NetApp makes big hybrid-cloud push

NetApp announces its ONTAP operating system, FlexPod storage appliance and a hybrid cloud-storage arrangement with Equinix.

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NetApp is making a major effort to support hybrid cloud with a batch of software announcements around storage products, converged infrastructure, and cloud-management services.

The main news was the release of the latest version of its flagship ONTAP software, as well as updates to other products designed to help organizations build a better hybrid-cloud strategies.

ONTAP is the operating system for NetApp’s FAS (hybrid flash-disk) and AFF (all-flash) storage arrays. The latest version, 9.9, adds automatic backup and tiering of on-premises data to NetApp’s StorageGRID object storage as well as to public clouds. It enhances multilevel file security and remote access management, supports continuous data availability for two-times larger MetroCluster configurations, and  more replication options for backup and disaster recovery for large data containers for NAS workloads. It can attain up to four times the performance for single LUN applications such as VMware datastores.

With StorageGRID 11.5, the object store gains some minor improvements, like data encryption using external key management, offers compliance and ransomware protection with S3 object locks, and increased performance with intelligent load balancing.

NetApp also announced an update to its FlexPod, a converged appliance reference architecture that is a joint effort with Cisco, that is due out this summer. New capabilities include intelligent application placement across on-premises and cloud, automated hybrid-cloud data workflows, and the ability to consume FlexPod as a fully managed, cloud-like service.

Finally, the company announced it is making its NetApp Keystone Flex Subscription storage-as-a-service offering available in Equinix colocation data centers around the world. Keystone Flex Subscription is a subscription-based pay-as-you-grow service powered by ONTAP that treats NetApp arrays as if they were local.

NetApp states that Keystone allows customers to put their data close to their offices, rather than in one of the big regional data centers, and claims 1ms round-trip data-access latency, with the data not having to be moved into the public clouds. 

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