The 2016 Edition of NetApp Insight took place in Las Vegas from September 26 to 29.
Again this year, NetApp presented its ‘Data Fabric’ vision unveiled two years ago. According to NetApp, the growth in capacity, velocity and variety of data can no longer be handled by the usual tools. As stated by NetApp’s CEO George Kurian, “data is the currency of the digital economy” and NetApp wants to be compared to a bank helping organizations manage, move and globally grow their data. The current challenge of the digital economy is thus data management and NetApp clearly intends to be a leader in this field. This vision is realized more clearly every year accross products and platforms added to the portfolio.
New hardware platforms
NetApp took advantage of the conference to officially introduce its new hardware platforms that integrate 32Gb FC SAN ports, 40GbE network ports, NVMe SSD embedded read cache and SAS-3 12Gb ports for back-end storage. Additionally, FAS9000 and AFF A700 are using a new fully modular chassis (including the controller module) to facilitate future hardware upgrades.
Note that SolidFire platforms have been the subject of attention from NetApp and the public: the first to explain their position in the portfolio, the second to find out more on this extremely agile and innovative technology. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiL30L5h2ik
New software solutions
- SnapMirror for AltaVault, available soon through the SnapCenter platform (replacing SnapDrive/SnapManager): this solution allows backup of NetApp volume data (including application databases) directly in the cloud (AWS, Azure & StorageGrid) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ga8cxErnjhs
- SnapMirror for SolidFire is currently under development. No further details were provided.
The features presented reinforce the objective of offering a unified data management layer through the NetApp portfolio.
- Cloud Sync synchronizes NFS server data to AWS and vice versa extremely rapidly (already vailable) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVyRTygpggM
- SaaS Data Protection Service lets you backup Office 365 services to the cloud (AWS, AltaVault dedicated storage, Azure Blob, Amazon S3, stockage on-premise or NetApp Private Storage). The release has not been announced. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a983gqI9pKM
The last two solutions are more surprising since they do not require any NetApp equipment to be used. These are available on the AWS application store (SaaS).
In conclusion, we feel that NetApp is taking steps to be a major player in the “software defined” field, while upgrading its hardware platforms to get ready to meet the current challenges of the storage industry.
Olivier Navatte, Senior Consultant – Storage Architecture