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NetApp introduces agile data infrastructure

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Leading global data and storage management solutions provider, NetApp, has introduced its agile data infrastructure (ADI), which combines rich data management with the architectural advantages of clustering to enable organisations to achieve and maintain business agility regardless of future changes to IT or the business itself.
NetApp SA country manager, Mike Styer, says the offering, which puts the business in charge of infrastructure, rather than the business having to adjust its strategy and operations to the infrastructure that is available, comes at just the right time for South African organisations.
“They’re beginning to pro-actively look for ways to easily and affordably take advantage of cloud facilities to be more responsive to their markets.
“The cloud is the end game of all the in, out, app, op and other ‘sourcing’ cycles that businesses have been through to reduce their IT and, therefore, their operating costs. Whether private, public, or hybrid, in theory, the cloud allows organisations to reduce their IT overheads and adjust, on the fly, to changing business dynamics.
“The practice is rather more challenging because most companies have legacy storage and data management systems that are relatively inflexible as well as being enormously complicated.
“So the fleetness of foot that the cloud promises is heavily offset by internal IT infrastructures that are resource intensive, compartmentalised into silos, and required to manage data that has not been optimised for the organisation’s own use, much less for migration to the cloud.
“With ADI, NetApp has put data and storage management on the same agile footing as the cloud by removing all the traditional limits on data infrastructure. The positions organisations to respond faster to market dynamics, operate without technology disruption, and grow without restriction.”
ADI amalgamates years of storage efficiency, clustering innovation, and new platform features, products, and technologies with the latest release of Data ONTAP software, the industry’s largest installed storage operating system.
ADI is designed to help IT organisations change the economics of IT and adapt to unpredictable data growth and business requirements with a single infrastructure that evolves as the business grows and service levels change over time.
“ADI is a leap beyond unified because, by clustering together multiple systems of any size instead of focussing on legacy monolithic systems, it optimises data management at a performance and capacity scale the industry never dreamed possible,” Styer says.
“By breaking down silos of infrastructure that tie applications to specific arrays, storage can become an infrastructure layer enabling non-disruptive operations and continuous data access.”
In terms of making data storage intelligent and self-aware in order to deliver an immediate response to changing business requirements, ADI includes service automation and analytics. These seamlessly scale capacity, not people, with end-to-end visibility into storage infrastructure, with functions that control, automate, and analyse data.
Storage efficiency exploits every opportunity to drive down costs while maintaining or boosting performance.
Virtual storage tiering enables agility, low cost, and maximum efficiency. A self-managing data-driven service layer allows a mixed-media storage pool to keep “hot” data on flash drives and less-active data on SATA drives.
NetApp confers infrastructure “immortality” by giving data a lifespan beyond the individual components of the infrastructure, delivering non-disruptive operations and maintaining data accessibility 24/7.
Zero downtime means business-critical applications such as Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, SQL Server, as well as solutions from Oracle, SAP AG, and Red Hat, running on VMware vSphere or Citrix XenServer do not go offline for routine upgrades and maintenance, add-ons, or even complete hardware refreshes.
Embedded Data Security ensures multi-level security, preventing unauthorised access to data and helping to meet stringent regulatory requirements for data at rest.
“Set it and forget it” integrated data protection creates more operational efficiency by removing human error and the need for ongoing adjustments to architecture, storage systems, and protection policies in order to meet service-level agreements.
Infinite scalability allows customers’ storage performance, capacity, and operational scalability to keep pace with their business growth.
NetApp’s Infinite Volumes enables seamless scaling – without the need to add more people to manage the environment or to sacrifice performance or capacity – by creating a single volume that can scale up to 20Pb as a single scalable entity.
The company also uses a unified architecture for diverse workloads, giving customers the flexibility to deal with changes in storage requirements. NetApp uses Secure Multi-tenancy to separate data in cloud environments, taking virtualisation to the next level and providing a bridge to cloud computing.