You know how everything seems faded in comparison when you fall in love? I know it sounds mushy, but that is the only way I can describe the feeling when I started playing with and met the founder, Matt Baldwin, for the first time, hearing how he talked about his team of rock stars. I instantly felt like I knew all of them. Great platform, full of awesome potential and a vision that really aligned with ours. It was funny when we (Eiki, our Data Fabric Wizard, Matt and I) finally sat down and started talking, us being corporate noobs and pretty much newly acquired.


Matt, being his upfront and honest self, immediately asked me “Jonsi … but why NetApp?” Those who know me can guess what happened next. I, of course, went off on a massive monologue about how with NetApp we were in this unique position to actually address and solve one of the biggest blockers, to achieve what we keep referring to as the true cloud concept, where workloads can be moved to the perfect home based on its need, function or cost. We agreed that Kubernetes was the platform that was already helping us on that journey, but what about data gravity, Multi-cloud and bridging the gap between on-premise and the clouds?


We talked about how Azure NetApp Files and Cloud Volumes Service would be the foundation for solving the data gravity part for Kubernetes with Trident and taking advantages of all the data management capabilities of ONTAP. We talked about how we had built everything in regard to Azure NetApp Files, Cloud Volumes for Google Cloud Platform and Cloud Volumes for AWS on Kubernetes, everything packaged in our own managed Helm-charts taking full advantage of load-based autoscaling for everything from our stateless replica sets (e.g API server) to our stateful replica sets (e.g databases).


We even talked about how we had already tried spinning up our master helm chart using on our own accounts, everywhere and it was fantastic and that I loved what they had done with Istio, made a complex thing into something extremely easy to use, ingress & egress schedulers and routing rules and what they had done with federating multiple Kubernetes clusters together.. I went on and on.


First thing I thought after that boring monologue of mine was, “I am pretty sure that I had just broken every single well-known method and unwritten rule in M&A and way overstated my interest in the very first face-to-face meeting.”


Second thing was, “I probably bored Matt to tears.” Much to my surprise, Matt started to pile on with great ideas, outlining his own vision, and man it was great how aligned we were.


We spent six hours just talking and brainstorming. We basically didn’t finish anything we were supposed to deliver with regards to our potential partnership or our initial evaluation of We were simply having too much fun. So we had to schedule a follow-up meeting the day after.


To continue with my original metaphor, after that first date, I had problems falling asleep, like one sometimes has.. I kept thinking, “man, Stackpoint is exactly what we have been looking for and is highly complementary to our current journey.” Imagine combining all these great products,, Qstack, Cloud Insights for monitoring and least cost routing, Cloud Volumes Services / ONTAP for persistent volume claims with Trident and backing it all up with Cloud Backup. No matter how many times I tried to go to sleep that night, I simply couldn’t. My racing brain and heart wouldn’t be silenced, so I deemed it worthy to slow it down a bit at the hotel bar and ponder about the best strategy for tomorrow’s meeting. I was pretty sure when finally falling asleep, that I had the playbook down and was ready for tomorrow.


The meeting starts and Matt walks into the room and the very first thing I say is “Matt, I want to buy your company.” Hey, you can’t blame me. I was in love … with the product and the team!


Do you want to scale from one developer to thousands? Then you should test out NetApp Kubernetes Service.

Jonsi Stefansson

Jonsi Stefansson is the vice president of Cloud Services at NetApp. He's based in Iceland. He joined NetApp through the Greenqloud acquisition, where he was the company's CEO. Jonsi has great experience working in product development and operations from everything from startups to large-scale enterprises. Before Greenqloud, Jonsi was the technical director at Opera Software.

Add comment