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by Tim Donovan and Tom Shields

 

Since the launch of NetApp Private Storage (NPS) for AWS in November of 2012 there has been a whirlwind of interest, opportunity, and expanding use-cases.  While interest and opportunity will naturally lead to expansion and evolution, it is worth pausing to consider recent meaningful developments in the NPS for AWS ecosystem that offer new consumption options for this solution. 

In the original offering the NetApp portion of the solution is procured in the traditional fashion, shipped in cardboard, and deployed into a secure brick-and-mortar CoLo facility with the nifty and hugely advantageous fact that this CoLo facility is directly connected to the industry leading AWS Infrastructure (aka fleet).  Directly connecting a capex NetApp device via CIFS, NFS, or iSCSI to their AWS EC2 instances is a perfect solution for many who want cloud compute cost and flexibility while maintaining full control over their data layer data. 

For others there is the question “is there a way to have my cake and eat it too?”  Wouldn’t it be great to have a NetApp solution coupled with EC2 with all the NetApp data management, protection, and mobility features that have made Data OnTap the world’s leading storage OS…all delivered in an elastic, pay as you go package.

In recent weeks there have been two announcements from innovators in select geographies that have started us down precisely that road; allowing customers to maintain full control of their data in a conveniently packaged elastic pay-as-you-go solution combined with AWS.  At the forefront are Peak CoLo, a NetApp Service Provider Partner; and Avnet, a NetApp distribution partner, who recently announced they will develop an integrated and packaged off-premise cloud solution for Avnet Channel partners to be powered by Peak. This Peak-powered cloud solution will be based on NetApp Private Storage for AWS. http://talkincloud.com/cloud-companies/avnet-peakcolo-partner-cloud-solution.

Peak CoLo founder and CEO Luke Norris had this to say about the new offering:

"The success of our channel-centric model rests upon the fact that partners can build and grow their cloud practice at their own pace without capital expenditure, minimal product development cycles, using best of breed technologies," he said. "By enabling business agility through high availability services, we can ensure positive results for our partners going forward."

And Avnet VP Tim FitzGerald had this to add:

"What PeakColo provides is the technology for a [cloud] solution but consumed in a way that doesn’t require customers to own it," he said. "PeakColo works as the infrastructure-as-a-service [IaaS] platform that provides a unique opportunity for overall solutions to be brought to market under the partners' brand. It allows partners to add services over and above what PeakColo and Avnet are providing to that partner, and gives increased profitability and a longer-term strategic partnership with their end customer."

On the other side of the globe the very savvy NetApp distribution partner Distribution Central, led by Chairman Scott Frew and Managing Director Nick Verykios, were busy making their own news with the launch of CloudSelect.http://prwire.com.au/print/distribution-central-pty-limited-launches-its-new-cloud-delivery-service-for-channel-partners. In a nut shell, CloudSelect will provide partners to access a range of cloud-ready/enabled solutions (CloudPODs), including a hybrid cloud solution that integrates NetApp Private Storage and Amazon Web Services (AWS) Direct Connect, all hosted in an Equinix data centre.  All elements of the cloud solution are delivered and supported through one central point - Distribution Central and delivered in an OpEx model. Nick Verykios, Distribution Central Managing Director, had this to say about the launch of Cloud Select:

We have collaborated with all entities involved in delivering this solution to offer our partners a single aggregation point for configuration, transaction processing, support and optimized delivery. Cloud solutions don’t have to be exclusively private or public. Increasingly businesses are choosing hybrid cloud solutions to take advantage of the benefits of both worlds. Our CloudPODs combine public and private solutions, which enable our partners to offer the right cloud mix for their customers’ business needs.”

It is easy to see how these OpEx based bundled service offerings are a huge step in making it simpler for customers to pay for their hybrid cloud needs and opens up the solution benefits to new classes of customers.   What’s next?  Is there more to be done with NetApp Private Storage for AWS to embrace the essential characteristics that have come to define the cloud? It is not difficult to envision a further convergence of capabilities to deliver something that looks and feels precisely like Public Cloud while maintaining all the value and benefits of OnTap.  Might we see an offering that has all components (Network, CoLo, Storage) bundled into a per hour comprehensive price that is competitive with AWS’s own offering while maintaining much of the same hands-off ease of deployment/provisioning?  The world is full of innovators…guess we’ll just have to wait and see.   

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