NetApp Insight Berlin 2016

Having spent many years away from storage solutions, I have just returned from NetApp Insight in Berlin (thanks to my employer EACS) and I can report that the world of NetApp has changed.
NetApp, although they have always seen themselves as a software company, are seen by many (me included before Insight) to be a traditional, on-premises, storage vendor that maybe are not as relevant in the new cloud dominated IT world as they used to be. This is absolutely not the case.
NetApp now define themselves as the leading Data Management Company and over the last two years have been developing the Data Fabric. This is an initiative that is underpinned by proven NetApp technology, to enable storage management of data wherever it may be – On-premise, Private Cloud, Next to cloud or in the Public Cloud. By re-writing a number of the key NetApp technologies, such as SnapMirror/SnapVault and making ONTAP available in Virtual (ONTAP Select) and SaaS (ONTAP Cloud ) forms as well as the traditional appliance, it is now possible to manage a Hybrid environment – placing your data in the most suitable place, be that cloud, datacentre or both and enabling the ability to move that data, using proven, secure tools, when needed to reduce costs or increase security – removing individual data silos in discrete locations.
Another initiative that became obvious over the course of the event was a desire to simplify; those of you familiar with NetApp will know that there are a large number of tools to manage a wide range of technologies. This is being simplified by reducing the number of model variants and the creation of new central management tools that will ultimately be capable of running all the functions of the traditional tools, to provide protection that works across the entire data fabric as applications move back and forth, in and out of the cloud.
NetApp are also moving into new areas to address trends in the industry such as DevOps with the SolidFire products that deliver radical simplicity through automated and predictable storage, enabling new models of storage consumption.
Finally, don’t think with all the great new initiatives mentioned above NetApp have abandoned the on-premise Storage market, on the contrary they have just release the biggest ever update to their range of FAS and All Flash FAS (AFF) appliances that offer up-to 3X the performance of the models they replace while being more efficient to run.
There are many new products and capabilities in the pipeline that can’t be talked about yet so watch this space….