A few weeks ago, at Storage Field Day 18, NetApp presented another tool aimed at integrating its on-premises solutions with the cloud, NDAS. As I’ve already mentioned in a previous post, this tool might be somewhat immature, but it has huge potential if  developed in the right way. 

Two words about NDAS

Long story short, NDAS takes advantage of snap mirror functionalities available on NetApp Arrays and syncs volumes to the cloud. The cool part is that the content of the volumes is converted into objects, (taking advantage of AWS S3). In the short term, it’s all about saving money because S3 is way cheaper than EBS, but the real deal comes from the fact that data stored in this format is much more re-usable for a major number of use cases, including index and search, ransomware protection, analytics and so on. Take a look at the videos recorded during their SDF18 session to have an idea of what I’m talking about.

NetApp is (also) a cloud company

NetApp already had me a few years back when they presented their Data Fabric vision. But, as is the case for any other vision, it’s only good on paper until it gets executed properly. If I needed a confirmation about how they are executing, NDAS and especially the speech that Dave Hitz gave at the beginning of the session, was what sustained my excitement level about them. He gave clear examples of their cloud products, their approach with customers and, partnerships that are all in with cloud and cloud native end users while keeping an eye on traditional customers and how to support them in their journey to the cloud.

The risk they are taking is to cannibalize some of their on-premises sales or, better, their traditional product sales….. but this is paying off from my point of view, both in terms of mindshare as well as overall results. And if we look at company growth and financial results in the last 3 years, they seem nothing but positive to me.

Closing the circle

Many storage vendors are now more cloud-focused than in the past. NetApp just started sooner and had the courage to disrupt its internal status quo, they listened to end users, hired people with a different mindset, designed new cloud-focused products and services, but also opened their core products to a better cloud integration. And this is paying off big time.

Usually you can expect this kind of turnaround from smaller, younger, and nimbler companies but it’s always refreshing to see it happening to those of NetApp’s size.

Disclaimer: I was invited to Storage Field Day 18 by GestaltIT and they paid for travel and accommodation, I have not been compensated for my time and am not obliged to blog. Furthermore, the content is not reviewed, approved or edited by any other person than the Juku team.