Storage software and service provider NetApp has added managed Kubernetes service to its NetApp Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure (HCI) storage management package, with the idea of simplifying “how [customers] deploy and manage services across on-premises and the public cloud,” said Joel Reich, said NetApp’s executive vice president and general manager of storage systems.
With the inclusion of NetApp Cloud Data Services on NetApp HCI, customers can expand with persistent storage across the biggest public clouds, and “to manage, use and pay for cloud services how they want it,” Reich said, in an interview with The New Stack.
The product alignment fits into NetApp’s vision of the “hybrid multicloud,” a scenario that arises through natural forces in business processes that, while providing solutions for some pre-existing problems, creates new problems of its own, Reich said.
“I’ll say, it’s not always an aspiration to be multicloud,” said Reich, “but given the fact that developers and lines of business are making a lot of the decisions about where to develop and deploy applications, it often becomes the state that people have to figure out how to deal with. I’m not sure if anyone says, ‘hey, I want to be hybrid multicloud’ and that is a design point that they work towards.”
NetApp breaks down its latest platform release into three sections, with the first addressing the ability to bridge the various clouds. It has made both NetApp Kubernetes Service (NKS) and Cloud Volumes available on NetApp Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure (HCI), with the intention to “simplify how [customers] deploy and manage services across on-premises and the public cloud.”
Reich explained that their addition of NKS to NetApp HCI will provide a new level of application portability.
“We have brought NKS onto our NETAPP HCI offering, so that you could take Kubernetes clusters that you’ve built in the public cloud, use your NetApp HCI on-premise, and they will be viewed by the Kubernetes service as just another region. If you were to operate our Kubernetes service in Google and wanted to move an application to NetApp HCI, the control plane by which you do that is identical,” said Reich. “The real value of this is developers don’t have to worry about where they develop applications. Applications can move across your environment, to and from any cloud. You really get application mobility, which is the key to the world of hybrid multicloud.”
Next, NetApp focuses on customers’ ability to manage their data on cloud, with the beta release of Cloud Volumes Service for Google Cloud and general availability of Cloud Volumes ONTAP for Google Cloud, essentially adding Google to the list of supported cloud providers, which already included Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure.
Finally, NetApp offers some enhancements to its Data Fabric, which it says provides “a common framework for a seamless hybrid multicloud experience.”
“We’ve taken this thing called ‘Data Fabric,’ where we’ve been establishing endpoints, and we now have several new offerings that allow you to orchestrate the data fabric that you’ve built and then to consume the resources that you have on-premise in the same way that you would if you were buying from a cloud provider,” explained Reich. “We also have some expanded capability in our hybrid cloud manageability tool called Cloud Insights, which allows you to manage all of this so you can orchestrate and manage on-prem and in the cloud essentially the same way.”
A key point here is the ability to consume NetApp products in an as-a-service model, providing “a centralized data control plane to help customers discover, manage, automate and govern all of their data, no matter where it resides” as well as a way to “manage, use and pay for their hybrid multicloud environments.” The company now also provides Cloud Insights as a freemium offering, with new “monitoring and placement optimization for NetApp HCI and NetApp Kubernetes Service in addition to real-time dashboards.”