NetApp updates ONTAP and other tools for more unified hybrid cloud management

NetApp is also partnering with Equinix to integrate the colocation giant's services into the NetApp Keystone subscription service.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

NetApp on Tuesday introduced the latest version of its flagship ONTAP software, as well as a number of updates to its portfolio of products designed to help organizations build a better hybrid cloud. 

In addition to improving ONTAP, the company is transforming FlexPod -- its joint offering with Cisco -- from a traditional infrastructure stack to a fully-automated, as-a-service offering that's highly connected to cloud environments. NetApp is also partnering with Equinix to integrate the colocation giant's services into the NetApp Keystone subscription service. Additionally, NetApp is expanding the number of managed services that work across both on-premise and cloud environments. 

All told, the updates enable customers to connect their on-premise operations to multiple clouds with a simplified, unified management experience. 

With the ONTAP updates, all enhancements extend to on-premise systems as well as cloud services. That includes native storage services within Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. 

The latest version offers simplified management. For instance, a customer should be able to implement a hybrid cloud in just five minutes -- meaning they can start an ONTAP instance in the cloud and have it start serving data in that span of time. Other new capabilities include automated cold data tiering to NetApp's StorageGRID and the public cloud, as well as automatic monitoring and one-click problem resolution. 

Meanwhile, the updates to FlexPod -- the converged infrastructure offering from NetApp and Cisco -- will be rolled out in phases over the next few quarters. That includes intelligent application placement across on-premise and cloud environments, automated hybrid cloud data workflows, and the ability to consume FlexPod as a fully-managed service. 

As for the NetApp Keystone subscription service, the new integration with Equinix will give customers more agility when leveraging public cloud services. The service is available now in 21 Equinix data centers in 11 different countries, with more locations to come. It requires just a single contract with an invoice from NetApp.

The portfolio of managed services that now work both on-premise and in the cloud now includes Astra, a unique offering from NetApp that provides data services to Kubernetes environments. Originally announced for the cloud last year, Astra now enables customers to manage, protect, and migrate stateful applications on-premises.

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