Results: Tech OnTap Annual Survey

Late last year, Tech OnTap launched its first annual member survey. We received 1,371 responses from contacts in 58 countries, and we sincerely appreciate the time that each and every one of you spent answering these questions.

Congratulations to the five winners (randomly selected) of Sony PlayStation Portable systems:

  • Sean Korb, System Administrator (US)
  • Jen Hall, IT Manager, Northwest Hand Specialists (US)
  • Matthew Limburg, Ernst & Young (Australia)
  • Jack Perry, Senior Microsoft Engineer, The Ergonomic Group (US)
  • Phil Bergeron, IT Manager, Stoneworks Technologies Inc. (Canada)

What We've Learned
Our 2007 goal is to make Tech OnTap the most valuable resource in your inbox. The feedback you shared in the survey—especially your detailed comments—is invaluable as we set priorities for the next 12 months.

Here are some of the things we've learned and how Tech OnTap is responding:

  • Tech OnTap is a credible, valuable IT resource ... and you want more! Both NetApp newbies and long-term customers comment that Tech OnTap has helped them better understand NetApp technology. What's more, nearly half (46%) of you ranked Tech OnTap above programs from other storage vendors, while only Best of Tech OnTap Magazine4% find Tech OnTap less useful. Additionally, a third of you asked for a hard copy of Tech OnTap and the members' only Web site.

    Tech OnTap response:

    • The PDF version of the "Best of" Tech OnTap magazine is now available worldwide, and members in the US and UK can request a printed version. Request your copy now!

    • The team is evaluating ways to enhance the functionality of the Tech OnTap online archive.

  • You want more opportunities to engage with NetApp. A whopping 44% of members want to participate in technical chats. NetApp-sponsored forums and Webcasts also generated significant interest. What's more, over 400 people volunteered to share additional feedback on NetApp technical reports, product documentation, etc.

    NOW Tools ForumTech OnTap response:

    • Key Webcast and chat opportunities will be highlighted in Tech OnTap, plus members will have the opportunity to help shape the agendas of future events.

    • In January, the NTOP tool review linked to a Tools Discussion forum. Future articles will link to related forums so readers can comment and ask questions.

    • Storage Performance ManagementNew technical reports like Storage Performance Management will be available to Tech OnTap members before they go public, and readers will have an opportunity to send comments directly to the authors.

  • Backup, recovery, and DR keep you up at night. Data protection topics generated the most interest, and SnapMirror® software was the most requested NetApp product. Snapshot™ technology, RAID-DP, and SnapVault® also generated significant interest. (Several of you pointed out that heterogonous replication software TDPS was missing from the product list...sorry about that!) Other hot topics include VMware, the V-Series product line, the impact of GX on current customers, SAN, NAS, and Data ONTAP technologies.

    Tech OnTap response:

    • More articles on disk-to-disk backup, disaster recovery, and data protection topics. In addition to this month's article on thin provisioning for disk-to-disk backup, pending articles include real-world case studies and engineering perspectives on NetApp resiliency features and using A-SIS for deduplication.

    • The authors of a recent VMware best practices guide have agreed to develop several new articles and case studies, and a project is underway to solicit member feedback about exactly what types of topics should be covered.

  • Keep it technical, practical, and real. Marketing keep out, is the general message. You want to hear the perspectives of engineers and field engineers, and are looking for emerging trends, best practices, tips, and advice. Detailed technical case studies topped the request list, and many of you indicated that having NetApp field engineers share feedback without identifying the customer is fine. As one person commented, "I don't want glossy information. Technical engineers tell technical stories."

    Tech OnTap response:

    • The thin provisioning and NetApp IT case studies featured this month include very specific management and monitoring details, plus feedback on exactly how results were calculated. Your feedback is absolutely invited!

    • Tech OnTap is launching an "Ask the Expert" series that will connect members with key technical experts to solve their challenges and share the virtually uncensored results with you. Look for details in coming issues.

  • Don't assume that everyone is a NetApp expert. Some of you are new to NetApp and asked us to more clearly explain terms and concepts up front. Additionally, we heard from multiple customers that a summary of new Data ONTAP 7.2 features or overall features—with real-world examples and context—would be valuable.

    Tech OnTap response:

    • Additional details and resources will be included in the sidebars and Related Information section. Additionally, Tech OnTap is working with the owners of the NetApp NOW site to link to launch summaries and additional product details.

This is just a quick sampling of the results from the Tech OnTap survey, but we hope you know how sincerely we appreciate and value your feedback. Want to comment on these results or add your own opinions? Drop us a note at