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CRN Exclusive: NetApp CEO George Kurian On Keystone, Clouds And Competition

NetApp's Data Fabric has moved from vision to reality, particularly with the new Keystone consumption pricing, and no other vendor can manage data across on-premises data centers to public clouds as tightly as NetApp does, Kurian tells CRN in an interview at the NetApp Insight 2019 conference.

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You use the term 'data fabric' a lot, sometimes as 'Data Fabric' as in the NetApp technology with a capital 'd' and 'f,' and sometimes as a general industry term with a small 'd' and 'f.' Given that NetApp invented the term, how you differentiate between the two?

We think that, frankly, it's both. Our customers will need to build an architecture to integrate and orchestrate data in a hybrid cloud world. And we think the industry definition of that is data fabric.

With a small 'd' and small 'f.'

Yes. And we think that that will be a go-forward part of every customers' IT architecture, just like there was client/server computing. And so that's an industry-standard term. I think we feel fortunate that we were the people that coined that phrase and gave it to the market a few years ago, and we see that coming to realization. To help our customers build their data fabric, we have built a portfolio of capabilities that we call NetApp Data Fabric vision or Data Fabric strategy.

You don't really call it a 'vision' anymore, right?

It was a vision five years ago, and now it's much more of a real architecture and solution portfolio.

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