73: GreyBeards talk HCI with Gabriel Chapman, Sr. Mgr. Cloud Infrastructure NetApp

This episode of the Greybeards on Storage podcast features a conversation with NetApp’s Senior Manager, Cloud Infrastructure, Gabriel Chapman. Andy presented to hosts Ray Lucchesi and Howard Marks at Tech Field Day Extra at NetApp Insight 2018. They discuss NetApp’s approach to HCI. Their architecture pairs NetApp Solidfire storage nodes with dedicated compute nodes. Their overall approach is less focused with a strict definition of HCI, and more based around being relevant for hybrid cloud infrastructure.


NetApp: HCI Stands For “Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure”

Stephen Foskett wrote up his thoughts on NetApp’s HCI as he saw at Tech Field Day Extra at NetApp Insight 2018. Some may quibble if their architecture is “hyperconverged infrastructure”, but for NetApp, that’s beside the point. NetApp was focused on making a true hybrid cloud infrastructure, taking a more functionalist look at what HCI has to be. Stephen sees this as being what will allow NetApp to keep customers in the fold as they move to converged and cloud solutions.


What is HCI and really, does it matter?

After attending Tech Field Day Extra at NetApp Insight 2018, Matt Leib has a question. What should HCI stand for, hyperconverged, or hybrid cloud infrastructure. At the event, Matt got to hear from NetApp’s Gabriel Chapman about where and what HCI is actually being used for in the enterprise. Matt found Gabe’s argument that the “traditional” HCI definition isn’t really relevant in today’s enterprise. You can watch the full video of NetApp’s discussion on their appearance page from the event.


Disaggregation or hyperconvergence?

Chin-Fah Heoh got to thinking about the current crop of HCI solutions. He thought of how companies like NetApp and Datrium have architectures that provide discrete data and compute nodes. But after seeing the presentation from DriveScale at Tech Field Day this month, disaggregation may actually prove to be more important for organizations. Their approach allows for assembling storage, compute and networking resources into virtual clusters, composing them as needed. Chin-Fah needs to dig deeper into their solution, but was fascinated at the prospect.