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NetApp overhauls cloud storage lineup

News Analysis
Oct 28, 20213 mins
Cloud Storage

NetApp continues to evolve its cloud strategy while maintaining on-premises support.

NetApp used its virtual NetApp Insight 2021 conference as the launchpad for several new technologies and enhancements to existing products, as well as to announce an acquisition. All are meant to bolster the on-prem storage supplier’s cloud offerings.

First up, NetApp introduced ONTAP 9.10 Enterprise Data Management software, which includes upgrades that protect against ransomware and enhanced detection and recovery capabilities. The new software also features expanded data management capabilities and NVMe/TCP support.

NVMe traditionally works over a network fabric, but there are bottlenecks – namely, you have to build the fabric. NVMe/TCP allows the same storage devices to be shared among data centers through the Internet protocol over the existing network.

As part of its enhanced data services, NetApp introduced a digital wallet for NetApp Cloud Manager that allows customers to monitor usage of data service licenses across a hybrid cloud, with prepayment of credits available as well. That includes NetApp’s Keystone Flex subscription service, through which hardware is sold on a consumption model.

NetApp Keystone Flex is an on-premises storage-as-a-service offering with native cloud integration. For smaller customers who need less than 500GB of storage, NetApp is offering a new freemium service tier for Cloud Volumes ONTAP. Customers can access a fully featured, perpetual license to use ONTAP in the cloud for workloads; a subscription is needed if the workload scales as it matures.

The company also announced the acquisition of CloudCheckr, which will become part of the Spot product line. Spot by NetApp allows customers to optimize their Kubernetes workloads with cloud providers, with an eye on expenses. CloudCheckr builds on that, working with AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform to allow customers to track spending, project future billing, and plan resource usage.

Google and AWS deals

With the emphasis on cloud support, it’s only natural that NetApp struck some deals.

Earlier this month, Google announced that NetApp would serve as the primary data and storage vendor for its new Google Distributed Cloud Hosted offering and announced the integration of Google Cloud VMware Engine with NetApp Cloud Volumes Service support for VM datastores.

Additionally, Google has partnered with Spot by NetApp to help companies take full advantage of the recently announced Google Spot VMs. This allows Google Cloud customers to continuously optimize performance, availability and cost via Spot.

Last month, NetApp and Amazon Web Services announced the general availability of Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP, a new storage service that allows customers to launch and run complete, fully managed NetApp ONTAP file systems in the cloud.

ONTAP, which provides a widely adopted set of data access and management capabilities, is typically used for on-premises network-attached storage (NAS). Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP enables customers to launch, run, and scale managed NetApp ONTAP file storage on AWS with just a few clicks.

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.