5 Things To Watch At NetApp Insight 2017

Insight On NetApp At NetApp Insight

The NetApp Insight 2017 conference is being held October 2-5 in Las Vegas and the company will showcase its latest storage and data management technology. Also, the event is an important venue for getting a read on NetApp's future.

NetApp is currently the only major storage vendor to show growth and that growth is coming even though the traditional storage market is shrinking as increasing amounts of data move to the cloud.

What will the future hold for NetApp? Turn the page to find out what to expect from NetApp Insight 2017.

How Serious Is NetApp About HCI?

While NetApp, with its partner Cisco, is a leader in the converged infrastructure market with FlexPod, the company is a fledgling vendor of hyper-converged infrastructure appliances. NetApp this Summer entered the market at a time when it is showing signs of maturity and consolidation. For instance, SimpliVity was being acquired by Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Atlantis Computing was sold to Hive-IO.

NetApp Insight should give some detail about the amount of marketing and technical resources it will put behind its hyper-converged infrastructure push.

How Is Data Fabric Doing?

With Data Fabric, NetApp is developing technology that allows data to be managed and migrated seamlessly across on-premises, public clouds, private clouds and hybrid clouds. Data Fabric at the heart of NetApp's strategy to remain a dominant force in the storage industry. More data is moving off the traditional data center infrastructure, which has been at the core of NetApp's business, towards the cloud where companies, in theory, are not beholden to any particular storage vendor.

Data Fabric is a work in progress. NetApp Insight 2017 should provide, well, more insight into what NetApp will do to make Data Fabric more widespread and ensure the vendor remains a key storage vendor in the age of the cloud.

How Will NetApp Use Greenqloud?

NetApp in August unveiled the acquisition of Greenqloud, a Reykjavik, Iceland-based developer of technology for enterprise-scale cloud management.

Greenqloud started life as a cloud services provider, but later morphed into the developer of Qstack, a unified infrastructure management interface that lets enterprises "securely and efficiently manage their enter data center portfolio – including multiple public and private clouds located in different geo-zones – all directly from the same self-service portal," per the Greenqloud website.

Greenqloud will likely be a key addition to Data Fabric by adding important orchestration and automation between clouds.

Can NetApp Maintain Its Storage Momentum?

Analyst firm IDC in September reported the storage market is continuing a shift away from traditional storage vendors and towards cloud service providers, with NetApp being the only traditional vendor to see a significant increase in storage sales.

With that in mind, expect NetApp to talk about what differentiates it from its storage vendor peers regarding managing storage between on-premises infrastructures, and about how it plans to increase its reach into the cloud while competing with the likes of Dell EMC and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

Can NetApp Do It Alone?

Of the top five storage vendors, NetApp is not only the one showing significant growth, but it is also the only one to be focused exclusively on the storage market.

As is usually the case with standalone tech vendors, NetApp has been rumored for years to be an acquisition target. There are a limited number of companies that could make a play for NetApp, including partner Cisco, Oracle or a few growing international vendors.

While NetApp will probably not address potential acquirers at NetApp Insight, there may be opportunities to read between the lines and talk to partners about the future of the vendor.