NetApp buys Kubernetes startup StackPointCloud to strengthen cloud portfolio

NetApp Inc. today announced that it has acquired StackPointCloud Inc., a Seattle-based startup focused on making Kubernetes easier to use.

Kubernetes is the go-to framework for managing software container clusters. The system has emerged as an essential component of modern cloud environments with the rise in container adoption among enterprises. Companies use containers to deploy applications because it’s portable and resource-efficient and simplifies tasks such as releasing updates.

StackPointCloud has built a hosted Kubernetes platform that cuts the number of manual steps involved in deploying the framework on the leading major public clouds. It doubles as a management hub, enabling users to carry out day-to-day administrative tasks in a centralized interface.

NetApp has relaunched the platform as NetApp Kubernetes Service in conjunction with today’s acquisition announcement. The new offering carries over all the core features from the original. That includes StackPointCloud’s automated patching function, a federation capability that enables large companies with multiple Kubernetes clusters to manage them in one place and a selection of optimized outside applications.

NetApp is throwing in some new features as well. Besides Amazon Web Services, Azure and Google Cloud Platform, the service will now also work with on-premises environments based on the company’s hyperconverged infrastructure appliances that combine computing, storage and networking. Further down the road, NetApp plans to add integration with its Trident open-source project, which provides storage management capabilities for container environments.

The service joins the company’s growing portfolio of cloud offerings. In recent years, NetApp has ported much of the software that powers its on-premises storage arrays to the cloud as part of an effort to address the movement of enterprise workloads to platforms such as AWS.

Anthony Lye, senior vice president and general manager of the company’s Cloud Data Services business, provided more context on the acquisition in a blog post. He said NetApp decided to buy StackPointCloud after its engineers adopted the startup’s service internally and managed to reduce drastically the amount of resources spent on managing Kubernetes infrastructure.

“We’ve done the analysis internally, and, on average, we release new software 60 percent faster, spend 35 percent more time writing code and spend 90 percent less time provisioning and maintaining new clusters,” Lye wrote. “Time spent on common operational tasks, like patching, has also reduced by over 90 percent. Also, by reducing the patching burden, we found that we are much more likely to quickly apply security remediations.”

Lye dropped by SiliconANGLE’s livestreaming studio theCUBE in July at Google Cloud Next to share the latest on NetApp’s cloud strategy:

Photo: NetApp

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