NetApp has expanded its ability to stretch data and information across hybrid on-premise and cloud infrastructures with a new service tying its storage infrastructure to the cloud.
NetApp, which after the acquisition of EMC by Dell became the world's largest independent storage vendor, is now preparing to ship new hybrid storage cloud capabilities while introducing new releases of existing offerings to take its technology deeper into the cloud, said Phil Brotherton, vice president of NetApp's cloud business unit.
"We're bringing the hybrid cloud, the threads in the data fabric, to market in a simple way," Brotherton told CRN US.
The biggest change to NetApp's hybrid cloud capabilities is the introduction of NetApp Private Storage as a Service, an expansion of the company's NetApp Private Storage for Cloud, Brotherton said.
In late 2012 NetApp first introduced NetApp Private Storage for Cloud as a way for customers to connect on-premise storage infrastructure directly to Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or IBM clouds. In particular, those storage infrastructures could be sited in a nearby co-location facility, where they had access to high-speed connections directly to the cloud.
"The data was kept on customers' side of the firewall but could be extended to the cloud," Brotherton said. "That provided the cloud on an opex basis and the storage on a capex basis."
With NetApp Private Storage as a Service, customers can work with service providers to manage storage as an operating expense while ensuring the security of their data, Brotherton said. Such service providers already have a connection to on-premise and off-premise storage, which greatly simplifies the consumption of these advanced infrastructures, he said.
"Customers want a service on a cost-per-terabyte-per-month basis," he said. "Customers get ease of use. They just connect an Ethernet cable to their cloud of choice. NetApp Private Storage as a Service can be done as a single-tenant or multi-tenant environment with internal firewalls."
As a result, customers and channel partners will see NetApp as moving from a software-oriented, on-premise data management company to a cloud storage company, Brotherton said.
"No one else can do this," he said. "We are the biggest storage-only company in the world. No one else has the cloud relationships to make this work."
NetApp also is expanding its Storage Grid object storage offering. Brotherton said that, while Storage Grid was offered as a hardware and software appliance that allowed customers to integrate their choice of Linux, the new software version includes an embedded Linux operating system to help channel partners simplify the deployment.
Also new from NetApp is an updated version of its AltaVault cloud-integrated storage backup appliance that allows data snapshots of compressed and deduplicated data to be sent directly to a cloud without the need to expand and then re-compress and re-dedupe the data, Brotherton said.
In addition, NetApp introduced a new version of its SnapCenter software for migrating data snapshots without relying on the company's own Ontap operating environment.
"Snaps before could only work in Ontap-to-Ontap environments," Brotherton said. "Now the snapshots can move to other solutions like AltaVault, or be migrated all the way to the cloud, with catalog and search capabilities."