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Data Center Primary Storage
9 minute read

NetApp Insight 2021 Digital Highlights

NetApp Insight 2021 was held October 20-22. The event was an immersive, digital experience. Below we've provided a summary of the event and highlighted some of the interesting announcements.

In This Article

NetApp TV was announced at the event as a way to share content with attendees including keynotes, breakout sessions, demos and live, collaborative events.

We've summarized more of the exciting announcements below.

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ONTAP (November 2021 release)

  • NetApp is adding NVMe/TCP to their lineup of NVMe offerings. NVMe/TCP will reduce the complexity and cost of deployment while leveraging the common TCP transport. NVMe/TCP is routable and will be able to tolerate longer distances. Though, a word of caution is needed here. NVMe/TCP may not be suitable for some latency-sensitive applications.
  • Enhanced Ransomware Protection
  • Automatic updates to include firmware, disks, shelves and service processors. This is a feature that has been requested for some time. It's good to see the effort around reducing operational costs and complexities.
  • Data protection for ONTAP S3 workloads is being expanded to include support for native hybrid cloud backup to object storage on-premises and in the public cloud

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NetApp Astra Data Store

NetApp Astra Data Store continues NetApp's push for Kubernetes data support by combining Kubernetes-native SDS with native file services from NetApp. Astra Data Store can ease the pain of moving from block to share, file protocols for container data stores while reducing cost and complexities.

Apps can access the shared persistent volumes using the industry standard NFS clients; customers have the flexibility to declaratively specify Astra Data Store's resource configuration. Astra Data Store allows you to serve your applications in a wide variety of deployments; physical or virtual; hyper converged or stand alone; big or small.

Deployed like a service from the Kubernetes control plane and managed through kubectl so there's nothing new to learn.

Astra Data Store has the following features:

  • k8s native control plane with integrated observability
  • Node/rack/AZ aware
  • Ability to scale capacity and performance separately
  • Maintain QoS across tenants
  • Maintain storage efficiencies and security

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Keystone

Keystone is NetApp’s Storage-as-a-Service (STaaS) offering. The momentum of NetApp Keystone has continued to increase for those customers looking to move from CapEx to OpEx purchasing models. Keystone provides a seamless hybrid cloud experience across on-premises and cloud with less up-front costs. Keystone provides the following advantages:

  • Reduce financial risk by reserving capital
  • Storage that is rightsized with usage
  • Various choices for payment and consumption
  • Predictable costs and improved business agility

The STaaS portfolio of payment solutions is as follows:

  • Flex Pay: Payment option for creative financing, leasing, loans, deferred payments, and fixed or variable options to fit your cash flow needs.
  • Flex Subscription: STaaS that delivers a cloud-like experience on premises. Flex Subscription data storage and Equinix colocation services so data can be cloud-adjacent to any cloud under one subscription.
  • Flex Utility: A true utility service that aligns costs with usage. One subscription for on-premises and cloud services enables you to easily scale across any cloud.

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FlexPod

Additional validated designs were added to the already broad FlexPod lineup; FlexPod MetroCluster IP with VXLAN Multi-Site Fabric and support for Oracle 19c with End-to-End NVMe. The former brings zero RPO and near-zero RTO with synchronous replication across data centers. The latter brings support for Oracle 19c for both container and non-container database deployments.

Additionally, FlexPod is part of NetApp Keystone portfolio with a FlexPod consumption model. With Keystone Flex Subscription and Cisco Plus, certified partners can deliver FlexPod-as-a-Service.

Take a look at the FlexPod Lab.

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Cloud Data Services

Cloud Manager 

Cloud Manager provides IT experts and cloud architects with a centralized control plane to manage, monitor and automate data management in hybrid cloud environments, providing an integrated experience of NetApp’s Cloud Volumes platform. 

  • Digital Wallet: Centralized and flexible cloud license activation and management 
    • License mobility to match workload mobility. Split licenses across clouds
    • View usage of NetApp cloud service licenses in a single pane.
    • Pre-pay licenses (like credits) in Cloud Manager to easily add cloud services without purchasing and approval hassles.
  • Application templates for Cloud Volumes ONTAP: Pre-configured templates for cloud volumes.
    • Automate provisioning: build your automation flow in Cloud Manager. With a simple user interface, you can set all required actions (resources and services)
    • Monitor configuration drift with policies and notifications to identify non-compliant configurations
    • Tag resource usage to simplify chargebacks with tagging both ONTAP and Cloud resources
  • Full Active IQ Experience: The entire Active IQ experience fully integrated into Cloud Manager
    • A single UI to manage, monitor, and support hybrid cloud data services
    • Brings Active IQ recommendations to where the users can take the next best action
    • Help on-premises customers understand and access cloud services

Take a look at the NetApp Cloud Manager Lab.

NetApp Cloud Backup 

Accessible through Cloud Manager, Cloud Backup delivers seamless and cost-effective backup and restore capabilities ideal for protecting and archiving ONTAP data across the cloud and on-premises. 

  • Dark site support: Leverage a cloud-like user experience to install, configure and manage ONTAP backups directly to StorageGRID fully offline, without an Internet connection, ever.
  • Kubernetes Backup and Restore: Add Kubernetes clusters to backup policies inside Cloud Backup using a single interface in Cloud Manager.
  • Indexed Catalogs: Quickly locate and restore entire volumes or single files with a searchable index, across volumes.

Take a look at the NetApp Cloud Backup Lab.

Cloud Volumes ONTAP (CVO) 

NetApp® Cloud Volumes ONTAP® is a software-defined storage offering available in all the leading cloud providers that delivers advanced data management for file and block workloads. With Cloud Volumes ONTAP, you can optimize your cloud storage costs and increase application performance while enhancing data protection, security and compliance. New features include simplified consumption models and a new freemium license tier. 

  • Capacity based pricing for CVO 
    • A lower-cost entry point for younger, smaller workloads
    • Predictable costs as service and usage scales
    • Monthly and annual subscriptions
    • Consumption visibility and flexibility through Digital Wallet
  • CVO Freemium tier 
    • Free usage up to 500GB
    • No time expiration
    • Includes full ONTAP features and capabilities
    • Automatically converts to subscription tiers as capacity scales beyond 500GB

Take a look at the CVO Lab.

NetApp Cloud Data Sense

The NetApp Cloud Data Sense product continues to lead as an integrated governance, compliance, and PII discovery tool inside of NetApp Cloud Manager. The items below were enhancements or new features announced at Insight 2021:

  • “Dark Site” support for governance and compliance of data that do not have internet connectivity for security purposes, typically sites that are GOV or FED mandated from a security perspective. As the Cloud Data Sense tool is deployed internally to these sites, customers benefit from the ability to understand their data protection plan per the storage footprint.
  • Cloud Data Sense was previously consumable via the AWS and Azure marketplaces and is now readily available via the Google Cloud Marketplace. This effort will streamline customers to transact and deploy Cloud Data Sense inside Google Cloud.

Take a look at the Cloud Data Sense Lab.

NetApp Cloud Insights

NetApp Cloud Insights is an agnostic infrastructure and application monitoring tool. With Cloud Insights, you can effectively monitor, troubleshoot, optimize, and add security features to your entire technology stack. The data collectors deployed with Cloud Insights integrate with on-prem and cloud resources or applications to provide you a single dashboard view of your entire environment. The items below were released as part of Insight 2021:

  • A Kubernetes chargeback feature to effectively chargeback applications as part of a Kubernetes managed service. The enhancement converts resource usage in policy-based currency costs and maps the infrastructure used back to the entire namespace.
  • The Kubernetes Cluster explorer was released, allowing the ability to discover and create a metadata model for Kubernetes in an effort to showcase how pods are performing, how containers are mapped to pods and identify bottlenecks. Plus, from a monitoring standpoint, you can add custom alerting to your pods for added visibility should there be an issue.
  • Direct integration with NetApp ONTAP 9.10, removing the need for an acquisition unit or data collector for ONTAP systems. This enhancement allows you direct and immediate monitoring from the ONTAP EMS alerting system on every ONTAP system.

Take a look at the Cloud Insights Lab.

Spot by NetApp

As the Spot by NetApp portfolio continues to evolve from cost analysis, FinOps, and DevOps resource optimization for cloud resources, to Spot PC, a new private preview release has been announced, Spot Security. 

With Spot Security, you now have the ability to gain a multi-facet view of your cloud infrastructure from a security and compliance standpoint. This feature of Spot focuses heavily on the network policies of your services and uses intelligent machine learning algorithms to help you identify the most crucial security risks of your cloud infrastructure. Spot Security works in a three-tier approach: Analyze, Detect, and Act. This allows you to map out your cloud resources, visually see all risks across those resources and quickly remediate issues with a customizable security workflow. Please reach out to your local WWT account team to get included in the current private preview event.

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Cloud partnership and services momentum

NetApp has long-term relationships with public cloud providers to bring enterprise-class data management to the cloud. This brings flexibility, control and protection to cloud-based apps while maximizing performance and minimizing cost. After all, you should be in control of your data, regardless of where it is located. The items per each cloud provider were highlighted at Insight 2021:

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) introduced Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP as a native AWS file and block storage solution built with NetApp ONTAP storage software.
  • Google Cloud introduced NetApp Cloud Volumes Service as an integrated storage option for Google Cloud VMware Engine (GCVE).
  • Microsoft Azure introduced new features and capabilities of Azure NetApp Files, including incremental backup/restore capabilities, cross-regional replication in more regions and new NetApp SnapCenter capabilities for SAP HANA.

If you are interested in learning more or testing these new features, please reach out to our team.