NetApp’s Cloud Evolution #VMworld

SiliconANGLE’s John Furrier and Wikibon’s Dave Vellante, in another theCube interview conducted from the outfield of AT&T Park in San Francisco, welcomed Jim Sangster, senior director of solutions marketing for NetApp. The NetApp MVP Event coincided with this year’s VMworld Conference, also being covered live by SiliconANGLE’s theCUBE.

Sangster started off by discussing a brief history of NetApp and how they were working with cloud infrastructure before it was ever even called the cloud. NetApp’s customers were providers of that technology and NetApp helped them facilitate the architecture to their own customer base.

Currently, NetApp offers more than 300 offerings in public and private cloud strategies. As he notes, customers are still responsible for the stewardship of their data, but that data can now go over multiple vendors. This means their data doesn’t necessarily have to be hosted on-site. NetApp is working toward using their Clustered Data OnTap to help in allowing those multiple clouds to work together. This task is definitely network-based.

Furrier and Vellante question Sangster on why it is that private cloud has been so slow to be adopted when compared to public cloud offerings. Sangster commented the emerging hybrid cloud is, in essence, private cloud stating, “Data centers extension to private is basically hybrid. We see it as a simplistic hybrid, but really a composite hybrid. We see it coming together that way.

Private cloud, as it was originally intended, has been found to be difficult to implement. This is because it fundamentally changes an organization’s operation and requires self-maintenance. Hybrid, on the other hand, allows a selected provider to offer proven infrastructure and maintenance.

One of the reasons NetApp has such a large product portfolio has to do with NetApp’s global reach and the fact European regulations often require data to remain in country or even within a specific region. NetApp designed products to meet those regulations specifically.

As had been noted by others previously interviewed on theCUBE, Sangster reiterated NetApp’s commitment to OpenStack and OpenCloud. “We are contributing code and file services so everyone can take advantage of that.”

As virtualization was first taking hold, the server side sold fewer servers. This made Wall Street nervous as they believed storage sales would ultimately suffer. NetApp, at the time, went forward with their push to virtualization and found it ultimately enhanced the market. Taking that lesson to heart, NetApp believes this will be true with the cloud so they want to stay out in front.

SiliconANGLE’s theCUBE is broadcasting live this week from the VMworld Conference in San Francisco. Be sure to join us live or watch any of the rebroadcasts on our YouTube channel.