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NetApp services aim for the cloud

Channel StrategyCloud

LAS VEGAS – NetApp reiterated its focus on the cloud with a series of announcements at its annual user and partner conference, NetApp Insight, here this week.

“Our programs are aligned to what matters right now in digital transformation: cloud, hyperconverged, and Flash,” noted Jeff McCullough, vice-president of Americas partner sales. “They’re important because it’s where investment is in the market.”

A series of new offerings highlighted that focus. NetApp Cloud Insights is a monitoring and cost optimization tool that works across all kinds of cloud architectures, including those using Kubernetes and microservices, as well as on-prem, and reduces mean time to resolution of problems by up to 90 percent. It identifies abandoned or unused resources to help cut cloud infrastructure costs by an average of one third, and, says NetApp, prevents up to 80 percent of cloud infrastructure issues from impacting users. It monitors all vendors’ products, not just NetApp’s. Offered as a service, it will be available at the beginning of November.

Jeff McCullough, VP of America partner sales for NetApp.

NetApp ONTAP technology will power Azure NetApp Files to provide enterprise-grade management to file-based workloads stored in Microsoft Azure. It is currently in limited preview; timing for its availability in Canadian Azure data centre regions has not been announced.

Cloud Volumes ONTAP is being enhanced in two areas: a Cloud Tiering Service that autotiers on premises data to the cloud, to be available in spring 2019, and new high availability fail over in Azure, available by the end of this calendar year.

Additions to NetApp HCI with SolidFire Element software, coming in November, include support for SnapMirror in Cloud Volumes ONTAP, two new compute nodes, and independent scaling of compute and storage nodes to offer customers maximum flexibility.

By the end of this calendar year, service providers will be able to host SaaS Backup for Office 365 in their own data centres. Also available by year end, NetApp Data Availability Services provides backup and data management spanning on-premises and multiple clouds through a streamlined web-based tool, with the added twist that the data copy in the cloud can be reused to accelerate development, testing, analytics, and reporting.

Cloud Volume Services for AWS and Google each received some tweaks. Several new AWS regions in Europe and Asia Pacific are supported (Canada is still somewhere in the queue), and REST API support on AWS is now in full production. Cloud Volume Services for Google Cloud Platform is now production-ready, with three service levels. It is managed through the Google Cloud Platform.

“As partners start to navigate the change from on-premises to cloud, the attach of services is more critical,” McCullough said. “They have to cross the chasm from deal-based revenue to subscription-based. In the Americas, Star partners deliver $3.57 of services for every dollar of NetApp sold.”

He also observed that many partners still don’t understand how to make money long-term with the cloud, noting that it’s hard to build a business around $100 per month for a cloud service when they’re used to million dollar transactions. He suggested NetApp’s cloud portfolio, such as Cloud Volumes as a Service or Cloud ONTAP, as an attach opportunity when reselling cloud storage like AWS.

“It allows the partner to upscale the solution and unlock value,” he said.