NetApp has announced plans to expand its strategic alliance with Microsoft to help enterprises accelerate digital transformation for hybrid cloud.

Customers are evolving their data centers to integrate hybrid cloud delivery models for greater agility. As they build out these more flexible architectures, they want to retain the benefits of proven on-premises methods that ensure data efficiencies, protection, and insight. These integrations, however, can create new compatibility issues, particularly with existing applications that depend on file services.

NetApp intends to expand its collaboration with Microsoft to include hybrid cloud data services, built on NetApp’s proven ONTAP® software, that will deliver enterprise-grade data visibility and insights, data access and control, and data protection and security for customers moving to Microsoft Azure.

Collaboration areas include:

  • Developing new cloud data services, based on NetApp ONTAP innovation that will be offered on the Azure cloud.

  • Engineering collaboration to deliver a solution architecture that will speed the migration of enterprise applications to Azure and Azure Stack so that customers can unlock greater value from their data.

  • Integration of NetApp’s newly launched FabricPool functionality, which reduces the cost of cold data by automatically tiering it from on-premises to cloud, with Azure Blob Storage.

  • Enablement of Azure as a backup destination for NetApp’s Cloud Control SaaS offering, which provides backup, archive and compliance services to enhance Microsoft Office 365 environments.

“Enterprises depend on Microsoft’s cloud innovation and its broad portfolio of Azure cloud-integrated services to keep them competitive in the fast-moving digital age,” said Anthony Lye, senior vice president, Cloud Business Unit, NetApp. “This new development in our strategic alliance will extend the reach of NetApp’s world-class data services for Azure cloud and support customers as they modernize their businesses and pursue new opportunities for growth.”

Scott Guthrie, executive vice president, Cloud and Enterprise Group, Microsoft Corp., added, “NetApp is a strategic hybrid cloud data services partner for Microsoft Azure and a company whose data solutions are used every day by enterprise customers around the world. Working together we will deliver new solutions that give customers using NetApp and Microsoft Azure even more freedom to build and deploy applications, however they want.”

Both companies share a deep understanding of the needs of global enterprises and offer numerous solutions that help customers maximize the power of their data to achieve competitive advantage. Their collaboration has helped to protect and increase the availability of Microsoft application data assets, and provides a flexible infrastructure to support virtualization and private cloud deployments.

NetApp provides a number of hybrid cloud data services today that support Azure:

  • NetApp ONTAP Cloud for Azure, a virtual appliance that combines data control with enterprise-class storage features such as workload portability, dedupe, compression and backup. It works in combination with NetApp OnCommand® Cloud Manager to provide a simple, point-and-click environment to manage storage and ease control of data in Azure.

  • NetApp AltaVault™ hybrid cloud appliances for Azure reduce time, cost, and risk with an efficient and a secure approach to backing up cloud-based workloads. Using customers’ existing backup software, AltaVault deduplicates, encrypts, and rapidly migrates data to Azure Storage.

  • NetApp Private Storage for Microsoft Azure provides a cloud-connected storage architecture that allows enterprises to build an agile cloud infrastructure that combines the scalability and flexibility of Azure with the control and performance of NetApp on-premises storage hosted in a co-location facility. NetApp Private Storage for Azure solution architecture can be used with data controlled by the US International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) program.

The companies intend to provide additional updates on their hybrid cloud initiatives in the fall at Microsoft Ignite.