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CRN Exclusive: NetApp CEO George Kurian On How The Cloud Redefines What It Means To Be A Storage Vendor

NetApp has embraced the cloud in a way no other major storage vendor has, Kurian tells CRN, by embracing customers' need to move data freely into and out of the cloud.

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A New Concept Of What It Means To Be A Storage Vendor

NetApp is the world's second largest provider of external enterprise storage systems and the fastest-growing one to boot. It is also the largest and the fastest-growing provider of flash-based storage, according to IDC estimates of the second-quarter 2018 storage market.

Yet at the same time NetApp is expanding its impact on the storage market, it has also arguably become the biggest supporter in the storage industry of technology that threatens to disrupt its very existence. The company is being driven by its Data Fabric platform, which is aimed at allowing data to migrate and be managed seamlessly from the edge to the data center to multi-cloud infrastructures. The company seems to show no fear that the cloud could eventually harm its business of storing and managing customers' data.

That seemingly contradictory stance between the need to sell more storage hardware and software while finding ways to help customers easily move data to the cloud was the subject of a recent conversation between NetApp CEO George Kurian and CRN. Kurian discussed NetApp's place in a storage industry that is being disrupted by the cloud, and even looked at the very definition of what a storage vendor is during a turbulent time in the industry.

Here’s a look at the fast-changing storage market and NetApp's place in it.

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