NetApp Achieves Certification for Rackspace Private Cloud

Private Cloud? Check. Quick Deployment? Check. Production-Ready?? Check!

We are pleased that as of January 30, 2013, NetApp has achieved quality assurance and certification for Rackspace Private Cloud.  This designation indicates that after a detailed, automated testing and validation process, NetApp storage and data management solutions have achieved readiness for building a Private Cloud based on Rackspace Private Cloud Software.

As the interest to deploy private cloud continues to ramp up, enterprise customers must navigate an ever-rising sea of choices between hardware, software, and cloud management solutions.  With a flood of start-ups, open-source initiatives, and established players vying for attention – this can be an overwhelming task indeed!

Within the cloud management space, there has been a growing interest in open source management software, leveraging the low- (or no-) cost ability to develop a private cloud.  In particular, over the past year NetApp has seen strong interest in deploying OpenStack, a leading open source cloud system software offering.

There is no doubt that OpenStack represents one of the most significant opportunities in open source cloud management.  However, deploying open source in the enterprise can often entail tradeoffs – the need to test new architecture despite trying to minimize deployment time, or the need to balance burgeoning capabilities with battle-proven results.  Much like the rise of Linux within the enterprise over the past decade – the ongoing and inevitable enterprise-hardening of OpenStack is causing a growing number of organizations to consider it as a viable cloud option. 

For our customers and partners, the investments we’ve made to enable NetApp solutions to be provisioned and managed smoothly within an OpenStack environment represent a tremendous opportunity to leverage the best of open source ingenuity combined with enterprise-proven NetApp storage and data management. 

The best part is – we are not alone.  One of the most effective ways we can intensify our commitment to OpenStack is to deepen our relationship with others who are also committed to the same initiative – and that’s exactly what we are doing.  NetApp has long worked with Rackspace – co-founder and a premier provider of cloud solutions based on OpenStack.   Rackspace offers the Private Cloud Software that enables flexible cloud deployments with a choice of virtualization and hardware options (storage, compute, networking.)  As a part of The Rackspace Open Cloud™ platform, the company launched the Rackspace Private Cloud Software in August 2012, with thousands of organizations in over 125 countries spanning all continents downloading the product.

Today, the NetApp solution certified by Rackspace includes any hardware deployed with NetApp Data ONTAP 8.1.1 operating in 7-mode, with our block-level driver for Cinder.  Check out this link for more information on how to deploy NetApp storage in a Rackspace Private Cloud.  We’ve also developed drivers for clustered ONTAP and NFS, and we’ll be working to certify those drivers as well.

There’s no doubt that customers will benefit greatly as we advance our capabilities over time, but there’s tremendous value to be gained right off the bat.   The Rackspace certification provides two very important benefits to customers deploying a private cloud environment. For one, it greatly reduces the time needed to deploy a private cloud.  Since the architecture is already fully tested and certified, this burden is removed from the customer, who can confidently accelerate the time to deployment. Second, the NetApp solution brings a unique combination of auto-provisioning, storage efficiency, and integrated data protection that provide the enterprise-class capabilities and risk-reduction required by a growing class of customers.

We are well on our way to helping many enterprise organizations and service providers enable their private and public clouds using OpenStack.   Keep an eye open for how NetApp and our partners are committed to this important initiative - there’s more to come!  Be sure to visit our booth at the next OpenStack Summit in Portland, OR – April 15-18, 2013.