NetApp to Deliver ‘Universal Data Platform’ atop ONTAP

In a bold push to establish Data ONTAP as a common fabric for private, hybrid and public cloud environments, NetApp is introducing a new solution for migrating data between on- and off-premise infrastructure.

The company’s soon-to-be-unveiled portability technology performs on-the-fly “hypervisor translation” to greatly simplify workload migration between disparate ONTAP deployments. The offering is designed to complement NetApp’s existing SnapMirror tool, which will be enhanced to better support replication between private and public clouds.

SnapMirror and the upcoming hypervisor translation technology constitute a central pillar of NetApp’s plan to deliver a “universal data platform” atop its flagship storage operating system. The success of this plan hinges on the cloud ecosystem, which the company is targeting with expanded API support for OpenStack and other emerging platforms.

The integrations are expected to roll out over the coming months along with “more robust quality-of-service capabilities,” contributions to OpenStack and CloudStack, and new solutions for large scale environments. In particular, NetApp and Cisco will release a set of FlexPod reference architectures for large cloud provider and multi-tenant enterprise environments.

Jay Kidd, the chief technology officer at NetApp, commented, “Regardless of the ultimate computing destination, the CIO will maintain ownership of the organization’s data. The introduction of new multicloud architectures makes data governance more complex because data is distributed, and not under direct control. Our vision is to create an enterprise data management solution, with the clustered Data ONTAP operating system at its core, which will span the customers’ data storage landscape, irrespective of data type or location.”

NetApp is opening up to the ecosystem in a bid to remove the control challenges of managing cloud resources. According to a NetApp spokesperson, “NetApp has contributed OpenStack drivers so users can leverage an open-source cloud management layer to build private and public clouds that delivers high-performing, efficient, and scalable cloud services. NetApp believes in providing customers with choice in cloud management, including open-source options that provide lower cost, faster innovation, no vendor lock-in, flexibility, and the promotion of standards.” The company had previously submitted a proposal code for an OpenStack file share service that would add support for file-based storage systems.