IBM and NetApp are partnering on IBM Cloud Satellite to solve for operations complexity across multiple environments, including on premises, edge, and public cloud. Building, deploying, and running applications in these hybrid and multicloud scenarios can bring challenges like these that impact performance and user experiences:

  • Latency issues that degrade the response time of a mobile payment processing application that is required to acknowledge receipt of payment in less than 2 seconds
  • Data residency laws that require data to remain “in country”
  • Lack of agility, as applications sprawl across many locations, decreasing development velocity
  • Lack of visibility, because IT teams may be operating in as many as five to eight  cloud environments and need visibility of their digital platform and applications for each site

IBM Cloud Satellite addresses these challenges by launching a core set of Kubernetes, data, AI, and security services across any cloud, on premises, or edge location. The result is consistency in security, developer services, and visibility across all environments. This consistency enhances developer productivity and development velocity for outcomes such as new market expansion, richer customer experiences, and low-latency analytics distributed across locations.


Now IT organizations can take advantage of public cloud services on their premises. That can be done by using a Bring Your Own Infrastructure model, or through IBM Cloud Satellite Infrastructure Service, an option by which IBM ships its hardware to your site and manages site resource engineering tasks remotely. NetApp’s robust storage and data services uniquely complement both of these approaches. Let’s examine how.


NetApp® ONTAP® storage is available anywhere you need it, including IBM Cloud, other public clouds, as an on-premises implementation, and at the edge. NetApp offers enterprise-grade storage services with the reliability, performance, efficiencies, and security you’re familiar with as an integrated option in IBM Cloud Satellite and IBM Cloud Satellite Infrastructure Service, so your applications’ data needs can be met anywhere. All NetApp AFF and FAS systems, as well as software-defined storage (SDS) versions such as ONTAP Select and Cloud Volumes ONTAP running ONTAP version 9.6 and later, are supported.

Red Hat OpenShift

Red Hat OpenShift, the container orchestration platform based on Kubernetes, is the foundation of IBM Cloud Satellite, using Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Cloud managed service.


NetApp ONTAP integrates with OpenShift to provide persistent storage for containerized applications that require that type of storage. With ONTAP, persistent storage can be provisioned as iSCSI LUNs as well as NFS volumes in the same ONTAP system, while adhering to the storage framework of Kubernetes. ONTAP does so through NetApp Trident storage orchestration for containers, which now supports OpenShift 4.5, the current version of the platform.


NetApp’s experience with persistent storage for containers began more than 4 years ago with the NetApp Docker Volume Plugin, which 3 years ago evolved into Trident, with a broader set of capabilities. Beyond persistent storage, Trident brings the advanced data management services of the underlying ONTAP software to the OpenShift platform. Customers can design the ONTAP storage services and create various policies (such as data replication, NetApp Snapshot™ schedules, and more) that Trident can use.


Trident is an integrated storage option in IBM Cloud Satellite for customers who are using supported ONTAP systems. New features and capabilities being introduced to the Kubernetes’ storage framework and OpenShift will be available for IBM Cloud Satellite users through Trident. The current release of Trident is 20.07, with version 20.10 expected toward the end of 2020.


select storage configuration template
One of the NetApp storage options in the Storage Configuration Template of IBM Cloud Satellite.

Self-Service and automation

Trident provides self-service for persistent storage provisioning. Storage teams can set policies and create storage services at the ONTAP level that Trident can use  with dynamic provisioning, according to the various defined storage classes and policies in the OpenShift platform. With a comprehensive set of APIs and an extensive set of Ansible automation modules, storage functions can be integrated into additional tools and workflows such as CI/CD and MLOPs related.

Operational flexibility

ONTAP integrates with OpenShift to provide dynamic storage provisioning, and it also offers the flexibility to host various other workloads, including virtual machines and integration with bare metal servers, all within the same system. Data can be replicated and persistent storage volumes can be imported between any ONTAP versions, regardless of the hardware model, including between physical appliances and SDS versions. ONTAP can also be deployed on small form factor systems at the edge.


Given all of these benefits, it’s easy to understand how IBM and NetApp together offer you an easier way to avoid complexities when managing applications and their associated data anywhere.

Zhawn Stevens

Zhawn Stevens is the Business Development Manager for the IBM Cloud account at NetApp

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