NetApp Expands FlexPod Lineup, Catches Oracle’s Attention

NetApp is bolstering its FlexPod portfolio, a set of cloud-in-a-box appliances that include homegrown storage technology and networking equipment from Cisco. This week the company announced 8 new reference architectures, including 4 that are specifically designed to run Oracle workloads.

The new Oracle FlexPods include two bare-metal designs that run the database vendor’s Linux distribution. The third configuration includes the company’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne application suite, and the fourth box “offers virtualization coverage for Oracle as well as non-Oracle workloads”.

The Register’s Simon Sharwood believes that Oracle is joining forces with the competition because it wants to expand its footprint in the market. As the saying goes, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush:

“It’s almost certainly over-reading the situation to suggest that Oracle can’t sell JD Edwards on its own kit, or to suggest that teaming with NetApp and Cisco in this way signals weakness in Oracle’s hardware business,” writes Sharwood.  “It’s far more likely Oracle simply recognises it can’t win every part of every deal and thinks FlexPods will help it win more parts of more deals. If that means a new way for Oracle Virtualisation to reach the big-and-cloudy customers FlexPods target, Oracle won’t lose much sleep about failing to sell servers and storage.”

NetApp itself is expanding in multiple directions. Last month, the company rolled out a private cloud solution for Equinix International Business Exchange data centers that have AWS Direct Connect deployed.

The public cloud has its advantages, but the fact that multiple users share the same infrastructure doesn’t make it too hospitable for sensitive corporate data. NetApp Private Storage for AWS offers an alternative in the form of a dedicated platform that provides enterprises with privacy they can’t get from Amazon.