Feeds

C'mon... lower the drawbridge, NetApp: You could explore Amazon – and Azure

FlexArray has potential for change

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Blocks and Files NetApp has a closed cloud strategy – no OpenStack opening and limited third-party array support. But there is a way its engineers could remedy this – providing its product and corporate marketing strategists and CTO concurred – and that would be to use FlexArray technology as an on-ramp.

NetApp had a diskless head product, the V-Series, which sat in front of an EMC or HDS array, or NetApp’s own E-Series products, and virtualised them so that they looked like its own FAS boxes and could participate in the NetApp storage world.

With the arrival of the 8000 range this functionality was subsumed into the DataONTAP operating system as FlexArray software and the separate V-Series product went away.

Comment: A different kind of strategy

Let’s get down and dirty and talk cloud storage. NetApp’s strategy, thus far, is to promote the idea of on-premise FAS arrays linking to/integrating with FAS arrays in the cloud with its operating system, Data ONTAP, providing the link and enabling, as it were, the on-premise and off-premise (in the cloud) FAS arrays to function as a single logical ONTAP storage resource.

With the included FlexArray software, this means EMC, HDS and E-Series arrays can also participate.

So far so good, and relatively seamless, but also somewhat limited. There are some 275 cloud service providers (CSPs) providing ONTAP in the cloud and these do not include Amazon, Azure, Google and Rackspace, Verizon or any OpenStack-using CSP. In other words, the majority of available cloud storage resources are closed off to NetApp ONTAP users.

But however superior NetApp’s offerings might be, it's unlikely that this strategy could persuade its users not to use Amazon, Azure, Google and Rackspace, Verizon or any OpenStack-using CSP.

NetApp could strategically accommodate its users’ open cloud wishes and help them access non-ONTAP cloud storage resources. It could potentially do this by adding cloud gateway features to FlexArray:

  • Amazon cloud gateways, to Glacier for example,
  • Azure gateway,
  • Google gateway,
  • Rackspace gateway
  • OpenStack support
  • Gateways to Verizon and other potentially major CSPs.

The company is involved with OpenStack, having contributed a series of drivers for ONTAP that enable NetApp storage and data management to be provisioned through Cinder, OpenStack’s Block Storage. (See NetApp OpenStack Grizzly FAQ here (PDF).)

It could go further and use FlexArray as its generic cloud storage gateway and, as EMC is doing with ViPR, widen its third-party array support to include all arrays integrated into OpenStack through the Cinder plug-in. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
Hey - who wants 4.8 TERABYTES almost AS FAST AS MEMORY?
China's Memblaze says they've got it in PCIe. Yow
Cray-cray Met Office spaffs £97m on VERY AVERAGE HPC box
Only 250th most powerful in the world? Bring back Michael Fish
IBM, backing away from hardware? NEVER!
Don't be so sure, so-surers
Microsoft brings the CLOUD that GOES ON FOREVER
Sky's the limit with unrestricted space in the cloud
'ANYTHING BUT STABLE' Netflix suffers BIG Europe-wide outage
Friday night LIVE? Nope. The only thing streaming are tears down my face
Google roolz! Nest buys Revolv, KILLS new sales of home hub
Take my temperature, I'm feeling a little bit dizzy
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.