NetApp on NetApp

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Benefits with NetApp Fitness Preventive Care

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Customer Profile

NetApp creates innovative storage and data management solutions that deliver outstanding cost efficiency and accelerate business breakthroughs. NetApp is a Fortune 500 company employing more than 12,000 people in 131 offices around the world.  Internal corporate IT services are administered at NetApp by a team of about 500 people operating an infrastructure that includes 3,900 servers across 7 global data centers.

The Challenge

Over the past 20 years, NetApp has grown from a Silicon Valley startup to a global Fortune 500 company with more than $6.3 billion in revenue. As the company grew, the infrastructure required to support global business operations evolved rapidly. New applications and systems were provisioned as quickly as possible to keep pace with the expanding business. Over time, this situation led to an architecture consisting of many different legacy hardware models and outdated versions of the NetApp® Data ONTAP®
storage operating system. This introduced some operational problems and inefficiencies into daily IT operations.

The internal storage team wanted to change from a reactive to a proactive mindset by implementing a system of regular system upgrades, patching, and maintenance. They sought to maximize operational efficiencies and system uptime.

The Solution

Building a proactive mindset

The IT team had a new set of resources to draw from: NetApp Customer Fitness, a storage preventive-care program for achieving optimal storage performance and eliminating unplanned downtime. The foundation of the program is a new mindset—a change in people and processes. “We needed to institutionalize proactivity,” says Michael Morris, director of NetApp’s IT Customer-1 Services.

About a year ago, when Morris took charge of the storage team, he wanted storage engineers to have more time to focus on proactive maintenance. He divided the storage team into service lines and assigned each line to an engineer. “One engineer has  responsibility for data protection, another for storage performance and capacity, another for storage software, another for hardware, and so on,” Morris says. Continue reading on