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As an IT Architect, I’m forever drawing these little theoretical boxes on whiteboards and computer screens and bits of paper. Then I draw lines that connect to other boxes, scribble some names and figures all around, do some back-of-the-envelope calculations and voilá - solution. (Research usually precedes and follows this art exercise BTW.)
Up until a couple of years ago, whenever I wrote “NetApp” or “Controller” on one of those boxes, I really, truly meant that it was a physical box. As in, sheet metal wrapped around some disks and a motherboard, with a NetApp bezel on the front and a serial number on the back. And usually there were two of them, cross-connected in an HA pair, with wires and power supplies, delivered on a pallet or in a cabinet. You know the drill.
But with the rise of hypervisors and powerful bare-metal systems, that definition changed. A spunky, irreverent sibling to the standard NetApp “engineered” system was created. NetApp jumped into the “software-defined storage (SDS)” biz. ONTAP Select was born.
The Benefits of Using ONTAP Select
With ONTAP Select, a customer can create their own implementations of ONTAP on third-party, white box hardware. Yes, with just a few floor-level requirements (RAID card with write-back cache, etc.), anyone can create an ONTAP system of their own. And that system can replicate with an engineered system, another Select system, and form clusters just like the big ones can. Software only, your hardware.
At about this point, admins, architects and engineers are making pictures in their heads (or on paper) that show ROBO systems with ONTAP Select, white boxes at service providers spun up with ONTAP Select, even Dev/Test machines spooled up out of unused hardware.
And if you need a service built on that so you don’t have to buy anything? IBM Bluemix (among other partners, natch) can give that to you now in their 37 data centers.
And BTW, if Azure or AWS are your cloud provider of choice, check out Cloud Volumes ONTAP (formerly ONTAP Cloud) for similar capabilities.
You’ve got a need for a flexible storage solution. How about the option to do it Software-Defined with your own hardware? And how about guaranteeing to your manager, CIO, CTO and customers that it will be Enterprise-Class?
So go ahead. Label that little box you drew. Heck, by now you’ve probably got it spun up already.
Want to get started? Try out Cloud Volumes ONTAP today with a 30-day free trial.