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A car without a steering wheel

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Srinivas Tenneti
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A car that drives itself has been a technological dream for decades. What would be better than sitting back or reading the news while your car does the driving for you? Think of Johnny Cab from Total Recall or The Tumbler from The Dark Knight: The car has a brain  and can navigate through city roads and highways. Many major car manufacturers have already introduced intelligent technologies in cars and some allow vehicles to drive independently for a short time. These manufacturers are also testing cars with no steering wheels for the future.

Every year 6 million car crashes occur in the U.S., and around 38,000 people die from these crashes. Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) are helping reduce the number of crashes, saving lives by equipping vehicles with advanced safety features.

What is the relationship between ADAS and NetApp? NetApp is not building a car, but NetApp is a product technology partner for the iconic Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team. We help them constantly evolve to be a faster, more innovative, and more exciting team and win Formula One races

What’s key to both ADAS and NetApp is data. A massive amount of data is acquired from and ingested by test cars.

What do the car manufacturers need for their storage solution?

Scalability: The storage solution has to scale to handle multiple petabytes of data.

Performance: The solution must be versatile, providing high performance when the data is in use and low-cost storage after the data is archived. 

Cloud services: The solution needs connectivity to cloud services for cheap compute and application services.

NetApp Keystone Flex Subscription with Equinix

The NetApp® Keystone service gives you almost infinite flexibility in how to run, pay for, and manage your data services. Payment options that adjust to your operating expenses are flexible alternatives to traditional capital-outlay models. And if you need to change your purchasing and operating models down the road? You can do that without switching technologies.

NetApp Keystone Flex Subscription gives you all the operational and financial flexibility you need for your on-premises storage:

  • Pay for performance: Storage service levels based on IOPS and latency that meet varied workload needs
  • Pay for use: Predictable billing for committed capacity, with pay-per-use billing for bursts of unusual data needs
  • Get a bundled price: Hardware, core OS, and support at one price per tebibyte per month
  • Choose a flexible term: As little as 12 months if you have 100TiB or more per site
  • Choose who manages the storage: ­NetApp, you, or a partner

At NetApp, we see hybrid cloud used by every customer. Although NetApp offers native integration with major cloud services, our customers do not want to place their data in one cloud service. Customers prefer to have their data within their control. However, their data centers are not designed to handle their growing infrastructure needs at the speed they want. Customers need to add storage space quickly.

NetApp’s partnership with Equinix addresses this challenge. The NetApp Keystone Flex Subscription offers storage hosted by NetApp in a private space within the Equinix data center. You get a single invoice for your storage consumption, space, power, cooling, and networking. Additional benefits include:

  • Data is located privately next to, rather than in, the public cloud. You have the advantages of a single contract and vendor, public cloud services such as compute, and dedicated high-speed connections with low latency.
  • You don’t need to oversubscribe to space; instead, you pay for what you use.
  • You get the control and governance you are used to and can grow as your business expands.

Here’s how a Flex Subscription can play a major role in a car manufacturer’s ADAS development cycle and help them to achieve their goals faster.

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  • At the aggregation layer, Flex Subscription offers different ingest protocols, from object (S3) to file protocols like CIFS and NFS.
  • A Flex Subscription begins with a minimum of 100TiB capacity. That amount can be increased as you scale and avoids any costly upfront capital expenditure.
  • Performance flexibility lets you adjust when data becomes less frequently accessed and doesn’t require the same performance it requires for training and simulation. NetApp offers performance storage services that match the lifecycle phase of your data.
  • Connectivity to cloud joined with flexible subscription services and NetApp hosting in Equinix data centers lets you unify your data and use cloud services from one or more hyperscalers.
  • NetApp takes responsibility for the hardware, software, monitoring, operation and support of storage, space, power, and networking. A car manufacturer can focus on delivering the autonomous future earlier.

Digital transformation lets you bring services and controls closer to your customers, employees, partners, and ecosystems. The pace of change in businesses and IT is relentless. To stay on top, you need a digital strategy that focuses on agility and performance, with strategic control points placed next to your users, clouds, and networks. NetApp’s partnership with Equinix addresses gives the automotive industry comprehensive AI-enabled solutions in a service that can connect edge, core, and cloud. The NetApp Keystone Flex Subscription model gives your IT department relief by handling its operational challenges and bringing greater opportunities to your business.

Additional references

To learn more, visit the Flex Subscription page.

Srinivas Tenneti

Srinivas Tenneti is a Senior Infrastructure Storage Architect for Keystone. He joined NetApp in 2020 with 20+ years of enterprise experience. Before NetApp, Srinivas Tenneti has worked at Cisco Systems for the past twenty years. In his 20-year-old journey at Cisco, he has worked in Service Provider, Enterprise, Commercial, and IoT markets. He began at Cisco in engineering and spent the last ten years in Solution engineering as Network and Security Architect. He holds dual CCIE certification - Routing & Switching and Security and holds Masters from NC state in Computer Science. Besides, Srinivas is also pursuing a Ph.D. at NC state in mitigating malware propagation in large networks.

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