NetApp deepens integration with Microsoft Azure

LAS VEGASNetApp is collaborating with Microsoft Corp. on its latest service.

During its NetApp Insight conference, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based storage and data management firm announced the release of the NetApp-powered Microsoft Azure Enterprise Network File System (NFS), a cloud-based version of its popular on-premise Enterprise NFS.

Jennifer Meyer

Speaking to CDN about the service Jennifer Meyer, NetApp’s senior director of cloud product marketing, emphasized that the new NFS is not an app, but will be delivered to customers through the Azure console itself – which means that Azure users who aren’t NetApp customers will have full access to the company’s NFS service too.

“It extends to that customer base, whether they’re our customers or not, the ability to get that high-performance NFS or enterprise NFS that they’ve come to rely on in the cloud, in a format that doesn’t make them conduct any administration or experience the associated pain that they may have been going through on-prem,” she said.

NetApp’s Oct. 3 press release called the service a first-of-its-kind solution that uses NFS to transform how companies use the cloud.

As for Microsoft, Azure storage general manager Tad Brockway said in the Oct. 3 statement that his company was excited to partner with NetApp to bring enterprise NFS services natively to Azure.

NetApp’s NFS service isn’t the first time the two companies have worked together, though Meyer said she was particularly excited about its release because it was their first joint announcement since revealing they would be expanding their strategic alliance back in June.

“We’re really excited about it, because it really starts delivering on some of the promises for the partnership,” she said. “The tools needed for full integration while keeping things simple is all there for [Azure users] to take advantage of now.”

Using the NetApp-powered Azure NFS, cloud architects and storage administrators can now access data protection services and provision, automate, and scale NFS services using NetApp APIs. According to NetApp, the service will support both V3 and V4 workloads for customers operating in the cloud and hybrid cloud, and integrate with a host of Azure services including analytics, SQL Server, and SAP Hana for Azure.

“We know there’s an increasing number of customers using Azure for [cloud adoption],” Meyer said. “And we’ve seen that they want to extend workloads like email and collaboration and DevOps and backup and disaster recovery to the cloud using some of the same enterprise NFS that they’ve used on-prem.”

“This will be the first time they’ve been able to do that… and in an integrated way that no one’s ever done before.”

Companies can sign up for a preview of the NetApp-powered Azure Enterprise NFS service here.

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Eric Emin Wood
Eric Emin Wood
Former IT World Canada associate editor turned consultant with public relations firm Porter Novelli. When not writing for the tech industry enjoys photography, movies, travelling, the Oxford comma, and will talk your ear off about animation if you give him an opening.

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