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The Business Uncertainty Principle

Laurence James
Laurence James

“We don’t know what we don’t know”: That is certainly true of the past few months. Uncertainty and doubt have crept into our lives, but we are all a lot more prepared for an uncertain future than we were.

Businesses are no different. Those that prepared for digital transformation and dynamic markets — that require a faster response than older legacy systems could deliver — have gained the advantage. Having options, being more agile, and moving faster are now measurable in terms of how the market and customers see and invest in products and services.

In this new business world, adaptability is king, and IT is the key business enabler for creating and maintaining business value, competitive advantage, and presence. NetApp® end-user computing (EUC), virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), and cloud solutions make it easy for IT to enable this kind of adaptability.

Business adaptability

NetApp has demonstrated how its solutions can enable business adaptability by fulfilling its customers’ business continuity requirements. One of the most notable challenges was the need for an immediate operational change from an office-based workforce to a home-based workforce.

This customer needed to switch its entire workforce, in three regions, to home-based working almost overnight. The goal of the NetApp solution was to replicate the company’s on-premises Citrix SMB/CIFS solution in the cloud. To meet the company’s requirement, the team chose NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP® for Azure. The solution delivered the following benefits:
  • There was no need for retraining; the company was able to apply existing skills.
  • It was easy to replicate the on-premises environment in the cloud, so corporate standards were maintained.
  • The solution offered protection and movement of data through seamless mirroring, NetApp Snapshottechnology, and encryption of data.
  • The solution met business and regulatory compliance requirements.
  • With easy access to the Microsoft marketplace (pay-as-you-go), the company could stand up and scale the solution on demand.
  • Deployment was ultraquick; from the initial discussion to support for many thousands of users in three regions, deployment took only 2 days.
  • It was a robust business continuity solution delivered in uncertain times.
NetApp is the only company that can do this, but why? For many years, NetApp has spoken about the benefits of a data fabric while the industry stuck to digital transformation and renewal of legacy systems. During that time, NetApp decoupled its flagship data management engine, ONTAP, from hardware and made it available through the hyperscaler marketplace. This approach immediately gave customers options to replicate on-premises solutions in the cloud while maintaining a consistent operational policy for data management and protection between private and public clouds.

This consistency of operations between clouds is a big deal. As a former data center system manager, I got very tired of managing multiple ways of doing the same thing on different systems. In this respect, the cloud is no different. Consistent data management and protection wherever your applications are running is key to operational adaptability, flexibility, and cost control.

These data management options are available today, and NetApp has expanded them in the cloud and grown its portfolio. Just take a look at one of the big three hyperscaler marketplaces. There you will find NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP, NetApp Cloud Volumes Service, and Azure Netapp Files. On NetApp Cloud Central, you will find a host of NetApp cloud solutions, including NetApp Cloud Insights and NetApp SaaS Backup.

In quantum mechanics, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle asserts that you can’t be certain of the position or momentum of a particle. So, with a bow to Heisenberg, we’re asserting the business uncertainty principle: You cannot be certain of the position, momentum, or direction of a business when unpredictable events occur. But with NetApp EUC, VDI, and cloud solutions, you can be confident that you will quickly reposition and adapt.

To learn more, click the videos in this blog post, or visit these websites: Visit the NetApp virtual booth at VMworld 2020 from 29th Sep – 2nd Oct. There you can learn about ground breaking technologies from NetApp and you can talk with our experts. The free event registration is here VMworld Registration and you will find NetApp in the Sponsor Demo Zone in the Platinum partners section.

Laurence James

Laurence is responsible for driving market awareness for NetApp’s products across EMEA. His focus is on business growth and aligning NetApp’s offerings with customer and market needs. Laurence works across all of NetApp’s products and has an in-depth understanding of diverse customer requirements to deliver value across the entire range of the product suite. Working with a dedicated and experienced team, he now assists in developing and implementing campaigns that support the positioning of NetApp’s Cloud Infrastructure products. Laurence has many years’ experience working with all aspects of Enterprise IT and held roles at Oracle, Sun Microsystems and StorageTek. For nearly 20 years he was Principal IT Consultant at the UK Meteorological Office.

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