By Vaughn Stewart, Director, NetApp
In a fast moving, highly competitive space, it is natural for market trends to emerge rapidly and burn brightly as they are hyped, debated and quickly discarded. At NetApp, we have seen this cycle repeat more times than we could possibly recall.
While it is important to be part of topical and relevant industry conversations, it is even more important not to be distracted by them. As market trends explode and fade, and technologies emerge and evolve, business objectives remain extraordinarily resonant. It is by maintaining unwavering focus on the real business realities that impact and challenge our clients and strategic partners that NetApp is able to stay above—and often, far ahead—of the latest trends.
It is also why we are so excited about the launch of clustered Data ONTAP 8.2.
As many of our competitors race to software-define themselves, clustered Data ONTAP is not about riding a market trend. It is about meeting and exceeding our customers’ intensifying and serious business challenges in ways that add real value and offer genuine solutions.
As the unrelenting explosion of mission-critical information forces many organizations into a sprint to maintain pace with their technology needs, the rising cost and complexity of scalability creates a consistent—and consistently intensifying—strain on resources.
For many of today’s enterprise organizations, slow service delivery, debilitating downtime and spiraling costs are an unrelenting business reality. At the pace of today’s business, any one of those factors can pose a serious threat. Taken together, they represent not just a perfect storm, but a perfect storm that makes landfall daily.
Clustered ONTAP addresses these sizable challenges head-on, with an industry-leading suite of solutions. As NetApp’s next generation storage platform, clustered ONTAP has been designed specifically to handle issues of scale, offering nondisruptive operations, proven efficiencies, and seamless scalability. Here’s how.
Clustered ONTAP introduces Storage Virtual Machines, a new means to deliver storage services to application and end users in the form of virtual storage arrays. Storage VMs abstract data services from the underlying cluster hardware allowing storage resources to be assigned from one or more physical controllers. The virtualization of the data access point is key in providing nondisruptive operations and seamless scalability.
Nondisruptive operations allows storage teams to manage the data infrastructure without impacting the applications and end users they host. For the first time ever, IT teams can manage the common and critical storage operations such as maintenance, upgrades and service without impacting business operations.
Seamless scalability expands on this capability by allowing the storage resources provisioned to an application to be reconfigured or adjusted without requiring any changes to an application’s configuration or running state. Seamless scalability ensures that applications receive the appropriate level of storage services based on their requirements over the application’s lifecycle. The benefit of seamless scalability can be profound as it eliminates future data migrations and workload rebalancing.
Clustered ONTAP 8.2 introduces granular Quality of Services (QoS), where scalability and nondisruptive operations increase service availability. NetApp’s new granular QoS ensures service levels separation and assurance by limiting, guaranteeing, and prioritizing storage IO. QoS allows customers to have confidence that enterprise applications and virtual infrastructures can all run on a shared hardware platform. Performance levels can be configured in software at a granular level (file, LUN, volume) and enforced to ensure that mission critical applications take precedence over background services such as backup or replication.
More than ever before, the increasing complexities inherent in scalability pose serious challenges to today’s enterprise organizations and cloud service providers. Clustered ONTAP mitigates these complexities with three primary, critical solutions: nondisruptive operation, seamless scalability, and greater quality of service. By operating outside the confines of industry trends, NetApp allows customers to harness the true potential of their data with an extremely powerful storage operating system, designed expressly to address their most critical pain points.