NetApp introduces unified multi-cloud and on-prem storage management with NetApp BlueXP

In addition to announcing the availability of BlueXP, NetApp also reiterated its commitment to ESG goals, which includes capabilities within BlueXP itself.

Ronen Schwartz, SVP and GM Cloud Volumes at NetApp

NetApp has announced the availability of NetApp BlueXP, a unified control plane that provides a simple hybrid multi-cloud experience for storage and data services across both on-premises and cloud environments. In addition, the company reiterated its commitment to ESG goals, which includes capabilities within BlueXP itself.

“We have made a lot of effort on the cloud side of the house,” said Ronen Schwartz, SVP and GM Cloud Volumes at NetApp. “A year and a half ago, we started building a single platform involving a very large investment which would bring all NetApp storage and service into that single platform.

Two years ago at NetApp INSIGHT, CEO George Kurian announced the first stage of this process, that NetApp now has the ability to manage the AWS, Azure and GCP clouds together.

“This goes much further than that,” Schwartz said. “What we are announcing now with NetApp BlueXP is the ability to manage any storage from NetApp whether cloud or on-prem, as well as data services. This brings AI Ops together AIOps and APIs in a consistent way across the portfolio.

Schwarz said that NetApp’s unique position in the marketplace makes it possible to offer this type of solution.

“Our very unique position comes from the fact that we have a large on-prem presence, and more recently have had fast cloud growth,” he indicated. “Other vendors have disconnected teams for storage on-prem and on the AWS and Azure clouds. We are a first mover in creating the bridge between the people with expertise in storage, and those who make it work with the cloud. We want to bring the on -prem and cloud experiences together in a consistent way. We are looking to acquire customers who are on the Big Three clouds, and now provide them with a centralized experience and add observability, security and data protection.”

NetApp is making NetApp BlueXP available to all their users for free. Schwarz said that more than their largest customers will be interested in it.

“The more diversified the customer, the more value this provides, but the key is not the amount of data, but the complexity,” he noted.  90% of customers today are in a hybrid multi-cloud environment. So while the biggest customers will get the most benefits, this fact that 90% of customers have a hybrid environment will make this applicable on day one for everyone in our customer base.”

Schwartz said that this is a big deal for traditional NetApp partners.

“BlueXP provides them with that bridge ability to work both on-prem and cloud,” he indicated. “This will let them impact the customer’s entire organization, not just their data centres.”

NetApp BlueXP is available in SaaS or disconnected modes.

“We kept the richness and full functionality, but also created a layer of simplicity,” Schwartz said. “It can leverage S3 and NAS protocols simultaneously. We have created full duality there.”

Schwartz also stressed that the 9.12.1 release of NetApp ONTAP that this is part of contains a lot of performance enhancements, such as NVME and larger clusters.

“9.12.1 has about 20 very valuable new capabilities,” he said. “For example, it has tamper-proof snapshots through SnapLock capabilities, so your copy of the data can’t be deleted even by an admin.”

Additionally, NetApp announced availability of new ways for companies to monitor, manage, and optimize their carbon footprints across their hybrid, multi-cloud environments. This includes BlueXP having power-consumption reporting with dashboards that allow companies to make decisions about moving critical data to balance business needs with carbon efficiency.

Other new ESG features include NetApp Cloud Insights Dashboard, which reports on power usage and temperature for ONTAP storage and Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) carbon footprint reports which leverage the Product Attribute Impact Algorithm (PAIA) methodology. NetApp also provides a 4:1 Storage Efficiency Guarantee for SAN workloads, which covers all ONTAP all-flash systems including AFF A-Series, AFF C190, All SAN Array, and FAS500f.

“These give customers real insight into their carbon footprint,” Schwarz said. “We also have multiple road map items directly overseeing key top areas in ESG. Storage efficiency translates into savings in dollars and power.”

NetApp also stated its commitment to achieve a 50% intensity reduction of Scope 3 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions (produced by an organization’s value chain) by 2030, and a 42 percent reduction of Scope 1 (controlled or owned by an organization) and Scope 2 (electricity, heat, and cooling purchases) GHG emissions through adoption of a science-aligned target.