My response to an article about 451 Research SAN/Cloud

Honestly, I have a strong dislike for researcher analyst firms. (Gartner / Magic Quadrant especially) Most are so far removed from what they claim to rate and research that they don’t have a clue what they are talking about.

Metrics can be skewed any way you please, to favor income sources as you see fit.

This reply is not against Phil Wainewright or his comments on the 451 study, but the lack of vision and visibility the analyst firm put on Netapp’s positioning of their [poorly named] Data Fabric.

Pasting it here to save it.

While I agree, customers are accelerating their pilot programs and plans to move some services to the cloud, I would say that Netapp is one of the few storage vendors who “gets it”, and is also positioning themselves to assist their customers with cloud endeavors.

When we look at past cloud disasters such as CodeSpaces, data ownership and protection is a huge issue many are overlooking. CodeSpaces put all their eggs in one AWS storage basket (EBS/S3 snaps/Glacier backups), and was hacked out of existence in one evening because of 1 lost access key.

Netapp, by way of Cloud Ontap, NPS (Netapp Private storage), OnCommand Shift, and their replication technologies means that you can keep control of your data, keep it under your ownership, and protect it much easier than you could with normal cloudy methods.

Cloud Ontap: If you run in Azure or AWS, you can your own Netapp virtual san, serving up CIFS/SMB, NFS, iSCSI. This can replicate with snapmirror or snapvault just like a physical Netapp. You can replicate to your local physical netapp, or across cloud providers.

NPS: Netapp private storage allows you to run your own Netapp in an Equinix, Coresite, or other AWS Direct Connect or Azure DirectRoute (direct cross connect to cloud up to 10gb) site. This means YOU control your san, and your VMs connect to it. Again, you can replicate to and from this device to any other Netapp. All your eggs split between many baskets. There are many examples of customers splitting a SQL Server or other cluster environments between AWS and Azure, with storage at the Equinix site.

For customers that need cloud mobility and portability, especially with VMware to Azure or Hyper-v, Netapp has created OnCommand Shift. This tool switches the file format of your VMs from VMware vmdk to HV/Azure compatible VHD.

The recent acquisition of AltaVault (previously Riverbed SteelStore/Whitewater), allows companies to backup their data (encrypted and deduped) to a choice of 30+ cloud providers, or even their own S3 compatible object storage system of choice. It presents up CIFS shares or NFS exports locally for you to drop data into. All the rest of the work is done by the system. Also, in the event of a disaster, there are Amazon AMI images, as well as Azure/HV vm images you can boot to do cloud recovery. All you have to do is point it to the bucket or location you previously uploaded to.

In the world of Amazon S3 compatible object storage, Netapp is making a big push with their StorageGrid product. CDMI and Amazon S3 compatible APIs for you to be your own cloud.

Netapp is helping customers create their own hybrid clouds, and allowing showing that a move to the cloud should not mean sacrificing functionality, security, or recoverability.

** Full disclosure, I am the Principal Technologist for a Storage and Networking focused VAR, and cloud provider, and a #NetappATeam member.

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