NetApp IT’s home grown hybrid cloud solution

September 20, 2021 by No Comments

By Eduardo Rivera

When researching how NetApp IT could better support NetApp, we discovered that what we wanted didn’t really exist. What we needed was a single platform, running on both the private and public cloud, that would be a single stop for DevOps, CaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. It should be a unified experience for application development and management. 

What we developed was a hybrid cloud platform that supports our Devs to do their best work and enable NetApp to develop new and innovative products and solutions for our customers. Our business depends on developers building great applications. The easier we can make their job, the better it is for NetApp. 

Run versus transform the business 

The NetApp IT hybrid cloud is built on the idea of transforming the business. With that in mind, we split workloads into two distinct parts. 

For everyday operations and “run the business” functions, we use SaaS solutions. Sales operations, human resources, or financials would fall into this. If it doesn’t differentiate NetApp from competitors or give us a competitive advantage, we leverage SaaS platforms. 

If a function has the potential of transforming the business, we use cloud options delivered by the platform. We need Devs to do their best work and improve our products quickly. This type of innovation happens in the cloud. The platform utilizes private and public options to enable application development to be done rapidly and dynamically. 

This strategy helps us to meet the goals we set when our hybrid cloud journey began: 

Change applications quicker

New CloudOne applications have daily or weekly releases, versus previous monthly or quarterly releases. 

Allow Devs to focus on code

Devs build applications in  CloudOne based on microservices running in containers. 

Leverage automation to reduce risk

Applications are available 99.89% of the time while adopting new technologies and architectures. 

Reduce costs

By leveraging Spot by NetApp, we’re reducing production workloads by up to 72%. 

How NetApp IT uses NetApp products in our hybrid cloud 

As Customer-1, NetApp is in a unique position to fully understand how NetApp products can help NetApp. Like most enterprise organizations, we use standard technologies like ServiceNow, Docker Containers, Kubernetes, and public cloud providers. 

NetApp products like Azure NetApp Files, Cloud Volume Service for AWS, and Spot by NetApp helps us to thrive in the public cloud, enabling us to use the flexibility cloud providers offer, while keeping expenses to a minimum. 

Our private cloud relies heavily on NetApp technology, including: 

– StorageGRID for application binaries object storage

– NetApp HCI provides the private cloud compute environment 

– NetApp Trident captures persistent volume claims from Docker containers in public and private cloud 

– NetApp All Flash FAS provisions storage volumes for Docker containers based on Trident requests 

The story so far

The hybrid cloud project began in 2018 and has gone through multiple iterative changes and improvements. To date, the platform supports the NetApp Support Site and nine other tier-1 applications, along with 55 applications, 153 databases, 168 hostspaces, and 359 microservices.  

The end result – thus far – is a platform that has enabled our Devs to do more with less. 


Eduardo Rivera is the Director for Platform, Cloud, and Infrastructure Services for NetApp IT. He leads the enterprise hybrid cloud strategy, leveraging a robust automated ecosystem to deliver a efficient and effective environment for cloud-aware applications.