back to article NetApp needs more than SolidFire: Slip Simplivity into your Xmas stocking

NetApp’s SolidFire acquisition is necessary – but not enough on its own. There is still a hole, a hyper-converged infrastructure appliance shaped hole, in NetApp’s storage market coverage. Sunnyvale-based NetApp is saying SolidFire won’t do much for its revenues. William Blair analyst Jason Ader told his subscribers: “From a …

Anonymous Coward

You clearly haven't used Simplivity stuff. Please have some empirical data first.

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I have. It's damned fine.

But say hi to everyone else at Nutanix for me.

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Haha Chris is running NetApp like a fantasy baseball team.

Who else should they acquire? Brocade perhaps?

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Anonymous Coward

Holes

Yes, HCI is one, a viable commercial product is another one. Frankly I don't see how the SF acquisition benefits netapp or solves the company's Flash issues in the Enterprise when this product was not developed for that market segment to begin with.

Lets face it, Clustered ONTAP doesn't have the legs despite the grand growth percentages being thrown around because if it did there would be no need to a) start the Flash ray project or b) acquire SF

The larger problem netapp has though is that it appears, to a certain extent, to be trying to emulate EMC's strategy by offering different solutions but without the proverbial software glue. While EMC has silos, EMC can tie all these pieces together while netapp not only doesn't have the SW to do it but also doesn't have the salesforce mentality and the know-how to sell them. The latter takes time to develop and in a lot of cases, different sales teams. It's very hard trying to transition an engineering driven organization like netapp to transform itself into a sales driven one like EMC. Netapp's culture doesn't lend itself well to these kinds of transformations and i'm sure there are a lot of people scratching their heads with this deal. The analysts certainly are.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Holes

I think with Flash Ray NetApp realized it could add flash features to ONTAP faster than it could add HA features to Mars OS and build an ecosystem for Flash Ray. Heck, they were porting Mars OS features over to ONTAP with every ONTAP update. Flash Ray had a handful of cool features which were becoming less relevant as NAND flash evolved. The only thing Flash Ray had left going for it was ease of management compared to ONTAP, and SolidFire has that with a more mature product.

So NetApp gets a Service Provider AFA play, an easy to use AFA play, and a small scale commercial market AFA play with SolidFire, and keeps AFA + HDD tiered hybrid storage cluster play for enterprise customers.

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Re: Holes

That's a lot of different plays. The great thing about NetApp used to be their single minded dedication to ONTAP. It was a powerful message. Now they have 4 offerings to cover a market that others are covering with a single product. And why would anyone really need a hybrid play any more when AFAs are more cost effective. Hybrids are ceasing to make sense at a rate of knots.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Holes

Perhaps they should stop "playing" altogerher...

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Anonymous Coward

Forget Disk Arrays Software Defined is the Next Big Thing

The days of physical disk arrays sold by the big guys [EMC, HP, IBM, NetApp, HDS, Dell, ...] are numbered. The direction in the market is software defined; make your own array on cheap JBOD; vmware is doing it for ESX; but NetApp could easily do it for any hypervisor or OS that they already support.

NetApp pioneered RAID-6 with RAID-DP. RAID-DP is great insurance for JBOD arrays.

NetApp needs to monitize their investment in ONTAP and release the virtual verison thier engineers use to develop the next releases of ONTAP.

Amazon and Google do it; and a lot of my customers are moving in that direction.

NetApp has a great kit in ONTAP - would love to sell it as software defined sans the hardware.

The purchase of another disk array vendor is not going to move the revenue dial; NetApp could be the next big thing in sofware defined.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Forget Disk Arrays Software Defined is the Next Big Thing

Ever heard of scaleio?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Forget Disk Arrays Software Defined is the Next Big Thing

Yes we have Mr. EMC guy...and it has a total of two customers worldwide.

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Re: Forget Disk Arrays Software Defined is the Next Big Thing

Yeah, was chatting to an evangelist for MS and Azure is mostly run on JBOD with a server 2016 microkernel apparently. Buy 20 3TB hybrid satas, lash them together in a double-redundo RAID with some string and stick some remote mirror software in and boom, you can replace a $50k Netapp for a couple of thousand dollars. He didn't convince me to the point where I've junked our filers, though...

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Re: Forget Disk Arrays Software Defined is the Next Big Thing

Yes SANs are like, totally 2000 bro, we need to do some full on retro 1990 JBOD super sweet storage. I bet that 2016 microkernal is running Win 3.1 !!!! Still tho, EMC is best. Celerra 4ever!!

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Mushroom

Well, that about wraps it up for Solidfire

Time for NetApp to execute their patented "fail 'n bail" approach to acquisitions and bury the Solidfire product.

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Anonymous Coward

Cisco looked at SolidFire as an HCI play

A SolidFire storage cluster looks a lot like an HCI cluster. All that is needed is a lower storage density, more CPU and memory for running VMs, and a loopback interface to connect VMs to storage.

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Anonymous Coward

pfft Nutanix may cost more but Netapp, your customers will thank you for not giving them the massive deployment headaches that come with Simplivity

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For the love of God...

Can we stop saying that storage companies are losing out to things like EVO:RAIL?!? I think like 10 of those things have been sold in the past 12 months....VSA isn't exactly putting a dent in anything either

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Death throws of a once good company......

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Buzz, Buzz, Buzz

I'm sure there are some good points in there somewhere, but your post reads like your brain just vomited into the comment box....

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Anonymous Coward

Good news.

According to insiders Netapp engineers have already compiled a version of CDOT that runs on SolidFire Hardware.

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Re: Good news.

Netapp would not need SF for a new HW platform unless they plan on replacing the current FAS\AFF gear with SF HW. Doubtful they would jettison SF OS. More likely a dual offering with ONTAP and SF running on same platform kind of like 7-mode and CDOT.

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Re: Good news.

Solidfire runs on commodity hardware, Solidfire also has a completely different target market to AFF so I can't see how they would share anything

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good news.

Why would they want to buy SolidFire who's only offering on the hardware front is commodity (Dell) servers and then replace the SolidFire OS with Ontap ?

If they were to do that they just wasted $870 million, you really need to start digging yourself out of the Ontap for everything hole, which is precisely what Netapp are trying to do with this acquisition.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good news.

They will share the the "single pane of glass" management gui.

While one engineering team is already porting cDOT to SF hardware, another engineering team is integrating the SF management tool into NetApp's cobbled together "put confusing name here" management tool.

At the same time, yet another engineering team is trying to resurrect Flashray by porting MARS OS to a hypervisor.

Either way - Customer Success Services - have declared "Support Readiness" for whatever the end product(s) might be. They wouldn't dare to do otherwise and this approach has kept a few people in jobs for quite some time now.... The support type of people always seem to leave last... not as if that's a good thing ....

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