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NetApp adds Cloud Ontap, buys Riverbed's cloud backup

NetApp's Cloud Ontap is a software-only version of its Data Ontap operating system that leverages the Amazon public cloud while allowing users to keep control of their data.

LAS VEGAS -- NetApp Inc. launched a virtual edition of its Data Ontap operating system for the public cloud, while adding cloud-based backup via an acquisition of Riverbed Technology's SteelStore product line.

The product rollout and $80 million acquisition Monday were part of the NetApp Insight partner and user conference.

Data Ontap 8.3 -- which runs on NetApp's FAS storage arrays -- includes a software-only version for running NetApp Private Storage on top of Amazon's Elastic Block Storage (EBS) service.

The virtualized edition, known as Cloud Ontap, will enable enterprises to access the Amazon compute tier while retaining control over their data. Phil Brotherton, vice president of NetApp's cloud solutions group, said CloudOntap means "a customer can now unleash the innovation of the cloud in about the time it takes to buy a cup of coffee."

More partners for NetApp Private Storage

Cloud Ontap supports NFS, iSCSI and SMB protocols and embeds NetApp's feature set for data protection, replication and security. Enterprises can select from two pay-as-you-go hourly options billed through the Amazon Web Service (AWS) Marketplace, or instead purchase a six-month subscription directly from NetApp. The pricing for EBS instances varies based on the amount of processing power, memory and solid-state storage.

As part of the Cloud Ontap rollout, NetApp introduced a GUI called OnCommand Cloud Manager, which serves as a central hub for provisioning and moving storage between private and public clouds.

The vendor also launched the NetApp Private Storage (NPS) for Cloud family, which enables customers to deploy multiple private, public and hybrid clouds on a NetApp storage device collocated in data centers run by Equinix. IBM's SoftLayer has been added to the NPS for Cloud fold, joining AWS and Microsoft Azure.

NetApp has developed a suite of services to help enterprises analyze their storage infrastructure and map out a strategy for migrating seamlessly to a hybrid cloud.

The vendor refers to the overarching cloud products and services as NetApp DataFabric, which is used to connect disparate cloud environments.

"We're creating a consistent way for customers to move data between traditional on-premises storage and a hybrid cloud," said George Kurian, executive vice president of product operations for NetApp.

Mark Peters, a senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, said the NetApp approach means a hybrid cloud doesn't have to be a collection of pieces.

"Hybrid used to mean you had a bit of this and bit of that. With Cloud Ontap, NetApp is offering people a meritocracy model so they can choose the best way to deploy a cloud. It removes the worries people have about ease of use, performance and cost," he said.

Data Ontap tuned for flash

NetApp is also fine-tuning clustered Data Ontap to deliver a performance boost for flash. John  Frederiksen, vice president of product management for the Data Ontap group, said an all-flash configuration could support up to 350,000 simultaneous IOPS with latency of less than 1.3 milliseconds -- a 70% improvement over Data Ontap 8.2

FAS arrays can now support more than 100 PB of storage on the system and can accelerate that with up to 1.7 PB worth of flash in the cluster.

NetApp adds cloud backup

NetApp also picked up Riverbed's SteelStore -- formerly known as Whitewater -- platform, which lets customers back up to private and public clouds.

SteelStore is sold as physical or virtual appliances. The platform supports major backup software and cloud providers. It also encrypts data and provides inline deduplication and compression to move it more efficiently. NetApp expects to begin selling SteelStore products in early 2015.

Next Steps

NetApp releases object storage upgrade

FlashRay all-flash systems begin shipping

Dig Deeper on Cloud object storage

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