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NetApp launches cloud-native storage solution for containers

News Analysis
Nov 12, 20203 mins
Cloud Computing

Spot Storage is aimed at helping enterprises build and deploy microservices-based applications on Kubernetes without having to administer storage and data services.

After its purchase of cloud storage automation specialist Spot for $450 million this past June, NetApp is releasing its first new product under the brand. Called Spot Storage, it’s a “storageless” solution that’s designed to enable automated administration of cloud-native, container-based applications.

NetApp describes Spot Storage as a cloud-based, serverless offering for application-driven architectures that run microservices-based applications in Kubernetes containers.

“Serverless computing” is a bit of a misnomer. Your application and data still reside on servers, but they’re not tied to one particular physical location. Just like the cloud means never using the same physical box twice, a serverless storage service means the cloud provider runs the server and dynamically manages the allocation of machine resources.

With Spot Storage, NetApp is adding storageless management to serverless compute services. “Storage is intelligently allocated based on application requirements, and then optimized using NetApp’s thin-provisioning, compression and deduping technologies to drive down costs,” said Jonathan Cohen, director of alliances at NetApp, in a blog post announcing Spot Storage.

Spot Storage will be integrated into Spot Ocean, the company’s compute management product. Ocean was the first piece of the puzzle, offering simplified infrastructure management for Kubernetes to provide auto scaling and intelligent rightsizing for container resource requirements in a Kubernetes environment.

Spot Storage is the other half of the puzzle, introducing the concept of storageless infrastructure. Operators define simple storage requests which are then maintained as fully managed persistent volumes that automatically and dynamically match pod requirements. “Even with little knowledge of storage classes, performance tiers and capacity planning, developers can give their containerized applications exactly the right storage with just a few clicks,” Cohen wrote.

When combined with Spot Ocean, Spot Storage can help organizations to cost-effectively build, deploy, and run microservices-based applications on Kubernetes without having to administer storage and data services.

Spot Storage is also integrated with Spot’s Elastigroup for automated provisioning of virtual machines. Volumes are attached to VMs, automatically mounting the data for your application. As the application runs, Elastigroup monitors operation to optimize performance and usage.

Spot services are available from cloud providers AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure, using NetApp ONTAP technology.

NetApp Cloud Manager launch

In addition to Spot, NetApp launched NetApp Cloud Manager, a public cloud-hosted service formerly known as OnCommand Cloud Manager. This is a new, autonomous cloud volume platform that provides a single view to manage NetApp hybrid, multi-cloud storage and data services from on-premises sources and cloud services providers. It delivers advanced data services including data sync, data backup, data tiering, file caching and compliance.

Also new from NetApp is a Windows VDI deployment service based on technology the company acquired when it purchased CloudJumper in April.

The NetApp Virtual Desktop Management Service orchestrates Remote Desktop Services (RDS) in AWS, Azure and GCP as well as on private clouds. Services include optimization of cloud storage and performance while enhancing data protection, security, and compliance, as well as backup of Microsoft 365 data. It can reduce costs by up to 50%, according to NetApp.

Andy Patrizio is a freelance journalist based in southern California who has covered the computer industry for 20 years and has built every x86 PC he’s ever owned, laptops not included.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of ITworld, Network World, its parent, subsidiary or affiliated companies.

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