There is no doubt we have entered an era of digital transformation, with data taking the center stage. But being data-centric is no small undertaking. You need to know how users are generating data and how to access it – whether that means it’s on premise, in the cloud or that you’re taking a hybrid approach to data management and storage. In a recent webinar, experts from NetApp discuss the methods they are using to help agencies manage data more effectively through digital transformation. Here are a few ways you can stay ahead in this brave new world of IT:

Digital Transformation Requires Infrastructure Transformation

For many agencies, digital transformation necessitates an IT infrastructure transformation. In order to do so, agencies are transitioning to a software defined architecture that’s powered by a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI). HCI promises huge performance and cost optimization benefits by integrating compute, storage and virtualization resources that are pre-configured together. While first- generation HCI solutions have created efficiencies; they did not address all the requirements of IT organizations because of their inability to be as flexible and scalable as needed.


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In response, NetApp launched Enterprise-Scale Hyper Converged Infrastructure (HCI), based on Solidfire – promising to provide the scalability and flexibility public sector customers need to support their mission.  What’s different about NetApp’s Enterprise-Scale HCI is it gives users the ability to control every volume and deliver applications with confidence, flexibility and scale. Enterprise- Scale HCI allows you to build your infrastructure on your own terms, with automation that transforms and empowers IT operations.

As Rob Gordon, Solidfire CTO says, NetApp’s HCI does this by offering “Three different pieces of storage and compute nodes with different sizes – small, medium and large.” Depending on how you want to setup your system, you can choose whichever size you want and scale out individually.  It can be done in such a manner that one piece of a time, one compute node can be added one at a time and storage can be added as seen fit. Then you can scale back and even remove nodes if needed. “Enterprise-Scale HCI allows you to grow as your environment grows,” Gordon explains.

Software-Defined Everything

Software-defined storage (SDS) plays a crucial role in digital transformation, with its ability to effectively eliminate the need for manual storage configurations within the new virtual data center. NetApp’s Enterprise-Scale HCI features ONTAP Select 9.2 SDS, delivering new levels of simplicity and flexibility with powerful data management capabilities and storage efficiencies.

Not only is ONTAP 9.2 a part of NetApp’s data fabric, but it can rapidly deploy to meet agency demands. It’s flexible enough to match organizational requirements, whether for small DoD deployments, or to meet unique space constraints for tactical emergency response and mobile data centers. That said, a truly software-designed architecture that leverages HCI needs all its components to work in conjunction with one another. With SDS, resources are utilized dynamically across the entire on-premises or cloud landscape, contributing to significantly better use of existing resources to lower costs.

As IT priorities have changed and data remains at the center of mission critical activities, a well orchestrated infrastructure with software oriented architecture is essential. After all, these are solutions that can enable virtual data centers of the future.

Find out more about how NetApp is helping organizations through digital transformation here.