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Decoding NetApp Cloud Terminology – Part 4

Ready for the fourth part of our NetApp cloud terminology explainer? Here we go…

What is multi-cloud?

The beauty of the public cloud is the broad range of services you can choose from, paying only for what you use. However, each platform has its variations and limitations. So building a best-of-breed application may mean using services from multiple vendors simultaneously.

If your business uses services from two or more vendors, you have joined the multi-cloud. But that additional flexibility brings significant admin overheads with it – so you need a common control plane to unify the experience. And this is where NetApp positions their BlueXP toolkit.

What are microservices?

Traditional applications were monolithic, containing everything they needed to run in a single codebase. However, this approach does not work in the modern CI/CD environment.

Instead, applications are broken down into smaller parts, each of which becomes a microservice; each function has its own microservice. Microservices are independent of the rest of the application, allowing for rapid development and deployment and increased scalability as demand increases. And because they are built for an abstracted layer, microservices can run virtually anywhere – in the cloud, on-premise, hybrid cloud or even on bare metal if required.

What is Lift and Shift?

Left and Shift is the fastest and easiest way to migrate operations to the cloud. You take your existing virtual servers and simply move them to a cloud platform. This is how most businesses began their cloud transition.

Although this approach works, it tends to be quite costly in the long run because services are not properly optimised for the pay-as-you-use resource billing model. Lift and Shift should only really be used as a stop-gap, allowing your operations to continue normally until your applications can be re-engineered for the cloud (see microservices above).

What are Dynamic Disk Pools?

RAID technology offers an important tool for protecting against data loss in the event of a server hard drive failure. But as storage capacity increases, so too does the RAID array rebuild time when disks fail.

To help accelerate the rebuild and recovery process, NetApp has introduced Dynamic Disk Pools. Using DPP your storage administrators can group sets of like disks into a pool topology. All the drives in the pool can then participate in the I/O workflow, extending failover capabilities far beyond just the disks associated with a physical array.

To learn more about NetApp cloud or for further explanation of any of these terms – please give the WTL team a call . We’re always happy to help!

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Decoding NetApp Cloud Terminology – Part 3

Continuing our dive into NetApp Cloud terminology, here’s another four buzzwords you need to know:

What is Data Migration?

At the most basic level, ‘data migration’ describes the process of moving your information stores from one location to another. In terms of the cloud, this could mean the migration is between your on-premises data centre and a cloud platform. It may also be used to describe the process of moving data between different cloud platforms, such as AWS to Azure or similar.

All of the major cloud vendors provide tools to assist with data migration, but you may need to re-skill your engineers to use them. NetApp also provides tools to assist with cloud data migration – particularly Cloud Volumes ONTAP – which may be more useful for businesses already invested in ONTAP data fabric.

What are Cloud Volumes?

Part of the NetApp ONTAP suite, Cloud Volumes allows you to have the same operating system running in the cloud and on-premises, extending your storage fabric and simplifying the process of managing your data. Cloud Volumes ONTAP is a software-only solution delivering enhanced control, protection, and efficiency to data with the flexibility of the public cloud.

For any business already invested in NetApp, this tool will be familiar, helping to reduce the learning curve and allowing your team to be more productive, and faster. Cloud Volumes are also invaluable for helping migrate ONTAP workloads to the cloud.

What is Public Cloud Storage?

‘Public cloud’ describes hosted services running on shared infrastructure, the default offering from most vendors including Oracle OCI, AWS, Google and Microsoft Azure. ‘Public cloud storage’ is any kind of data storage hosted by one of these multi-tenant services.

It is important to note that although data is stored on shared infrastructure, the architecture has been secured to prevent access by other tenants. The cloud platform sits on a layer above the physical hardware which exists as a shared pool of resources, ready to be used on demand.

What is The Private Cloud?

The private cloud defines fully segregated storage and services running in the cloud. Offering the same scalability and reliability, the private cloud runs on dedicated hardware – there is no multi-tenancy or sharing. A private cloud is typically used for highly-sensitive or resource-intensive mission-critical workloads that must not be affected by other tenants. A well-known example of a private cloud is Oracle’s Cloud@Customer offering.

The use of dedicated hardware tends to make private cloud deployments more expensive than public cloud equivalents. However, the enhanced security, availability and reliability offset these costs.

To learn more about and NetApp’s cloud offerings and how these tools and services can benefit your business (or for help understanding their next-generation terminology) – give the WTL team a call. We’re always happy to help!

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Decoding NetApp Cloud Terminology – Part 2

Still struggling with NetApp cloud terminology? You’re not alone. Here are another four important terms you really need to know.

What is “Quality of Service” (QoS)?

Quality of Service is a commonly understood concept within IT service provision and networking. The idea is that applications are allocated priority access to resources based on their importance to business operations.

In the context of NetApp, QoS is configured on each storage volume with minimum, maximum, and burst IOPS values that are strictly enforced within the system. These configurations ensure consistent application performance and solve several cloud architecture problems including:

  • Delivery of predictable performance to multiple applications
  • The ability to scale performance and capacity resources on demand
  • Reducing unpredictable I/O patterns
  • Eliminating noisy neighbour applications
  • Eliminating manual adjustments and major hardware upgrades when workload requirements change
  • Enabling enterprise scale growth without system disruption

Unlike other “bolt-on” solutions, QoS is built into the fabric of NetApp storage to ensure effective, reliable and scalable performance guarantees.

What is “CI/CD”?

The move towards agile development and DevOps means that businesses can code and deploy application updates faster than ever. Alongside this methodology framework, we have seen the emergence of a new concept – “Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment” (CI/CD).

Under this model, much of the development process, particularly integration, testing, delivery and deployment is automated. This frees developers to focus more of their time and effort on writing better code instead of infrastructure management and integration.

What is “Data Centre Automation”?

As infrastructure becomes increasingly complex, administrative overheads increase exponentially. To help reduce these overheads, NetApp provides data centre automation tools.

Using these tools, common tasks and processes like scheduling, monitoring, maintenance and application delivery can be automated. Patch deployment becomes self-regulating, low-level monitoring and responses can be automated and standards and policies enforced without human intervention.

Ultimately, data centre automation allows the IT infrastructure team to focus more resources on strategic developments without compromising operations or systems integrity and availability.

What is “Site Reliability Engineering” (SRE)?

Site reliability engineering is similar in concept to DevOps in that it is concerned with enhancing the release cycle by helping dev and ops see each other’s side of the process throughout the application lifecycle. However, where DevOps focuses on the ‘what’ needs to be done, SRE is interested in the ‘how’.

In this regard, SRE measures and incrementally improves every process from source code to deployment. It does this by applying software engineering practices to infrastructure and operations problems, creating ultra-scalable software and systems in the process.

To learn more about NetApp’s cloud offerings and how QoS, CI/CD and SRE can benefit your business give the WTL team a call or take a look at part 1 of this blog on NetApp Cloud Terminology.

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Decoding NetApp Cloud Terminology – Part 1

The proliferation of cloud services has led to a confusing array of jargon and terminology. Worse still, some of these terms seem to be vendor specific. So, without further delay, here are some phrases you may encounter when working with NetApp cloud.

What is “Term Capacity Licensing”?

Traditionally storage hardware and software licensing are bundled. When you acquire new hardware, the relevant software licenses are included, tied to the specific system on which it is installed. But when you retire older hardware, the associated licenses are also ‘lost’.

Storage use has changed significantly in the era of virtualisation and cloud, with generic hardware providing a layer on which to build. This abstraction allows hardware to be replaced or upgraded without affecting operations. However, legacy terms mean that new licenses must be purchased as the storage changes.

To help businesses embrace the flexibility of modern storage architecture, NetApp has introduced ‘Term Capacity Licensing’. This new model separates hardware and software by allowing customers to purchase NetApp licenses based on storage capacity – the physical hardware on which it is installed no longer matters.

This then allows NetApp customers to modify, upgrade and replace physical hardware whenever they choose without incurring additional licensing costs.

What is “Cloud Analytics”?

For NetApp, cloud analytics describes tools and techniques that can be used to derive deep insights from data you store in the cloud. Using elements of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), cloud analytics can be applied to almost any facet of your operations. This could be in the form of understanding how your data is being used, to identifying previously invisible trends between disparate data sets.

Using cloud analytics, your business can apply real-world insights to increase efficiency, reduce operating costs, improve the quality of service provided to your customers or develop entirely new products. Insights can be generated from customer-facing or internal operations, or any combination of the two. If you can measure it, you can also analyse it.

What is “Platform as a Service”?

Platform as a Service (PaaS) is typically used to describe a basic cloud service. Your applications, virtualised servers, microservices and containers are all installed on a ‘platform’ which is hosted by the cloud provider. The platform is provided ‘as a service’ – you simply pay for the compute resources you use without the capital spend overheads of expanding your on-premise data centre.

For many businesses, PaaS offerings are essential to their digital transformation programs, allowing them to expand and contract resources as required. This reduces waste without constricting capacity.

To learn more about NetApp’s cloud offerings and how they can benefit your business (or for help understanding their next-generation terminology) – give the WTL team a call . We’re always happy to answer any question!

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5 Reasons Why NetApp is the Perfect Platform for Oracle

Choice of infrastructure will have a massive impact on the performance of your Oracle estate – and the repercussions of that choice could last many years. So, as you consider the various options available, here are five ways NetApp will turbo-charge your operations.

1. Unlimited flexibility

Many vendors use inflexibility to lock customers into their ecosystem. And even though hybrid cloud computing is the new norm, some still try to tie their customers to on-premise or on-cloud only.

NetApp takes a different approach allowing you to choose the best of both and to move data seamlessly between your on-premise data centre and any public or private cloud of your choice. This limitless flexibility ensures you can build a platform that perfectly balances performance, scalability and cost.

2. Remarkable performance gains

Underperformance is likely to be one of the motivating factors behind your decision to upgrade infrastructure, but the wrong choice now could limit potential gains. According to NetApp, customers can boost performance by up to 20 times (20,000%!) with the right hardware choices.

Importantly, these gains can be realised on existing applications too, maximising the value of your new infrastructure investment and reducing TCO of legacy apps.

3. Accelerated development

Infrastructure performance also has a significant effect on development cycles. The slower things get, the longer it takes to provision resources and copy data, forcing the dev team to wait.

NetApp offers a range of innovative features, like parallel copies and backups, that can prepare a full development environment – including data – in just 15 minutes.

4. Reduced TCO

As your IT estate expands, so does the total cost of ownership (TCO). More hardware directly equates to increased capital and operational spending.

With innovative deduplication and compression technologies, along with seamless transfer to the cloud, NetApp can help streamline physical hardware assets. This functionality results in time and effort savings of up to 90%, immediately reducing TCO against existing solutions.

5. Infinite scalability

The wrong infrastructure can leave your business stuck with poorly performing hardware and reduces options for growth as your needs change. Change is inevitable – and you must have Oracle infrastructure to support it.

With NetApp, you benefit from limitless scalability, both on-premise and in the cloud. More than just increasing capacity, NetApp hardware allows you to take advantage of new technologies like NVMe and AI to further increase the functionality and longevity of your Oracle infrastructure investment/.

Contact us to learn more

Choosing NetApp for your Oracle infrastructure makes sense. Not only is it cost-effective, but your business benefits from cumulative savings and reduced TCO over the long term.

To learn more about the NetApp advantage, please give the WTL a call  to discuss your Oracle needs.