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NetApp unveils ONTAP cluster-shuffler: Do it with any vendor, in public or private

Control freak that lets you spread data, workloads across all flavours of cloud

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NetApp is hoping to turn cloud agnostics into ONTAP believers with its new "seamless cloud data management" product, Clustered Data ONTAP.

The new "universal data platform" works across any type of cloud infrastructure with "seamless data portability and management across all clouds – public, private and hybrid."

The Sunnyvale company is working with public cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services, Rackspace and Verizon-Terremark ATT. It says its customers will get:

  • A universal data platform with data control across any private or public cloud resource through a single storage and data management platform,
  • Dynamic data portability featuring integrated data transport including hypervisor translation.
  • A wide choice of application, technology, and cloud partner options.

NetApp's CTO, SVP Jay Kidd, said in a canned quote: "Our vision is 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.”

ONTAP becomes the lens though which all data is seen.

What it's doing seems akin to adding cloud storage gateway functionality to ONTAP so that customers will see their data in a single storage pool accessed through ONTAP with data stored in a potential mix of NetApp FAS arrays, third-party arrays controlled by Netapp's V-Series ONTAP heads, and public storage clouds such as S3, and capable of being moved between them.

NetApp will "integrate its software into existing and forthcoming private cloud, large-scale public cloud, and hyperscale cloud service provider" systems, with API-level integration to OpenStack and CloudStack". Together with Cisco, NetApp will introduce new FlexPod reference architectures aimed at large-scale cloud service providers and enterprise multi-tenant environments.

It said this about the data portability angle:

NetApp will leverage its universal data container to make it easier to move data and workloads across instances of Data ONTAP in a multi-cloud environment... At Oracle OpenWorld (24 to 27 September) NetApp will showcase technology for “on-the-fly” hypervisor translation as workloads travel across disparate environments.

NetApp says it:

Supports all major cloud operating environments, virtualisation frameworks, application deployment models, and cloud management solutions. In the upcoming months, the company will announce integrations with flagship providers in each of these … areas, including new contributions to OpenStack and CloudStack, and new partnerships with large-scale hyperscale cloud service providers.

The hyperscale cloud service providers are three: Amazon, Google and Microsoft.

There will be new converged infrastructure reference architectures, secure cloud backup, and disaster recovery systems also coming from NetApp. Its data replication software. SnapMirror, "will be enhanced to support easy replication of data to private or public cloud resources for data protection and disaster recovery."

Jay Kidd has blogged about all this here. He writes: "Common technologies across clouds deliver the most value," adding: "A common data platform can enable services like automatic translation between virtual machine formats invoked when data moves."

NetApper Phil Brotherton, VP of Sunnyvale's cloud solutions group, talks about NetApp's cloudy vision in a YouTube video:

The company says it will offer seamless data management of public and private clouds. Will we actually see a NetApp cloud storage gateway? An ONTAP head storing data in Amazon, Google or Microsoft clouds? That would be an interesting product. ®

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