NetApp extends enterprise application development and test solutions to multivendor SAN storage environments

NetApp helps Mine Safety Appliance and Bosch and Siemens accelerate application deployment, reduce risk, and lower cost

SUNNYVALE, Calif. - September 23, 2008 - NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) today announced availability of enterprise application development and test solutions for heterogeneous SAN storage environments. Now customers can use NetApp® storage solutions with multivendor SAN storage to accelerate the development process for enterprise applications that support their business. Customers can preserve investments in legacy production storage yet respond faster to changing business needs by reducing time to deployment of new ERP, CRM, or decision support functionalities by as much as 50%.

Traditional approaches for application development require customers to create full physical clones or copies of production data that require 100% storage capacity overhead. Normally, a minimum of three to four of these non-production copies are needed to enable enterprise application development, test and quality assurance teams. Larger enterprises can generate 20 or more nonproduction copies per application in their development and test environments. This data proliferation often causes storage, power, and physical space costs to skyrocket. More importantly, cloning and test environment preparation can take days or weeks of IT staff time and hamper development team productivity. The right storage strategy can not only reduce overall data requirements, but also enhance both IT and development team productivity. The end result is faster time to application deployment with higher quality and lower cost.

Mine Safety Appliances (MSA), a leading manufacturer of sophisticated safety products, faced a challenge in streamlining its development and test processes to enhance the quality of business applications and speed deployment. With NetApp, MSA was able to make a quantum leap in the efficiency of its development and test processes related to maintaining SAP® solutions.

"With our old processes, it used to take two days to copy a database and set up a test environment. Using instant cloning from NetApp, it now takes about 20 minutes. As a result, our ability to verify patches and transports for SAP solutions has greatly increased. In addition, testing new functionality and new features is far easier and faster because we no longer have to wait another two days to copy our system in the test environment," said Scott McCullough, manager of Technical Operations, MSA. "With NetApp, we can make as many database clones as we need to work on application development projects in parallel, not serially. This lets us increase our responsiveness to the business, accelerate time to deployment of new SAP functionality, and assure the quality of the finished code."

Now customers running enterprise applications in production SAN environments can keep their EMC, HP, or Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) production storage in place and accelerate their development and test processes with NetApp solutions. NetApp integrated solutions for enterprise application development and test include SnapMirror® for Open Systems (previously named ReplicatorX™), which allows IT operations teams to easily replicate data from any storage, over any distance, to a lower cost NetApp array. Once the data is on NetApp, application and IT operations teams can use NetApp functionality to:

  • Respond faster to changing business needs while minimizing disruptions
  • Trim months from deployment times for new application functionalities
  • Reduce development and test storage requirements by up to 90%
  • Save space, power, and administrative overhead costs
  • Enable parallel development test workflows to enhance quality and reduce risk

Bosch and Siemens Home Appliances (BSH) Group, one of the world's leading domestic appliances manufacturers, deployed a NetApp development and test solution for use with SAP applications while continuing to use HDS storage in production. Within BSH's SAP solution-based manufacturing landscape, multiterabyte production systems were copied on a regular basis to a set of quality assurance, test, and repair systems. This was done using physical copies, which took hours or days and required a lot of manual tasks. Each copy occupied the same amount of storage as production data, which required excessive storage resources.

"We were attracted to the potential speed and cost savings of a NetApp solution, but we weren't ready to change out our HDS production storage. NetApp helped us create a heterogeneous solution to replicate databases to NetApp," said Harald Geringer, head of Corporate DataCenter at BSH, Giengen, Germany. "Once the data was on NetApp, we used storage-efficient FlexClone® capabilities to provide instant copies for our application teams. This created a huge improvement in productivity as our teams can now get copies of multiterabyte databases for test, quality assurance, and repair in minutes instead of hours or days. And we reduced the total amount of storage used for these processes by 65% to 80% using virtual copies. In addition, we run the standby database for disaster recovery and then make copies for development and testing without interrupting the mirror. As a result, we are getting the most out of our NetApp investment by combining disaster recovery and development and test processes on the same infrastructure."

"Application owners are hungry for ways to more quickly assimilate new business requirements into enterprise applications but are hamstrung by legacy processes that are both time and resource inefficient," said Patrick Rogers, vice president of Solutions Marketing at NetApp. "NetApp can provide customers a more efficient solution for maintaining and customizing their business-critical enterprise applications while allowing them to keep their tuned production storage in place if they so desire. Our application development and test solutions are proven to help customers accelerate time to deployment of enterprise application upgrades and customizations, improve overall quality, and dramatically reduce infrastructure and administrative cost. And, with virtual servers increasingly becoming standard in development and test infrastructures, we offer further value by providing the industry's most efficient and rapid protection and provisioning of virtual machine images. NetApp and virtual server technology together are a powerful formula for further streamlining the application development process."

For more information about NetApp application development and test solutions, visit Also, visit NetApp TechTalk online events at for a podcast with Tom Shields, senior manager, Solutions Marketing at NetApp, as he discusses how the right storage strategy can bring greater speed, quality, and cost efficiency to your application development and test process.

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