John Woodall at NetApp’s 25th Anniversary

25 years is a big deal. At the NetApp 25th anniversary event, I got to participate in one of the discussion panels. I remember another panelist mentioned, “NetApp has been good for my career.” I’m thinking it’s been good for all of our careers.


Today, we’re thinking in terms of a data-driven NetApp, helping customers in their digital transformation and in the digitization of their businesses. NetApp has transformed its business when many people said it couldn’t. I don’t see any other “infrastructure company” embracing the cloud. But if you look at NetApp, its partnerships with AWS and Azure; the plugins and the integrations with OpenStack and Docker and Kubernetes; and enabling customers to be API-driven in a software-defined infrastructure world; NetApp fits really, really well in that story.


At the end of the day, it’s all about how this technology helps customers. As a NetApp partner for 17 of NetApp’s 25 years in business, my day-in day-out job is about helping customers solve problems. NetApp gives me the ability to solve more problems.


NetApp is doing so much at 25. As a company, it has never been stronger and never been more on point. The level of innovation has been increasing continually for the last several years. It’s not just in ONTAP, it’s across the entire portfolio. For example, the recent NetApp HCI announcement. Will lightning strike twice in terms of what NetApp has done with flash versus this new HCI offering? Time will tell, but I know this: the NetApp HCI platform is truly differentiated. It solves real-world problems of scale. It guarantees performance and gives customers the most efficient use of their virtual licensing. That’s a pretty unique story.


At 25, who says you can’t teach an old storage dog a new trick? NetApp is forcing a different conversation around data, around digitization, and around cloud. They’re going to emerge as the data authority for customers. Storing data is table stakes. Doing it with a consistent management framework, with a rich ecosystem around it, and the ability to place data where it makes the most sense for your business is something that is a subtle but huge differentiator. I’ve never been prouder to be a NetApp partner, and I can’t wait to see what comes next!

John Woodall

John is the Vice President of Engineering at Integrated Archive Systems (IAS) in Palo Alto, California. He leads the engineering product strategy, portfolio, and technical direction for IAS, helping customers design new and innovative solutions for cloud and on-premises IT.

John is a rock and roll fanatic, and can often be seen banging his head with the best of them. His favorites include The Who and U2.