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NetApp has added another element to the cloud piece of its jigsaw of offerings with the acquisition of Cloudcheckr.
Cloudcheckr allows customers to audit their cloud storage usage across multiple providers and analyse it in terms of cost-benefit analysis. It enables customers to assess current cloud deployments and spend, and to address security and governance aspects of their cloud usage.
Cloudcheckr will be folded into the existing NetApp Spot portfolio and allow customers to analyse and reflect on the state of existing cloud deployments.
Spot by NetApp, which results from the company’s 2020 acquisition, is geared towards allowing customers to optimise placement of compute and storage workloads via Kubernetes with cloud providers, with an eye on cost.
Meanwhile, CloudCheckr is a well-established third-party cloud management tool – formed in 2011 – that offers visibility and optimisation of cloud deployments, resource management and billing monitoring, with the ability to audit for security and governance.
CloudCheckr works across cloud deployments in AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform, and allows customers to track spend, predict future billing, right-size resource usage and handle invoicing. CloudCheckr can also monitor users’ cloud activity and implement identity and access management (IAM). Admins can receive alerts when changes are made to cloud resources. Dashboards and summaries provide an overview of resource usage.
It has been a paid-for service, so the question is begged whether that will be the case in future or whether it will be folded into wider NetApp services. Pricing in 2017 ranged from a free version to an enterprise plan priced at 2% of the customer’s AWS bill.
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NetApp’s Spot portfolio forms part of a wider company offer that ranges from cloud-based storage and management solutions to on-premise storage hardware.
On the cloud side, NetApp’s strategy centres on providing its storage software as cloud-native services such as subscription products that include NetApp Cloud Volumes on AWS and Google Cloud Platform, and Azure NetApp Files.
It also offers various implementations of its Ontap storage operating system via the cloud, including the recently launched and fully managed Amazon FSx for Ontap in AWS.
Last year, NetApp acquired Talon Storage, a product for global file caching and data sync plus CloudJumper to provide virtual desktop delivery.
Containers are also a focus on the cloud side. NetApp launched Project Astra last April as a containerised version of OnTap. It manages, protects and moves Kubernetes containerised workloads in public cloud and on-premise. Before that, NetApp’s Trident saw the release of an open-source driver for provisioning container storage.
Keystone, launched in 2019, is NetApp’s consumption model for its hardware storage products. Customers commit to a minimum storage capacity and time period, and select from three performance levels and service offerings such as file, block or object.
NetApp’s FAS array line-up expanded in 2020, with the FAS500f high-capacity model outfitted with quad-level cell (QLC) NAND solid-state drives (SSDs). Compared with previous NAND generations, QLC flash has a limited endurance and performance profile, with the trade-off being a lower cost per gigabyte.