NetApp Ratchets Up Storage Management for Clouds

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 J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...