Performance Management in the Hybrid Cloud

It's been a very busy couple of weeks. The EMEA Products and Solutions team have been flying all over Europe attending

events such as Powering-the-Cloud Frankfurt, Gartner Symposium Barcelona , VMWorld Barcelona and OpenStack Paris.

This week I arrived at the Shard, in London, for the NetApp - "If it's Flash, It's NetApp" event. Ably presented by our

VP Flash Solutions, Mr Ty McConney and Senior Product Manager Flash Field Enablemen, Sanjay Jagad.

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The session focused on how NetApp continue to build on innovation with Flash delivering higher performance and better 

economics at reduced risk. No doubt that Flash is a clear winner on IOPS and latency, but it remains more expensive than

SATA. Better power and space ROI, but the wear issue will need careful attention in order for customers to continue to

ride the cost curve.

 

NetApp's strength is in its multiple approaches to delivering higher performance through Flash technologies. Helping organisations

develop the right long-term strategy. The NetApp strength's include a full portfolio of enterprise flash solutions, integration with

enterprise management and mobility and flexibility according to your requirement for application or array based management.

 

This last point is key because there are organisations who need much higher application performance in order to service their customers

better and maintain their competitive position in the market. They may have invested in application enabled data management, are

happy with it and do not wish to move to an Array based data management approach. From the NetApp view it is about offering

choice. The choice to follow a  path that aligns with your strategy, cost forecast and profiles and not be forced down one path.

 

We are continuing to see a massive take up of flash technology worldwide by existing and new customers. I haven't seen the very latest

figures yet,  but at the July earnings call we announced the shipment of over 100PB of Flash, 30+ PB in the last two quarters alone.

Flash had shipped in over 35,000 hybrid systems. The biggest item  for me was the innovation indicators with over 200 flash related

patents filed.

 

On the 28th October NetApp launched Hybrid Cloud. The key themes in the launch were the Choice, Data Portability and the concept

of the Universal Data Platform. I guess by now we all get the value Cloud Computing, but it strikes me, having spent almost 20 years

as a storage customer, that moving data and applications around in the cloud is a top requirement. Nothing will stay static. The

business wants to be more dynamic, but at the right cost and will require IT enable this in the cloud. NetApp introduced the idea

of the NetApp Data Fabric which describes the dynamic between on premise private cloud, off premise cloud and hyperscaler cloud

connected to, and coexisting, on a common woven fabric.

 

The NetApp Data Fabric concept is therefore extremely important. The last thing I want for my data is for it to end up in some form

of cloud based data prison. Were the flexibility and choice I was looking for evaporate leaving me worse off than when I managed

may data on-premise. The key is being able to move data and applications quickly and openly. That's what the NetApp Data Fabric

says to me.

 

Of course performance of data and applications will play a key role in forming the Service Level Objectives (SLOs) in the contract.

I've said it before many times so here goes again. The role of the capacity and performance planner is vital  to understanding and

translating business performance requirements into application and data requirements in the cloud. While Flash changes everything,

it changes nothing when considering data management and availability. 

 

Our Flash Strategy looks like this:

 

  • All Flash - the new normal for consistent repeatable performance - NetApp EF-Series and All Flash FAS
  • Hybrid - the new normal for performance when you need it, not when you don't - NetApp E-Series and Hybrid FAS
  • Capacity - the existing norm for online capacity - NetApp traditional E-Series and FAS

 

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I addition NetApp have recently launched and announced the initial shipments of FlashRay. With FlashRay  we will see tight integration

with the ONTAP ecosystem (SnapMirror, SnapVault, Snap Managers), Deterministic I/O (no one else is doing this, nor can they), Scale out 

containers, Variable Blocksizes.

 

So to summarise the main discussion points:

  • Choice in the Cloud.
  • Choice in Flash.
  • FlashRay is a future no one can touch.
  • Customers will  continue to require data mobility throughout it's lifecycle.
  • All workloads in the cloud, on Flash will contuinue to require:
    • Data management.
    • High availability features.

Finally, Today I have been getting ready for Insight EMEA at the CityCube in Berlin. The Agenda is one of the most comprehensive

I have come across so, if you are going look forward to meeting you there. If you can't make it you can watch the Insight General

Sessions here: http://www.netapp-insight.com/

 

Follow me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lozdjames

 

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