Managing the Hybrid Cloud

By George Kurian, Executive Vice President, Product Operations, NetApp

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With today’s IT departments facing ongoing pressure to align more closely with the company’s overall business objectives and to do more with less economically, the cloud has emerged as a great tool to keep many organizations across sectors, from healthcare to financial services, improving productivity, and accelerating innovation.


As cloud services evolve and mature, more businesses are seriously considering strategies that use the cloud to its full potential and are evaluating the deployment of a hybrid cloud architecture. Yet, while cloud service providers offer compelling new services, each of them creates an isolated, incompatible data silo that has to be managed differently. This effectively results in customers losing control of their data, being unable to move it or share it easily, and having to rewrite their applications to use them on the cloud. In effect, today’s hybrid cloud also recreates the data center sprawl that our customers spent years streamlining and consolidating.


Consider the situation in which you want to put all of your money into a bank account for temporary safekeeping while you determine your investment strategy. A few months later, you want to move that money to a new bank, only to be told by the old bank that it’s their money and they control it, and that moving it requires converting it into a different currency that they do not carry. You would feel pretty frustrated, right? This scenario is exactly what’s happening today with data in the hybrid cloud.


NetApp is solving the unique challenges of managing data in a hybrid cloud and putting control back into the hands of the enterprise. Imagine if all the data management elements in the different clouds on which customers place their data were well integrated, cohesive, and coherent, like a seamlessly woven fabric. We call this vision and architecture the data fabric for the hybrid cloud. The data fabric allows customers to control, integrate, move, and consistently manage their data across the hybrid cloud. This enables customers to take advantage of the economics and elasticity of the cloud while maintaining control of their data across a hybrid cloud environment.


Today, NetApp announced new solutions, partnerships, and services to begin to make the data fabric vision real. With today’s announcements, NetApp leads the IT industry and brings a new era of data management to the hybrid cloud:


  • Clustered Data ONTAP 8.3 provides enterprises with a proven foundation for cloud data management. Data ONTAP 8.3 offers new levels of performance with advancements in flash technology management, higher levels of availability through clustered Data ONTAP MetroCluster, and dramatically expanded efficiency gains.
  • Cloud ONTAP brings together the consistency and rich data management capabilities of the world’s #1 storage operating system with the elastic compute, massive global scale, and instant provisioning of the world’s leading public cloud provider: Amazon Web Services.
  • OnCommand Cloud Manager enables enterprises to deploy Cloud ONTAP in minutes, giving them seamless visibility across their hybrid cloud environment.
  • NetApp Private Storage for Public Cloud (NPS) now expands to support IBM/SoftLayer. This capability enables enterprises to have a choice of service providers while maintaining control and ownership of their data. Previously announced NPS solutions include NPS for Amazon Web Services and for Microsoft Azure.
  • Strategy, Design, Deployment, and Transition Services help enterprise customers envision and architect the right cloud storage strategy for successful evolution to the hybrid cloud.

With today’s announcements and ongoing innovation across our best-in-class portfolio, we enable customers to embrace the hybrid cloud on their terms to increase efficiency, improve IT responsiveness, and accelerate innovation. In addition, our unique perspective, the data fabric, provides our customers and our technology portfolio with a direction for innovation that differentiates NetApp today and will do so well into the future.