NetApp made a slew of announcements at its annual Insight event earlier this week. The announcements ran the gamut from new products and product upgrades to new pricing models to new partnerships. Taken together, they seem to position NetApp as a continued worthy option in the evolving data storage and management landscape.
"This year, NetApp seems to be working hard to level the playing field in many areas, from pricing to product depth," said Marc Staimer, president of Dragon Slayer Consulting. It's a good strategy, he said, because it will keep current NetApp shops satisfied with their infrastructure and provide a path forward.
Most noteworthy was the introduction of Keystone, a new subscription pricing model for NetApp's products. Keystone allows organizations to choose from different methods of paying for NetApp's data storage systems and software. In addition to choosing the upfront payment method, companies can choose the subscription model, either deploying their own systems and software or using NetApp's managed services approach.
This approach will help NetApp keep pace with the competition, Staimer said.
"Until now, NetApp hasn't had comprehensive elastic subscription-based pricing, which IT organizations are increasingly looking for," he said. "This will help make NetApp more competitive."
Other hardware announcements included:
- Improvements to the all-flash StorageGRID line, including expansion capacity for the SG6060 StorageGRID array, which can now reach 2,136TB with two expansion shelves.
- The new AFF NVMe A400 all-flash storage array with data acceleration capabilities. The company says its extremely low latency makes it appropriate for data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) workloads, while the data acceleration makes it good for workloads with large I/Os.
- The new FAS8700 hybrid flash array with up to 176 raw TB capacity and a 4U controller. NetApp says it's optimized for high capacity and performance to consolidate multiple workloads.
- The new FAS8300, which scales to 88TB of raw storage.
- Upgrades to FlexPod, a converged infrastructure solution from NetApp and Cisco, including new Cisco Validated Designs and NetApp Validated Architectures, a new midsize solution and a new data center solution.
Software and Services Announcements
There were plenty announcements on the software and services side as well. One of the featured software announcements centered around AIOps, which is the application of AI to IT operations. In this realm, NetApp announced upgrades to Active IQ, including new SupportEdge Advisor and SupportEdge Expert offerings. The company also introduced a solution that combines Active EQ and Cloud Insights. The company said the idea of the integration is to provide a good solution for real-time issue resolution across a hybrid multicloud environment.
At the same time, NetApp announced an advanced version of Cloud Insights called Cloud Insights Premium, which adds Kubernetes monitoring with insider threat detection and topology visualization. Kubernetes is also the centerpiece of the company's redesigned DevOps offering that is cloud-agnostic.
Other announcements included:
- A new cloud compliance service that monitors native cloud storage in the public cloud. It integrates with Cloud Volumes ONTAP and uses AI to identify and classify sensitive data.
- The NetApp Data Protection and security assessment, which the company says will help organizations better plan for minimizing the impact of security threats by determining security readiness, improving response and recovering more quickly.