Take Five With Tom Fenton

5 Technologies I'll Be Looking into at NetApp Insight

NetApp's annual user conference, Insight, will be held this year at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas Oct. 28-30. The schedule has been released, and it looks like it's going to have some very interesting sessions and presentations. I'll be attending some sessions and following up on some of the announcements NetApp made at VMworld this year. That said, following are the five technologies I'll be focusing on at NetApp Insight this year.

  1. Kubernetes: Last year NetApp acquired StackPointCloud to increase its Kubernetes-based management and multi-cloud portfolio. Then, at VMworld, NetApp announced an update to NetApp Kubernetes Service (NKS) on VMware. NKS can now add a fully managed Kubernetes service on VMware vSphere as well as on public clouds from a single pane of glass. I'll be looking into NKS as well as other Kubernetes NetApp technologies.
  2. HCI VDI with GPU Nodes: Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is one of the fastest-growing sectors in IT and it doesn't seem to be slowing down. NetApp jumped into the market a few years ago by coupling x86 servers with SolidFire all-flash storage. One of the use cases the HCI offering targets is virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), and earlier this year the company announced it will be offering GPU-enabled HCI nodes. With GPUs and all-flash storage, these nodes should be screamers and I'm excited to see what they can deliver.
  3. NVMe over Fabric: NetApp has had NVMe over Fabric (NVMe-oF) in ONTAP since 9.4. I'm excited to talk to NetApp to see if their customer base has begun to implement this technology and see if the company has any plans on embracing the latest NVMe-oF protocol, NVMe-oF/TCP.
  4. Data Fabric: NetApp Data Fabric has been around for many years (it was announced in 2014) with the goal of making data storage a ubiquitous layer of abstraction. Its promise is that you can attach to on-premises or cloud-based storage seamlessly and effortlessly. By doing this, IT administrators can choose the best type of storage for their applications or for data storage. I'll be looking to see how they're going to extend Data Fabric this year.
  5. NetApp Ecosystem: One of the great things about going to a conference like NetApp Insight is visiting with the vendors on the show floor. Vendors are more agile and can push technology boundaries faster than big, established firms. Over the years I've found many vendors that are two or three years ahead of the technology curve, and this year I'll be rooting around the show floor trying to find the next big thing.

Stay tuned.

About the Author

Tom Fenton has a wealth of hands-on IT experience gained over the past 30 years in a variety of technologies, with the past 20 years focusing on virtualization and storage. He currently works as a Technical Marketing Manager for ControlUp. He previously worked at VMware in Staff and Senior level positions. He has also worked as a Senior Validation Engineer with The Taneja Group, where he headed the Validation Service Lab and was instrumental in starting up its vSphere Virtual Volumes practice. He's on X @vDoppler.


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