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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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Any hints on what's coming next?

I think just stay tuned. We posited the idea of building a data fabric as a requirement for customers. We announced our software on the first public cloud five years ago at Insight. And we've accomplished an enormous amount of technology innovation in the last five years alongside the biggest cloud providers in the world, some of the leading software companies in the world. We've coupled that with business model innovation.

How does NetApp Keystone fit in with that?

What's unique about Keystone is, unlike other players in the market who were saying they can help you get a new business model in your data center, we're doing two things that are different. The first is we're saying that that business model is not only for your data center, but gives you all the flexibility of hybrid multi-cloud. And why is that helpful? It's because the natural state of most IT landscapes today are in a state of flux. So you go to a customer that says, 'Hey, I want to build a private cloud with you. And by the way, I may not be operating that private cloud in the future. I might want to move into a public cloud.' We are the only one in the market [that lets them] do that. The second is that the technology underpinnings below Keystone are hyperscale-ready. We have brought to a data center the cloud automation and cloud experience that today runs data services in the world's biggest hyperscalars.

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