NetApp Nudges Service Providers On Enterprise-level Data Protection Cloud Solutions to SMBs

Vendor offers new professional services, resources, tools, integration with Microsoft Toolkit.

NetApp Inc. said that it is parlaying an expanded relationship with Microsoft Corp. and a new set of professional services, resources and design guidance to encourage service providers to bring enterprise-level, data protection cloud solutions to small- and medium-sized business customers.

The two vendors said that they are collaborating to leverage the Dynamic Data Center Toolkit for Hosters--which contains sample code and direction for constructing cloud services backed by Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V and Microsoft’s System Center Suite--to help service providers offer cloud-based data protection capabilities such as disaster recovery, clustered failover, backup and recovery to SMBs.

"To date, small- and medium-size businesses haven't been able to make the investments necessary to enjoy the benefits of robust disk-based data protection,” said Patrick Rogers, NetApp vice president, solutions and alliance marketing.

“Working with Microsoft, we are helping to address this gap by arming regional and local service providers with the ability to deliver cost-effective enterprise-class data protection services to their customers,” Rogers said.

John Zanni, Microsoft general manager, worldwide hosting for the communications sector, said that "SMBs are demanding enterprise-class disaster recovery solutions, and hosting service providers are in a tremendous position to fill that demand as more SMBs move toward hosted IT services."

The collaboration builds on a three-year agreement that NetApp and Microsoft signed last December to further integrate their product lines, spurred on by data center-focused technologies virtualization, cloud computing and storage management.

Last month, NetApp expanded its partner program to include service providers, a move the vendor contends will prompt more collaboration between its value-added resellers and cloud computing suppliers and broaden the reach of its enterprise storage and data management portfolio.

New professional services to help providers

NetApp’s new professional services support services built using the Dynamic Data Center Toolkit around Microsoft’s Exchange, SQL Server and SharePoint, including assessment, planning, architectural design and best practices.

Included is documentation on design guidance featuring best practices for service providers around deploying as-a-service offerings to customers for Exchange, SharePoint, infrastructure-as-a-service, storage-as-a-service and desktop-as-a-service.

NetApp also said that it will help service providers deploying data protection-as-a-service (DPaaS) through a partnership with InControl Software, a Netherlands-based developer whose products allow cloud-based storage monitoring, management and reporting based on service level agreements (SLA) and Key Performance Indicators (KPI) in a public and/or private cloud.

InControl software produces data that informs administrators of impending SLA issues as they occur, enabling service providers to proactively manage SLAs.

Service provider, analyst support offering

One service provider, nGenX Corp., a provider of cloud computing and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solutions based in Overland Park, KS—and a Microsoft and NetApp partner—said that it has leveraged the Dynamic Data Center Toolkit to deliver its Guardian GeoCloud service to customers.

"The Microsoft Dynamic Data Center Toolkit allowed us to leverage NetApp technologies, which are a fundamental building block of our Guardian GeoCloud solution, to deliver a unique service and set ourselves apart in the marketplace," said Robert A. Bye, nGenX executive vice president.

One analyst said that NetApp’s cloud computing strategy bridges a gap for SMBs.

"SMB customers have many of the same disaster recovery and business continuity requirements as large enterprise organizations, but often times don't have the necessary skill set or budget needed to achieve the desired results," said Laura DuBois, International Data Corp. program vice president, Storage Software and Solutions.

"Solutions that address this gap by providing enterprise-level data protection along with the support and guidance needed to deploy will be integral in helping SMBs realize the true benefits of a cloud infrastructure," DuBois said.

TAGS: Microsoft,virtualization,data protection,NetApp,Storage

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