NetApp adds new threads to their data fabric

NetApp announces a series of new and enhanced data services, as well as a refresh of several solutions aimed at the hybrid cloud.


Phil Brotherton, VP of the Cloud Business Unit at NetApp

NetApp has added to their hybrid storage portfolio with the introduction of two new data fabric services, the enhancement of a third, and the introduction of another new offering they are defining as a solution rather than a service. They have also announced new versions of NetApp AltaVault, StorageGRID Webscale, and SnapCenter technologies.

“I have been at NetApp for 12 years, working on Linux grid computing, then virtualization, and now the hybrid cloud, and through all of it, we are talking about more threads in the data fabric,” said Phil Brotherton, VP of the Cloud Business Unit at NetApp. “Throughout this period, the amount of data keeps growing, and privacy and compliance regulations increase. So we keep adding threads to the fabric to make it easier, and make clients’ lives simpler. This is what we are doing here with these new threads.”

The common theme across the services is their focus on letting customers move data securely between on-prem and the public cloud in order to design the IT environment that best suits their needs. The two entirely new services are Cloud Sync Service, and Cloud Control for Microsoft Office 365.

Cloud Sync Service is an on-demand SaaS offering that simplifies cloud service usage by letting users move and synchronize data between on-prem storage and AWS S3 in the cloud.

“It connects up a customer’s file service environment to S3 with a very high speed parallel transfer mechanism, and control plane that easily lets you introduce the data,” Brotherton said. “There are a few competitors for this exact service, but we have brought a high performance proven file transfer technology to this which we have been using internally in our professional services, and added S3 to it. This means that we are very, very fast.”

Brotherton also said that Cloud Sync Service addresses privacy concerns better than some competitors.

“You don’t want this service to actually touch the customer’s data at any point,” he said. “We control the pipes, but not the data. That’s very important for enterprise privacy.”

Cloud Sync Service is available now.

Cloud Control for Microsoft Office 365 is also a SaaS offering, which is designed to provide a simple way to control and protect critical data stored in Microsoft Office 365, including SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, and Exchange Online. It provides support for data retention in cloud services like AWS S3 and Azure, as well as on-premises storage.

“The idea here isn’t to suggest that Office 365 isn’t stored safely,” Brotherton said. “What it does is let customers keep a copy of Office 365 data outside of Office 365, so that they can keep a copy and find files. The main use case is to deal with accidental deletion of files.”

Cloud Control for Microsoft Office 365 is scheduled to be available later this year.

The third services offering is an expansion of NetApp Private Storage (NPS) as a Service, which NetApp has made available for over two years. NetApp is now expanding the availability of NPS for Cloud by making it available as a service through a partner delivery ecosystem, including Arrow, Faction, ASE, DARZ, and ThinkOn.

“We are expanding this to a new opex-based consumption model,” Brotherton said. “We are using service provider partners in Australia, Germany and the U.S. — with Canada being served through Arrow. It’s available in both single or multi-tenant capacity. This change in the consumption model reflects the fact that there’s as much change going on in how people buy today, as what they buy.”

NPS as a Service is available now.

The fourth offering, Cloud Backup Solution, is added to the existing Data Fabric Solution for Cloud Disaster Recovery. It delivers simplified end-to-end cloud backup for NetApp ONTAP customers using NetApp SnapMirror technology. Now, through integration with AltaVault and SnapCenter, customers can easily assign hybrid cloud backup targets and quickly search and recover files from on-premises and public cloud repositories.

“SnapMirror has always been ONTAP to ONTAP, but we have now made the SnapMirror protocol portable through AltaVault, so it can move to S3-based systems,” Brotherton said. “We define it as a solution rather than a services because it requires three products working together – ONTAP, SnapMirror and AltaVault.”

Cloud Backup Solution is available now.

NetApp also announced new releases of several products.

The main enhancement to the Alta Vault cloud-integrated storage solution is that integration with SnapMirror already noted, which makes it easier for customers using ONTAP to back up to AltaVault. It will be available in January. Also new here is a service integration with Amazon Snowball, which is used for large scale data transfers to AWS.

“The Snowball service integration means a customer doesn’t need a big WAN to move data between on-prem and the cloud,” Brotherton said.

StorageGRID Webscale, NetApp’s object-based storage solution for web applications. is now available in a full solution stack integrated and distributed by NetApp.

“Up to now, customers chose their own Linux version,” Brotherton said. “Some customers wanted this simplified, so they could have it as one install.”

This will be available early next year.

“The latest release of the NetApp SnapCenter enterprise data protection product adds the capability to create custom plug-ins for third-party applications and databases, as well as a new graphical interface.

“It’s a big step for us to have our backup management tool extend to AltaVault and all the way to Amazon, a third party,” Brotherton said. It will also be available early next year.

Finally, NetApp is announcing Service-Level Implementation from NetApp Professional Services, which lets enterprises provide storage services to their users just like a cloud provider.

“It lets customers transition from box level storage integration up to service level,” Brotherton stated.