There seems to be a lot of noise in the IT industry today about the fact that hybrid cloud is the only way to go, that it is quickly becoming the new norm. But is anyone actually doing it rather than just talking about it? And if they are, how successful were they, and how difficult was it to implement?
To succeed in pivoting to a hybrid cloud architecture, there are several hurdles to clear. You need to think about what cloud to use and what the crucial decisions are that need to be addressed. This is a key aspect to the NetApp Data Fabric that many overlook.
Over the last several years, NetApp has been making it easier and faster for customers to utilise the benefits of cloud whilst keeping governance over their data. It shows with the numbers of customers that are adopting the solutions that NetApp brings to the market.
During this period, NetApp has been promoting its Data Fabric strategy to its customers. This approach is becoming more of a reality with every day that passes. More and more success stories are coming out from around the globe. As NetApp become the data authority for the hybrid cloud they are helping businesses with traditional infrastructure achieve their business objectives with modern and next-gen data centre capabilities—whilst at the same time helping the CIOs and Cloud Architects fully realise the benefits of the cloud.
We are now moving into the era of “cloud-native” where application stacks are designed for the cloud and focus on containers and microservices to improve their delivery and functionality. Companies that adopt this model not only get to market faster than their competition, but are growing at a faster rate than their competitors.
What if your infrastructure could provide a simple and seamless platform that you could automate to deliver flexible integration of hybrid cloud strategy leveraging various hyperscalers? Or what if you want or need to be cloud-native, yet run on the premises?
NetApp has made a raft of announcements that again further expand its Data Fabric strategy. There are now two new ways of consuming cloud services, the first of which is NetApp Cloud Consumption for NetApp HCI.
Cloud Consumption for NetApp HCI is a way to easily build out a private cloud with monthly billing. Based on the H400 and H600 line of NetApp HCI products, NetApp Cloud Consumption for NetApp HCI starts with 4 storage and 2 compute nodes minimum. You can then mix and match the various models within this line to meet your desired configuration. IT is charged per node per month with a 12-month minimum contract. Then there is the ability to add nodes at a fixed priced with a term extension
This is just an expansion of the capabilities that NetApp HCI already brings to the table of flexible design, simple operations, and predictable performance tied together with the NetApp Data Fabric. NetApp Cloud Volumes provide high-performance, persistent storage through a streamlined and simplified user experience in all major public clouds, but it doesn’t stop there. With the use of NetApp Kubernetes Services (NKS) you too can start to consume hybrid cloud services from the likes of AWS, Azure, and GCP.
NetApp also announced Cloud Data Services on NetApp HCI. By using NKS to act as an orchestrator, automator, and marketplace, NetApp HCI can be used as a deployable region that you can provide Cloud Volumes to on premises. This shared, common API for both the public and private clouds enables NAS as a Service powered by ONTAP, managed simply for self-service to be coded for and consumed regardless of location.
You get a service that can reside on premises, giving you on-demand elasticity accessed via a self-service portal or consumer APIs combined within an operational expenditure model (OPEX). NetApp HCI is hybrid cloud infrastructure that’s delivered by the Data Fabric.
NetApp have also announced Fabric Orchestrator. This is a single control plane connecting all of your data production with your data consumption. It is an extensible user interface for the Data Fabric services you are consuming, allowing you to convert intention into action with no need for advanced administration skills. Under the hood it connects to your data wherever it is via the Fabric API Services; and then through the Data Hub it can monitor, automate, and optimise your resources and provide actionable insights.
Looking at NetApp’s cloud portfolio, there are a vast array of products to consume: from Cloud Volumes in their various forms, to control planes like NKS and Fabric Orchestrator, as well as analytics such as Active IQ and Cloud Insights, and tools like Cloud Sync and SaaS Backup. This is a division within the portfolio that is moving just as fast as a start up and delivering products and services that are not only at the cutting edge, but in high demand.
With everything that NetApp is bringing to the table, and the fact that you get the same experience regardless of the cloud, isn’t it time you started doing rather than just talking about it?
Ruairi is a Technical Account Manager and Team Leader for Arrow ECS based in the United Kingdom. His main focus is enterprise storage, particularly the NetApp portfolio. When he’s not sitting in front of a keyboard, Ruairi can be found cycling the roads of Hampshire near his home.
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