NetApp announces integration with the VMware Sovereign Cloud, and simplified data management for modern virtualized applications 

The Sovereign Cloud integration brings the VMware compliance technology to enterprise storage, while the modernization of APIs between ONTAP and VMware vSphere improves the scalability and effectiveness of VMware’s VVols architecture.

Jason Kotsaftis, Global Alliances Director at NetApp

Today, at their European VMware Explore event being held in Barcelona, NetApp made additional announcements leveraging their quarter century-long partnership with VMware. They have added a new integration between their StorageGRID object storage suite and VMware Sovereign Cloud, to further support customers with complex data privacy and residency regulations. They also announced a collaboration with VMware to modernize API integrations between NetApp ONTAP and VMware vSphere.

“We have sold object storage to service providers and VMware customers for a very long time,” said Jason Kotsaftis, Global Alliances Director at NetApp. “Two years ago, VMware formalized an architecture for a sovereign cloud compliant environment. They defined their own stack that will meet the compliance needs they set. That stack was just VMware’s own portfolio, because they don’t have an enterprise class object storage portfolio. Customers wanted to know what could be done for them around storage, so VMware decided to partner with us.”

The integration is accomplished through a NetApp plugin, VMware Cloud Director Object Storage Extension. It lets sovereign cloud customers more cost-effectively store, secure, protect, and preserve unstructured data while meeting global data privacy and residency regulations. The integration delivers StorageGRID services within the familiar VMware Cloud Director user interface, minimizing training efforts and maximizing time to revenue for partners.

“This is the next evolution of their sovereign cloud capabilities, in which they are using partners,” Kotsaftis said. “They looked to us with StorageGrid to do that for unstructured data, so they can now have an integrated cloud architecture.”

Sovereign clouds are established to cover national borders, or even smaller areas, to meet regulatory requirements that data not leave a jurisdiction, which is common in regulatory industries, or to meet preferences, particularly from governments, to do the same things.

“They complement hyperscaler work very well, as some customers don’t want to use hyperscalers because of sovereignty requirements,” Kotsaftis stated.

NetApp also announced a collaboration with VMware to modernize API integrations between NetApp ONTAP and VMware vSphere.

“We have had ONTAP tools for API integrations for many years,” Kotsaftis said.  – “What’s different here is that VMware used to use VMFS for their clustered vSPhere storage, but now have been shifting to VVols, which are a more scalable way to manage. They are not yet up to the functionality of VMFS, however. So we took our tools, and the VVols connector, and developed a microservices architecture off the array which is highly scalable, so as to redevelop our tools to high scale for VVols. We worked on it closely with VMware to make it viable as the future architecture.”

This integration helps VMware administrators simplify the management and operations of NetApp ONTAP-based data management platforms across multi-tenant vSphere environments using vSphere as the single point of visibility.

“With our new release of ONTAP, we have an open REST framework, so we can get simplicity of operation and more scale,” Kotsaftis added.