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NetApp Proposes File Share Service Capabilities to OpenStack to Fulfill Customer Demand for Cloud-Based File System Access

Blueprint Highlights Industry Need for File Storage Integration to Complement Block- and Object-Based Support

NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) today announced it has submitted a prototype and proposal for a file share service capability for consideration by the OpenStack Foundation Technical Committee and community at large. The proposal will be a topic for discussion for inclusion in the Havana release this week at the OpenStack Summit (April 15–18) in Portland, Oregon.

According to IDC in its "Worldwide File-Based Storage 2012-2016 Forecast" (document number 235910, July 2012), file-based storage continues to be a thriving market, with spending on file-based storage solutions to reach more than $34.6 billion in 2016. Of the 27 exabytes (EB) of total disk capacity estimated to have shipped in 2012, IDC projected that nearly 18EB were of file-based capacity, accounting for over 65% of all disk shipped by capacity. A diversity of applications, from server virtualization to relational or distributed databases to collaborative content creation, often depend on the performance, scalability, and simplicity of management associated with file-based systems and the large ecosystem of supporting software products.

Presently, OpenStack does not offer native management support for file-based storage systems, and NetApp is proposing adding a "file share service" that is broad enough to address a range of file system types, either as an extension to the existing Cinder project (in its current form referred to as OpenStack block storage) or implemented as a separate project. The goal of this integration is to extend access to applications written for file-based storage without the need for a separate management interface. To help inform the discussion, NetApp has designed and developed a prototype, which includes code contributions and extended APIs, as well as both a reference and a back-end implementation specific to NetApp®. The prototype is available as a recent submission to OpenStack’s Cinder project.

"NetApp is eager to work with the OpenStack community to establish the optimal path for bringing critical shared file services capabilities into the core of OpenStack," said Jeffrey O’Neal, senior director, Solutions Integration Group, NetApp. "We have received good feedback to our blueprint through the Grizzly development cycle and look forward to identifying the best path for adoption in the Havana release. Our proposal is constructed to be broadly applicable, with the file system type abstracted to address any number of shared or distributed file system types, from CIFS and NFS/pNFS to something such as Gluster or Ceph."

In October 2012, NetApp become a charter Gold Level Member of the OpenStack Foundation and since then has been taking an active leadership role in the community, contributing code and submitting proposals for consideration. NetApp joined OpenStack in 2011 and has sponsored five of the organization’s summits and conferences. The company has a long-standing commitment to open platforms and providing organizations of all sizes access to enterprise resources.

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