NetApp, VMware and Fujitsu partner on hybrid cloud solution for SME market

The joint solution will be sold by Fujitsu and by channel members certified by all three vendors.

Russell Fishman, Senior Director of Product Management, NetApp Solutions

Today, at the European VMware Explore event being held in Barcelona, NetApp has announced a joint solution which combines VMware vSphere 8 virtualization software, Fujitsu PRIMERGY Servers, and NetApp all-flash storage systems, as well as NetApp ONTAP integration to vSphere. The bundled virtualization solution is targeted at the lower part of the market, including SMBs and SMEs.  It will be sold through Fujitsu, and through partners who are certified on all three vendors.

This project has been in development for a year.

“A year ago, at VMware Explore Barcelona, vSphere 8, on which we worked with VMware as a design partner, had just come out,” said Jason Kotsaftis, Global Alliances Director at NetApp. “We made a very big announcement with all the hyperscalers and briefed all partners, including Fujitsu. They had been focused on-prem, but they were fast on the transition from ‘cloud first’ to ‘cloud smart’. Fujitsu’s view is that cloud needs to rotate from the data centre out. Vmware’s view  was similar, as was our own.”

The bundled virtualized solution was designed to accelerate the management of traditional and modern applications.

“We decided to package this in a particular way for a particular market,” Kotsaftis stated. We found that it was often in the commercial SMB market where we had success with our Express Packs. So we produced two starting configurations. They are not rigid SKUs. They are enterprise class cloud-ready architecture, and we are completing the stack with Fujitsu services and Fujitsu professional services.

While NetApp is marketing this as an SMB solution, its really a little more upmarket than that.

“It all comes down to the definition of SMB,” said Russell Fishman, Senior Director of Product Management, NetApp Solutions. “These are not for one server customers – SME might be a better term.”

Fishman said that using this for DR in hyperscaler clouds is a common use case.

“We see this in places like Germany where they are looking to get rid of secondary data centres kept for DR purposes,” he noted.

The bundled solution includes: VMware vSphere 8 enterprise virtualization software, which brings the benefits of cloud to on-premises deployments; Fujitsu PRIMERGY Servers running the latest Intel x86 processors, Fujitsu Software Infrastructure Manager (SIM), and Fujitsu Professional Services; NetApp all-flash A150 storage management arrays; NetApp ONTAP data management software and API integrations to vSphere to simplify storage provisioning and operations and NetApp Software Bundle, which includes NetApp technologies such as SnapCenter, SnapMirror, SnapRestore and FlexClone to offload and simplify data management operations

The Fujitsu, NetApp, VMware Hybrid Cloud solution is available and sold through Fujitsu directly and through Fujitsu, NetApp, and VMware authorized channel partners.

“Partners need to have overlapping relationships with all three.” Fishman said. “We are talking about hundreds of partners, which is what we are targeting here, not thousands.”

Kotsaftis said that one can reasonably expect to see more joint solutions from these  partners.

“It’s not a one-time thing,” he said. “We will build off it. We will continue to enhance and build off the three partners’ strengths. That is our intention.”