back to article NetApp and Microsoft: We're 'close' to virtual ONTAP on Azure

NetApp and Microsoft are close to delivering a working version of the former's storage operating system Data ONTAP as a virtual machine capable of running under Hyper-V, and therefore on Windows Azure. Once some final issues are addressed, The Reg understands it will be possible to run a virtual NetApp array on Azure and maybe …

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FAIL

Microsoft FAIL

NetApp and its OnTAP are useful as a storage layer on which you deploy a cluster of virtual machines (using a real hypervisor like KVM or ESXi, not some desktop-grade dross like HyperV).

Why one would put OnTAP "in the cloud" when there are much leaner and meaner (and cheaper) solutions available is a mystery.

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Stop

Re: Microsoft FAIL

"Why one would put OnTAP 'in the cloud' when there are much leaner and meaner (and cheaper) solutions available is a mystery."

Data OnTAP is what gives NetApp its value at this point--there's no particular secret to building chassis with hard drives and slapping some management logic on the whole thing. OnTAP has a shedload of useful features, including high-performance CIFS and NFS presentation, deduplication and compression, application-aware snapshots, etc. There are also a great many NetApp loyalists who would no doubt find appealing the idea of a cloud service which runs familiar tools and features. The back end storage will, in fact, probably be lean and mean (or cheap and cheerful); OnTAP gives clients a powerful and feature-filled way to manage it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsoft FAIL

"some desktop-grade dross like HyperV"

I think you are confused. KVM is the desktop style Hypervisor here - it runs as an extension under a full Linux OS Kernel.

Hyper-V Server is a dedicated hypervisor layer like VMWare vSphere and can run independently of any OS. Hence why both Hyper-V and vSphere significantly outperform all production versions of KVM in benchmarks and scalability tests. And also why Hyper-V has taken a large chunk (over 30% of new installs) of the hypervisor market and KVM is at about 0.5%...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsoft FAIL

"Data OnTAP is what gives NetApp its value at this point"

No not really - other vendors can provide similar and sometimes better storage management solutions. The only thing that really differentiates NetApp for value is RAID-DP.

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Re: Microsoft FAIL

"other vendors can provide similar and sometimes better storage management solutions"

[citation needed]

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsoft FAIL

"[citation needed]"

EMC Unisphere for starters is a more powerful and flexible product and you don't even need to know which the exact underlying flavour of EMC storage OS is.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsoft FAIL

"Why one would put OnTAP "in the cloud" when there are much leaner and meaner (and cheaper) solutions available is a mystery"

Just off the top of my head, as a replication target for your datacenter hosted arrays, but more configurable and controlable with the same front end as your datacenter ontap for the storage guys and the azure interface for the cloud guys.

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Re: Microsoft FAIL

You're confusing the terms "Data Management" and "Storage Management".

DataONTAP provides Data Management and IS the OS

Unisphere provides Storage Management but IS NOT the OS

The actual comparisson would be ONTAP vs OE File/Block or whatever it's called these days.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsoft FAIL

You're confusing the terms "Data Management" and "Storage Management".

DataONTAP provides Data Management and IS the OS

Unisphere provides Storage Management but IS NOT the OS

The actual comparison would be between ONTAP vs OE File/Block or whatever it's called these days.

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"ONTAP as a VSA" is not really a new approach in comparison to other vendors, is it? LeftHand Networks (today HP StoreVirtual) started delivering their LeftHand OS as a VM long time ago.... to me it seems that they are a little bit late in the game ...

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