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Data Management with BlueXP

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Cathi Allen
Cathi Allen

When it comes to managing data across complex hybrid and multicloud environments, agility is critical. That’s one of the reasons why the analyst firm Omdia says NetApp is a leader. We get agility. We understand what it takes for businesses to manage your data estate wherever it resides. In its recent report, “Selecting a Hybrid and Multicloud Management Solution, 2022–23,” Omdia applauded our visionary approach embodied in the NetApp® BlueXP unified control plane, which delivers global visibility and operational simplicity of storage and data services across on-premises and cloud environments.

“NetApp has taken a fresh look at the market and clearly articulates what it is addressing with BlueXP,” Omdia wrote.

Let’s take a closer look at Omdia’s review of BlueXP and why it’s important.

The context

To set the stage, Omdia correctly pointed out that today’s IT landscapes are challenging (to say the least). As a result, businesses need seamless, integrated services that provide visibility and control while blending the best of data center principles with the flexibility, scale, and agility offered by the public cloud. In fact, 77% of NetApp enterprise customers combine both data center and cloud in their digital strategies. These requirements are leading to the need for new management solutions in the hybrid multicloud management market—which is now growing at an estimated compound annual growth rate of over 26% from 2021 to 2026.

BlueXP benefits stand out

Against this backdrop, Omdia has clearly validated both NetApp’s overall BlueXP strategy and the details of its many capabilities.

“NetApp should appear on your shortlist because it has just entered this market with a new and different approach to the multicloud challenge,” Omdia wrote. “It will bring services for storage, data governance, cyber resilience, mobility, observability, Al operations, and consumption from multiple environments into a single control plane.”

Omdia appreciated the integrated capabilities of BlueXP, which span a broad spectrum of IT and cloud operations challenges.

Learning from history

NetApp has a strong history of data management, and BlueXP makes that even easier. As your control plane for the hybrid multicloud world, BlueXP simplifies operations across both on-premises and cloud environments, delivering the kind of data protection, governance, and mobility that have become synonymous with the NetApp brand. Add to that AIOps-driven automation and a new flexible consumption capability, and not only can you clearly see the past represented here, but you also have a view into the future.

How does this work on the back end?

Omdia dug into the advanced architecture of BlueXP, including its cloud connectors and sophisticated API technology. The underlying control plane employs several distinct back-end services, each with an associated REST API. So, even if you don’t take advantage of the intuitive BlueXP UI to access these services, the API and Connector technology is accessible directly for integration into automation schemes like those built on Ansible and Terraform.

BlueXP Connectors enable the management of resources, processes, and reporting across your on-premises and cloud environments. Connectors are highly secure because they encapsulate your critical credentials and they remain in your environment (that is, they’re never publicly available). This prevents your critical data from falling into the wrong hands. Connectors allow the API calls to connect, authenticate, and communicate between your different resources across environments.

It's this combination of Connectors, advanced and integrated REST API technology, and back-end services that enables BlueXP to integrate not only NetApp technology, but also third-party technology such as cloud resources, third-party storage, frameworks, element managers, and marketplace engines—wherever they might be. And that provides the agility and intelligence that today’s reality demands.

Optimizing storage and saving money

From a business perspective, BlueXP combines AIOps with the services noted earlier to minimize the cost of doing what you need to do. For instance, some organizations need to retain access to “cold data”—data that’s not accessed frequently (if at all). Based on your policy, the tiering capability of BlueXP automatically moves that cold data to less-expensive object storage either on premises or in the cloud (your policies, your choice). Tiering is automatic and seamless without requiring any change to applications or workflows. When access to that data is needed, the data is automatically retrieved back to primary storage. Omdia liked the optimization capabilities of BlueXP such as tiering and was also impressed with how it continually analyzes and reports on potential savings opportunities, with recommendations for saving more. Tiering is one more example of how BlueXP helps you make confident business decisions and optimize costs easily.

Smart technology, smart investment management

The integrated back-end services of BlueXP enable you to take advantage of a digital wallet, which provides visibility, monitoring, and management of an array of licenses, entitlements, and subscriptions from both NetApp and the hyperscaler marketplaces. The digital wallet capability consolidates reporting of your NetApp hyperscaler marketplace entitlements into a single, filterable dashboard that lets your FinOps team manage spending more closely and ensure that it’s optimized and utilized. Digital wallet also offers industry-leading capability to change storage charging methods and exchange, convert, reallocate, and float entitlements, committed capacity, and licenses.

Your new home base

With BlueXP, you now have a more simplified yet robust way to manage your entire data estate. You can now deploy, discover, manage, and optimize data and infrastructure through a unified control plane with seamless management, AIOps-driven automation, flexible consumption management, and powerful integrated protection. BlueXP delivers integrations to make your life easy.

Think of BlueXP as your new home base—an intuitive control plane that gives you global visibility and operational simplicity across your evolved cloud.

To learn more about the Omdia survey, read our press release, NetApp Customers Say Hybrid Cloud is the Future of Enterprise IT in New Global Survey. To learn more about BlueXP, visit the BlueXP webpage.

Cathi Allen

Cathi Allen is a long-time technologist. She started as a programmer and moved on to systems engineer, network and virtualization administrator, product management, and product marketing. Cathi has three master’s degrees: MSM – Information Systems Security, MBA – Project Management, MBA – Information Technology Management. Her thirty (30) plus years in the IT industry affords her the status of subject matter expert. She is currently the product marketing manager for Cloud Data Services at NetApp. She enjoys traveling, antiquing, movies, off-roading, camping, and hanging with her four-legged children.

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