The phrase ‘on a journey’ is possibly a bit overused these days, but when it comes to cloud I think it’s a good way to describe the process that we are all going through. Technology has almost got to a level, where the only limitation is the breadth of our imagination. This is particularly true in the area of the Internet of Things (IoT) where connections are being made between all sorts of devices from fridges to driverless cars – all with the aim of delivering differentiated value back to the user.

 

A cloud architecture designed around Service Providers

Regarding cloud services, we are seeing a trend where certain service providers, struggling to compete in the public cloud market due tight margins and high set-up and operational costs are increasingly moving to build their own differentiated and value-added services. A bit like the classic business example of the humble coffee bean and how it evolves to a cup of coffee served in a high-end restaurant or bar – it’s all about how services can add differentiated value to the raw material.

 

Cisco and Microsoft partnership logos.jpgWith this thought in mind, NetApp, Cisco and Microsoft have joined forces to put together a ready-to-deploy, validated and tested cloud architecture which is ideal for those service providers who want to concentrate on more profitable SaaS and PaaS services, rather than having to concern themselves with the infrastructure side of the cloud. The solution, named Cisco Cloud Architecture for the Microsoft Cloud Platform brings together a structural link between Cisco infrastructure and Microsoft’s cloud platform.

 

Delivering Differentiated Value

From NetApp’s perspective, the solution consists of the NetApp Resource Provider software plus a prescriptive reference architecture implemented with the help of NetApp Professional Services. At a high level, key benefits of the solution include: the capability of being able to tailor each customers’ needs in multi-tenant environment, deliver granular levels of data protection and most importantly for service providers significantly improve the ease and speed of bringing on, or retiring tenants. Other neat things include: NetApp’s SnapMirror to make it easy for tenants to move their data from their on-premises data centre to service providers, and OnCommand Shift to rapidly convert from VMware to Hyper-V.

 

The net result for the service provider is that they can reduce their risk, cost of ownership and offer higher value and more profitable services to-market much more quickly.

 

Finally, if you plan to attend Cisco Live EMEA, in Berlin then be sure to check out a demonstration of the NetApp integration at the NetApp booth #P4

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Martin Warren

Martin Warren is EMEA Cloud Solutions Manager at NetApp. Based in the UK, Martin has many years of experience working in data protection, data storage, virtualization, cloud, big data and networks. In his current role, Martin is responsible for NetApp’s EMEA cloud strategy and solutions with a focus on driving business growth and aligning NetApp’s cloud offering with customer and partner demand.

Martin is a specialist in private, public and hybrid cloud solutions, including the aspects of data storage and data management. He provides advice to businesses on the advantages and impact of different cloud and data storage solutions, helping them to meet their goals. In addition, Martin is a subject matter expert on the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Prior to joining NetApp, Martin held positions at Symantec, Sun and StorageTek. He also worked at IT service delivery and consultancy companies Misys and 4Front Services, advising businesses on adopting IT services specifically from a blended approach.