Take Five With Tom Fenton

Technologies To Look into at NetApp Insight 2018

With the event just a few weeks away, here's what's piquing Tom Fenton's interest at this year's conference.

NetApp Insight will be held this year at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas from Oct. 22-24. Why am I excited? NetApp has been on a tear lately, buying some exciting companies and investing heavily in its existing technology. I'm eager to learn more about the company's portfolio and how its ecosystem, which tends to be more aggressive with emerging technologies, is pushing the boundaries of tech. Here are five technologies that I'll be focusing on this year at NetApp Insight.

TECHNOLOGY 1
Kubernetes. NetApp announced in mid-September that it had acquired StackPointCloud to increase its Kubernetes-based management and multi-cloud portfolio. NetApp will use StackPointCloud's Kubernetes-as-a-Service technology, intellectual property (IP) and expertise to expand its NetApp Kubernetes Service (NKS) initiative. NetApp has stated that StackPointCloud will be integrated into NetApp's Cloud Data Services business. Kubernetes is one of the hottest and most innovative technologies of the decade, and I'm very interested to see how NetApp will fold it into its portfolio.

TECHNOLOGY 2
Object Storage. At last year's NetApp Insight, I got a chance to chat with Dale Degen, director of Cloud Infrastructure Business at NetApp, and he mentioned that NetApp was putting more focus on its object storage solution, NetApp StorageGrid Webscale. Object storage, after being a storage outlier for a while, is coming into its own and I hope to learn more about the changes that NetApp has made and is planning with regard to object storage.

TECHNOLOGY 3
NVMe over Fabric. Last year, NetApp announced that it would include NVMe over Fabric (NVMe-oF) in ONTAP 9.4. ONTAP 9.4 has already been released and NetApp has reported that it has seen 50 percent higher IOPS and up to 34 percent lower latency than with SCSI FCP when using NVMe-oF. I hope to get a chance to dig into this technology, as well as NetApp's NVMe array offering, the A800.

TECHNOLOGY 4
Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI). NetApp HCI was big news at last year's NetApp Insight. Although a little bit late to the HCI party, NetApp does have a very loyal customer base, and I want to investigate if NetApp customers are embracing the NetApp HCI solution in the highly competitive HCI market. Judging by the number of HCI sessions at Insight, there appears to be strong interest in this product.

TECHNOLOGY 5
Hybrid On-Premises/Cloud Storage. NetApp seems to understand and embrace the fact that the future datacenter will be a mixture of on-premises and cloud storage. It looks like most of NetApp's on-premises technologies either already have -- or will have in the future -- the ability to bridge to the cloud. This ability is highlighted by the company's latest acquisition, Stackpoint, which manages Kubernetes deployments across many different public cloud providers, including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure, among others.

About the Author

Tom Fenton works in VMware's Education department as a Senior Course Developer. He has a wealth of hands-on IT experience gained over the past 20 years in a variety of technologies, with the past 10 years focused on virtualization and storage. Before re-joining VMware, Tom was a Senior Validation Engineer with The Taneja Group, were he headed their Validation Service Lab and was instrumental in starting up its vSphere Virtual Volumes practice. He's on Twitter @vDoppler.

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