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CRN Exclusive: NetApp CEO George Kurian On Flash Storage Momentum, Software-Defined Storage Moves, And The Growing Cisco Partnership

NetApp customers have the option of going software-defined storage either as part of hardware or virtual appliances or on the cloud, but they still like to have fully configured storage arrays with support from one vendor, Kurian tells CRN.

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NetApp Founder and Executive Vice President Dave Hitz (pictured) told me that he would actually like to see NetApp become a software-defined storage company and not have to worry about the hardware. Does NetApp have such a strategy?

First of all, from an intellectual property standpoint, the core intellectual property of the company is software. We have made available our key operating systems -- for example, OnTap and Element -- as stand-alone software. And we have made them available on the cloud. So, for example, you have OnTap Cloud running on all the major hyper-scalers for customers who want that operational flexibility.

I think that customers will continue to buy not only stand-alone software-defined models of procurement of storage, but also converged, hyper-converged and cloud-based services. And our intent is to make available our technology in the broadest range of form factors. And we're doing that.

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