Discussion in 'Linux Admins, Storage and Virtualization' started by Myth, Sep 19, 2018.

  1. Myth

    Myth Member

    Feb 27, 2018
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    Hey Guys,

    I just got a call from a recruiter to be a NetApp SAN administrator. I've actually never used NetApp, however I am a SAN Administrator right now for a company called RAIDix. Anyone ever heard of it? I don't think so.

    But I have all the tools to be a SAN administrator. I did some research and I found that they have a NetApp certification. The company that was offering a job as a SAN Admin also mentioned IBM, Dell EMC, and VMware.

    The Dell EMC and IBM are just storage vendors correct? I think the company wants NetApp experience mostly. I didn't really have much experience with Netapp. I guess I could have lied but I honestly didn't know what Dell EMC was until after the interview. I wish I could have researched before the interview...

    So as a SAN administrator currently I believed I could have picked up on NetApp, Dell EMC and IBM storage quickly. To be honest, I didn't even think there was any other job opportunities out there for SAN administrators. The market I currently work in is so small - I only support a handle-full of businesses that each have less than 30 clients connecting to the SAN. Therefore, I thought my specific job qualifications are only designed for my current tiny market. But I guess a SAN administrator job comes along every 6 months or so just with much bigger vendors involved. So I'm actually slightly relieved not to have to jump into the networking world in order to get out of my current job.

    I make very little money for my skill set here, although I am happy with my job, I'm full of fear that this company wont be making enough money to pay it's bills. So that's why I'm looking to get another job.

    I was and still am studying for my CCNA and was going to jump into a network administrator role, in order to achieve a higher paid position. But now that I know SAN Admin jobs exist, do you guys think I should study for a NETAPP certification? The SAN admin job pays more than most networking jobs, so it's pretty cool to be highly specialized, however it seems there are many many more networking jobs available. Yet, I have a lot of experience with SAN administration already and only a little with networking. What are your guys thoughts?
  2. apnar

    apnar Member

    Mar 5, 2011
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    I found NetApp was pretty easy to pick up if you have other storage experience. There are a range of NetApp products these days but I'd assume the job you reference is looking for OnTap experience which is their classical NAS/SAN offering. NetApp has a decent number of labs and simulators but I believe most are behind a login wall for customers/partners. You could try this link for a simulator you could run yourself on vmware and see how far you get:

    NetApp Login Page

    They have hands on labs (hol) here, also behind a login though:

    NetApp | NetApp Hands-On Labs

    I personally wouldn't go take a NetApp class in the hopes of getting a job down the line using it as it's reasonably niche. I'd talk to these folks with the open position, wow them with your general skills and SAN experience and convince them that you're more than willing to put the time in learning NetApp once you get the position and expect you'd pick it up very quickly.
  3. Evan

    Evan Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2016
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    Sure storage admins have plenty of jobs but I think rather diving into anything like het app first spend some time understanding the market and what’s out there, the different types of storage and who offers it. EMC and IBM being 2 of the biggest vendors worldwide in enterprise storage you should have an idea of what they offer.

    Btw netapp is more a NAS, it’s more or less the game in town for file services on a larger scale.

    What I find add is although file services you would think is a diminishing market with content managing systems , sharepoint etc its volume of data still growing at 30% a year or whatever it is, not insignificant amount.

    Oh and EMC have fully functional VNX/Unity it whatever codebase it is as a virtual array, just limited to 1 or 2tb as I remember, even has all the replication and failover features.
  4. DanielWood

    DanielWood Member

    Sep 14, 2018
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    To add to this. The NetApp ONTAP simulator that you can get from certain sources is the pure, unadulterated files and license key given to all paying NetApp customers for use on the simulator. I was surprised when I found the publicly available keys were exactly the same as the ones I downloaded from my NetApp account. So you can lab NetApp if you want with relative ease in a clustered VM.
  5. WANg

    WANg Active Member

    Jun 10, 2018
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    Yeah, that being said, there is a definitely learning curve involved working with ONTAP, especially if you run 7-mode, or if you need to test 2-controller failover scenarios.
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