Today I offer some technical information for anyone operating NetApp filers. I was talking with July Linett about NetApp software and the way they are classified. July offered this information:

These are the classifications used by NTAP for their software releases.

* Release Candidate (RC): An initial posting of the release on the NetApp on the Web (NOW) site Intended for customers to start validating the release before rolling it into mission-critical environments.

* General Availability (GA): Has key qualifications completed that address compatibility with other key products Includes fixes for critical bugs found in the RC releases.

* General Deployment (GD): A field-proven release based on adoption and quality metrics. Has all certifications completed.

What does all this mean to you? If you are running a version labeled RC, you better have a good reason, because it is not field tested and proven. You may absolutely need a certain feature that is not available anywhere else, but you are taking a chance. GA is ok, you may need it to fix a particular bug that you experienced. If you want to be certain that you are safe, GD is the best, most of the known bugs are worked out. However, GD might not have all the features you need. If you want to know the ins and outs of the software you are running, give Zerowait a call. The Zerowait engineers can give you valuable advice about what software you should be running.

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