NetApp PowerGUI PowerPack, the inside story.

My NetApp fanboyism is fairly well established at this point.  I devoted almost three years to developing a PowerShell module that would teach NetApp how PowerShell worked.  To my delight a year ago at TechED they took the storage world by surprise when they shipped an official module.  I was then humbled to learn that they had found PoshONTAP, and used it as a blueprint when developing the DataONTAP PowerShell toolkit.  This experience taught me a valuable lesson.  If you believe in something… just do it… life has a funny way of sorting it all out.  I took this philosophy an started anew , and my career ski rocketed.  The affirmation of all that work was when NetApp approached me six months ago.  At first I didn’t believe it was possible, but after many grueling interviews I started to realize I could do this job.  Fast forward two months and I’m all settled in at NetApp, and LOVING it!  This place is the google of the storage/IT world.  Everywhere you look there is another brilliant engineer, but something was still missing… The PowerShell toolkit had shipped and was doing fantastic, but PowerShell still wasn’t in the forefront of developers writing the tools for a windows administrators.  I thought about what I could do, again if you believe in something just do it.  Enter PowerGUI.

A while back Kirk had approached me about writting a PowerPack for NetApp, and I always thought it was a great idea.  So… I learned, and learned fast.  Turns out a PowerPack is fairly simple to author.  About a week later I had a working demo to show around internally.  I had my position papers worked out, and had the elevator pitch ready.  I was going to hit the streets and sell PowerShell using PowerGUI as my catalysis.  Then something amazing happened, everyone I showed PowerGUI to loved it! Furthermore they instantly knew the advantage of building a tool on top of PowerShell had.  I didn’t have to sell anything the tool simply sold itself.  At MMS this year if you stopped by during a lull you would have gotten an early alpha demo of the PowerPack.  I gave my boss said demo, and his guidance was clear, SHIP IT!  Over the past month with the help of the whole team, we went through the gambit from legal to marketing, but in the end my secret project shipped yesterday.  What started out as a sales tool ended up being such a compelling user interface that we just couldn’t keep it to ourselves.

If your a PowerGUI user of just a NetApp customer check out PowerGUI, and the PowerPack, as I think it is quite compelling.


Update: There is a known bug in PowerGUI where the first two objects returned don’t display alias properties, as the DataONTAP Toolkit uses alias’s heavily many object appear to be blank. Kirk’s team know about the issue and are working to fix it.

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