Jay-Kidd-agile-data-infrastructure.pngNetApp's SVP of Product Strategy and Development, Jay Kidd, published a piece today in Network World outlining the nine purchase criteria companies must consider in building an agile data infrastructure. Such a foundation combines data management and the architectural capabilities of clustering to enable a data storage platform that can grow and scale according to business needs.

 

According to Jay, "this combination makes data storage, much like a network, an enduring infrastructure that can grow and change to deliver business efficiency, leverage existing infrastructure, and support scale with greater productivity, all without sacrificing the stability and predictability of services."

 

Read the full piece in Network World here.

Not too long ago, analyzing massive volumes of business data was an overnight job. An IT professional would set up the query, pack his bag for the night, and it would run after-hours as a batch operation. Success was seeing results before morning. Now, business waits for no one. In today’s fast-paced business climate data analysis needs to happen in real-time.

 

To make real-time data analytics a business reality, several organizations are turning to SAP HANA.   Using the multi-purpose, in-memory SAP HANA database, organizations can gain instant insight into business operations, react quickly to changing priorities, and dramatically reduce the hardware and maintenance costs associated with running multiple data warehouses and operational and analytical systems.

 

Building on years of experience with SAP applications, NetApp, together with partners such as Cisco and Fujitsu, offers a certified, pre-built solution for SAP HANA that is officially acknowledged by SAP.  As part of this design, NetApp technology offers simplicity, scalability and high availability to address growing data requirements.


For example, the Cisco and NetApp Scale-Out Solution for SAP HANA utilizes components which users are already familiar with, such as NFS and UCS, to automate configurations that work right out of the box. Integrated management makes the solution simple and cost-effective to deploy and maintain.  Within the solution, NetApp’s storage technology provides non-stop operations even in the case of storage controller failure; thus, providing the persistent storage needed by SAP HANA. The NFS performance of NetApp storage, combined with high-performance I/O in Cisco UCS, means the solution can support HANA demands today and maintains those performance levels as HANA scales. Cisco UCS is controlled by a management system, called Cisco UCS Manager, which is an integrated, model-based software residing on, and integrated with, the fabric interconnects as part of the system itself. For SAP customers, only Cisco UCS can manage an overall SAP data center with one management tool, Cisco UCS Manager. Cisco UCS can enhance the total SAP HANA solution through features such as stateless computing, extended memory, unified fabric, and unified management.

 

Capturing, saving, searching and analyzing growing volumes of data is a major challenge for enterprise businesses. If they could analyze this “big data” in real time when making business decisions, enterprises would have a major advantage over their market competitors in terms of key information. The combination of SAP HANA appliance software and NetApp infrastructure solutions make this wish a reality. NetApp provides amazingly fast processing, flexible access to data, business- critical availability, high scalability and low overall costs.


To learn more about NetApp’s SAP solutions, visit http://www.netapp.com/us/solutions/applications/sap/


To learn more about Cisco Unified Computing and Servers (UCS), visit http://www.cisco.com/go/sap

Health_EHR_Imaging_1_HiRes.jpgThink about the last time you got an x-ray. For every picture taken of your insides, 0.5MB of data is generated. Your average exam produces approximately 30MB of data. Now, think about more advanced procedures. Mammograms generate 120MB of data, and 3D MRIs produce more than 150MB. And 3D CT scans create more than 1GB of data per exam. According to Enterprise Strategy Group, by 2015 the average hospital will be managing more than 665TB of data. Some will have more. To top it off, these records often have patient lifetime retention requirements, further compounding the challenge of storage in the healthcare space.

 

One hospital tackling this big data challenge head on with the help of NetApp and its partners is Children’s Hospital Central California. Since its founding in 1952, Children’s Hospital has cared for hundreds of thousands of children. Situated on the bluffs of the San Joaquin River in Madera, California, the state-of-the-art children’s hospital has 348 beds and a medical staff of more than 525 physicians. It is the second-largest children’s hospital in California.

 

The hospital’s large patient volume and specialist care services create massive amounts of patient data that needs to be stored securely and accessed easily. The hospital turned to NetApp to help it build an agile data infrastructure that could evolve with the hospital’s needs.

 

“Our cardiologists, and other caregivers devoted to our 40 subspecialties, need immediate access to digital images to effectively diagnose and treat our patients,” said Kirk Larson, vice president and chief information officer for Children’s Hospital Central California. “At the same time, our IT department needs a level of application integration that enables them to provide affordable image sharing and archiving, proactively monitor and maintain systems to ensure ongoing availability, and meet HIPAA compliance.”

 

NetApp and CDW Healthcare, a participant in the NetApp Partner Program, implemented a storage solution consisting of NetApp FAS6210HA clusters in the primary and disaster recovery data centers that would meet the current and anticipated needs of the hospital.

 

“Our hospital data is growing at a rate of 25% annually,” continued Larson. “Regardless of which medical systems and services we decide to expand or launch in the next few years, our NetApp storage solution will grow with us, given its scalability.”

HCI Seal.jpg

 

Innovative solutions like this and an approach to partnering with the leaders in healthcare earned NetApp a Top 100 ranking in the prestigious Healthcare Informatics 100. The 20-year annual listing provides the healthcare community with an overview of the top 100 vendors by revenue in the healthcare IT market.

 

“When we invested in NetApp storage, we invested in a strategic partnership,” added Larson. “The NetApp team takes a consultative approach to the sales and implementation processes, but their commitment to Children’s Hospital doesn’t stop there. NetApp and CDW Healthcare deliver vital support that helps us dynamically align our storage solution with the needs of our physicians, nurses, administrators, staff, and patients.”

 

Thanks, Kirk. NetApp is committed to improving healthcare delivery and quality through technology. More than 3,000 healthcare organizations build their most critical applications on NetApp. Will yours be the next one?

 

To learn more about NetApp solutions for healthcare, visit netapp.com/healthcare

 

To find out what NetApp is doing in healthcare, visit NetApp YouTube Channel

This post was originally published on Tom TALKS.

 

Welcome to our newest blog, Tom Talks. Join NetApp’s Vice Chairman, Tom Mendoza, as he talks about what makes NetApp’s culture so special. As an honorary founder and a 18 year veteran of NetApp, Tom has always been known throughout the company as a key contributor to establishing and nurturing our culture. He lectures across the globe on leadership and creating positive corporate cultures, and we want to expose the rest of the world to some of his insights. Join us for this six part series where he will discuss NetApp’s culture and the five key attributes that we believe have sustained our incredible culture over the last 20 years.

 

 

Enjoy!

This week, NetApp announced new technologies designed to power the journey to an agile data infrastructure. Our Data ONTAP clustering capabilities and Flash Pools help customers  realize the multidimensional scaling, continuous operations, and automated management necessary to deal with massive data growth.

 

At the end of this busy week, we wanted to share a few select pieces that best illustrate the growing capabilities of NetApp in enabling our customers to go further, faster:

 

Agile at 20: Reinvention and Innovation Mark Two Decades in BusinessForbes

Last month NetApp celebrated its 20th anniversary and Dave Hitz, NetApp's Founder and Executive Vice-President, takes a look at how NetApp has changed and reinvented itself over its history.

 

The Difference Between Managing and Drowning in DataITBusinessEdge

With the continued explosion in the sheer volume of data companies have to manage, Mike Vizard looks at the role of NetApp's latest technologies in automating the storage of data across multiple tiers.

 

Virtual Storage Tiering Changes the Game Again with Flash PoolSANbytes

Data ONTAP 8.1.1 now includes Flash Pools, improving agility and enhancing the performance of NetApp's Virtual Storage Tier (VST).

 

NetApp Adds More Agility to ONTAP Storage ArchitectureeWeek

eWeek's piece quotes Dave Hitz and his vision of how an Agile Data Infrastructure is designed to address a crucial need and help companies think differently about data and how it is managed.

 

Storage Company Promises Infinite ImmortalityThe Register

Chris Mellor focuses on NetApp's continued integration of Spinnaker clustering technologies as the next step forward in its storage array architecture operating system.

Our workforce is becoming increasingly mobile. Not only does analyst data point to this trend, but we know it from our own experience—most of us use laptops, tablets, and mobile phones every day to get our work done. Here are some interesting analyst data points that confirm this trend.

 

  • Forrester Research found that over half of employees currently work from multiple locations and that by 2016 over 200 million will bring their own devices.
  • They also found that 77% of enterprises believe that the increasing diversity of end-user smartphones and tablets and the apps on them will have a major impact on their spending in 2012. Because of this, 58% of enterprises will increase their central IT budget to include support, access, and apps for these end-user devices and 60% will implement a “bring-your-own” policy for smartphones and tablets.

 

Many companies we talk with are faced with a dilemma: How can they support the growing mobility trend and give users the flexibility they crave without IT having to support and manage this device proliferation? A recent Citrix survey showed that although 62% of the companies surveyed currently manage physical mobile devices, over 93% would prefer a strategy for managing corporate applications and data instead. This makes perfect sense because the IT burden of managing the growing plethora of mobile devices will rapidly become untenable.

 

This fact has led to increased urgency and interest around desktop virtualization. By decoupling corporate desktops, applications, and data from end-point devices using virtualization, IT can now deliver anytime, anywhere, any-device access without having to manage each end-point device. And, by centralizing and consolidating the desktops and data, IT can streamline management while greatly improving security.

Companies want efficient ways to deploy desktop virtualization as it accelerates time to value, which, in turn, helps them stay agile and competitive. You can read Gartner’s tips on best practices for implementing BYOD programs here.

 

To meet the growing demand for desktop virtualization and BYOD, Citrix has partnered with NetApp and Cisco to simplify deployment using FlexPod. FlexPod is a prevalidated data center platform that integrates compute, network, and storage into a single, flexible architecture, increases efficiencies, and reduces risk. With Citrix XenDesktop on FlexPod, you can reduce deployment costs and time and eliminate guesswork. The stack uses NetApp FAS storage, the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS), and a choice of Citrix XenServer, VMware vSphere, or Microsoft Hyper-V as the hypervisor.

 

Increasing business agility is key to remaining competitive in today’s economy. Businesses are looking for simple, efficient, consolidated infrastructure solutions that are cost efficient while delivering the flexibility and performance they require. Together with our partners, Citrix is building solutions to simplify and accelerate the move to tomorrow’s workplace with desktop virtualization. Learn more about the Citrix XenDesktop on FlexPod solution here.

This post was originally published by Dave Hitz to Dave's Blog.

 

Change is hard. NetApp’s Innovation Awards are about recognizing people with the courage to think differently about how IT can drive business. These role models show what is possible, and hopefully they will inspire others to follow.

 

This year, during the 8th annual awards program, we honored organizations from around the globe that are using IT in new and exciting ways no one ever dreamed possible. 

 

Congratulations and thank you to the 7 Innovation Awards winners this year:

Innovators of the YearIowa Workforce Development (USPS); Mercy Healthcare System (Americas); Oxigen Services India (APAC); T-Systems Austria (EMEA)

Efficiency InnovationING Direct

Flexibility InnovationVerizon Communications

Visionary Leadership: Teradata Labs

 

George-Reed-Seven-Corners.jpgWelcome to NetApp 360! Why don’t we start with telling our readers a bit about you and your company?

 

My name is George Reed and I’m the Chief Information Officer for Seven Corners. We’re one of the most experienced specialty insurance management companies in the industry – and at the moment we have over 170 employees in the Midwest – plus 10,000 agents, providers, and brokers worldwide.

 

What challenge did your business face?

 

In mid-2010 a huge chunk of our technology footprint was approaching end of life and we realized that if we didn’t get new technology in place by the end of year, we could be dealing with major business-disrupting failures. As CIO, I found myself in a position where my team needed to build a more agile, future-enabling infrastructure. And of course it needed to happen fast.  It was at that point that we entered into a significant transformation. We turned to Netech, who suggested a FlexPod solution that combines the best of NetApp, Cisco, and VMware to deliver immediate engineering value with scalability and configuration flexibility to enable all phases of our strategic plan.

 

Can you tell us a bit about Seven Corners transformation and the choices that you made?

 

In our business, where customers are clamoring for new services, time to market determines which company gets the business— I find the first to deliver wins 60% of the revenue. And from where I sit in IT, if were not making the business more efficient – we’re not really adding value to the company. I have a five-year strategic roadmap with the owners that I can build on like a big lego project. In 2010 I needed an out the door solution, FlexPod was able to meet that need, but its also what I need now to be successful continuing down my strategic roadmap.

 

Part of what is really interesting here is that this transformation actually changed the relationship between IT and the rest of the company. We used to be known as the “island of Dr. No.” No we can’t fix that, no that will never work, no we don’t have time. Now, were able to say “no problem!” The agility and flexibility we’ve gained from our FlexPod infrastructure really helps us deliver impact faster.

 

How does agility play into your ability as a CIO to accelerate business success for Seven Corners?

 

At Seven Corners were dealing with monumental data growth and limited budget, most businesses in today’s world are. To add to that, Seven Corners has an eight-year plan for continued double-digit annual growth. As CIO, I need to know that my infrastructure is intelligent enough to be efficient and always on, without requiring my staff to live in the data center 24/7. And to make sure IT has a consistent positive impact on Seven Corners’ aggressive growth plan, I need an infrastructure that can scale rapidly to support business growth without limits. To me, that’s really what agility is all about – making sure IT is a business driver for my company in today’s unpredictable and competitive world.

 

George L Reed II is the Chief Information Officer at Seven Corners, Inc. He brings over twenty years of diverse leadership experience in multiple industries to his position. This year George and his team were recognized as a 2012 Computerworld Laureate Honors Award winner for using innovation to further humanitarian needs, and as a CIO100 Award winner for 2012. You can connect with George on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/glreedii

NetApp’s announcement this week of the agile data infrastructure ushers in a new era of data storage scalability, management, and intelligence.  Culminating 20 years of development; this announcement leverages many of the technologies that have been a big part of NetApp’s success over the past two decades, and also brings several new technologies to the forefront.

 

Why is an agile data infrastructure important?  Two reasons – monumental data growth and the opportunities that this data brings to businesses.  Data, of course, has been growing steadily for the past 50 years, but the orders of magnitude today are simply staggering.  The creation, transmittal, processing, and storage of data have reached epic proportions.  In simple terms (assuming a 50% annual growth rate), this equates to a 58x data growth factor within this decade.  The new abundance of data has fueled an even greater thirst by users demanding more granularity and increased regularity of data flow.

 

It is becoming clear that we are reaching a collective inflection point where data growth either becomes an overwhelming burden to IT; or becomes a fuel to propel business innovation.  Successfully moving beyond the inflection point requires a new way of thinking, and a new data infrastructure that supports historic growth levels while containing costs and avoiding complexity.

 

Inflection.jpg

NetApp’s agile data infrastructure is defined by 3 overall categories - Intelligent, Immortal, and Infinite. Within these three categories are nine specific technologies that together create the underpinnings of data agility.  For detailed information on the categories and technologies, keep an eye on my blog “Ask Dr Dedupe” as over the next few months I’ll be providing deep dives into each.

9 Criteria.jpg

For the purpose of this blog, however, we’ll take a higher level view.  Beyond the specific technologies; Data ONTAP 8 and OnCommand 5 are the flagships of NetApp’s agile data infrastructure.  This single-platform approach is critical to attaining agility for a several reasons.  First, with a single architecture embedded within a group of storage arrays, all the arrays speak a common language and communicate seamlessly, without translation.  The storage arrays within the agile infrastructure have exactly the same set of capabilities, and can execute these capabilities in unison.  This is simply not possible in an infrastructure with disparate storage arrays using different architectures with dissimilar capabilities.

 

Next, a single architecture means that administrators can “learn it once” as their data infrastructures grow from terabytes to petabytes – resulting in operational simplicity.  Storage administrators become agile themselves as their learned activities allow them to become adept at managing ever-larger storage pools.  With agility, monumental data growth is not destined to lead to monumental complexity.

 

Finally, a single architecture provides a standardized protocol between the physical storage layer and the data management layer of the infrastructure – simplifying the design of data management API’s.  This leads to an application/storage ecosystem that is efficient, and more importantly - adaptable.  Diverse workloads with varying performance and capacity requirements can co-exist within the same infrastructure.

Agile Ecosystem.jpg

It should be noted that data management and automation are crucial in this agile environment.  Requiring humans to perform repetitive, mundane, tasks such as provisioning, load balancing, and protection is a barrier to agility.  Instead, a policy creation and enforcement system that is completely automated allows IT architects and administrators to shift their focus away from routine tasks and towards innovation.

 

Innovation is essential in achieving the ultimate goal of the agile data infrastructure - facilitating the maximum usefulness and highest value of enterprise data.  In examining the data life cycle; creation, retention, and preservation are equally important, and therefore should be weighted equally when constructing a data infrastructure.  In that light, I have been working (along with others) with researchers at the University of California, San Diego in helping define enterprise data growth and a taxonomy that reveals the importance of measuring all aspects of enterprise data.

 

The goal of this continuing research project is to define the overall nature of enterprise data and to assist in understanding how to measure its relative value.   This will eventually help organizations decide where to make investments that will provide the greatest return on their data assets.  For more information on the work being done at UCSD, click here and download their research report "Defining a Taxonomy of Enterprise Data Growth"

In the final installment of his reflections on NetApp's 20 years of innovation, Dave Hitz describes how NetApp continues to evolve to meet the increasingly complex demands of customers. Customers today need an agile infrastructure to meet critical business requirements and huge data needs, and Dave illustrates how NetApp is prepared to deliver.

 

NETAPP_360

NetApp in the News, 6/18/12

Posted by NETAPP_360 Jun 18, 2012

Every Monday, keep your eyes peeled for our recap of key NetApp media mentions from the previous week.

 

NetApp CIO Uses Big Data to Assess Product Performance – Wall Street Journal

CIO Journal's Client Boulton interviews NetApp CIO Cynthia Stoddard on the role IT plays in helping drive business impact.

 

Hadoop World: Val Bercovici on The Cube – Silicon Angle

NetApp's Big Data and Cloud Czar sits down with Silicon Angle TV at Hadoop World to talk about industry trends and where Big Data is going.

 

NetApp, Cisco Unveil Joint FlexPod Channel Program – CRN

The FlexPod Premium Partner program is the first such united program developed by two major vendors to jointly enable and certify partners.

 

Cisco Live 2012 – Built on FlexPod – Cisco

NetApp's Vaughn Stewart guest blogs about FlexPod's business value and the solution's presence at this year's Cisco Live show.

 

Cloud_News_1_HiRes.jpg

OEM Team Picture.jpgIt’s now just over a year since our acquisition of Engenio’s storage division, and what a year it has been! Our focus during the post-acquisition stage has been to preserve our current OEMs while attracting and recruiting new OEMs. Since driving an OEM business of this scope was something NetApp had never done before, this proved to be both educational and challenging. If it was going to be a success, we needed to be able to strike the fine balance between continuing to drive NetApp branded products and solution growth while fully enabling our OEMs to take E-Series technology to new customers and industries in which NetApp FAS did not yet have a presence.

 

The biggest challenge was to do all of this while assuring the OEMs of our continued commitment and focus on their business. We had our ups and downs, lessons learned, and trying times during the year. As with any acquisition, the first year is really about getting to know one another and getting to know the business together. The team came together quickly and did a great job working together to earn our OEMs’ trust with our drive, passion, and commitment to this line of business.

 

A year later, I'm happy to report that we retained all of our OEMs that were in place at the time of the acquisition and were also able to grow the number of new OEMs we work with by 10%. It’s amazing that in a year of learning the team was able to not just keep the business going but to actually grow the number of partners, all while exceeding the revenue goals laid out for us for the first year. We have learned much about the OEM business, but, most importantly, as we look back at our year together, one of the major accomplishments is that our OEMs continue to engage with us as we champion their needs within NetApp.

 

To start our second year together, we recently launched our first new product with SANtricity 10.83 firmware. This launch represents a new way of thinking about storage management for NetApp and our OEMs with the introduction of our innovative, worry-free technology, Dynamic Disk Pools (DDPs). Our OEMs are now able to offer their customers the ability to focus more on their business and worry less about managing their storage. DDPs protect their customer's data in minutes versus the hours traditional RAID products take.

 

Imagine no longer having to spend unnecessary time configuring storage. Imagine having performance protection during a disk failure. Imagine protecting data in minutes versus hours or days. Imagine being able to focus on what really matters for your business. Our "Worry-Free Storage" movement is about enabling our OEMs to focus on solving real-world problems for their customers by creating innovative applications.

 

Over the next several months, you will continue to hear more from our OEMs as they bring this technology to market in combination with their industry-leading applications. A lot of exciting things are happening with our OEMs. and we have a lot of momentum working with them. Our ability to deliver NetApp technology into customers’ hands has never been stronger.

There is no better source in inspiration than the people and companies you surround yourself with – and NetApp's customers prove this day in and day out. The way in which our customers so completely model a culture of innovation to create business impact amazes us. They are continually thinking how their IT infrastructures can remove barriers, enable their businesses to act quickly and be agile to every-changing business environments.

 

NetApp has a 20 year history of being built on innovation and has always believed in pushing boundaries of what’s possible with a single goal in mind: customer success.  For the past eight years, NetApp’s Innovation Awards program has recognized the successful organizations that we are honored to call our customers. They all have in common a culture of innovation and the vision to think differently and create agile IT foundations to help accelerate their business and realize continued growth. 

 

History

In 2004, NetApp piloted the Innovation Awards program aiming to recognize the great work and successful companies we work with. We knew early on that we were uniquely and extremely fortunate to have a community of customers that share their enthusiasm for our company and technology. Since the beginning, year after year we receive submissions for our award categories from executive and IT champions from such wide-ranging industries as healthcare, financial services, entertainment, energy, and education, each highlighting new and/or beneficial ways our customers worked with NetApp and our partners to drive business impact.

 

As our customers and partners have grown and evolved, so have the program categories in which we award. In 2011, the Innovation Award program decided to recognize winners whom excelled in one of the NetApp corporate initiatives. Award recipients are honored for achieving positive and impactful business results using NetApp technology, demonstrating creativity and thought leadership in storage best practices and embodying the NetApp "can do" and "create a model company" spirit.   We also recognize companies who have embodied all three initiatives and recognize an Innovator of the Year in four geographical regions: Americas, EMEA, APAC and U.S. Public Sector.

 

NetApp Innovation Award categories include:

  • Efficiency Innovation
  • Flexibility Innovation
  • Visionary Leadership
  • Innovator of the Year

 

Demonstrating True Innovation

I am truly humbled and impressed by the Innovation Awards finalists and winners over the years. Here are a few examples of the companies that are beacons of innovation.

innov.jpg

Suncorp, a provider of diversified financial services, had complex IT infrastructure as a result of more than 50 business acquisitions and a major merger.   The company transformed its business by migrating 80% of its entire IT environment onto a shared infrastructure, creating a large virtualized private cloud.  This shared infrastructure provided the foundation that has delivered effects on the efficiency, flexibility, velocity, and success of Suncorp’s business while eliciting an entire culture of innovation that is changing the pace of business.

 

The City of Melrose in Boston, MA has weathered a recession, that affected most cash-strapped cities in the state, and found the budget to scrap the city’s antiquated information technology operation and replace it with a cutting-edge data center in the cloud.  Moving to the cloud cuts Melrose’s IT costs by a third and provides the city’s residents with reliable online services.  Now Melrose is offering its cloud services to more than 300 other cities in Massachusetts. 

 

Seven Corners, an international travel insurance and specialty benefit company, transformed its IT infrastructure to help make the business more efficient, help increase revenues and scale for exponential growth.  IT was previously referred to as the “Island of No,” but with the new infrastructure in place, the IT team is now seen as an integral solution provider at the company. As evidence of its leadership, Seven Corners won a Computerworld Laureate Honors award for using innovation to further humanitarian needs, and the company received accolades as a winner of the 2012 CIO 100.

 

Once again this year hundreds of nominations were submitted globally. We are honored to showcase the organizations and individuals who have the courage to be creative in responding to competitive and ever-changing business environments. This year winners will be announced and honored at the Tech Museum in San Jose on Wednesday, June 20th. Seven companies will receive hand-crafted award plaques presented during the awards ceremony, joining a list of prestigious companies and gaining public recognition and visibility in the industry.

 

I wanted to express a heartfelt thank you to all of customers and partners for submitting their nominations. The Innovation Awards allow us to take a moment to truly acknowledge and celebrate your strategic thinking, business success, and culture of innovation.

 

Ed Deenihan

Executive Vice President Customer Advocacy

In this second installment of a three-part series spotlighting NetApp's 20 years of innovation, Dave Hitz reflects on the evolution of NetApp and unified storage. Dave describes how NetApp led the industry a decade ago in in coining the term "unified storage," but today unified alone is no longer sufficient – and NetApp is once again leading the way forward.

 

It’s been one year since NetApp acquired the Engenio Storage Division of LSI.  When you consider the different sorts of acquisitions that occur in the business world, you’d think that this one would be relatively smooth. After all, we spoke the same language before the deal—storage. It should be like Coke buying Pepsi. Sugared water. One has more bubbles than the other. Right? The most common reaction I got when I asked ex-LSI employees about the deal during their first few months as NetApp employees was “it sure feels great to finally be owned by a company that understands storage.” What they really meant was “what we do is HARD to do right. It sure feels better to have a corporate parent who understands the challenges.”


On the legacy NetApp side, the mindset shift was more challenging—and scary—at least before the deal closed. After all, why would anyone need any other storage operating system other than ONTAP?  Prior to buying Engenio, the idea of a “second platform” was a topic of frequent debates. We saw the market opportunities that ONTAP did not address, debated what to do about it, and usually came back to a discussion about how to change ONTAP to make it more successful in the markets that we coveted. 


Instead, we bought a second platform and caused a major shift in NetApp’s corporate culture.  The second platform strategy has already begun to produce some impressive product innovation and customer wins in places where NetApp hasn’t been a traditional player. For example, the Dynamic Disk Pool feature that is part of the newest Santricity (10.83) release was part of the package that enabled us to become the storage infrastructure behind the Sequoia Supercomputer at Lawrence Livermore Labs.  Sequoia is the largest supercomputer in the world.


I think this is a prime example of the unusual dynamic of this acquisition. The common effect of an acquisition is that the “acquiree” has more change to deal with than the “acquirer”.  In this case, the acquired company moved closer to the mainstream corporate strategy than they’d ever been before, and the buyers woke up to a world that was much different than the one they lived in prior to the acquisition.

NETAPP_360

NetApp in the News, 6/11/12

Posted by NETAPP_360 Jun 11, 2012

Every Monday, keep your eyes peeled for our recap of key NetApp media mentions from the previous week.

 

NetApp at 20: 'Nice Little File Server Company' Grows Into $6B Storage Giant - eWeek

Chris Preimesberger of eWeek published this slideshow highlighting NetApp's 20 years of innovation.

 

Cisco Live 2012 and All Things Desktop Virtualization! – Cisco

Tony Paikeday previews some of the valuable content that will be presented by NetApp at Cisco Live 2012 including FlexPod and the NetApp’s customer story, “University of Tennessee: Virtual Desktop Revolution.”

 

10 ways companies are using Hadoop (for more than ads) – GigaOm

Hadoop isn’t only about the ads. Derrick Harris at GigaOm highlights some of the more creative ways that companies are utilizing Hadoop.

 

NetApp launches Flash Pools for SSD, HDD RAID groups, FAS2220 NAS – Search Solid State Storage

The new FAS2220 is NetApp's latest entry-level storage system, featuring support for Data ONTAP 8.1.1 and Flash Pools.

 

Cloud_News_1_HiRes.jpg

NetApp is a pioneer in delivering proactive, preventive, and predictive support. This is done as part of our Customer Fitness Program, through support automation and analytics. Mobile is one such  opportunity where we believe we can improve our users’ experience with their interactions with NetApp.

We wanted to develop a single mobile app that complements our overall support strategy, addressing not only high-frequency use cases, but also leveraging the industry-leading NetApp® support automation technology, AutoSupport™.

 

With well-established mobile platforms among the user community, we wanted to make sure that our mobile app strategy didn’t leave anyone behind. So we selected a framework that works on multiple platforms with minimal incremental development effort. The first version is developed for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry platforms with the ability to extend to newer platforms such as Windows® Mobile.

 

Predictive and Personalized Support at Your Fingertipsauto.jpg

With the NetApp Support Mobile App, users can view system and contact information, risks to which the system might be exposed (including remediation steps for them), recent AutoSupport alerts, active cases, and details of storage efficiency for the system. Users can also easily view and navigate case notes and other information using common mobile gestures.

 

Our goal was not to replicate all the functions of traditional applications. Rather, the mobile app incorporates those that are best suited for a mobile app, while making it easier for customers to interact with NetApp Support.      

 

User Experience Is Key to Success

Mobile use cases tend to be very transactional in nature, with users trying to quickly accomplish tasks in the simplest manner using a device with a small screen's real estate. It became evident in early testing that the user interface (UI) played a big role in the overall value and experience of the app. We will continue to work on improvements as we gather data and feedback from our users.

 

Success and Path Forward

Since the launch of the app, several thousand users (customers, partners, and NetApp internal users) are using the new NetApp Support mobile app. The app has established an innovative platform combining the best of support and the capabilities of support automation. With predictive support capabilities at their fingertips, our customers will benefit from superior levels of uptime and efficiency from NetApp equipment.

In the first installment of a three-part series, Dave Hitz reflects on NetApp's 20th anniversary and how data has changed over the past two decades. Stay tuned for the next two installments to hear Dave's views on what's beyond Unified Storage and how data continues to evolve.

 

According to a recent survey titled “2012 Chase Middle Market Business Leaders Outlook,” growth is a hot topic for midsize companies this year. Fifty-five percent of those surveyed said they expect to grow employment in 2012. Seventy-five percent said they plan to operate in more countries in the next five years. 

 

Business growth means that there will be increased pressure on IT to ensure that their storage infrastructure can keep pace with the growing needs of their business. They will be faced with more data to capture, process, and store, and more applications to deploy. The challenge is that midsize customers typically have to accomplish all this while staying within limited budgets and resources.

As they grow the number of their employees or start to globalize their business, a midsize firm’s data starts to grow exponentially. That is why it always surprises me when I see how other storage vendors approach solving these problems for midsize customers. As they develop their entry product lines, the primary focus always seems to be around affordability and simplicity, with a compromise. The compromise is that to take advantage of these low entry price points, customers are expected to sacrifice performance or efficiency or give up the ability to scale these systems. 

 

As an example, a key concern for midsize customers is efficiency. It is not enough to just start out with an affordable price point. Storage systems must have efficiency tools built in to curb the costs associated with the amount of storage needed to keep pace with data growth. Many entry storage systems do not include efficiency tools or provide a limited set of tools, forcing customers to move to higher-end systems to get a full complement of these vital cost-saving capabilities.

Another example is how well entry systems are able to keep up with the new requirements that arise from a growing business. More users, new applications, and the need for enhanced data protection are just a few examples of growing pains that impact a midsize business’s storage foundation. A modular system that enables IT to add capabilities as needed is a must for a growing midsize firm. If a move to a larger system is required, customers should be able to preserve as much of their investment as possible. It is not acceptable that these customers need to start over again every time they need new features or outgrow the capabilities of their entry storage system.

That is why NetApp approaches storage differently. NetApp’s entry systems run on the same operating system and run the same applications available across NetApp’s midrange and high-end systems. This enables midsize customers to buy what they need today and add capabilities as needed by just turning on software licenses. If customers need to scale to the next-level system, NetApp works hard to preserve as much of a their initial investment as possible.

 

A case in point: If a customer wishes to grow into a higher-end system, he or she can migrate SATA disks from NetApp’s new FAS2220 to the next-level system or convert a FAS2240 to a disk shelf. This is a unique capability not offered in other systems in this class. No other vendor offers midsize firms the ability to reduce costs or stretch IT resources the way today’s growing midsize organizations need. NetApp is the smart storage decision for today’s growing midsize firms.

 

 

Every Monday, keep your eyes peeled for our recap of key NetApp media mentions from the previous week.

 

Torti Gallas relies on Cisco, NetApp and VMware – ZDNET/ CNET

Torti Gallas says that overhauling your IT infrastructure doesn’t need to be a big ordeal. Technologies from Cisco, NetApp and VMware were a foundation the company is using to support its growth.

 

NetApp’s Cloud Czar predicts the death of VMAX – The Register (UK), InformationWeek

Val Bercovici, NetApp's "Big Data and Cloud Czar,” is predicting the death of EMC's VMAX and other tier 1 storage arrays. What will kick them off the data centre stage? Flash arrays and storage-class memory.

 

NetApp makes great workplace list – ChannelBiz (UK)

NetApp was named one of the “best places to work” in the UK. This is the fourth straight year they have made the list.

Filter Blog

By author:
By date:
By tag: