Government IT teams are no strangers to the advantages of cloud. Whether public, private or hybrid solutions, cloud offers instant infrastructure and economic flexibility while mitigating overall costs. Yet, some remain concerned, with good reason, about the possibility of losing control of their data or compromising the lifecycle of such data. These concerns have government IT professionals apprehensive when it comes to cloud adoption.

Jon Kissane

“NetApp is innovating at an unrelenting pace…”

In response to these concerns, NetApp continues to innovate at a relentless pace and has recently released its data fabric solution which addresses these core concerns as well as providing a boost to agency performance.

To provide further guidance on this hot topic, the GovDataDownload editorial staff reached out to Jon Kissane- Chief Strategy Officer and General Manager of Cloud Business at NetApp. Jon was able to give us the inside scoop on NetApp’s Data ONTAP® solutions. He clarified how it functions within a data fabric to ensure data lifecycle with future-proof pathways and how the end user can maintain control while also avoiding taxing tight budgets.

Keep reading below to see what else Jon had to share on data fabric:

GovDataDownload (GDD): IT is a fast paced business, with many changes having occurred in not only how we store data but also in how we perceive it. As a result of these changes many are considering a hybrid cloud option. What are the benefits to adopting a hybrid cloud option for industry as well as government agencies?

Jon Kissane (JK): The benefits of the hybrid cloud can be best realized when an organization’s goals, objectives and needs are matched against all of the new options and offerings of both private cloud and public cloud. And, over time these can be aligned with the service levels, economics, security and consumption model that people have come to expect from their workloads and affiliated IT services.

By better matching these components, end users can reach and even exceed their business and organizational objectives. IT is no longer a one-size-fits all world; there are many and varied choices available due to the advent of cloud. These choices allow people to more effectively match business objectives to the appropriate characteristics.

For example, when people buy cars, they don’t all buy the Model-T. People also don’t buy a new car every time they need to use a vehicle that is different from the kind they already have. So, for instance, what if I need a pick-up truck to haul something, or I need a Lamborghini for a race- I can rent one, I can use a service like Zip car- the options available to me are endless.

The change in consumption and the variety of different vehicles available allows people to align their needs with what and how much they consume. And, just like in the cloud, they can make those choices based on performance characteristics, economics, and current needs.

Additionally, the cloud is becoming a necessity for future-proofing one’s data in order to meet the needs of not just today’s host of static choices but also the evolving choices that may be presented over time as well. Ultimately, the benefits of cloud are prevalent, but there are challenges as well, and NetApp wants to help.

GDD: Along those lines, how does NetApp’s approach to data storage, with clustered Data ONTAP for example, reflect changes in technology?

JK: Organizations want to maintain control over their data and their workloads, now and going into the future. And, with the numerous private and public cloud deployment options available through NetApp, we provide a single, seamless approach to manage data across public and private infrastructure to ensure the reliability of data. And, companies can choose a future-proof option where they can access infinite compute in the cloud, while keeping data safe.

At NetApp, we’ve been big investors in innovation for the sake of creating options that ensure people, customers and organizations have optimal control over their data, and that those options continue to align with their current and future business objectives.

If you consider clustered Data ONTAP® in particular, end users can access private cloud deployments on FlexPod®; they can have software-only deployments in the cloud with Cloud ONTAP; or they can put together combinations of hyperscaler compute with NetApp Private Storage that gives their organization full enterprise-caliber capabilities for data management, and controlling and managing their data.

It’s a world where people want to spin-up and spin-down resources quickly and by giving them a data fabric they can do so consistently across multiple options.

At NetApp, we empower customers to be in control.

GDD: NetApp strives to be a trusted partner and solution provider. Given the changes in technology, how do they enable NetApp to fulfill its vision of the ideal data storage environment for its customers?

JK: We are trusted advisors for many of our customers and strive to make our customers trusted advisors for their clients as well.

Our seamless data fabric puts customers and partners in a position to continually improve how their IT resources come to bear on their business and/or organizational objectives.

Data fabric gives them the capability to increase agility, better manage cost, better incorporate security choices; and they don’t have to compromise on enterprise caliber capabilities within data management.

If end users do embrace a data fabric, they will continue to be in the driver’s seat, making them heroes to their organization.

GDD: At the NetApp Hybrid Cloud Exchange Data Fabric Seminar there was a great deal of focus on understanding one’s data and also maintaining control over it as well. With that in mind, what advantages do innovations such as NetApp’s data fabric bring for public sector organizations?

JK: Public sector organizations will leverage data fabric to include greater agility and innovation, while still being able to leverage full control over the existing business processes they’ve come to rely upon.

With clustered Data ONTAP®, users can tap into hyperscale compute and storage capabilities, run trial workloads in the cloud and then have the confidence that they’ll be able to bring that data back to operate on-premises when they need it.

End users can also archive to the cloud so that they can—either on premise or through a hyperscale provider—control cost on their long term storage and ensure that it matches their ever-evolving budget and compliance needs.

The world is dynamic- there’s change in media- there’s change in consumption. In the midst of those changes, the data that provides an engine for organizational workload can be hot, warm or cold.

For many adopting cloud, the worst thing they can do is get stuck on a data format that doesn’t enable them to take advantage of a different pathway in the future. With some today’s options through hyperscale cloud providers, end users can get trapped by a certain media choice or get stuck with a particular hyperscale provider from which they can’t easily migrate data back on premise.

However, with a data fabric, the lifecycle of your data is protected and has the necessary flexibility to move from one path to another, improving upon cost in the long run and preserving data lifecycle.

GDD: What are the next big changes you see on the horizon in the realm of data storage solutions?

JK: There are two things that really strike me here. First, the price-for-performance difference among flash, spinning disc, the cloud and the workload characteristics is really going to spread out the options and allow people to differentiate which customers and which workloads get which type of resources.

Second is the data lifecycle. Data lifecycle is important because among all of those choices, applications and workloads, the data generated has a finite period of time when it’s very valuable, and it’s very hot. During that period, we want to get that data to the right solution for the business at the right priority level. Yet, as that data cools and needs to eventually be demoted to a lower tier or archived, organizations require the capability to archive effectively at little to no additional cost over the data’s lifecycle.

These capabilities enable an organization be lean in how it manages itself with continued agility for relevancy in their industry’s space.

GDD: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

JK: NetApp is innovating at an unrelenting pace. And while there are changes in the industry related to cloud, hybrid, flash and other areas- we’ve got thousands of engineers- a full force- working on the continued improvement of our products and solutions to help our customers navigate the cloud and continue to give them the power that they need to achieve their organizational goals.

To learn more about NetApp’s Data Fabric, click here.