As more and more enterprises move towards building the next-gen datacenter, hybrid clouds will become the norm.  OpenStack fits into the on-prem portion of that perfectly, and along with NetApp, makes for an effective and high-performance solution. NetApp’s FAS and AFF storage arrays, and Element Software storage platforms are designed to provide increased efficiency and performance by using NetApp’s Cinder and Manila drivers.

Why consider OpenStack?

It is no surprise that companies today are looking for a robust platform that helps them get to market faster and provides a means of improving productivity by quickly and easily provisioning resources. Cloud infrastructure is all about having the flexibility to grow/shrink as demands change, and OpenStack makes it easy to scale horizontally. Admins can add storage/compute nodes without disrupting the system that is already deployed.


OpenStack makes it easy to monitor resource allocation and utilization from its built-in dashboard service called Horizon. Administrators can keep an eye on the number of active instances across projects, memory and disk utilization and network topologies. In addition, non-admin users can also observe statistics associated with their project.


By creating a binding between users and projects, OpenStack addresses the question of multitenancy. Users can create virtual systems and volumes in the project they are associated with and cannot access resources that belong to a project they aren’t authorized to access.


The open nature and flexibility offered by OpenStack is what makes it truly stand out from the crowd. Supporting a wide array of hypervisors, storage and compute backends, OpenStack makes it easy to maintain a heterogenous infrastructure model. A number of vendors are supported, and this makes it easy for customers to choose from a number of solutions and avoid vendor lock-in.

NetApp: A Leading Vendor for OpenStack

NetApp has been contributing to the OpenStack community since the Essex release (2012). As a charter member of the OpenStack Foundation, our commitment to foster development has seen us emerge as one of the top OpenStack storage solution providers. Our Cinder (Block Storage as a Service) and Manila (Shared File Systems as a Service) drivers make it possible to use NetApp backends for data management and guaranteed performance.


NetApp supports thin provisioning of Cinder volumes on FAS/AFF and Element Software backends. Administrators do not have to worry about overprovisioning and can focus on accommodating requests without worrying about scaling out immediately.


Data encryption at rest is also configurable for Cinder volumes. NetApp Volume Encryption (NVE) for ONTAP, and Element Software provide volume encryption without compromising on performance.


ONTAP Snapshot technology provides a space-efficient manner of taking Cinder volume snapshots. Point-in-time snapshots of volumes can be taken with minimal usage of storage space.


Element Software offers fine-grained QoS support by directly integrating with OpenStack volume type definitions. It is as easy as creating a volume type and providing minIOPS, maxIOPS and burstIOPS values.


With nearly 100,000 community members and adoption in 675 companies, OpenStack has come a long way in its continuous journey of open infrastructure. The fast-paced nature of open projects coupled with enterprise adoption is lending to its long-term success. Some of the biggest organizations around the world are using OpenStack for critical workloads. OpenStack is here to stay, and NetApp is perfectly positioned to add value to OpenStack users.


As always, join us at thePub and our Slack Team to share feedback or ask questions. Visit our website to learn more about our OpenStack solutions and what NetApp can do to further your hybrid cloud journey.

Bala Ramesh Babu

Bala is a member of NetApp’s Open Ecosystem group and primarily works with the OpenStack team, where he is responsible for highlighting NetApp’s OpenStack solutions. He holds a Master’s degree in Computer Networking from NC State University.