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The second is to integrate NetApp's data protection tools to data used by applications in the cloud. "NetApp offers its Snap integrated data protection which can be extended to customers using EC2 for cost-effective disaster recovery," NetApp's Shields said. "They can put a small array in an Amazon Web Services co-location center, then use an EC2 instance for disaster recovery. Or, they can extend our disk-to-disk backup to include Amazon S3 for archive tiering."
The third is to dynamically change the use of on-premise and cloud resources. For example, Shields said, customers can develop applications using EC2 and then deploy them on-premise for performance. The NetApp Private Storage will also ease data migration in a merger and acquisition situation and give customers the flexibility of moving data between a public and a private cloud depending on whether it is best dealt with as an operations expense (op-ex) or a capital expense (cap-ex), he said.
"We're discovering new use cases at the show this week," he said. "It's exciting."
It certainly is exciting, said Keith Norbie, vice president of Nexus, the Minnetonka, Minn., office of Stratos Management Systems, an Atlanta-based solution provider and NetApp partner.
"This is where the cloud game is afoot," Norbie said. "We're starting to see how to monetize Amazon to be relevant."
The NetApp Private Storage solution could be very important for customers who have invested heavily in NetApp storage and are looking at how to take advantage of public storage clouds, or for those who are migrating storage, Norbie said.
Norbie said he was unaware of any other relationships similar to what NetApp and AWS are doing with the NetApp Private Storage, with the possible exception of Rackspace, which does offer similar capabilities using EMC and NetApp storage. "But, there are limitations in the flexibility of partners in doing business with Rackspace," he said.
On the channel side of NetApp Private Storage, NetApp is partnering with Avnet, a distributor that partners with both NetApp and Amazon Web Services, Shields said. Avnet also partners with Equinix, which maintains Amazon-certified co-location facilities in six of Amazon's eight geographies worldwide.
There is a three-step ordering process involved. First, the customer places the order with the solution provider. The solution provider then contacts Avnet to coordinate with AWS to order the EC2 instances and the AWS Direct Connect, with Equinix to access the co-location space and with NetApp on the storage solution. Shields said that NetApp expects other distributors to be part of the program in the future.