NetApp Unveils a File-Share Service Proposal at OpenStack Summit

NetApp didn’t waste any time making a big announcement at the OpenStack Summit, which kicked off today in Portland. The news was that NetApp submitted a prototype and proposal code for a file-share service. The proposal is broad enough to address a range of file-system types either as an extension to the existing Cinder project (in its current form referred to as OpenStack block storage), or implemented as a separate project.  Jeff O’Neal, Sr. Director of Data Center Solutions at NetApp, stopped by theCUBE to talk with show hosts John Furrier – Founder, SiliconANGLE and Jeff Frick – Co-Host, theCUBE (full video below).

We are at an inflection point right now in the #CloudWars. While AWS (Amazon Web Services) is dominating the space right now, open source is beefing up it’s cloud offerings. A big player in the #CloudWars will be storage, and Jeff shared a very telling fact in the beginning of the interview: of the 27 exabytes (EB) of total disk capacity estimated to have shipped in 2012, IDC (International Data Corporation) projected that nearly 18EB were of file-based capacity, accounting for over 65 percent of all disk shipped by capacity. File-share and the ability to do so in an open source environment is mission critical, as storage isn’t going anywhere.

NetApp is eager to work with the OpenStack community to establish the optimal path for bringing critical shared file services capabilities into the core of OpenStack.

OpenStack is an innovation that moves infrastructure as a service forward in NetApp’s eyes.  As part of the scale out paradigm of open source, increasing performance while decreasing footprint can be directly found in the messaging of the OpenStack Summit. Furrier likened OpenStack/open source to a blank sheet approach (one that Facebook got to start with one app, as an example).  A “utility cloud” of sorts.


Data Integrity and data protection in these cloud environments is not a point that will be swept under the rug in the #CloudWars. How do you provide recovery in seconds for customers? Do you have rapid recovery of data? Are you keeping the network open? All of these are key technical factors in how NetApp focuses on improving the open source storage offerings.

There are a lot of collaborators on the open source side of the #CloudWars.  Jeff believes we’re on the cusp of having a number of commercial distributions released, and that is when you’ll have pragmatic adoption by us normal folks of cloud services. We truly are entering the a commoditized cloud offerings phase of the web. As far as open source goes and getting involved, the steps are pretty simple: If you bring code to the table, you can talk.