Why Software Defined Storage (SDS) Matters to Today’s CIOs and IT Departments?

By Ingo Fuchs, Senior Manager Solutions Marketing Data ONTAP


In the past, CIOs have viewed their IT organizations as a builder of services for the business.  But with the explosion of new web services to reach customers, incredible growth in mobile devices, new technologies like flash, and the new paradigm of cloud computing, CIOs are dealing with more complexity than ever and this is driving them to rethink their role. 


Today, CIOs are moving from being builders of apps and operators of data centers to becoming brokers of information services to the business. They're embracing new technologies and new service models that allow them to make IT faster, cheaper, and smarter, and make their companies more responsive and more competitive. More than ever, IT is being looked at to evaluate external services, map them to a cost structure while negotiating SLAs, RPOs, RTOs, etc. with service providers.


Enabling this transition is Software-Defined Storage (SDS), which is empowering IT to break down the physical barriers that bind data to specific hardware, enable greater operational efficiency, greater availability and lower cost.


In fact, NetApp storage solutions have been built on the same principles as SDS from our inception and we continue to innovate with new offerings to meet the challenges faced by IT today.


For years, NetApp has been attacking the hardware-centric monolithic storage model – where data is imprisoned: its expense, complexity, and inflexibility. In creating our clustered Data ONTAP offering, we built the foundation for NetApp’s SDS capability, allowing delivering of the world’s richest storage management capabilities on the industry’s broadest range of hardware.


Today, we announce another milestone – in how we are helping IT accelerate the industry transition – a set of storage and data management technologies as part of our OnCommand storage management portfolio. These new offerings are designed to accelerate storage provisioning, automate repetitive manual tasks, increase availability, and improve operational efficiency in both SAN and NAS environments.


Our new OnCommand Performance Manager is new software to monitor and troubleshoot a customer’s clustered Data ONTAP® environment. In addition, updates to our OnCommand Unified Manager, OnCommand Workflow Automation and OnCommand Insight software provide further storage management, automation and protection for faster IT service delivery.


For example, with the free OnCommand Workflow Automation (yes free), IT now has the ability to deliver services faster and more efficiently. A simple portal allows requests to be executed with one-click automation. It integrates with 3rd party orchestration solutions to provide policy-driven service delivery, and includes more than 50 workflows such as provisioning, migrating, or decommissioning storage; setting up a new virtualization environment; setting up storage for an application; setting up NetApp Cisco FlexPod® or virtual desktops; performing storage cloning; automating data protection with NetApp® SnapProtect® and Snap Creator™ framework and conducting a centralized activation of NetApp SnapManager® software. What used to take 3-5 days now takes only minutes.


With OnCommand IT can better enable, control, automate, and analyze a cost-efficient storage management infrastructure whether IT has a single vendor or dual-vendor strategy. Leveraging the power of Data ONTAP,  OnCommand tools help IT optimize storage utilization, meet service level agreements, minimize risk, boost performance and deliver nondisruptive operations.