some kinks with the product as of right now. We've had several tickets open, but because it's replacing SMO we have to get used to using it now. As far as ease of use, the DBAs are comparing it to SMO but it doesn't have a lot of the functionalities that SMO has. My major issue is when I upgrade. I have to touch every last client that I have in SnapCenter, and right now I have 60. I have to touch all of them. They said that in another release that will get better, but right now it's not better and I've had to do this three times. That's my biggest headache, having to touch each client to upgrade this product, via GUI or manually.

JoaoLavrador - PeerSpot reviewer
Pre-Sales at Arrow ECS Portugal
Real User
2018-12-19T10:49:00Z
19 December 18

The compatibility with other manufacturers, like Oracle and Hyper-V, could be improved. I would like to see it be more compatible with other software.

KE
Sr Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
2018-12-19T10:49:00Z
19 December 18

It needs to support vSphere 6.7.

AZ
Storage Administrator at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Reseller
2018-12-19T10:49:00Z
19 December 18

I would like to see replication support between systems. Right now, it's kind of limited. We manage them separately from the storage system interface, not from SnapCenter. It would be nice if it was integrated into SnapCenter.

it_user979209 - PeerSpot reviewer
Support Manager at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
2018-12-19T10:26:00Z
19 December 18

What I did witness lately are issues with some Microsoft KBs, the updates. But it happened only once, and not on a major platform, it was on a small one. We're doing a major one for a customer in Paris with many SQL servers and, to date, everything is going well. I have not yet had experience with version 4.0 - that is the latest one - but I have gone through the release notes and it seems to have some improvements.

Aaron Isaacson - PeerSpot reviewer
Storage Administrator at a aerospace/defense firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
2018-12-19T09:00:00Z
19 December 18

There is one area that needs improvement and that's in the alerting. When you set up your SMTP alerts, it only has - and I don't understand why - the ability to send an anonymous SMTP. It doesn't do basic authentication, which frustrated me for a while until I figured out that I'm not missing something. It's just not there. That's been a drawback and we're trying to figure out some kind of workaround. Obviously, you don't want to have an SMTP server using "anonymous." You want it to be locked down to some kind of authentication domain level. I would like to see that changed. The SMTP thing is a concern for me. At the moment, we're just using it anyway, until we can figure out something else. In the worst-case scenario, I can set up my own PowerShell script to send an email and use "secure" that way, based on the reports that it's generating. But I can still log in to the website because it's got a web portal. I can go into my web portal and see, "Okay, the backups finished last night." That's not as simple as getting an email, but at the same time I can just open up a website and see the results anyway.

MS
Storage Architect at a computer software company with 51-200 employees
Real User
2018-12-13T11:34:00Z
13 December 18

Plugins should be developed in shorter times. Performance generally could be a little bit faster.

TO
Sr. Unix Systems and Storage Administrator at a retailer with 51-200 employees
Real User
2018-12-10T16:59:00Z
10 December 18

* The Dashboard view needs to be more compressed with better ease of access and drill-down features. * DB plug-in cloning should have similar SnapManager features which allow reuse of specific cloning parameter features. * Reinstate Linux filesystem backups of storage volumes (which existed in the prior version). * Add integration into OCUM and Active IQ.

Nikolay Gorbunov - PeerSpot reviewer
Lead Engineer at a integrator with 201-500 employees
Real User
2018-11-26T07:07:00Z
26 November 18

* It would be a good idea to add date support and improve on resource management, not the backup itself, but in the manageability. Groups might be helpful for each site or data center so that we know a given data center has these resources while another data center has those resources. It's not always easy to group hosts by type. * A host is trying to set up a connection with every SVM configured on SnapCenter Server. This is not good, especially if, like in our environment, each SVM is configured for particular department and is beyond a firewall. As far as I know developers are aware of this issue. * It would be nice to have native plugins not only for Oracle and MS SQL. Community plugins can cover your needs, but I'd like to have more functionality. * I would like to have more friendly logging. Sometimes this could save time for our team and allow us not to create new case in support.

II
IT Manager at a tech company with 51-200 employees
Real User
2018-11-25T07:42:00Z
25 November 18

The replication feature needs improvement in future releases.

SS
Storage Engineer at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
2018-10-31T13:46:00Z
31 October 18

For OnCommand Insight, they could do cloud-based stuff as well. It would be nice if they could integrate everything inside, so it would be easier for management: One tool used for everything. I want to see a few more features add that will help our team in managing solution better.

AS
Storage Engineer at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
2018-10-31T13:46:00Z
31 October 18

We would like to see more granular repording and reporting in bigger sets available in SnapCenter.

Related Questions
Julia Frohwein - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Director of Delivery at PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Apr 28, 2021
Hi Everyone, What do you like most about NetApp SnapCenter? Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the community!
See 1 answer
KH
Infrastructure Manager at FIS
28 April 21
Technical support has been very helpful when we have issues.
Nurit Sherman - PeerSpot reviewer
Content Operations Manager at PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Oct 13, 2021
Hi community,  We all know it's important to conduct a trial or do a proof of concept as part of the buying process.  Do you have any advice for our community about the best way to conduct a trial or PoC?  How would you conduct a trial effectively? Are there any mistakes which should be avoided?
2 out of 16 answers
Gary-Cook - PeerSpot reviewer
Alliance Architect at Commvault
06 August 18
I am not sure if this question comes from a vendor or customer so the response is somewhat generic. If you are the technical customer or end user, try to be involved in the process start to end. If possible, be the hands on the keyboard. No better way to understand the solution if you are going to be the user of it in the future. If you are the vendor promoting ease of use, there is no better way to sell your product to the technical team. I have managed a lot of data replication, protection, and archiving POCs. Two requirements always stand out. Success criteria and POC type. As a vendor delivering the POC, you will fail 90% of the time without clearly defining these up front. As a customer, you should have a clear idea about why you are investing your time in POC and what you expect to gain from it. POCs should not be a training exercise. They are a path to purchase a solution for a budgeted project. If you are just kicking the tires, consider the free or self-paced options provided by many vendors. These include on-line labs and downloadable virtual machines or trial software. These cannot be considered a POC in my book. Now the two key components for a successful POC. #1 - Define as a Functional or Performance POC Decide whether you are running a functional or performance-based POC. If you are the vendor, make sure the customer is aware of the limitation of a functional POC in a limited resource environment. Don't allow a Functional POC to become a Performance POC. Been there. Done that. It's never a success. Functional testing is easier. There is no requirement for measured performance so sizing the environment is a minor issue. Just has to be "fast enough" to keep your attention. They usually cover base installation, backup target configuration, agent configuration, test backups and restores, reporting, alerting, etc. Data sets are generally small. It can be executed in a limited environment with virtual machines. Sometimes the vendor can supply access to a remote lab environment such as the VMware vSAN lab. Sometimes it can be delivered as a preconfigured VM downloaded from the vendor. Performance testing is complicated. Speeds and feeds matter. You will not be able to backup your entire live environment so you have to build a test environment to mimic it as close as possible if you are looking for GB/sec measurements. Success Criteria become golden in performance tests. You will be following the recommended hardware configuration supplied by the vendor. #2 - Success Criteria Define clear success criteria and stay with the plan. This will avoid scope creep where testing has no endpoint. A test plan can be extremely difficult to create from scratch. Take the time because it is key to a fair and complete test. It will make you think about the purpose of the test. Most vendors have boilerplate POC documents. They are a good starting point but they almost always focus on the strength of the product. If you are the customer performing comparison testing, blend them into a single document. Some or all of the success criteria should meet the "must have" requirements of a published RFP if it exists. Test criteria should not be too detailed, especially to favor a particular solution UNLESS that is a pass/fail test. Define a start and end date based on the testing requirements. Testing should be sequenced. Test backup of app A, app B, os C.. Don't jump back and forth between Oracle and Sharepoint for example. Complete one, deal with any issues, check the boxes, and move on. DR, Performance, and SLA testing absolutely require detailed planning. Too much to detail in this short response. Imagine a POC where you are faced with "I need to recover my 50 TB Oracle server off-site with an RPO of 5 seconds and an RTO of 5 minutes". In a large POC, you might have regularly scheduled meetings or conference calls for updates on the progress and to deal with issues. Include a site survey covering security and the network configuration, Prepare to deal with fixed IPs, firewalls, ports, Active Directory, etc. Nothing like a backup solution to break a network and bring the testing to a standstill. Make sure you have a clear understanding of the environment. I once had a POC where they were migrating some AD domains that were part of the test infrastructure. Unknown to me. Needless to say, we faced constant failures. Define the hardware and configuration requirements on a per server basis. OS, partition sizes, network, etc. This applies to the backup infrastructure servers and the servers that will be the source of the backup data. Include all the key contacts with access information to servers. Make sure you have ALL the required resources (human and compute) resources available on the start date. For example, you might need help from an Oracle DBA or SME on day 2 to continue the installation. Define a process to modify the plan. I've seen cases where another department sees the shiny new object and wants to jump into testing their app after the plan was approved and tests begin. Plan to deal with this exception in the testing procedure but not deviate from accomplishing the original success criteria. It should be approved by management. Define what is considered critical to the success of the test, what is a nice to have feature, and optionally, what doesn't matter at all. Be specific. Include application versions if it matters. You might judge the test completion as pass / partial pass / no pass or a percentage of how it meets the criteria. Don't use subjective rankings. Add a column next to the test for comments for subjective comments. If you are comparison testing two or more solutions, make sure you can test "apples to apples" across the POC candidates. All vendors should be tested to the same standard. It can be difficult to compare an appliance to an enterprise software solution. The appliance will win the easy to install checkbox but might fail in the ease of expansion category because it requires a new, larger box. Consider the future in a POC, not just how it functions today. For example, you should think about the process to add additional capacity locally or bring on new sites/servers. NOTE: Content here subject to updates if I think of something new or helpful.
MichaelWeimann - PeerSpot reviewer
Director at Infrascale
06 August 18
Was going to write a lengthy response but yours is spot on Gary. I will only add that the front end and back end of every SMART goal is to be Specific and Timely. Document what is important to test and what the criteria for passing are BEFORE you ever take delivery. Then put an expected time for this POC to complete and what would be a successful test. The only other thing I would add is if the vendor is not providing technical resources to drive and/or assist during the POC...don't waste your time. But, if you expect the vendor to devote the resources, you can also expect the vendor to hold you to a purchasing decision when/if everything passes with flying colors.
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