NetApp, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTAP) today hosted a grand-opening celebration for its new state-of-the-art, energy-efficient research and development lab located in Research Triangle Park (RTP), North Carolina. The celebration also marks the 15-year anniversary of NetApp in the RTP region.
The grand-opening event will be attended by Sharon Allred Decker, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Commerce; Harvey Schmitt, president and CEO of the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce; Bob Geolas, president and CEO of the Research Triangle Park foundation; and other leaders from the local community and universities. Key executives from NetApp and its technology partners, including Cisco, will be present.
The new engineering facility furthers NetApp expansion efforts globally and in the region. The 155,000-square-foot second-generation global dynamic lab (GDL-2) provides NetApp with an enhanced 24/7 shared-services infrastructure for testing its hardware and software against conditions that meet or exceed the extreme performance requirements of today’s enterprise data centers and cloud environments.
“As the industry moves to complex hybrid cloud approaches, our customers are increasingly turning to our proven expertise to navigate this time of unprecedented technology-driven change,” said Rich Clifton, executive vice president, Customer Success Operations, NetApp. “The state-of-the-art engineering facility showcases best practices in advanced data center design. It will enhance our ability to innovate on the next generation of storage and data management technology and provide an efficient global backbone for delivering enterprise-class service and support.”
Facilitating 24/7 Global Engineering Collaboration and Customer Support
GDL-2 includes 2,235 racks of data-processing equipment hosting applications on a shared, tiered virtual infrastructure. Because the lab features a high-speed 40Gb/s Ethernet network backbone (100Gb/s Ethernet ready), NetApp engineering teams from around the world can quickly access private cloud resources to perform complex engineering tasks. Additionally, state-of-the-art automation and self-service capabilities at the lab allow NetApp engineers to provision and deprovision development and test environments for business-critical applications in minutes, dramatically accelerating the development and quality control process. The lab can scale to support environments comprising up to one million virtual machines and thousands of NetApp controllers.
Commitment to Energy Efficiency
NetApp's commitment to sustainability and to reducing data center power consumption is reflected in the innovative design and construction of the data center. With new window design systems, an energy-efficient HVAC fan system, and a redesigned power distribution architecture, NetApp estimates that GDL-2’s power-usage-effectiveness (PUE) ratio will be 1.14, an 18% improvement over GDL-1. In comparison to a typical 2.0 PUE facility, NetApp's energy efficiency savings are equivalent to powering more than 15,000 homes per year.
A Foundation Built on FlexPod
The GDL-2 lab is one of the largest FlexPod® installations in the world. Delivered in partnership with Cisco, FlexPod combines the Cisco® Unified Computing System™, Cisco Nexus® data center switches, and NetApp® storage components in a prevalidated, integrated infrastructure solution that can be rapidly deployed to meet the demands of business leaders who need to consolidate IT infrastructure, save energy costs, host more applications, and share resources across different departments. GDL-2 is one of the first customer environments to feature FlexPod reference architectures with Cisco Nexus 9000 switches with NetApp clustered Data ONTAP®-enabled storage systems—key components of a Cisco Application-Centric Infrastructure.
15 Years in RTP
NetApp began operations in RTP in 1999 and currently employs more than 1,600 people in the region. NetApp RTP operations include product research and development and a 24/7 global service and support center. In October 2013, the Triangle Business Journal recognized NetApp as the #1 “Best Place to Work” in the area.
Reflecting its commitment to fostering the region’s best engineering talent, NetApp has partnered with Wake Tech Community College (WTCC) and its president, Dr. Stephen Scott, to develop curriculum for a degree program and certification in NetApp storage. NetApp currently employs 10 interns from the inaugural class in roles supporting the new facility. In addition, NetApp recruits talent from the region’s most prestigious universities, including Duke University, the University of North Carolina, North Carolina State University, Clemson University, and Virginia Tech.
NetApp’s success in RTP is due in part to close collaboration with state and local governments. The State of North Carolina has fostered a business-friendly environment with grant programs designed to stimulate job creation. NetApp currently has three active Job Development Investment Grants from the state of North Carolina and is one of the largest job creators in the state.
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NetApp creates innovative storage and data management solutions that deliver outstanding cost efficiency and accelerate business breakthroughs. Our commitment to living our core values and consistently being recognized as a great place to work around the world are fundamental to our long-term growth and success, as well as the success of our pathway partners and customers. Discover our passion for helping companies around the world go further, faster at www.netapp.com.
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NetApp, the NetApp logo, Go further, faster, Data ONTAP, and FlexPod are trademarks or registered trademarks of NetApp, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Cisco and Cisco Nexus are registered trademarks and Unified Computing System is a trademark of Cisco Systems. All other brands or products are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders and should be treated as such.
 Power usage effectiveness (PUE) is a metric established by The Green Grid that determines the energy efficiency of a data center. PUE is determined by dividing the amount of power entering a data center by the power used to run the computer infrastructure within it. PUE is therefore expressed as a ratio, with overall efficiency improving as the quotient decreases toward 1. A value of 1.00 indicates 100% efficiency: All energy going into the data center is used to power the computer equipment and nothing else.