NetApp to Harmonize Hybrid Cloud Storage Management

By Pedro Hernandez

NetApp is fashioning its Data ONTAP storage operating system into a storage management platform that spans private and public clouds, enabling enterprises to more readily adopt hybrid cloud storage approaches and leverage the benefits.

The company announced on Sept. 17 that it is taking steps, including a deepening of a major technology partnership, to realize its vision of a unified cloud storage management platform that addresses some of the most pressing cloud storage pain points for IT organizations. In a statement, NetApp CTO Jay Kidd, offered that regardless of where data is stored, CIOs are tasked with maintaining "ownership of the organization’s data."

NetApp is setting out "to create an enterprise data management solution, with the clustered Data ONTAP operating system at its core, which will span the customers’ data storage landscape, irrespective of data type or location," added Kidd. His company plans to accomplish that goal with a multipronged strategy that largely hinges on Data ONTAP software.

Kidd suggested in a company blog post that given ONTAP's market penetration, NetApp and its customers already have a running head start. "Hundreds of thousands of customers use ONTAP in their enterprises," he boasted. "Over 175 NetApp Service Provider Partners also have deployed Data ONTAP as the storage foundation for over 300 service offerings."

NetApp's Data ONTAP will form the foundation of the new "universal data platform" and plans to integrate the technology into private, public and hyperscale cloud service provider solutions, according to the company. Building on the NetApp's converged infrastructure collaboration with networking heavyweight Cisco, the companies are planning to release a new FlexPod reference architecture. Featuring deeper clustered Data ONTAP integration, new FlexPod solutions will be aimed at "aimed at large-scale cloud service provider and enterprise multi-tenant environments," stated the company.

Further, the company hinted that more partnerships are in the works. Expect future announcements to encompass backup and recovery solutions, business application support and more reference architectures in the coming months, said NetApp.

On the software-defined storage front, NetApp said it plans to pour resources into enabling its platform to connect to hyperscale cloud service providers and beef up its quality-of-service capabilities. Efforts also include "expanded API integrations" with CloudStack and the the popular open source cloud computing platform, OpenStack.

Such an architecture could have profound, efficiency-boosting effects on an enterprise's disaster recovery capabilities, stated Kidd. "Data can easily be replicated between an enterprise data center and a service provider to enable [disaster recovery] services," he blogged.

Expanding on the disaster recovery benefits, Kidd asserted that "the same storage efficiency services (do you really want your VMs to expand 300% when you move them to the cloud?), database cloning, snapshots and application integration are available, which makes the operational model the same on premise or in the cloud."

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

This article was originally published on September 17, 2013