LAS VEGAS -- NetApp customers invested in the cloud applauded the vendor's decision to launch Cloud Ontap, a software-only version of the Data Ontap operating systems. Others say it's a non-issue because the cloud is off-limits to them.
NetApp added Cloud Ontap during the opening of its Insight partner and user conference this week. Cloud Ontap was rolled out for NetApp Private Storage on top of Amazon's Elastic Block Storage service.
Cloud Ontap clearly isn't for everyone, though. Some NetApp customers have already ruled out hybrid cloud storage because of regulatory compliance and the need to control data locally.
News and information company Thomson Reuters, for example, has been asked by Germany to serve its government content from within the country's borders and is installing filers in local data centers to handle the load.
"I don't see us putting lot of data in cloud, because the economics don't work at the scale we do things," said Mark Bluhm, a senior vice president of data center operations. ”Cloud is great for bursting, but for running content 24/7, we find it's cheaper to do storage on-prem.”
Cloud Ontap also is not an option for MUFG Union Bank, which is owned by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group. The bank must comply with complex federal rules governing the treatment and storage of financial data, said Don O'Connor, its senior vice president of technology operations.
"We consider protection of customer data to be paramount. Our storage will remain on-premises. The only time we use the cloud is to access compute power or take advantage of bursting when demands are placed on us," O'Connor said.
But Cloud Ontap is a compelling option for companies such as Trace3, a cloud storage consulting company. Bret MacInnes, its senior practice director, said he is impressed with the tight integration of Cloud Ontap with NetApp's snapshot and data reduction technologies.
"The cloud is great at getting data in. It's really tough at getting data back out," MacInnes said. "Sticking Cloud Ontap inside Amazon Web Services gives you the ability to send your data there, and once you're done with compute, makes it really easy to extract it back out.”
At least one private cloud provider is hoping to run a non-Amazon installation for Cloud Ontap. IlliniCloud, a private community-based cloud that stores data for approximately 600 school districts in nine states, said it already has contacted NetApp executives about Cloud Ontap.
IlliniCloud presents an entirely different use case for Cloud Ontap, said its chief architect, Jason Radford.
"We need the ability to host Cloud Ontap so our customers can move data on-prem to us. Because we deal with state, local and federal government regulations on student records, we don't tier to public clouds. But we present an entirely different use case for Cloud Ontap and would love to be part of that ecosystem," Radford said.
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