Recap of NetApp Insight 2015

By Kent Christensen, Practice Director

NetApp Insight, a technical conference for customers and partners, kicked off on Monday, October 12. Datalink was a gold sponsor and invited nearly one hundred customers to attend the conference as well as a hosted dinner on Tuesday evening. Datalink treated booth visitors to an NFL experience and live demonstrations of hybrid cloud that included Cisco Intercloud and data-centric Data Fabric solutions. Datalink also presented a session on building a hybrid cloud by leveraging CDOT and the Data Fabric.

NetApp promoted many key messages that relate to the “Building the Data Fabric” theme. The NetApp strategy is to create hybrid data-centric cloud solutions that span from the private to public cloud efficiently, while also maintaining data control. It is pretty unique to provide a common format and set of data services across a broad array of cloud alternatives. The strategy was previewed last year, and has expanded this year with real use cases provided by Datalink, including Cloud ONTAP, NetApp Private Storage, AltaVault Cloud Gateway, and more.

NetApp is finally starting to aggressively promote its updated All Flash Storage portfolio, including All Flash FAS built on the core storage OS ONTAP. Much of the industry does not fully appreciate that NetApp has built a high-performance and cost-effective all flash storage solution that leverages ONTAP, which not only supports all flash, but also all of the associated data services, including Data Fabric integration. The broad-based solution can support a full flash-to-disk-to-cloud strategy with a common data format and services.

FlexPod, NetApp’s leading converged infrastructure solution that incorporates NetApp technologies with Cisco unified network and compute, turned five this week. Datalink collected another award, recognizing our leadership in delivering FlexPod to our clients, wrapped with full support and management services. Over the past few years, we have helped many clients plan, build, and run converged infrastructures that address challenging business requirements and growth demands. 

Additionally, the bigger piece of news that created significant buzz came from Monday morning’s announcement: Dell intends to acquire NetApp’s largest storage competitor, EMC. This creates all kinds of implications for clients – and is disruptive to the overall IT ecosystem. It also creates market dynamics with technology partners like Cisco, who with NetApp, created FlexPod, and supports EMC solutions such as VBLOCK or VSPEX. As one of NetApp’s largest FlexPod partners with a strong foundational Cisco business, we see a great opportunity for innovation by our clients as a part of their IT transformation journey. 

This has led NetApp to promote the new all flash array performance guarantee with the tagline, “EMC You Later.” This implies you can replace legacy EMC storage with NetApp All Flash and triple application performance.

Increased demands for high degrees of change and agility are forcing IT organizations to transform – and this represents an opportunity for clients to evolve and address business needs, consider stakeholder satisfaction, and position their organization for future success. There is no question that NetApp and its leading partners are excited about the combined strategy and opportunity moving forward.