Today is a fantastic day to be at NetApp. Earlier today Tad Brockway, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft Azure Storage, Media, and Edge, announced Azure NetApp Files (ANF) general availability(GA).This announcement is exciting and means Azure NetApp Files is a live, publicly available Microsoft product with full support for production workloads and SLA’s.This is an enormous milestone for NetApp and Microsoft! You can read Tad’s blog post here.

 

NetApp and Microsoft have worked side-by-side to do something in the Azure cloud that we haven’t seen in the industry thus far. We created a new Azure service that combines the best of NetApp’s 26+ years of patented data management and storage knowledge with all of the forward-looking capabilities of Azure cloud, including hundreds of value-based services used by millions of customers around the world. ANF is a true elastic cloud service.

 

Azure NetApp Files is a significant Azure cloud differentiator, and a game-changer for organizations of all sizes that want to fully harness the value of cloud.

 

“Ironically, storage is a space that has always been very cluttered in our world. […]. Azure NetApp Files makes [deployment and support] much more seamless for us, and you’re riding on tier-one technology. NetApp is the gold standard for data management; they’re the Cadillac. And to see them create this service with Microsoft and to make that partnership with them—it’s just really well-received.” Amy Rutt, CEO, Ciracom

 

This new service will open the floodgates to enterprises seeking to fulfill a cloud-first mandate. Azure NetApp Files means agility at scale for companies to rapidly innovate, both across existing operations and net new services.

Outstanding Feedback from Azure NetApp Files’ Preview Customers

The partnership has extended beyond Microsoft and NetApp. We are grateful to the many preview customers who’ve worked alongside us to prove the value of Azure NetApp Files in real environments. Here’s a glimpse at their feedback:

 

“The performance is incredible; we are seeing equal, if not better, latency than our on-premises data center.”

 

“It’s so easy to use, we are saving hundreds of hours of time migrating workloads into Azure.”

 

“We can meet our cloud-first mandate in months, if not years, ahead of schedule.”

 

“For the first time, I don’t have to refactor my NFS or SMB workloads, I simply spin up a new environment in the Azure portal. It takes me less than 10 minutes to do something that would have taken weeks to do before Azure NetApp Files.”

The Culmination of a 20+ Year Partnership

Azure NetApp Files is the culmination of an engineering commitment based on a 20+ year partnership built on trust and confidence. Rather than simply offering storage in the cloud, we’ve embedded the performance characteristics of ONTAP, the world’s number one branded storage operating system, into Azure, creating a net new Microsoft Azure service.

 

Customers can expect a bare-metal performance with mili-second latency and on-demand scalability*.

 

I’ve had the good fortune of spending time with many of our customers during our preview period. Based on their feedback, here’s my personal Azure NetApp Files Top 5 List:

 

  1.  Migrate and Run: move and deploy your most demanding enterprise file applications without code changes.
  2. – No separate contracts or term-agreements: Azure NetApp Files is delivered as an Azure first-party service, which allows clients to provision workloads against their existing Azure agreement. Microsoft handles both customer support and invoicing.
  3. Multiple Performance Tiers: Azure NetApp Files offers three levels of performance. Use exactly what you need, when you need it and never sacrifice performance, reliability, or security.
  4. Cloud-Enable Your Workloads: 65% of enterprise workloads are still on premises and 45% of enterprise external storage workloads are file-based. Which means there’s massive interest in a simple and reliable way to move to the cloud. Our current customers have smoothly migrated their most intensive SAP, Oracle, Linux and Windows workloads to the cloud.
  5. One Less Thing to Think About: Fulfilling a cloud-first mandate can be incredibly complex. Azure NetApp Files eliminates the most common cloud-first barrier by creating the right infrastructure environment for your company’s resources, budget, and skill sets.

Thank you to the engineering, product management and executive teams at NetApp and Microsoft. Your commitment and confidence have delivered something truly innovative.Take a moment to celebrate today.

 

Finally and most importantly, I want to say all of this is for you, our customers. Azure NetApp Files is redefining what your cloud journey can look like. We invite you to join us. Register today and take advantage of our personalized onboarding service.

 

And then tell us about your experience. We look forward to hearing your Azure NetApp Files’ story as you reinvent your world.

Anthony Lye

Throughout his 27-year career, Lye has held a diverse range of senior leadership roles at companies ranging from 10-person firms to large multi-nationals. He has managed all aspects of business operations, including full responsibility for P&L, development and product management, direct and partner sales leadership, with hands-on experience building applications and working with developers skilled in AWS, Azure and force.com. His background includes leading teams in both North America and Europe, with extensive international travel to Asia and South America.

Prior to his role as EVP and chief cloud officer at Guidewire Software, he served as president & CEO for HotSchedules, a vertical cloud company building applications for the restaurant, retail and hospitality industries. He was previously the global president of Digital Platforms, Customer Relationship Management and channels at Publicis, the world’s largest digital agency. He was also senior vice president and general manager of Oracle’s CRM and Customer Experience, and earlier in his career, held senior leadership positions at Siebel Systems and Remedy Corporation.

Lye earned a bachelor’s degree in Engineering with honors from the University of Bath in Bath, United Kingdom. He serves on the board of Spoken Communications and is an investor in both startups and venture funds