NetApp Ratchets Up Storage Management for Clouds

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-06-14 Print this article Print

The company adds new features that include usage-based metering, service-level monitoring, and performance and capacity modeling and planning.

Network storage provider NetApp on June 14 upgraded its OnCommand storage management software, which now includes the capability to automate and analyze shared storage infrastructures.

NetApp, like its archrival EMC, comes at cloud management from what it considers the center of the data center universe: storage. Conversely, Cisco Systems comes at cloud-type systems from a network-centric perspective, while Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Dell, Oracle, Hitachi and others start with servers and databases.

NetApp provides a foundation for a cloud with its Unified Storage Architecture and a corresponding set of storage and data management capabilities built on its standard Data ONTAP software. The company provides a secure multitenant package that can scale up or back down to meet changing workload demands, NetApp Vice President of Product and Solutions Marketing Chris Cummings reminded eWEEK.

"Enterprise customers can transition to a private cloud environment at their own pace as their business grows, without needing to shut anything down or disrupt anything inside their IT infrastructure," Cummings said.

Partners Fill in Gaps as Needed

OnCommand won't command all the attributes of a private cloud infrastructure, but NetApp has thought ahead on this one: It will introduce you to business partners who can handle those aspects of an IT infrastructure.

To that end, NetApp said it is expanding its Alliance Technology Partner Program to include cloud management companies, so as to enable integration between established cloud management packages and OnCommand to provide end-to-end management of the full-stack cloud infrastructure.

These cloud partners include BMC, CA, Fujitsu, Microsoft, newScale, Tivoli and VMware. Their cloud management software enables automation and management of the cloud infrastructure and integrates natively with NetApp OnCommand into a full-stack orchestration, Cummings said.

NetApp's new OnCommand management delivers four fundamental elements that compose a cloud: service catalog, service analytics, automation and self-service, Cummings said.

The OnCommand unified manager enables the creation of a storage service catalog and provides policy-based automation, including provisioning, data protection and service monitoring.

In addition, OnCommand provides the service analytics for storage and the rest of the infrastructure so customers have the visibility and knowledge needed to optimize a cloud service delivery. This includes usage-based metering, service-level monitoring, and performance and capacity modeling and planning.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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