NetApp – Not Just Surviving but Thriving

When you’re a company that has been around for over 25 years, some people might look at you like a dinosaur, slowly plodding along as the end of the world as you know it approaches. A lot of press has been made in recent years that puts NetApp in this light. Some have said that NetApp has just been plodding along, not in touch with the industry or its customers’ needs.

Yet in the last 6 months, this “dinosaur” has started to show its teeth. The stock price has gone from $37.43 in September to a high of $71.41, and with the announcements made yesterday, you can expect that to go higher.

With the newly announced AFF A800, NetApp is now able to provide sub 200 µs latency for workloads that have the most demanding data needs. That’s an order of magnitude better than previous generations!

Not only is the AFF A800 blazingly fast, it can handle huge amounts of traffic with 25GB/s throughput on an HA pair and the ability to have NVMe end to end from the server to the storage via NVMe over FC. If using 32 or 16Gb FC isn’t a requirement you can use ethernet speeds of 100Gbe, another industry first made by NetApp. With 12 pairs clustered together, you are talking 300GB/s throughput on a single management domain. That should meet the most demanding environments.

With a current run rate of $2.0B for their all flash business, having already shipped over 20PB of NVME, and with a 44% Petabyte year on year growth, NetApp’s flash business is not only going to increase in size in the future, but with numbers like this it will survive any extinction event.

But the announcements made yesterday are not just about end-to-end NVMe-accelerated performance. There were also more advanced cloud integration messages.

NetApp’s cloud strategy is geared towards enabling customers to deliver business outcomes for all IT workloads in cloud, multi-cloud, and hybrid cloud environments. To do this, you must modernise your data management from the edge, to the core, and to the cloud.

Fabric Pool is just one of the features designed to help you do just that. Fabric Pool enables automatic tiering of cold data, which means you can purchase a smaller system or get an even higher amount of consolidation on a single box. With the release of ONTAP 9.4, Fabric Pool has been improved to allow Azure as a capacity tier and ONTAP Select as a performance tier. It can now also tier from the active primary data set, which is something I am looking forward to testing soon.

So when you look at these and other announcements that NetApp made yesterday, if they are a “dinosaur,” I would put them in the meat-eating Velociraptor camp. And that’s one dinosaur you do not want to take your eye off.