How To Not Smash Things in Your Data Center: Installing the Commvault Backup Appliance with NetApp

Posted 29 May 2015 4:32 PM by Commvault

A while back we blogged on the Commvault Backup Appliance with NetApp and introduced it to the Commvault universe. At the time we also said to 'stay tuned' for more information. Well, it took a little longer than expected and we apologize for that! But here we go.

Today let’s focus on getting the appliance set up. 'Ease of setup' is a major reason people are attracted to appliances in the first place. As well they should be. The very word 'appliance' suggests ease of use. You don’t want to build your toaster oven from a bunch of parts; you just want to lift it out of the box and plug it in. Same goes for your backup appliance (but don’t try to make toast on it).

Now we could spend a lot of time explaining how the setup works, but we’ve gone one better and created a straightforward three-minute video for you to watch.

Easy, right? This brings back memories of being a Systems Engineer, so long ago we didn’t even have iPhones and you had to hail a cab with your hands. This blogger worked for a software company that shall remain nameless, but we essentially 'built' an appliance using a Linux server. What a job! First install the Red Hat software. Then make a whole bunch of specific settings changes (using that dreaded text editor VI, which we still think stands for 'very irritating'). Then reboot and wait. Then update the firmware on the HBAs. Then make some specific config changes on the HBAs. Then reboot and wait. Then install our actual product software! Then reboot and wait. And on and on. And, oh, the sheer joy when you fat-fingered something in a config file and everything just sat there and did nothing and you couldn’t figure out why for the longest time, while the clock kept going tick, tick, tick.

Did we mention connecting it all to the storage array? You know, that mysterious beast that might show up or might not show up connected to the server (what array firmware are you using? oh we don’t support that!) and who knows why it didn’t show up when it didn’t show up, only it made you want to scream and break things in the data center.

Would we have preferred just racking, powering, connecting and being ready to go in less than an hour with a product that did all the hard and confusing stuff ?

These kids today! They got it so easy!

Well they do if they’re installing a Commvault appliance.