NetApp leverages its data-centric software innovation to help businesses expand in hybrid cloud

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Ravi Chhabria, VP and Managing Director, NetApp India
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Sunnyvale, Calif.-based NetApp has been working towards establishing it as a cloud-led data centric software company. In the last few months, NetApp has made strategic acquisitions of a suite of technology companies to help integrate the offerings and provide more holistic solutions to customers and partners. Ravi Chhabria, VP and Managing Director, NetApp India shares how the company has strategically used its acquisitions to aggressively expand presence in cloud environments, as well as its list of cloud data services

How can NetApp usher in a cloud ecosystem to support wide-spread enterprise transformation?

Hybrid cloud, which was already on a growth trajectory before the pandemic struck us, has now become top of mind. Today’s innovations increasingly draw from the scale and agility of cloud and fuels it with ever increasing data. NetApp understands that enterprises will make different decisions about how to obtain the benefits of cloud computing. Whether they build or buy; set up public, private, or a hybrid model; NetApp hybrid cloud specialists can advise them on rapidly implementing the best solution to achieve both business flexibility and infrastructure efficiency for their organisation.

We have also developed an ecosystem by cultivating partnerships with a global network of service providers and global system integrators to deliver a range of optimized cloud services built on NetApp. Our service providers have the people, processes, and service solutions to address a variety of enterprise requirements.

The NetApp Cloud Volumes Service is a fully managed cloud storage solution that is available for Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). For Microsoft Azure, NetApp and Microsoft have created a first-party service called Azure NetApp Files that offers a high-performance file-service environment for the Microsoft Azure cloud. These services enable running file shares at peak performance while providing the best data protection and security in an organisation’s preferred cloud provider.

The Cloud Volumes Service is a great fit for developers, line of business engineers, database admins, and application architects who consume storage capacity but don’t want to administer it. The service can also be used by IT and cloud architects in search of file services in the cloud.

How is NetApp moving from a generalist to a specialist cloud provider and what brought the change?

In a world full of generalists, NetApp is a specialist focused on one thing, helping businesses get the most out of their data. While the data fabric is emerging as an innovative architecture and design center, it is also true that every customer has a unique journey, with distinct needs, anchored in their own proprietary curated business data. As a cloud-led, data-centric software company, we can help build one unique data fabric, simplify and connect the cloud, and securely deliver the right data, services and applications to the right people—anytime, anywhere.

Our cloud data services portfolio consists of a range of products across four categories: cloud storage, cloud data services, cloud controls, and cloud analytics. We recently announced the availability of Azure NetApp Files in India which enables data located within the country. We have strategically used our acquisitions to aggressively expand presence in cloud environments, as well as its list of cloud data services. We achieve this with our deep customer centricity coupled with unique to NetApp advantages such as our operating software ONTAP running in the cloud and on prem seamlessly as CVS(Cloud Volume Services). Through Cloud Volumes ONTAP and CVS, NetApp has positioned itself to help customers address these use cases, on almost every leading public cloud platform (AWS, Azure, and GCP). This makes us one of the most comprehensive storage providers supporting enterprise adoption of public cloud file storage capacity.

Why is NetApp banking on India as a cloud market and how do the recent acquisitions help NetApp?

We have been working towards establishing ourselves as a cloud-led data centric software company. In the last few months, NetApp has made strategic acquisitions of a suite of technology companies to help integrate our offerings and provide more holistic solutions to customers and partners.

In April, we completed the acquisition of CloudJumper, a virtual desktop infrastructure firm to address the increased market requirement of the work-from-home model in the COVID era. As a result of the acquisition, the new NetApp Virtual Desktop Service (VDS) will solve the most challenging problems of virtual desktop services and application management, allowing customers to deploy, manage, monitor and optimise those environments as a total solution from a single company on the public cloud of their choice.

With the acquisition of Spot, we are extending NetApp’s vision for helping customers unlock the best of cloud. Our combined offerings enable customers to get more out of their cloud investment and gain competitive advantage by accelerating their business success. Lastly, acquiring Talon Storage, a leader in next generation software-defined storage solutions is helping us provide customers a faster path to the public cloud at a better total cost of ownership.

What are the sectors that will see a rise in adoption of hybrid cloud in the near future?

A rising desire to mitigate future disruptions by being more flexible, agile, and resilient could make 2021 “the year of multicloud”. Verticals such as IT, telecom, BFSI, media and entertainment, and education are likely to see an increased uptake of hybrid multicloud adoption. This can be primarily attributed to a substantial increase in online entertainment consumption, digital education, and remote working.

Healthcare is also a sector that will see a massive surge in cloud adoption. Driven by the increasing adoption of telemedicine, big data analytics, wearable devices, and IoT, the global healthcare cloud computing market is projected to reach $51.9 billion by 2024. With the growing appreciation of cloud, the technology and its applications will play an important role in the future of the healthcare sector.

How can NetApp enable SMBs to take up cloud adoption?

The Indian SMB sector prefers a pay as you go subscription-based model to cater to their digital transformation needs. At NetApp, we offer a solution that enables customers to pay for actual use of infrastructure – the NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP, a software-only storage subscription running the NetApp ONTAP storage software. It delivers secure, proven storage management services for Azure, Google Cloud, and AWS storage. Building a cloud storage environment on Cloud Volumes ONTAP provides enterprise-class features for cloud storage. Customers can use and pay for resources monthly, consistent with selected service levels to meet specific business requirements.

We also recently announced the availability of Azure NetApp Files, Microsoft’s fast-growing enterprise file storage service in South and Central India. For enterprise customers that need high performance with low latencies, Azure NetApp Files would be the go-to solution to meet their cloud-first mandate, while reducing both costs and time-to-market. It allows the SMBs more flexibility to choose a performance-tier for a specified workload requirement in order to optimise spending.


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