If you have ever worked at a service provider in a customer-facing role selling cloud and hosting services, you know that it’s a reasonably straightforward process. You ask questions like these: What’s the application? What’s the application configuration? Is it a couple of web servers and a SQL Server instance? How about security? Virtual firewall? Physical firewall? Web application firewall? Backup? All of these? And so on until you know enough to quote out a solution.


Where it starts to get more complicated is when your customer wants to configure a dedicated private hosting environment. This can include things such as a dedicated storage array (expensive), dedicated compute (can be expensive), dedicated firewalls (can be expensive), dedicated application service provider licensing agreement (SPLA) licenses (can be expensive), and on and on.


It’s a familiar service provider story. Most cloud and hosting service providers are more than happy to sell dedicated infrastructure to customers to address regulatory, compliance, or security requirements. However, it all comes typically at a premium price that can make the solution unattractive or simply too expensive and unattainable.


I am not able to share detailed data. However, I can share that some of the first NetApp HCI customers have been service providers looking to take advantage of the granular scale-out nature, deployment simplicity, and small footprint of the NetApp® HCI architecture.

NetApp HCI: Based on Over Six Years of SolidFire Service Provider Production Cloud Experience

The underlying NetApp SolidFire® Element® OS is the operating system that fuels the NetApp HCI product. This system is no stranger to the cloud and hosting world and is arguably the leading all-flash storage architecture underpinning many of the world’s largest recognized cloud and hosting service provider cloud infrastructures.


This SolidFire pedigree has driven significant interest with service providers looking to NetApp HCI (Figure 1) as a simple way to build and offer dedicated private cloud as a service to their customers. The product gives service providers the reliability and flexibility of scaling both compute and storage resources independently as the needs of their private cloud customers change.

Figure 1) Service Provider HCI Deployment Opportunities

NetApp HCI: Not Just for Private Cloud Deployments but for IaaS Too

We have also seen significant interest in the NetApp HCI product for midtier service providers looking to offer infrastructure as a service (IaaS) in a more cost-effective, simple, and predictable way for their customers. NetApp HCI as a delivered product gives these service providers the ability to rapidly deploy a scale-out IaaS without the expense and burden of staffing significant engineering resources to do so.

Get More Information

The recently announced NetApp HCI is changing how cloud and hosting providers address the needs of their customers, whether as a dedicated private cloud deployment or as the basis for a world-class IaaS platform. If you are a hosting service provider and want to learn more about how other service providers are deploying NetApp HCI in production environments, reach out to the Fueled by NetApp service provider consulting team or ask your local NetApp account team for more information. To learn more about why to use NetApp HCI for service providers, download the new solution brief.

Stuart Oliver

Stuart is currently the Global Consulting Director at NetApp in the Next Generation Data center group, where he is responsible for articulating NetApp’s value proposition to hosting service and cloud providers globally. Stuart’s primary role involves interfacing with key hosting service providers and acting as a strategic market advisor and working with them to provide market guidance on the productization, the pricing and the strategic positioning of their next generations storage services.