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New CloudOne TL;DR video series looks inside NetApp IT’s hybrid multicloud platform for DevOps

Michael Morris

The latest NetApp on NetApp Too Long; Didn’t Read (TL;DR) video series on CloudOne is now live! In this series, I discuss NetApp® IT’s journey to build and manage this highly automated hybrid multicloud platform for application creation and operations, as well as take you under the hood to look at the NetApp and industry technologies that enable it.

Our vision of CloudOne began about 4 years ago when we recognized that our DevOps needs had outgrown the boundaries of traditional IT infrastructure – then largely a patchwork of platforms and resources supported by servers and storage in the data center. It simply could no longer keep up with the rapid and frequent changes to software that are critical in application development, nor could it effectively meet developers’ rising data-driven demands. We wanted a single, cloud-led, integrated platform that had everything built in that we needed to create applications. However, there wasn’t anything on the market that came close to meeting all our needs at that time.

Our team began to envision an IT infrastructure that could move at the speed of business change. After much discussion and evaluation, we set out to build our new platform from the ground up.

We established four key goals:

  • Increase the speed of application changes
  • Enable developers to focus more on writing code
  • Introduce automation to reduce production deployment risk when adding new technologies and architectures
  • Reduce costs by using cloud services and open-source resources where appropriate
To maximize developer productivity, agility, and accessibility for developers and operations teams, we architected CloudOne as an end-to-end solution as a service. It was key that our new platform have consistent data and storage management across both public and private clouds. We also wanted a robust data fabric. As Customer-1 of a leading cloud-led data-centric software company, we recognized that NetApp’s portfolio of technologies and services, notably NetApp ONTAP®, could provide that data fabric.

Building a hybrid multicloud platform

We introduced our first version of CloudOne in 2018, which was a full DevOps CI/CD automated application deployment environment for cloud applications running in containers. Since then, we have added a private cloud using NetApp HCI and a continuous operating model to further evolve the environment in the future. We integrated cloud-native technologies like Kubernetes and microservices, self-service catalogs, and development pipelines. We also integrated Spot by NetApp, which allowed us to take advantage of AWS Spot Instance savings and reduce public cloud costs for DevOps by as much as 70%. Recently, we built DevSecOps into the CI/CD pipelines to capture security vulnerabilities at build time. And we continue to explore and add innovative capabilities and technologies.

In NetApp IT we believe, much like in engineering or product development, that sometimes you need to take calculated risks. You need to stretch beyond your comfort zone to learn new skills and technologies, and think and act differently to achieve your goals.

I’m extremely proud of the work done by my team and across our organization to create CloudOne. Driving the vision for CloudOne was a significant undertaking that required immense creativity, strategy, and commitment over several years. It also took a cultural change within our organization, as stakeholders needed to “lean in” with an automation-first mindset and embrace speed, knowing that automation reduces risk. In addition, our developers and operations leaders needed to act and work in a different way.

Today, CloudOne is an asset to our business, running more than 60 production applications. It has transformed DevOps at NetApp, significantly improving efficiencies and productivity, and resulting in real cost savings. With extensive integrated automation and self-service capabilities, many previously manual processes that used to take as long as a week can now be done in just minutes.

CloudOne is an exceptional example of the potential for the future of the hybrid multicloud platform. I’m thrilled to be able to share what we learned from this journey with customers, partners, and IT peers in this new 11-part TL;DR series.

Michael Morris

As the Senior Director for Platform, Cloud and Infrastructure, Mike leads NetApp IT’s hybrid cloud and DevOps platform strategy―orchestrated and managed by an automation ecosystem―to create a holistic environment for cloud-aware enterprise applications. Mike leads the automation, infrastructure, cloud, and service management teams for NetApp which culminate to create NetApp IT’s DevOps platform, “CloudOne”. He also spearheads the internal feedback program between IT and product development and marketing, discussing how IT uses NetApp products and services.

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