“Cisco Intersight automates the entire FlexPod stack: Cisco UCS, Cisco networking, and NetApp Ontap,” he said.
Over the next two to three quarters, Cisco Intersight will be able to completely automate configurations and configuration drift, assess where workloads should go, and automate data services such as backups, disaster recovery and tiering to the cloud, Fore said. It will also be the service manager for FlexPod as a Service, which like FlexPod will be a partner-delivered solution, he said.
While FlexPod is deployed in data centres, it is still a great foundation for hybrid clouds, especially with the integration of Cisco Intersight with FlexPod, Woodall said.
“In the FlexPod context, it is important to have the mutual support of Cisco and NetApp so customers get all the advantages of FlexPod,” he said. “On the balance, this is a big part of enabling customers with hybrid cloud adoption.”
That is also part of making FlexPod available as a service, Woodall said.
“FlexPod is built around a full stack solution with Cisco, NetApp and VMware,” he said. “The addition of life-cycle management, patching, tracking configuration drifts and management lets you know you remain valid with the original design, but these things change over time with ransomware and other attacks, and so it’s important to have the latest guidelines to not only prevent outages, but to also keep customers secure.”
This all ties into consumption pricing and the ability to let customers purchase the infrastructure or use it as a service, Woodall said.
NetApp Tuesday also enhanced its Keystone storage subscription service with a new integration with colocation services from data centre operator Equinix.
The use case for this is a customer looking for high-speed connection to a public cloud as part of hybrid cloud services, Fore said.
“Now they can deploy their on-premises infrastructure in an Equinix data centre, and get less than 1 millisecond high-performance access to multiply hyperscaler data centres through Equinix,” he said. “So customer can leverage cloud services, including compute, without actually moving data to the cloud. It’s a very flexible multi-cloud solution that lets customers do things like scale their Microsoft environment to Azure or do disaster recovery to AWS, and change it all as needed.”
This could be done before, Fore said. But the enhancements now provide a single contact for NetApp to get to all the storage services, he said.
“Customers get support through NetApp,” he said. “Customers don’t need to work with Equinix. For Keystone customers looking to deploy in Equinix, we now package it for them.”
When Keystone was first unveiled last year, it was focused on Microsoft Azure storage via NetApp Cloud Volumes, Fore said. Now it also works with Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform, he said.
“It provides all the same on-premises services on all the main clouds,” he said.
Previously, to work with Equinix to take advantage of the colocation service providers’ high-performance connection to the cloud, there was a lot of work required, Woodall said.
“Now Equinix has direct high-speed and low-latency connectivity to the cloud,” he said. “This enhances connectivity to cloud providers, which is great if used as part of a service with Keystone. You can do it with other colos, but with Equinix it gets packaged as a service.”
While Keystone provides storage as a service, now customers can include all of the Equinix services with one throat to choke, easy scalability and one point of visibility, Woodall said.
“They don’t have to move their data to the cloud,” he said. “The clouds can come to the data.”
NetApp also enhanced a couple of other parts of its hybrid cloud portfolio.
The company’s Cloud Backup technology, which previously could be used to back up a cloud instance to another cloud, can now also be used to backup on-premises environments to another on-premises environment or to the cloud, Fore said.
NetApp Astra, which provides data management capabilities for stateful applications with stateful data for Kubernetes environments, was originally rolled out with Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure, but has now been expanded to work with on-premises environments, Fore said. Expansion to AWS environments will come in the near future, he said.