The Ever Changing Role of IT – Who Drives the Requirements for Enterprise Applications?

Once upon a time, information technology (IT) was simply considered a cost of doing business. Computer systems were treated much like expenses for facilities, telephones, mail rooms, and copy machines. Worker productivity increased dramatically as computers replaced typewriters and email supplanted postal mail and even fax machines. With all of the increased productivity, computers have also accelerated the creation and accumulation of digital data, resulting in new challenges as well as opportunities. The accumulation of data can be a burden on IT departments who are responsible for storing, backing up, and retaining data over long periods of time. While data growth presents an ongoing challenge for IT, data analysis is the life blood of functional departments seeking new insights into customer behavior, scientific discovery, and economic trends. Opportunities to enhance business intelligence with the use of massive data collection are placing new requirements on IT. 


Given the value of data in corporate decision making, IT leaders are being offered a seat at the table.  Successful businesses are driving IT strategy and architectures in support of corporate strategy and financial objectives like never before. Functional groups, such as marketing and finance, are now defining the requirements for new applications and technologies. In fact, it is not uncommon for these functional groups to control the budget for new IT initiatives. As a result, technology decisions are being more influenced by business decision makers and less exclusively by IT infrastructure managers.


Enterprise applications are becoming more specialized and new pressures on enterprises are placing additional requirements on IT to deliver the value of all the data being collected. Pressures such as compliance and other legal issues force companies to keep data longer in order to fend off law suits, protect patient or consumer privacy, or to increase forecast accuracy. In addition to data growth and data retention, IT must also deal with the challenges of worker mobility, infrastructure virtualization and cloud architectures. IT is forced to respond to an environment of monumental changes.


Understanding business requirements is foundational to help deliver IT solutions designed to address business needs. Having a portfolio of products, solutions and services offers customers more options to solve business and IT problems. Not all problems can be solved by just one product anymore.


The NetApp Portfolio


NetApp has built a reputation on Unified Storage with the ability to address the requirements of IT with a single storage platform built on our Data ONTAP storage OS. Our FAS storage systems built on Data ONTAP can satisfy the majority of all storage use cases. But, the dynamics of the market may also require unique features to address specific applications. NetApp today offers a portfolio of storage systems designed to maximize customer success.


FAS: Built on the foundation of the industry’s most popular branded storage operating system*, Data ONTAP, NetApp FAS hybrid storage systems offer the industry’s most comprehensive data management suite. Able to scale-out and scale-up from just a few terabytes to almost 70 petabytes in a single system, NetApp FAS storage offers efficient, nondisruptive operations to keep small and large enterprises running 24/7, even during refreshes or maintenance windows. With support for NAS and SAN workloads and hybrid media or low latency all-flash configurations, NetApp FAS offers optimized value for your most precious data infrastructure.


E-Series: With over 750,000 systems shipped to date, NetApp E-Series offers an enterprise class, high performance SAN storage platform optimized for high bandwidth and price/performance characteristics. For customers leveraging application based data management functionality, E-Series delivers high speed, easy to manage SAN hybrid storage with a very dense footprint.


EF-Series: Purpose built all-flash array offers extreme low latency and high IOPs for most performance intensive applications. EF-Series delivers over 400k IOPs in a tight 2U package with proven 6 9’s availability.


StorageGRID: Enterprise Object Storage platform to support billions of objects across geographies.


NetApp storage solutions are managed by our OnCommand suite of storage management products to enable highly automated and intelligent data management. And each system can be delivered with the industry’s leading converged storage infrastructure, FlexPod, which simplifies deployment of core IT infrastructure. Highly automated and efficient, FlexPod is ideal for all workloads.


Finally, our services organization and extensive partnerships are equipped to offer consultative services to deliver optimized customer outcomes from end to end.


Come see what’s new at NetApp.


*Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker 2014 Q1, June 2014 (Open Networked Disk Storage Systems revenue)