NetApp HCI: Hyper Converged or Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure

Arjan Timmerman is back on the blogging beat and covering the last Field Day event he attended. In this post, he’s covering the presentations from Tech Field Day Extra at NetApp Insight 2018. It’s an interesting post that has some added perspective given the time that’s passed. We can’t wait to see more great writing from Arjan!

The HCI Definition Obsession

In this post, Chris Evans considers the latest ability of NetApp’s Cloud Volumes services to run on-premises with NetApp HCI. This struck him as storage coming full circle, with a cloud-native approach to storage coming back within the data center. For Chris, this sparked the thought that maybe people have misunderstood NetApp’s HCI strategy from the start. Instead of strictly adhering to a traditional definition of HCI, NetApp built a hybrid cloud solution that provides a consistent experience for customers. In the end, Chris thinks that’s more valuable.

NetApp Insight 2018 Product Announcements

In this post, Ray Lucchesi runs down the major announcements from NetApp Insight 2018. NetApp Kubernetes Service allows for running managed Kubernetes on the public cloud or on NetApp HCI hardware. MAX Data comes out of NetApp’s Plexistor acquisition and offers a two-tier, local file system that can make use of DRAM, NVDIMMs, or 3D Xpoint memory as an ultra-fast Persistent Memory Tier and ONTAP storage as the Storage Tier. Ray thinks NetApp has been on a high lately, and these announcements show the company has no signs of slowing down.

MAX Data: Optimising Application Performance With SCM

Chris Evans digs into NetApp’s MAX Data, a tiered storage solution that comes from the company’s acquisition of Plexistor back in 2017. Chris sees this as a must watch technology for 2019, even if he still needs to see some solid performance data before making a final judgement. To learn more about how MAX Data can “really exploit the potential of SCM and technologies like Intel Optane”, be sure to watch their presentation from Tech Field Day at NetApp Insight.

NetApp buys into Kubernetes Orchestration with StackPointCloud

Chris Evans breaks down the reasons behind NetApp’s recent acquisition of StackPointCloud. The company gained a management Kubernetes provider that works across clouds. Now they are using it to run their own NetApp Kubernetes service. This is another vital step for the company from transforming from selling storage hardware and software into a storage service provider.

NetApp Data Fabric: A la Hybrid Cloud! – An update from NetApp Insight 2018

Chan Ekanayake attending Tech Field Day Extra at NetApp Insight 2018, and in this post shares his thoughts on NetApp’s announcements around Data Fabric. At Insight, the company showed how Data Fabric is moving beyond simply being a hybrid cloud solution. Now Data Fabric can provide data portibility across across Edge to Core to Cloud platforms. NetApp also extended the data services available to Data Fabric solutions. Chan thinks the strategy for NetApp is sound, the devil will be in continuing to execute. But he sees NetApp’s willingness to invest and differentiate with software will only serve to their advantage going forward.

Live at VMworld Europe 2018: An Update on VMware Strategy and Vision, or VMware is Cool Again

In this post, Max Mortillaro considers the emergence of Kubernetes as a de facto container orchestrator. This can be seen looking at any number of IT companies, including what he saw at Tech Field Day Extra at NetApp Insight 2018. This event saw a lot of coverage around the company’s new NetApp Kubernetes Service, from their recent StackPointCloud acquisition.

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.

75: GreyBeards talk persistent memory IO with Andy Grimes, Principal Technologist, NetApp

This episode of the Greybeards on Storage podcast features a conversation with NetApp’s Principal Technologist, Andy Grimes. Andy presented to hosts Ray Lucchesi and Howard Marks at Tech Field Day Extra at NetApp Insight 2018, where he presented on MAX Data. This software-defined persistent memory solution comes out of the assets from NetApp’s Plexistor acquisition. They discuss some of the technical details, how it is designed to use emerging persistent memory, and use cases for the enterprise.

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.

NetApp MAX Data: The Persistence of Memory, Revisited

Max Mortillaro takes a surrealist approach in looking at NetApp MAX Data, something he heard a great deal about at Tech Field Day Extra at NetApp Insight 2018. This is an evolution on the assets NetApp obtained in the Plexistor acquisition, providing a software-defined architecture that leverages persistent memory for data storage. This can use either NVDIMMs or Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory modules. Max was impressed by their tiering scheme in MAX Data, providing a seamless integration for this cutting edge tech into a very traditional stack.

NetApp Insight: Fabrics, Volumes, Insights & more

David Chapa was onboard as a delegate for Tech Field Day Extra at NetApp Insight 2018. At the event, he took away the theme that today’s NetApp is all about being “data driven.” To that effect, about the evolution of NetApp’s Data Fabric, the recently announced Cloud Volume developments, and Cloud Insights. Overall, David found what was announced impressive, but thinks the challenge will be to move from the company’s business-focused solutions and build from there.

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.

NetApp’s Data Fabric Gets Real

At Tech Field Day Extra at NetApp Insight 2018, the delegates got to see NetApp’s vision of Data Fabric come a little bit more into reality. In this piece, Stephen Foskett outlines how the company has taken Data Fabric from more of a marketing formulation into a real set of data services, orchestration, and management solutions. This is all backed by their previous release of Cloud Volumes to make hybrid storage a reality for the unique swath of customers in NetApp’s customer base.

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.

NetApp Data Fabric: putting in practice the “Theory of Everything” for Data and Storage

Max Mortillaro was along as a delegate for Tech Field Day Extra at NetApp Insight 2018 last week. He got to hear about the latest with NetApp Data Fabric, which Max sees as a major breakthrough in how organizations manage data. Data Fabric takes full control of storage infrastructure, abstracting it at the data level, where it can then offer extremely granular services. With advanced features like Cloud Tiering and Kubernetes Integration, Max wonders if this even qualifies as a storage product. While he has concerns about cost, in the end, Max calls Data Fabric a “killer solution.”

NetApp’s Max Data at #NetAppInsight and #TFDx

At Tech Field Day Extra at NetApp Insight 2018, Matt Leib got to see the launch of NetApp Max Data. In this post, he traces the technology back to NetApp’s acquisition of Plexistor, who who saw at a Storage Field Day event back in 2016. This uses an embedded tiering architecture to allow onboard memory to hold entire databases. Matt likes that the architecture easily allows for expansion into newer “near” memory bus architectures, allowing for growth over time. For him, it’s just more evidance that today’s NetApp is far more than just a “Filer” company.

NetApp HCI Update

Chris Maki was a delegate at Tech Field Day Extra at NetApp Insight 2018. At the event, he got a deep dive into a number of NetApp announcements, including an update to their HCI offerings. In this post, Chris outlines some of the new hardware available, including new compute nodes, GPU accelerators, and networking.

NETAPP INSIGHT 2018 – TFDX- Data Fabric 2.0

At NetApp Insight 2018, the company provided more details on Data Fabric 2.0. Roger Lund attended as part of Tech Field Day Extra at NetApp Insight, and wrote up some of the details in this post. With Data Fabric 2.0, NetApp is now able to offer management & monitoring, orchestrations, data services, and data storage across clouds.


Roger Lund provides some updates that he saw at Tech Field Day Extra at NetApp Insight 2018. In this post, he focuses on NetApp MAX Data. This comes out of their recent Plexistor acquisition, and offers data management services for persistent memory. NetApp sees this as optimized for workloads in real-time analytics, in-memory DBs, AI, and data warehouses.