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Announcing NetApp Keystone Flex Subscription 2.1

David Liu
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NetApp Keystone Flex SubscriptionFor almost 30 years, NetApp has focused on one thing—your data—and today works continuously to improve how it’s managed, stored, analyzed, protected, and moved. We started with traditional on-premises storage models that required significant upfront capital investments. Later we added a rich portfolio of cloud data services, fully on-demand and based on operational expenditure (opex). We then realized that we needed to fill the gap between the two models, so our customers could have cloudlike experiences on premises. Hence, the creation of the NetApp®Keystone portfolio, your bridge to the cloud.

On the 1-year anniversary of the general availability of NetApp Keystone Flex Subscription, we’re proud to announce Flex Subscription 2.1. This release delivers new features for service providers, a partner-delivered FlexPod® as-a-service solution, additional cloud support, a live demo, and integration with Equinix colocation services. I’ll go into more details on the new features in this blog post, and you can read about the Equinix partnership and joint hybrid cloud solution here.

For service providers

Service providers are discovering the value of consumption-based business models for new storage solutions. They need to invest in storage solutions that are flexible, scalable, and opex-based, and that take advantage of multitenant storage capabilities to deliver cost-competitive services. With this release, service providers can host multiple end customers (or tenants) in a single subscription. In addition, new role-based access controls for end customers can help facilitate tenant management and reporting.

Previously, service providers were limited and had to host a single tenant to a single Flex Subscription service. It was a 1:1 relationship. To provision multiple tenants, service providers had to create various domains of the Flex Subscription service, which was inefficient and time consuming.

With Flex Subscription 2.1, service providers can host the data storage service centrally and allow their tenants to subscribe to the service. With this new capability, service providers can more effectively utilize their resources and rapidly deploy new tenants. Now, it is a 1 : Many relationship.

The new features in Flex Subscription 2.1 include:
  • Multitenancy: enables data and configuration segregation in a shared Flex Subscription storage infrastructure
  • Tenant management: create subscriptions to onboard new tenants by defining the service levels, committed capacities, and terms
  • Enhanced role-based access control (RBAC): new user roles to differentiate between the service provider and the tenants
  • Reporting: a global dashboard view of tenants and individual tenant views for billing

NetApp Flex Subscription for service providers

Partner-delivered FlexPod as a service

Cisco recently announced Cisco Plus, its portfolio of hybrid-cloud-as-a-service solutions. By using Cisco Plus andNetApp Keystone Flex Subscription, our FlexPod certified partners can now deliver a full-stack data center infrastructure as an on-premises service. Put simply, our partners can now take the Lego building blocks of Cisco Plus and Flex Subscription and deliver FlexPod as a service. This service offering comes with a unified contract, single invoice, and single vendor support for compute, networking, security, and storage—all with flexible terms.

With a long history of success, it comes as no surprise that NetApp and Cisco have entrusted qualified partners to design, deliver, and support FlexPod solutions, now available as a service. This opex-based, integrated FlexPod service offers end customers the most agile and flexible as-a-service solution in the industry.

FlexPod as a Service

Additional cloud support

Flex Subscription 2.1 now can support NetApp Cloud Volumes Service for Google Cloud and Cloud Volumes Service for AWS in addition to Azure NetApp Files. You can now manage subscribed services on premises and orchestrate, provision, and modify Cloud Volumes Service in the three biggest clouds from a single console.

Note: Subscriptions to Cloud Volumes Services are managed outside Flex Subscription. You’ll need to provide the relevant credentials tothe Flex Subscription console to allow connections to the cloud services.

Get a live demo of NetApp Keystone Flex Subscription

NetApp Lab on Demand has a live demo called Getting Started with NetApp Keystone Flex Subscription v1.0. You can now log in to Flex Subscription’s management console, NetApp Service Engine, and perform typical tasks. NetApp Service Engine is a self-service portal to provision, orchestrate, and manage the subscription, as well as provide detailed capacity usage reports. NetApp Service Engine enables you to provision NFS, CIFS, FC, iSCSI, and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) buckets through the same interface. (In the live demo environment, only NFS provisioning is possible.)

The lab delivers the same cloudlike experience you get with Flex Subscription.

Supported tasks in the live demo include:
  1. Creating new users for service administration
  2. Creating an NFS file share
  3. Setting up NetApp Snapshot policy and creating on demand Snapshot copies
  4. Cloning from Snapshot copies
  5. Viewing consumption reports
  6. Viewing a sample invoice

Learn more about NetApp Keystone Flex Subscription

We’re continuing to see customer momentum and innovating on our storage-as-a-service offering, NetApp Keystone Flex Subscription. We’re excited to bring new features that simplify hybrid cloud consumption and operations. To learn more, visit the Flex Subscription page.

David Liu

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