NetApp's on-premises and cloud storage offerings are now unified under the umbrella of a single platform, called BlueXP, which serves as a control plane for each of its products and simplifies the management of enterprise storage for organisations.
BlueXP — which is a free upgrade for its customers — is a reaction to the reality that more and more companies’ storage environments are hybrids these days, combining cloud and on-premises storage, according to NetApp.
Businesses of almost any size that have been in operation for more than a decade or so are, more often than not, involved in digital transformation efforts that move at various paces, said senior vice president and general manager for cloud storage at NetApp, Ronen Schwartz.
“With increasing investment in the cloud … most [businesses] are relying on vendors like the hyperscalers, and when it comes to storage they’re relying on NetApp [products] that are both on-premises and in the cloud,” he said. “So data is growing, and not just on-prem.”
BlueXP offers a single management system for all storage
The idea behind BlueXP is to let end-users have a single management system for their entire “data estate,” whether it’s public cloud storage, disks in a data centre, or anything in between.
This is theoretically a helpful simplification for IT teams tasked with managing complex storage infrastructure, and can even offer additional benefits besides, according to IDC research director for cloud data management Archana Venkatraman.
“BlueXP goes beyond just unifying the disparate data services,” she said. “It feeds into the commonAPIs layer and interacts with adjacent NetApp [products] such as the acquired Spot portfolio aimed at cloud-native app environments.”
Indeed, the level of API sophistication is the most impressive part of BlueXP, Venkatraman said, and demonstrates a high level of architectural maturity on NetApp’s part. That’s particularly helpful for larger companies, who are more likely to have correspondingly more complex storage environments.
“[BlueXP] would also be an access ramp to the cloud for large organisations that are lower on cloud adoption maturity,” she said. “In regions such as Europe, there are a large number of organisations who are still in the early stages of cloud adoption and can benefit from this unified approach.
BlueXP is now available to all NetApp customers, and ships with an offline mode, so that companies — for architectural or regulatory reasons — with a need to keep their storage disconnected from the internet at large can use it independently.