How NetApp is ensuring CIOs and businesses are cloud-ready

    By Mathew Zele, business development manager – Cloud, NetApp Australia and New Zealand

    As the evolution of the data centre picks up the pace, many organisations and in particular, their CIOs, are looking at how they can leverage both public and private cloud - creating an optimum, hybrid solution that compliments the needs of the business, whilst at the same time maintaining data governance.

    This is where we can help; with the strength of our partnerships with cloud service providers and hyperscalers, coupled with our strong heritage as an IT vendor, NetApp is committed to ensuring our customers are making the right choices for their business. NetApp has an ongoing culture of innovation, and our recent cloud announcements have demonstrated our constant drive to deliver game-changing solutions.

    Experts needed

    The industry has long seen CIOs as the builders, operators and enablers within their businesses. However in recent years, with the explosion of new services, growth in mobile technologies and widespread adoption of cloud technologies, CIOs are dealing with more complexity than ever before. This is changing their role at its core, and the CIO is becoming a broker of services within the broader business.

    This, in turn, is positioning CIOs to drive down the costs of service delivery, improving business agility by delivering IT faster, and enabling better responsiveness to business needs.

    In the context of this changing role, the attraction of cloud is clear and difficult to ignore; it is inexpensive and offers immense flexibility. As a result, CIOs are feeling pressure to move to a cloud provider, while still wanting to retain control of their data. This challenge presents a balancing act in which hybrid solutions incorporating a blend of both private cloud and public cloud can be ideal. When it comes to the intricacies of this kind of cloud deployment, we are committed to connecting CIOs with service providers, and helping to match IT challenges to the right solutions.

    NetApp and the Cloud

    Our vision has been to create a universal data platform that provides a cloud-based data fabric, facilitating seamless connection of cloud resources. Our operating system, Data ONTAP makes this a reality, offering a highly efficient transport between systems and clouds to enable the single purview of data management over a cloud data fabric. Through this innovation, enterprise storage is beginning to become the foundation of a comprehensive cloud-based service.

    On top of this, with over 175 service provider partnerships globally, we are perfectly placed to link CIOs/business to those providers to deliver the relevant business outcomes, primarily through enabling the cloud data fabric. The strategic partnerships with service providers put NetApp in a powerful position in terms of our influence in this space.

    Whilst many organisations are actively investigating hybrid cloud and undertaking an analysis of their internal platforms to identify those workloads that can be moved to a cloud provider, there is an opportunity for partners to develop ‘cloud readiness’ assessments. These services can assist the CIO in classifying data and workloads and offer advice about which data sets should move to the cloud. By working with CIOs and senior IT managers, we are helping businesses make better sense of their data.

    The hybrid

    Through our work with all three of these pieces, we are able to address the challenges related to data management, security, compliance and availability ensuring that businesses can manage their data in a consistent way, across any of the cloud deployment scenarios.

    These deployment models can range from on premise cloud built on FlexPod, cloud service providers powered by NetApp, to hyperscalers such as Amazon whereby NetApp directly connects to their clouds to meet business needs.

    The opportunity

    For businesses moving to the cloud, it’s no longer all about the technology, but about the partnerships from vendors, to cloud service providers and the delivery partners.

    Businesses should chose service providers and hyperscalers that fit into their long-term strategies, and work to build a plan for migrating the right workloads into them. With many partners looking to develop cloud readiness assessments for their customers, businesses can expect it to get easier to identify which workloads can be easily moved to the cloud and make the transition seamless.

    This presents an enormous opportunity for CIOs to deliver cloud-based services to their business, driving down costs and improving business agility whilst at the same time maintaining consistent data governance.