Henri Richard at NetApp Insight 2017

If you’ve read, watched, or listened to anything about NetApp in the past year, you’ve probably come across this phrase at least once: “NetApp is the data authority in the hybrid cloud.” If you’re like me, you’ve probably wondered what exactly that phrase means. I believe that the statement “data authority in the hybrid cloud” isn’t a technical statement nor is it about a specific product—it’s a visionary statement of capability. It’s an encapsulation of where NetApp is going, and how it’s architecting solutions and building partnerships to achieve something unique in the industry.


Let’s use an analogy most people are familiar with: Air Traffic Control. Nothing worthwhile happens (or happens safely) without control. Travel by plane is incredibly risk-free, as transportation goes. I don’t often seriously wonder about the safety of my air travel. Much of that safety comes from the existence and application of authoritative control. Air traffic controllers and their systems make air travel predictable, safe, and useful. NetApp is the data authority in the hybrid cloud in much the same way as air traffic control is to air travel. The method and framework for the application of this authority is the NetApp Data Fabric.


As stated in The Economist, data is a commodity akin to oil, and is now the world’s most valuable resource. It’s freely traded, exchanged, and mined. As recent headlines and the looming reality of GDPR demonstrate, we live in a world where data is constantly created and consumed, but never goes away. Rampant data creation with no point of control or authority creates just a pile of data with trapped inherent value.


The NetApp Data Fabric allows you to unlock that inherent value. You may use a plethora of applications and techniques to access, mine, and derive value from your data, but without a data authority, the risk of chaos increases. NetApp provides the safe, predictable environment for your data, something that no one else in the industry is doing. NetApp, via its Data Fabric, provides a consistent way to manage, store, transport, and protect that data no matter where it lives.

A NetApp Data Fabric helps you:

  • Enable a predictable data management experience in and between clouds
  • Move and place your data where it best serves your businesses needs
  • Optimize your data through a range of storage efficiency solutions
  • Protect your data with built-in, best-of-breed tools and third-party integrations
  • Secure your data with at-rest encryption, cryptographic file shredding, digitally-signed upgrade packages, and more

In today’s world of heightened data awareness, people want to know that their data is protected from unwanted intrusion. NetApp provides the foundation on which you can build a secure, enterprise-grade Data Fabric from the edge, to the core, and to the cloud. I am not aware of another data management, data services, or storage company with the size and reach of NetApp that plays in all those spaces.


I’ve been a NetApp partner from the beginning, and I believe that NetApp has entered a new and exciting phase as a company. There’s an increase in the velocity of innovation. The Data Fabric, which was a vision three years ago, is now a set of real products that span the data center and hybrid, public, and Multicloud environments, providing customers a consistent, optimized, secure, and protected data management experience. That’s the value of being a data authority.


I believe NetApp is very well positioned to build and extend on the statement, “NetApp is the data authority in the hybrid cloud.” For any customer that is looking to maximize the value of their data, NetApp has the tools to help them best manage, protect, automate, and orchestrate that data, extract its value in new ways, and drive a new set of business outcomes.

Register Today for NetApp Insight 2018

NetApp Insight™ is the premier customer experience for data visionaries around the globe. Strategic leaders, IT executives, architects, administrators, and developers will discuss how the NetApp Data Fabric helps you inspire innovation with cloud, build clouds to accelerate new services, and modernize IT architecture with cloud-connected flash. Register today to learn how to transform your business and succeed with data.

John Woodall

John is Vice President of Engineering at General Datatech, LLC (GDT) and is located in Palo Alto, California. John has more than 30 years of experience in technology and a background focused on enterprise and infrastructure architecture, large scale systems engineering, strategic planning and technology management. In these roles, John designed and implemented and led teams delivering complex systems in demanding, mission-critical, large-scale, enterprise and cloud environments.

At GDT, John focuses on strategic direction, evaluating emerging technologies, trends, and practices in order to enable customers to accelerate their transformations and the modernization of their technical and operational models.

Prior to joining GDT, John held executive, architecture and management roles at Integrated Archive Systems, Symantec, Solectron (now part of Flex), Madge Networks and Elsevier MDL.

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