Netapp – an #SFD12 Update

At Storage Field Day, number 9 (#SFD9), with both David Wright and Dave Hitz in attendance, we were blessed to have an intro to such newer tools as AltaVault, and to be given a bit of a glimpse into the integration of the then recently acquired SolidFire All Flash Array into the NetApp fold. It was very interesting, and I wrote about it here: .

So, what’s changed in the year since we saw these guys?

The beauty of a large organization as well as one with a shiny brand new tool in its toolbox is in the ways in which these tools become part of an overall strategy. I’ve seen other companies become acquired into large organizations and be allowed to die on the vine. Can you say Spinnaker? That’s an example of an acquisition that simply went nowhere. One could argue that the tool simply didn’t have a place in the overall strategy, but I feel it was more about the inability to turn it to something viable. Not such the case with SolidFire.

Please note that the tech at SolidFire was awesome upon acquisition, and could very well have continued on that path under their own management to be a recognized major player in the All-Flash world. The trick here was incorporating a stellar culture into a very different one, and attempting to leverage both the tech and engineering talent, and the very different approach to selling into what had long been established as a premier group. I’m glad to say that these things are happening.

Rather than curtail the development that had consistently occurred by SolidFire, the folks at NetApp have intelligently allowed things to move on at their comfortable pace. Meanwhile, the incorporation of the SolidFire tech into tools like AltaVault as a key component, while maintaining the special nature of the SolidFire array and its intrinsic benefits is key. So, yes, this overall “Copy Data Protection/Management” approach has been enhanced quite nicely over the last year, and I’m pleased to say that the incorporation of the products and nature of SolidFire into the fold are moving along swimmingly. CDM allows for copies across all of the data fabric meanwhile allowing for these copies as points in time to be utilized for testing and analytics, so these tasks can be performed with no risk to the live data.

I’ll also say that the “Cloud Control” software that is coming soon, was a compelling offering. Leaning on NetApp’s proven Multi-Tenancy abilities, this software is highly scalable, multi-tenant, and solves a problem many who use Office 365 have needed solved for as long as the product has existed. How to back it up on a SaaS model. Seems fundamental, but it hasn’t been quite so easy up until the time this gets released. The software will ensure live and highly avaialable backups of Office 365, Sharepoint and full Exchange 365 backups as well as any active OneDrive for business folders. All accomplished in a multi-tenant, highly secure, and fully compliant model.

I am looking forward to seeing what is coming from this excellent company, and to see where things go next.


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