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Nov 24 2021

How to tame hybrid cloud complexity with Cloud Volumes ONTAP

For all the advantages of cloud – and there are many – very few organizations are operating at “100% cloud.” Just 2%, according to IDC, with the hybrid cloud now being the preferred cloud operating model for 83% of European organizations.

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This reality can be attributed to a variety of reasons. For those seeking greater simplicity with cloud-only strategies, Gartner analyst Gregor Petri recently observed that the #1 reality of cloud is – paradoxically – greater complexity. The hybrid cloud has its challenges, with significant inhibitors such as skills availability, latency and security constraints, and lack of consistent automation and analytics to optimize cloud environments. However, the benefits to be had make the effort worthwhile. IDC also reports that users’ expectations of digital infrastructure are mainly focused on new digital products and services, better business insight, and reduced risk due to security automation.

The bottom line appears to be that the hybrid cloud is better aligned with delivering business outcomes. That’s shown by the 76% of hybrid cloud users who see IT as a “driver of competitive advantage” or “enabler of business efficiency,” compared with 67% of non-hybrid cloud users.

 

The fabric of simplicity

Bringing all this together successfully puts a premium on the ability to deliver. Business users are primarily looking for partners like Fujitsu who can achieve various types of cloud environments consistently, cost-efficiently, and by leveraging a rich cloud ecosystem.

People are getting excited. “Data fabrics are replacing point-to-point integration with universal access controls, thus eliminating data copying, promoting collaborative intelligence, ending data silos, and creating meaningful data ownership arguably for the first time since the invention of digitized data.” said Dan DeMers on G2.com. He goes on to contend that data fabric has arrived just in time, “...when policies like the GDPR are seeking to codify the protection of data privacy.”

A good example of data fabric is built with NetApp ONTAP. Available in various forms that include traditional storage appliances as well as Cloud Volumes ONTAP (CVO) in the leading public clouds, instances can be brought together to form a data fabric, regardless of which cloud or on-prem device they run on. This is possible since they all operate with a common language (protocol) and are intelligent enough to cope with any location-specific particularities. The world's leading enterprise data management software delivers control, protection, flexibility, and efficiency to keep data integrated and consistent across the customer’s choice of cloud platforms – AWS, Azure, and Google cloud. Using CVO, you can quickly migrate applications to the cloud, maintain business continuity, and dramatically reduce expenditures on storage in public clouds. Fujitsu partners with NetApp to build and integrate ONTAP data fabrics for customers within hybrid cloud environments, aiming to maximize operational efficiency, protect critical data, and accelerate business outcomes.

To add to an already impressive list of benefits, CVO also makes it possible to include enhanced cloud optimization and portability, not to mention multiprotocol support for enterprise file services and heightened compliance and security.

ONTAP has always been a popular data management platform for software developers due to the way it accelerates dataset creation/copying/revert-to-original. These benefits are useful regardless of the development process because DevOps teams appreciate faster testing as much as developers following more traditional waterfall processes. Bringing that capability to the public clouds enables developers to combine the data agility with access to elastic compute resources to achieve unprecedented testing speed at massive scale. ONTAP even provides unique benefits to Kubernetes-based workloads. Plus, an ONTAP data fabric can form the foundation for container portability between clouds.

 

It all comes down to control

It’s sometimes easy to choose a particular cloud and think it is the right solution for every workload in all circumstances; however, the reality is that the hybrid cloud better prepares you for the future in this unpredictable world. Getting the most out of hybrid deployment comes down to control and how well you manage your hybrid cloud environment. It is critically important to establish a simple, unified method to monitor and control the services.

 As with so many technologies, there is a wide choice of proprietary management tools that can create complexity in operations. ”Management sovereignty” is an emerging term that emphasizes the importance of maintaining control of your management tools and avoiding getting locked in to a particular cloud provider. Think of it as on-premises management.

Delivering a consistent management plane in a hybrid cloud environment is much simpler with CVO. You get advanced data management that enhances service levels, saves time for IT and DevOps, and reduces storage management and associated costs. It is all managed from NetApp Cloud Manager, an easy-to-use SaaS platform. This provides an integrated view of all your ONTAP instances, whether on-premises or any of the leading public cloud platforms. Working with NetApp and Fujitsu simplifies the process even more, as we are long-established partners and co-develop alongside the world’s biggest public cloud providers.

Apart from the challenges and opportunities, there is a lot more to talk about – particularly when it comes to individual circumstances. To take a closer look at the subject of data fabrics with CVO and to take the specific characteristics of your hybrid cloud environment into account, feel free to reach out to Andrew Arthur at andrew.arthur@fujitsu.com.

 

 

Craig Parker

 

About the Author:

Craig Parker
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Craig Parker is responsible for all aspects of Hybrid Cloud for Fujitsu' Product Business in Europe, including strategy, sales, marketing, product developmen...

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