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NetApp Is All In on the Cloud, and We’re Making Big Moves to Win

Anthony Lye
Anthony Lye

Winning takes precedence over all. There’s no gray area. No almosts.
– Kobe Bryant

NetApp is all in on the public clouds, and we’re making big moves to win. Because that’s where the big game is, and we are taking the lead role in the massive infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) marketplaces.

Public clouds are the future-proof platforms for all businesses. They have democratized technology, let small businesses compete on equal terms with the giants, and enabled divisions and departments to operate at speed. The clouds appeal to the line-of-business buyer with software as a service (SaaS), the application developer with PaaS, and the DevOps or software reliability engineer with IaaS. Public clouds have simplified IT, “retailed” compute, and brought hyperscale to the global technology market.

Public clouds freed an application development community that was rich in ideas but but hadn’t been able to execute or collaborate. Projects used to need big returns on investment (ROIs) to support big cost outlays, projects were budgeted in years and costed in millions of dollars, and only the large global companies could support complex and costly information technology.

Disruptions in Public Cloud

Disruptions, although very real, are too frequently ignored, if not denied by the incumbents. Disruptions don’t have to be technological breakthroughs; they are often simple changes to the traditional route to market. When NetApp saw the shift to the cloud happening, we embraced it. We harnessed our engineering talent and core intellectual property to port NetApp® ONTAP® to the cloud, starting with AWS.

Our strategy is different and direct. While continuing to support our existing customer, the storage administrator, we also support new technology buyers who want a simple but scalable service. These buyers want a storage service they can log in to, just as easily as they log in to — and one that is always on, with a guaranteed SLA and service-level objective (SLO).

But we didn’t stop there: We redefined storage in the public cloud! We built a true, on-demand, elastic service with both throughput and capacity APIs that are changeable at run time. This service was so different, but so powerful, that we could migrate the unmigratable enterprise applications, scale the unscalable high-performance computing (HPC) workloads, enable the virtual workforce, and control the uncontrollable excess costs.

We did it so well that today, Microsoft embeds us in its console as its own service. We did it so well that Google resells us as a core part of its own offerings. And today we are a massive partner of AWS.

We are winning because NetApp is the only company that affords you the ultimate choice. Our entire intellectual property is embedded in every region and data center that Microsoft, Google, and AWS bring online. We support both primary and secondary workloads on premises or in the cloud of your choice. No other on-premises vendor runs your primary workload as well as NetApp in the public clouds.

We have made it easy for you to consume, to scale, to protect, to secure, to integrate, and to orchestrate primary workloads in the cloud. Our mission is to operate the highest-performing shared storage with the highest availability combined with the richest set of data services at an industry-best TCO. Our solutions are always on and available to everyone: large and small companies, existing and new customers, partners and competitors are all using NetApp technology in the public cloud of their choice.

So, what’s next? Two things.

Solutions, Solutions, Solutions

Public cloud buyers demand solutions, one workload at a time. You can pick the services you need to run their workloads the way you want — fast or slow, hot or cold, up and down, up and out. We have to be relevant to our customers and do it all at the optimal cost of ownership. So, what have we done?
  • We certify with the biggest application vendors on the planet. Thank you, SAP — we have earned your trust and your customers’ trust on Azure.
  • Thank you, oil and gas, pharmaceutical and genomics, financial services, electronic design automation, and media and entertainment industries for your trust in HPC.
  • Thank you to the remote desktops, to Windows Virtual Desktop and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) for certifying us to empower the rapidly accelerating remote workforces in these unprecedented times.
  • Thank you to the small and midsize customers who can now get the enterprise-grade capabilities of NetApp solutions in both consumption-based and subscription-based commerce models.
  • Thank you to the cloud-native application developers: Your need for containers for stateful application development and operation is our calling. We love Kubernetes.

Cost Optimization and Controls

Happy customers are optimized customers; optimized customers deploy more workloads. Not only did we bring the world’s best shared storage to the public clouds, but we brought our integrity and credibility to the biggest problem on the public clouds: overspending! Today the many cloud buyers in the world of digital transformation deploy their workloads quickly, with a choice of services a click away from each other. These rapid moves can create inefficiency in the form of waste: wasted costs that come from either idle resources or overprovisioned resources. This waste slows down a company’s cloud velocity and the speed that the newly empowered buyers wanted so badly. It’s imperative that we serve you with cost optimization and controls. As mentioned earlier, we subscribe to a simple belief that a happy customer is an optimized customer, and an optimized customer deploys more workloads on the public cloud.

This optimization isn’t new to NetApp; we pioneered storage optimization with industry-leading compression and deduplication in on-premises environments, and we do the same in the public cloud. We tier cold data to object storage, we back up to object storage, and we move data efficiently in cross-region replications. But on the public clouds we go even further: We are the only service with run-time capacity and throughput changes that shape cost more exactly to the workload demand signals. We have added compliance and security services to protect you from data loss and unnecessary fines associated with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Protected Health Information (PHI), and Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards, along with standards detected by over 30 other machine-learned data patterns.

We are one of the leading companies in IaaS in the public cloud. NetApp, along with Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and VMware, is primed to change the world — to take share from legacy and to grow in the public cloud together with the new cloud natives.

I am proud of my three years at NetApp. After NetApp’s 27 years of excellence, I can assure you we are just getting started...

To learn more about NetApp and the public cloud, visit the NetApp Cloud Central page.

Anthony Lye

Anthony Lye is executive vice president and general manager of the Public Cloud Services business for NetApp. He is responsible for the strategy and execution to further NetApp’s cloud innovation across public cloud, hybrid cloud, and hyperscaler models and to establish the company as the undisputed leader in managing data in a cloud-integrated world.

Anthony brings more than 25 years of diverse leadership experience to NetApp, spanning roles in development, product management, marketing and sales, and as a high-tech CEO twice. He has focused primarily on cloud innovation for the past 15 years, most recently as the executive vice president and chief cloud officer at Guidewire Software, and at Oracle where he was the senior vice president and general manager of CRM. His background includes leading teams worldwide and hands-on experience building applications and platforms working directly with the developer community.

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