NetApp Goes ‘Storageless’ With Updated Data Services

eWEEK STORAGE NEWS: Veteran data management provider updates its ONTAP platform to offer what it calls "storageless" data protection, in which app developers need not worry about storage requirements.


Storage and data protection provider NetApp has incorporated new updates to its cloud-connected ONTAP data management software, including a more flexible Keystone Flex Subscription service and a new NetApp SolidFire Enterprise software-defined storage package. 

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company on Oct. 26 also introduced something it calls The Spot “storageless” as-a-service system that ostensibly enables developers to focus only on applications instead of storage to handle processing of data. 

With these updates, NetApp claims to help enterprises optimize performance and security, extend data management from on-premises to any cloud and consume hybrid cloud infrastructure as a service.

The new features and capabilities that NetApp introduced include:

  • Improved NetApp ONTAP software capabilities that offer greater consolidation, deeper cloud ​integration and continuous data availability for protection of enterprise business applications.
  • Updates to NetApp Keystone Flex Subscription, providing a faster path to a cloud-enabled data center with “pay-as-you-grow” subscriptions for a cloudlike experience on-premises. The Keystone Flex Subscription also offers public cloud integration available through the NetApp partner ecosystem.
  • The new NetApp SolidFire Enterprise SDS solution, providing an automated foundation for private clouds with NetApp Element software as standalone software-defined storage that can be deployed on any hardware.

But the most intriguing news is about “storageless.” All data has to reside somewhere for it to be called up and processed as required by a use case; NetApp is abstracting this idea in its own new products and subsequent market spin.

The Spot by NetApp Storageless Platform

Spot by NetApp provides a set of fully managed services that anyone can use to build and run storageless applications. When combined with serverless options such as Spot by NetApp’s Ocean, storageless provides a full-on addition to Kubernetes in which everything is driven by the application. Applications set the behavior, and Spot by NetApp automatically provisions, right-sizes and optimizes both Kubernetes nodes and storage classes for the highest performance and lowest possible cost.

Cloud services enable users to rapidly deploy infrastructure, but with that speed and agility come new challenges of managing availability, capacity, performance and the cost of cloud environments. Solving for these requirements creates a significant burden on cloud infrastructure and operations teams, but not doing so results in wasted cloud resources, fragile infrastructure and difficulties meeting SLAs.

Spot by NetApp deploys automated DevOps and FinOps components, real-time monitoring and advanced analytics to offer data-driven solutions that optimize cloud infrastructure. Spot determines and deploys the ideal mix of computing resources needed to ensure availability and scaling capacity.

What Does ‘Storageless’ Mean?

Much like serverless computing, where the cloud provider dynamically manages the allocation of machine resources that are priced based on actual application consumed resources, rather than prepurchased units of capacity, storageless also focuses on the application rather than total storage allocation. Storageless enables application developers and operators (SREs) to focus on application SLOs without the need to think about storage classes, performance, capacity planning or maintenance of the underlying storage backends. 

Storageless is building block of cloud-native architecture that enables everyone to shift more operational responsibilities to a service, increasing agility and innovation. Storageless allows teams to build and run applications without architecting persistent size and shape, including throughput, maintenance and capacity provisioning. Volumes as a Service are made available for nearly any type of application or backend service with everything required to run and scale applications with high availability.

NetApp claims that storageless computing allows modern applications to be built with increased agility and lower total cost of ownership. Building storageless applications means that teams can focus on their core product instead of worrying about the management and operating of storage volumes and data, the company said. This reduced overhead empowers developers to reclaim time and energy that can be spent on developing business critical products that reliably scale with their applications, NetApp said.

Serverless + Storageless Platform

  • Spot Storage: Persistent storage for Kubernetes in the cloud. Spot Storage provides cloud-native storage as an “easy button” for Ocean and Elastigroup. Spot Storage offers reliable, scalable, highly performant storage accessible from anywhere in a cluster.
  • Ocean for Azure: Ocean for Azure announces support for AKS as the preferred managed Kubernetes solution for Azure customers. Ocean for Azure will be a 1st class Ocean offering for AKS, in line with Ocean capabilities for EKS and GKE.

Integrated NetApp + Spot Offerings

  • Spot and Cloud Manager Integration: Cloud Manager customers can now take the first steps into the Spot platform directly from CM. It will give the customer the ability to easily onboard to the Spot platform, view compute optimization opportunities, and take the action to move to Spot and start optimizing compute with its products.

For more information, go here.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...