NetApp’s new virtualization Centre of Excellence in Melbourne, announced last week as part of its deal to provide shared services agency CenITex with its storage infrastructure, has been charged with turning the experience of creating the infrastructure into repeatable practises and products.
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“When the products hit the ground and you bring them together with other partners’ products, that’s when you see a lot happen,” said Hamish McGovern, Senior Product Manager in NetApp’s Virtualization and Grid Infrastructure business unit. The Centre of Excellence’s role will be to learn from these experiences on the CenITex site, and “building out around that feature we see as applicable here to create the collateral set we need to repeat it at other customers.”
McGovern said CenITex’s use of products from BMCand VMware are expected to present the best opportunities for the Melbourne Centre, which will be staffed largely by NetApp personnel that have already participated in the process of turning work for Telstra, Sensis and Suncorp into NetApp products.
The Melbourne Centre will work closely with NetApp’s labs in North Carolina, where McGovern said the company will establish another Centre of Excellence. A third Centre will be set up in Germany, McGovern said, giving the company a global network that can collaborate on product development.
“We work very carefully with our labs in North Carolina,” McGovern said. “That’s the team that did all the Cisco and VMW on the secure multi-tenancy environment. The model for the Centre here is to manage a group in here and work with the delivery team involved at CenITex and to augment that team and the engineering team in North Carolina.”
The new Centre is equipped with its own laboratory that boasts 10G Ethernet networks, Cisco UCS servers, management software including BMC products and VMware products.
A VMware spokesperson told SearchStorage ANZ it had “helped to set up” the facility and expects an ongoing involvement with its activities. Microsoft would not confirm it has participated in the establishment of the centre and would only say, through a spokesperson, that “Microsoft and NetApp continue to work together to provide Australian customers virtualization solutions to meet their business needs. The Virtualization Centre of Excellence will comprise part of this effort going forward.”
McGovern said the Centre’s model of turning work on live projects into products means it will engage deeply with Microsoft as and when needed.
At the announcement of the Centre last week Victorian authorities stated the CeniTex deal would see 100 jobs created in the State, McGovern could not say how many people will be employed at the Centre. “It started a little while ago and now we are ramping up,” he said.