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Overcome supply chain inertia and technical infrastructure debt

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Laurence James
Laurence James
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Slower production and higher demand mean increased prices and unavailability

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has caused many industries to slow down or even to stop production of their merchandise. With many of us adopting new hybrid working patterns, the demand for certain technology-based products has radically changed. As the sales of home office equipment—such as laptops, tablets, cameras, and microphones—skyrocketed, market demand shifted. Almost overnight these run-of-the-mill, mundane items became gold dust.

In the meantime, inventory of fundamental passive and active components like resistors, capacitors, and semiconductors that go into building those products dried up. As demand rose, semiconductor fabrication plants throttled back production and switched their schedules to meet other demands. As an example, the automotive industry suffered due to the lack of semiconductor availability. If you buy a new car today, it can take up to a year for it to be built and delivered, in the meanwhile used-vehicle values have soared.

arial view of parking lot

It's getting better, but backlogs are still a problem

Two years into the pandemic, the situation is easing, but the production and shipping backlogs remain. As an active constructor of radio and electronic equipment myself, I can tell you that the leading electronics component distributors have a dearth of some product lines. You will find that certain types of resistors, capacitors, and semiconductors that were easy to get 2 years ago now have long supply lead times. To source and to stock these components, procurement teams have to be creative.

This worldwide inertia affects many industries, and IT vendors are not immune. We live in a “just-in-time” world of manufacturing, where minimal stock is held and finished product is built and shipped to order. The laws of supply and demand, and the associated economics, are a fact of life in these times, and no one is unaffected , despite what they may tell you.

Don’t let supply chain delays and technical infrastructure debt hold you back

IT vendors with comprehensive cloud product portfolios, such as NetApp and VMware, can help you hedge against the business impact of potential delayed availability of physical products. NetApp and VMware have a 20-year history of close cooperation and integration of their compute, networking, storage, and management products. NetApp and VMware have now taken their cooperation and integration into the “big three” hyperscaler clouds and have created innovative solutions for storage-heavy workloads.

So now, if you have an urgent requirement, you don’t have to watch your business stall while you wait for physical products to arrive. You can define a fully managed instance in the cloud, say, with VMware Cloud and Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP. This ability to burst into, and out of, the clouds of your choice puts you in a unique position of control when you need to move your business forward.

Use your existing skills investment to gain huge cloud benefits

Having established that the cloud is an excellent vehicle for hedging against supply chain market perturbations, I recognize that some organizations face barriers to cloud adoption. For example, to define, to secure, and to protect your applications and data, your team must learn new design processes. However, the immediate and potential future benefits that can help you respond to unpredictable events are vast.

It's also true that not all routes to cloud are equal. If you have accumulated technical debt, then moving an application and data to the cloud can incur high refactoring and operational impact. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

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The depth of VMware and NetApp® technology integration in the cloud means that you can easily lift and shift your legacy applications and data while minimizing the development and operational refactoring impact. In a time of skills shortages, taking your existing skills investment in VMware and NetApp technology to the cloud helps you attract and retain skilled knowledge and technical workers. It’s the NetApp powered data fabric in action.

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Combat market uncertainty with NetApp and VMware integration

With NetApp and VMware Cloud technology integration, you can:

  • Break through supply chain constraints and inertia.
  • Jump the technical debt cloud adoption barrier and take the brakes off your business.
  • Refactor highly technical debt-laden applications and move into the cloud, at your pace and on your terms.
  • Maintain consistent, efficient operations between your on-premises and cloud environments.
  • Protect your investments in skills and provide new opportunities for staff to develop and to grow.
  • Choose the cloud service provider that best suits your operation—AWS, Google Cloud, or Azure—but maintain consistent VMware and NetApp operations within and across those clouds.
  • Lift and shift applications and data with minimal refactoring or operational change.
  • Select between fully managed data services or customer-managed data services.
  • Open opportunities to reduce your compute, data, and software costs.
  • Take advantage of consulting, professional, and managed services that help you speed your journey to cloud.

Use products and services that help you defeat supply chain inertia

NetApp, VMware, and AWS are collaborating on cloud solutions that integrate Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP as a native datastore in VMware Cloud on AWS. This solution offers a fundamental change for use cases that include storage-heavy workloads.

An excellent blog from the AWS Partner Solution Team shows the joint solution in detail:

And this short NetApp TV™ video with Phil Brotherton from NetApp and Lee Caswell from VMware highlights the executive view of the NetApp and VMware opportunity:

To learn how to optimize VMware Cloud, review the new NetApp and VMware content:

Develop a fast-start strategy with NetApp cloud consulting, Managed Services, and Professional Services

NetApp Cloud Design Workshop is an executive consulting engagement that helps you define a hybrid multicloud strategy that aligns to your business goals. It also helps you establish a service-level design for storage, compute, and data protection. This strategy forms the basis for how your organization can operate IT like an enterprise cloud provider, similar to how AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud operate today.

To get a head start on your competition, check out the following resources:

Laurence James

Laurence is responsible for driving market awareness for NetApp’s products across EMEA. His focus is on business growth and aligning NetApp’s offerings with customer and market needs. Laurence works across all of NetApp’s products and has an in-depth understanding of diverse customer requirements to deliver value across the entire range of the product suite. Working with a dedicated and experienced team, he now assists in developing and implementing campaigns that support the positioning of NetApp’s Cloud Infrastructure products. Laurence has many years’ experience working with all aspects of Enterprise IT and held roles at Oracle, Sun Microsystems and StorageTek. For nearly 20 years he was Principal IT Consultant at the UK Meteorological Office.

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