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The Sky’s the Limit

Living your best life in the cloud.

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Ronen Schwartz Portrait
Ronen Schwartz

Welcome to the cloud life!

You’ve done the hard work of migration and now that you’re in the cloud, it’s everything you’d imagined it would be—and more! With unlimited potential, limitless scalability, and the cost optimization of running applications in the cloud, you’re more agile. You’re growing faster than you expected, reaching more users, and giving them capabilities that you couldn’t deliver before.

But this isn’t the end of your cloud journey. It’s just the beginning.

The same … but different

The cloud is more than an environment; it’s a platform and a way of working. When you migrate to the cloud, our unique, industry-leading ONTAP enterprise data management software that you enjoyed on-premises is now delivered as a service, but with limitless cloud agility, scale, and optimization.

True, cloud life comes with some familiar challenges (and some not-so-familiar ones), but they’re nothing you can’t handle. After all, running a system of record, important applications, or workloads—things like uptime, recovery time, availability, performance, latency, and user experience—are just as critical in the cloud as they were on-premises.

In fact, while security, scale, performance, data privacy, and geolocation take a more unique shape in the cloud, your biggest challenge is actually also your most exciting one: managing growth.

No such thing as too much of a good thing

I’m often asked, “How do I scale out in the cloud without overpaying?” or “How do we manage all the data we now have at our fingertips?”

First, you’ll want flexibility and access to right-size storage for your varying application needs, where and when you need it. And of course, you’ll want to get it all with game-changing price performance. NetApp’s scale-out, network attached storage enables your applications to grow linearly without compromising on performance.

And while the elasticity of the cloud permits a nearly limitless amount of data, which can lead to cost and management questions, NetApp handles data costs by automating data optimization with storage efficiencies and cloud tiering, so you can keep your hot and cold data in storage that makes sense. Beyond cost, you want to empower your data to be discoverable. This means you have metadata available for your entire data estate, giving digital workers quicker access to the data they need, and the right level of confidence in it.

A shift in thinking

To be successful in the cloud, you need people, process, and technology. But with technology currently so accessible and so available, I’d say that the most important of the three is people.

People are an organization’s most precious resource. They have a wealth of knowledge, an understanding of the applications, workloads, and requirements, and they know what worked and what didn't in the past. It’s important to plan for your most critical resources—your people—to make the shift from data center thinking to cloud thinking. Companies will need to support their workers as they shift to fit into the cloud, which means you may need support to train existing personnel who are strong in their on-premises environment but don’t have all the requirements for cloud.

And once you’re in the cloud, there is so much that can change—and with change comes opportunity. It’s important to continually update your processes to adapt and capitalize on new opportunities. Here in the cloud, elasticity is a given. This flexibility allows you to robustly adopt process change.

In one of my first jobs, I managed an ERP implementation and there, if you upgraded your ERP every three or four years, everybody was really happy. Today, we deliver code into our customers’ hands every day, sometimes multiple times a day, empowering them to new levels of cloud agility and allowing them to experiment and deliver new features to their users.

Always keep improving

Good application owners are focused on running their applications in the present while looking ahead to ensure continuous improvement of the application over time. This often involves rearchitecting key capabilities.

NetApp uniquely delivers storage and data services on a single platform, giving you the peace of mind that your investment is not only going to work continuously, but will also bring you new and advanced capabilities as they become available. And since we’re constantly adding efficiencies to the data and intelligence to AIOps, when you rearchitect with NetApp solutions, you get the added benefit of our own advancements. It’s all included with the continuous improvement of your cloud storage and infrastructure from NetApp, and our track record of innovation makes this something you can count on.

Our relationships with AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud on their key projects and technology have given us the opportunity to innovate and learn with them, and that makes us the vendor that you can count on to support your cloud platform needs today—and tomorrow.

The cloud is better with friends

You want to go into AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud, choose the best shared storage from any of those vendor consoles, and get ONTAP at your fingertips. When you can lean on existing relationships with the top cloud platforms in the world, your developers get the services they need across the clouds that provide the most benefit to them—all without worrying about integration, privacy, or security, and with user management and tenancy on the same bill as your entire cloud environment.

When three hyperscalers with amazing technology and capabilities all say, “Our users need strong, shared storage, and the best strong, shared storage is coming from NetApp, so let’s bring the NetApp experience into our cloud,” it makes me incredibly proud and happy that we can give this to every developer, no matter which cloud they’re on.

Good solutions = happy customers

Giving customers the best performance depends on managing critical parts of their experience, including latency, data, and infrastructure. Ultimately, we want to give you the best experience possible, and we do that by making sure that your customers are receiving the benefits of the cloud as well.

Optimizing latency in the on-premises world means building many, many data centers, each of them close to the end user. In the cloud, you can run your application in as many locations as needed. Solutions like global file cache and edge technologies mean that your end user experiences the lowest possible latency—it’s like the application is sitting on their computer.

We make it possible for you to collect and efficiently utilize more data through key capabilities. Take, for example, Formula 1 racing, professional basketball and soccer, banks, and insurance companies. Their ability to understand their own teams and their own behavior, to understand the customer and what the customer wants, to understand the behavior that surrounds their product—it’s amazing. And it all starts with a very little, very big thing: data.

Data is magical because the more data you have, the quality and value you can derive from it is exponentially bigger and more valuable. Digital transformation starts with data culture, where work can be based on data like price performance, data efficiencies, and data tiering. Better data collection, means that for everything from 3D technology to machine learning, you can bring intelligence to the end user in a bigger way.

And finally, we draw on a strong storage infrastructure with built-in replication, high availability, and backup so you can give your customers the level of service that they need and deserve.

Choose a partner as innovative as you are

It’s an exciting time to be in the cloud! The digital revolution and the cloud evolution are just getting started; we’re in the second inning of a nine-inning game. Collaboration across teams and companies to deliver products and services assembled in the cloud by multiple vendors is the way of the future, and the best way to get there is by leveraging existing optimization tools with a partner who has the right connections and is as innovative as you are.

While there’s a lot of focus on migration into the cloud right now, we’re not losing our focus on the future or companies like yours, which have already completed their migration. NetApp is supporting the latest development requirements with services like ASTRA, to shift into containerized applications that give you automatic monitoring and detailed security and privacy alerts for Kubernetes data management and container optimization. There’s also Cloud Manager—a solution that automates management tasks, controls costs, and gives you an overview of your entire solution from a single pane of glass. 

A whole new world

We’re in the early stages of a new world. Consider what it means to collect data from the environment that surrounds a customer today. From geolocation to VR experiences, the amount of data available is truly mind blowing. It’s not two or three times more data; it’s an order of magnitude more data. Cloud technology is empowering us to take that information and give the user an unparalleled experience. Although it may seem overwhelming to deal with, NetApp has the tools to automate and simplify problems of quality, privacy, security, data backup, and recovery, so that developers can focus on their next amazing innovation.

The sky’s the limit

I’m a cloud engineer. I’ve been where you are. My advice? Ask yourself two key questions: “Am I going to work hard to make this choice work, or is this choice going to work hard to make me successful?” and “Is this a viable best choice for the future?”

NetApp has the best storage operating system on the market and a record of firsts and new capabilities that I could talk about for days. Take tiering for example—where storage is automatically driving efficiency and compression and removing duplication without you needing to understand it, much less code it. That is NetApp working for you. This is what we do.

We support you to the cloud and beyond with our industry-leading data services: Data Protection, Data Sense, and Edge Cache. And we’re constantly expanding our offering with tools like Spot, our predictive analytics and automation solution for advanced cloud infrastructure scaling and cost optimization; CloudCheckr, the total-visibility cloud management solution that allows you to manage all your infrastructure in one place; and Instaclustr, that provides headache-free SaaS installation and management of open source databases.

Our goal is to make the sky the limit for your cloud life today—and tomorrow.

Ronen Schwartz

Ronen Schwartz is senior vice president and general manager of NetApp’s Cloud Volumes business. He is responsible for accelerating the Cloud Volumes business, building the robust Cloud Volumes platform across hybrid clouds and multiclouds, and expanding NetApp cloud data management services.

Before joining NetApp, Schwartz was executive vice president in charge of technology and ecosystem, operations, and strategy at Informatica, and senior vice president and general manager of Informatica Cloud. In those roles he led product strategy, product management, and go-to-market strategy. During his 14 years at Informatica, he helped lead the company through its own transformation from on premises to the public cloud, from license revenue to recurring revenue.

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