As technology evolves, more and more is tending to fall into the category of ‘software defined’. Started by the revolution that server virtualization brought to IT, software defined storage (SDS) forms part of what is known as the ‘software defined data center’ (SDDC). In other words, software talking to software which is abstracted from the hardware and places the emphasis on storage-related services rather than on the storage hardware itself. Some of the benefits of SDS include: policy-based automation, provision of service levels, and more generally greater efficiencies combined with the potential of lower costs when used with ‘off-the-shelf’ commodity hardware.
One thing to consider though when thinking about the economics is that one should never confuse the ‘price’ with ‘cost’ and therefore many factors need to be taken in account before deciding something is actually cheaper in the long-term. A pre-configured, so called ‘engineered’ solution will often come at a premium when compared to the headline ‘price’ of a solution running on commodity hardware, but in making the decision as to which way to go there are trade-offs to be considered on both sides. At the end of the day for me it all comes down to the basics of balancing risk and cost…
Enterprise Storage Management on commodity hardware
So, with all that in mind, NetApp recently announced ONTAP Select. In essence, this is ONTAP enterprise-class data management software with features such as: deduplication, compression, snapshots, and continuous operations running on commodity (white box) hardware. And because the software is independent from the hardware, the licensing model provides the flexibility of being able to scale-out storage capacity in units of 1TB increments as required. Use-cases include: test/dev, remote office (ROBO), secondary storage, 2/3 tier workloads and Private cloud or Service Provider IaaS environments.
Enterprise Storage Management in the cloud
In the same software-defined vein we also have a solution called ONTAP Cloud which basically allows you to extend the benefits of your on-premises ONTAP FAS environment to run in AWS in the public cloud. ONTAP Cloud is very simple to set up and is downloadable from AWS’s Marketplace charged on a ‘Pay as You Go’ hourly license, or available through NetApp or a NetApp partner as a 6 or 12 month ‘Bring Your Own License’. We also recently announced enhancements to ONTAP Cloud (previously Cloud ONTAP) to include multi-zone HA across Amazon Web Services’ regional zones e.g. Dublin and Frankfurt, plus adding a useful increase in overall performance. Use-cases include: test/dev, DR, or burst into the cloud.
The beauty of ONTAP Select and ONTAP Cloud is that they both provide consistency of data management right across the enterprise, without having to compromise on the storage efficiencies of a traditional ONTAP FAS environment. Added to which from an operational point of view it means only one system to learn. This open approach to enterprise data management is further epitomized in NetApp’s vision of a Data Fabric
Finally, why not try these two solutions for yourself through our FREE trial?