Just Released: NetApp Cloud Insights Multicloud Inventory, Performance, Capacity, Reporting

NetApp Cloud Insights Multicloud Inventory, Performance, Capacity, and Reporting

Last month, I wrote a post about using NetApp OnCommand Insight (OCI) to gather heterogeneous storage utilization information. OnCommand Insight is a mature, fully-featured on-premises software solution. NetApp has been building a complementary solution to OCI for customers who prefer a SaaS offering - NetApp Cloud Insights. I was able to get early access to Cloud Insights and thought I would share the experience.

NetApp's official description of Cloud Insights is "NetApp Cloud Insights is a cloud infrastructure monitoring tool that gives you visibility into your complete infrastructure. With Cloud Insights, you can monitor, troubleshoot and optimize all your resources including your public clouds and your private data centers."


Registration for a trial of Cloud Insights can be found here. Fill in the form, click Sign Up and wait for your invitation. Full documentation can be found here.


Acquisition Units

The first step is to create one or more Acquisition Units. Acquisition Units are Windows or Linux machines that have network access to the infrastructure that you would like to manage. I installed one in AWS to mange my cloud resources and one behind our corporate firewall to manage a few resources in our lab. You reach the Acquisition Unit screen by choosing Data Collectors from the Admin menu and then choosing Acquisition Unit and finally + Acquisition Units.

Choose whether your Acquisition Unit will be running on a supported Linux or Windows OS, copy the command string and run on that machine. After running the command string, your new Acquisition Unit will show up in Cloud Insights and can be used for data collection.

Linux Versions Supported Are:
  • CentOS 7.2 64-bit
  • CentOS 7.2 KVM 64-bit
  • CentOS 7.5 64-bit
  • CentOS 7.5 KVM 64-bit
  • Oracle Enterprise Linux 7.5 64 bit
  • Oracle Enterprise Linux 7.5 64 bit KVM
  • RedHat 7.2 64-bit
  • RedHat 7.2 KVM 64-bit
  • RedHat 7.5 64-bit
  • RedHat 7.5 KVM 64-bit

Windows Versions Supported Are:
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2016

Data Collectors

(My Azure Data Collector has an error as I just removed the Azure VM I was monitoring due to cost reasons 🙂)

This is the current list of products supported by Data Collectors:
  • Fabric Switches
  • Dell Compellent Storage
  • Dell EMC Celerra Unified Storage System
  • Dell EMC CLARiiON
  • Dell EMC Data Domain
  • Dell EMC Isilon
  • Dell EMC Recoverpoint
  • Dell EMC ScaleIO
  • Dell EMC VMAX Family of Devices
  • Dell EMC VNX
  • Dell EMC VNXe
  • Dell EMC VPLEX
  • Dell EMC XtremIO
  • Fujitsu ETERNUS DX
  • Hitachi Vantara Command Suite / HP Enterprise Command View
  • Hitachi Vantara NAS Platform
  • HP Enterprise 3PAR StoreServ Storage
  • Huawei OceanStor and Dorado Devices
  • IBM PowerVM
  • IBM SAN Volume Controller (SVC)
  • IBM System Storage DS8000 Series
  • IBM XIV Storage System
  • Infinidat Infinibox
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Microsoft Hyper-V
  • NetApp Data Ontap 7-Mode
  • NetApp E-Series Arrays / IBM Total Storage DS4000 Series
  • NetApp Host and VM Filesystems
  • NetApp ONTAP Data Management Software
  • NetApp SolidFire All-Flash Array
  • NetApp StorageGrid
  • Nutanix NX Series
  • OpenStack
  • Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance
  • Pure Storage FlashArray 400 Series
  • Red Hat Virtualization
  • VMware VSphere

Data Collectors use the native APIs of multiple types of IT resources to gather inventory and performance. Details of each Data Collector can be found here. To create a new Data collector, choose Data Collectors from the Admin menu.

The first step in adding a Data Collector is choosing the vendor that you want to manage. The number in the upper right corner signifies how many product families can be managed for that vendor.

Adding a new Data Collector is simple. Here is an example of NetApp, VMware, and AWS Data Collectors:

After a few minutes, your Data Collectors will poll for inventory and performance data using native APIs. The Data Collector screen provides progress updates.


Dashboards are where the magic happens. Cloud Insights comes with a few standard dashboards per vendor plus you can create your own custom dashboards. The dashboard above is a standard dashboard that shows VMs that may be over- or under-sized for CPU and RAM.

I created this custom dashboard using the table widget to combine VMware and array stats in a single dashboard:

These are the widget types that are currently available (plus violation table). I find the "Single Value" widget very useful for a quick readout.

Queries & Applications

Queries are like table widgets that can be acted on. Once you have run a query, you can export the data to a .CSV or select some rows for further action. In this example, I have listed all the storage volumes, filtered for the volumes used for performance testing and grouped those into the Performance Testing application.

I then added the performance test VMs to the Performance Testing application with another query:

Now, I can view the Performance Testing application stats by choosing Application in the Manage menu and then "Performance Testing"

Performance Policies

Performance Policies are used to set thresholds that trigger alerts to notify you about issues related to the resources in your network. Creating a policy is simple, supports multiple thresholds as well as duration of event. Policy violations can optionally create email alerts.


I have not been trained on Cloud Insights nor did I read the documentation before setting the product up. I was impressed by how easy Cloud Insights is to understand as well as how easy it is to create Data Collectors and Dashboards. Cloud Insights is in its first version and will continue to add functionality over time. If you are interested in a heterogeneous monitoring and performance tool with a long feature list, I would suggest NetApp OnCommand Insight. If you are looking for an easy to support SaaS-based heterogeneous monitoring and performance tool, I would suggest taking a look at NetApp Cloud Insights.

Thank You

Thank you as always for taking the time to read my post. I welcome your feedback.


MasterPitt said…
Did you meassure the amount of data transferred into the cloud?
Unknown said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dennis Faucher said…
Sadly, I did not, but I cannot imagine it was significant.