NetApp, at its Insight North American conference in Las Vegas Oct. 28, joined a growing number of major IT companies in recent months who are introducing new-generation software specifically designed to run hybrid clouds.
The No. 2 data storage maker launched a new version of its clustered Data Ontap operating system, Cloud Ontap, a new OnCommand Cloud Manager and NetApp Private Storage for Cloud. The idea is for users to keep as many of their current hardware investments as possible, move the new software into place, and then upgrade the hardware when it's good and ready to be retired.
Why is this significant? As cloud services have evolved in the last six years, more enterprises are evaluating the deployment of hybrid cloud. Even though cloud service providers offer compelling new services, each of them creates an isolated, incompatible data silo that has to be managed independently. This can result in users losing control of their data, being unable to move or share it easily, or having to rewrite their applications to use them on the cloud.
In effect, the hybrid cloud recreates the data center sprawl that data center managers have spent years trying to solve. NetApp, with its new solutions, aims to remedy that situation.
Cloud OnTap will combine a virtualized instance of clustered Data OnTap with the scale of Amazon Web Services to give users a single set of data management tools. This enables seamless control of data via on-premise architecture and the user's choice of cloud.
"Hybrid clouds [eventually] will be the backbone of IT," said George Kurian, executive vice president of Product Operations at NetApp. "We help enterprises maintain control of their data as they bridge their on-premises architecture with the cloud of their choice. Our software improves the economics, flexibility, and business impact of a customer's existing infrastructure."
Some details on the new products:
--Clustered Data OnTap 8.3 includes new support for NetApp MetroCluster Disaster Recovery Software, provides enterprises with uninterrupted recovery from failures across data centers. Critical business applications can continue to operate in the event of disasters or planned outages. The latest version of the software includes performance optimizations for all-flash nodes so that customers can maximize performance without sacrificing rich data management, protection, or flexible data movement.
--Cloud ONTAP brings clustered Data OnTap to the public cloud by connecting with Amazon Web Services (AWS). The software provides non-disruptive operations, scalability, and efficiency and combines them with the on-demand computing benefits of cloud services. This approach provides a consistent set of data services throughout a hybrid cloud environment. AWS is the first platform provider to run Cloud ONTAP services on its cloud environment; NetApp is collaborating with Microsoft Azure and Verizon Cloud for future releases.
--OnCommand Cloud Manager enables efficient and easy provisioning of clustered Data ONTAP instances between private cloud and public cloud providers. It features a simple and intuitive graphical user interface to gives users and partners visibility into their hybrid cloud environment and eliminates the complexity of storage setup and movement of data from one location to another.
--NetApp Private Storage for Cloud enables customers to use multiple clouds and maintain control of their data on a single NetApp data storage device strategically placed in select colocation facilities. NetApp has tested cloud connectivity with many Equinix locations and with select alternate colocation facilities worldwide.
IBM SoftLayer is the latest cloud provider to partner with NetApp with an NPS for Cloud approach. Other NPS for Cloud packages currently available are NetApp Private Storage for Amazon Web Services and NetApp Private Storage for Microsoft Azure.