NetApp dumps its HCI hardware in favor of Kubernetes

NetApp is ending production of its hyperconvergence hardware and plans to focus on software-defined infrastructure.

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NetApp, one of many players in the hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) hardware business, plans to end production of its NetApp HCI hardware and focus instead on its Project Astra Kubernetes platform.

HCI is split into two categories, software and hardware. On the software side, it's roughly an even split in marketshare between Nutanix and VMware. On the hardware side, IDC and Gartner both list HCI leaders as HP Enterprise, Dell Technology, Cisco Systems, and "the rest of the market." You can guess what category NetApp falls into.

First introduced in 2019, NetApp HCI was the company's first and only hardware appliance to provide compute functions. NetApp primarily focuses on software solutions.

Eric Han, vice president of product management for public cloud services at NetApp, said the vendor set out to build an open, extensible HCI platform for enterprise customers to run multiple applications with guaranteed performance across private, public, hybrid, and multi-cloud environments.

"We were helping them develop VM workloads, as well as their next-gen applications. As we've seen customer requirements and the HCI market shift to a software-defined infrastructure, customers no longer need an integrated HCI appliance because it was always a solution that was meant to help organizations move their applications to the [hybrid multi-cloud]," Han said.

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