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NetApp FAS array BIZ BEAST to fly out in under a fortnight

19 Feb is D-Day, says source

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We hear from a source within the NetApp community that 19 February is the day the brand spanking new FAS8000 array pokes its head out into the open.

Still no details on the config: even NetApp customers checking a field portal, something we Vultures don’t have access too, apparently get told the info is embargo’d to 19 February.

What they do see is advice that NetApp pricing is changing:

NetApp is changing the way it presents storage pricing. Instead of a single bundled line item, you will now see two lines: a storage charge and an OS Enablement charge.

This change supports our ongoing commitment to offer clear, consistent, and competitive pricing by making it easier for customers to distinguish the unique value they receive from our storage operating software.

The first products to reflect this change will be the FAS8000 series as well as the E5400, E5500 and EF-Series systems. Add-on storage for all products will transition to this practice in the second quarter of 2014. Those FAS products that are already shipping will retain the current pricing.

This separating out of Data ONTAP’s value as software ties in with NetApp’s notion of it a as universal data platform, a storage abstraction layer for customers that controls data access for on-premise FAS arrays, on V-series front-ended third-party arrays, for remote offices via ONTAP as a virtual machine - ESX or Hyper-V controlling server DAS or commodity hardware turning it into a virtual array – and as an array in public clouds. In the case of the latter, both Azure and Amazon have been indicated as potential supported environments. Wherever the data lives ONTAP will be the access layer to it.

There may also be the possibility of federating on-premise and public cloud ONTAP instances and of moving data and workloads, meaning VMs, between ONTAP instances in different clouds and between on-premise and cloud ONTAP environments, using the concept of a universal data container.

Jay Kidd, NetApp SVP and CTO, outlined this vision in September, saying:

  • NetApp will further integrate its software into existing and forthcoming private cloud, large-scale public cloud, and hyperscale cloud service provider solutions to help organisations optimise IT delivery and harness the speed, flexibility, and economics of the public cloud.
  • NetApp will utilise its universal data container to make it easier to move data and workloads across instances of Data ONTAP in a multicloud environment, boosting IT efficiency and enabling new, and innovative hybrid cloud architectures.
  • NetApp allows customers to move data and workloads with ease across all instances of Data ONTAP in a multicloud environment. … technology for “on-the-fly” hypervisor translation as workloads travel across disparate environments. This technology will complement an existing product portfolio for data transport that includes SnapMirror technology … data replication software.
  • NetApp will continue to provide an extensive array of customer choices for hybrid cloud operations while avoiding competition with its ecosystem of public cloud service provider partners.
  • NetApp supports:
    • all major cloud operating environments,
    • virtualization frameworks,
    • application deployment models,
    • cloud management solutions.
  • In the upcoming months, the company will announce integrations with flagship providers in each of these key areas, including new contributions to OpenStack and CloudStack, and new partnerships with large-scale hyperscale cloud service providers.

We were told last week by John Rollason, NetApp's EMEA director of products, solutions and alliances marketing: "I can’t comment on specific future plans."

Many threads of development and themes of strategy look set to come to fruition on the 19th. ®

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