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NetApp Data Fabric stitches on SaaS to sync local, cloud storage

NetApp Data Fabric SaaS enhancements include Cloud Sync Service, Cloud Control for Office 365 and new versions of AltaVault, SnapCenter and StorageGRID Webscale.

NetApp is pumping out a string of storage-as-a-service options for managing cloud endpoints on its NetApp Data Fabric architecture.

New SaaS offerings include NetApp Cloud Control for Microsoft Office 365 enterprise applications and NetApp Cloud Sync Service. The vendor also made NetApp Private Storage for cloud available as a consumption-based service, and it released new versions of AltaVault, SnapCenter and StorageGRID Webscale software.

NetApp's Data Fabric technologies encompass branded hardware and software to manage storage spread across local arrays and the hybrid cloud. Software-defined storage software is packaged with NetApp FAS file storage, E-Series block-based arrays and StorageGRID Webscale object storage.

"The key value of Data Fabric is that it gives you different products for different use cases. You don't buy the whole fabric. You buy the endpoint that solves your problem, for as long as you need it," said Phil Brotherton, vice president of the cloud business unit at NetApp.

Data Fabric tightens SnapCenter integration for data protection, objects

SnapCenter was built to manage snapshots across NetApp ONTAP-based FAS systems. Version 2.0 extends tiered backup of NAS file services to AltaVault cloud gateway hardware and StorageGRID Webscale object storage. Customers select from around 20 different cloud-based disaster recovery targets in AltaVault.

AltaVault technology is a rebranded SteelStore hybrid backup appliance that NetApp picked up in its 2014 acquisition of Riverbed Technology.

StorageGRID Webscale 10.3 enhances data protection with S3 object versioning and the ability to manage multiple versions of an object. The latest version eliminates the requirement to purchase and maintain SUSE Linux Enterprise Server or other operating system.

Cloud migration tools synch includes AWS, Microsoft apps

The Cloud Sync Service engine synchronizes data transfers between any local NFS file storage and the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud. NetApp initially places the transferred file data in Amazon S3, from where it could be promoted to three subsequent AWS destinations: Amazon Elastic MapReduce, Amazon Relational Database Services or Amazon Redshift data warehouse as a service.

NetApp aims Cloud Sync at industries that need big data analytics for vast historical data, including financial services and pharmaceuticals. Customers purchase a Cloud Sync subscription via Amazon Marketplace. Pricing is based on terabytes of file storage transferred to Amazon.

"What you want to do is synchronize production files from on-premises storage with the compute engines on Amazon. Synchronized files run the programs and then return results. Cloud Sync handles all that synchronization and does file transfers between NFS and S3 at very, very high rates of speed," Brotherton said.

Adding data migration and SaaS tools is the next step in building out NetApp Data Fabric, said Henry Baltazar, a research director at storage at IT analyst firm 451 Research in San Francisco.

Cloud Sync Service is "not just for customers with NetApp gear. NetApp realizes it has to [offer] a cloud custody layer to help customers move data to the cloud. Introducing migration tools is a way to insert itself in that conversation," Baltazar said.

Cloud Control for Office 365 backup is NetApp's new subscription service that allows enterprise customers to protect Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint and OneDrive application data in AWS S3 or Microsoft Azure cloud storage, while retaining control of a secondary copy in a local data center.

NetApp Private Storage (NPS) launched in 2012 to use AWS Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) as an archival and backup tier. Initially, NPS required customers to purchase an additional NetApp controller or FAS array.

NPS for cloud as a service adds a consumption model that can be purchased as a single tenant or multi-tenant private cloud at Equinix-run data centers. The enhanced NPS for cloud is available from NetApp partners Arrow, Faction, ASE, DARZ and ThinkOn delivery partners.

"NPS was a good idea, but when you came right down to it, was a pretty expensive offering. There's probably a lot of sticker shock initially, so anything they can do to make it lower cost is going to help," Baltazar said.

Next Steps

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