NetApp Launches Cloud Version of ONTAP OS



Continues to evolve from hardware to software

NetApp announced the launch of a cloud-based version of its ONTAP storage operating system last November at its annual Insight conference. Larry Dignan, writing on, says the move positions NetApp to be more of a neutral software-provider facilitating the movement of data between enterprise data centers and the public cloud.

George Kurian, executive vice president of product operations at NetApp, said that Cloud ONTAP will have the same architecture, data formats and snapshots as the on-premise version of the operating system so customers can move from public and private cloud resources.

NetApp’s goal, Dignan writes, is “to become the fabric that knits together private and public cloud compute.” He adds, “Although the bulk of NetApp’s revenue is hardware, software is a key component of the business. Most of NetApp’s hybrid cloud vision revolves around software and various partnerships with enterprise vendors and service providers.”

Kurt Marko underscores the point on “It’s ironic that a company whose name derives from the word ‘appliance’ has now firmly planted its flag on the promised land of software virtualization and cloud services,” he writes, “but like other enterprise box builders, NetApp must react to the inexorable advance of commodity hardware and cloud services on the heart of its business.”

Marko goes on to note that, of the five main product announcements NetApp made at the Insight conference, four dealt with software and the fifth highlighted new professional services designed to help customers move to the cloud.

NetApp’s strategy, Marko says, “is to compete with cloud services offering bulk storage at ever-decreasing prices by decoupling its sophisticated data management software from the hardware, allowing it to run on third-party disk arrays, directly on virtual servers and now, natively on cloud services.” The goal is to unify enterprise data currently siloed by various cloud designs under a single management umbrella.


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