NetApp Adds Hybrid Multicloud Management with NetApp BlueXP

At NetApp Insight, the storage vendor also revealed ransomware protection enhancements to ONTAP.

Jeffrey Schwartz

November 1, 2022

3 Min Read
NetApp CEO George Kurian Insight 2022 keynote

NETAPP INSIGHT — NetApp is expanding its multicloud storage services portfolio with NetApp BlueXP, a unified control plane for hybrid cloud data management. BlueXP, launched on Tuesday at the annual NetApp Insight conference, consolidates management of on-premises and public cloud infrastructures.

BlueXP provides a shared view and management of stored data distributed among the three largest hyperscalers. Specifically, it supports Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP, Azure NetApp Files, Google Cloud Volumes and Cloud Volumes ONTAP. The on-premises storage arrays BlueXP can manage include NetApp AFF, FAS, StorageGRID, and E-Series.

George Kurian, NetApp’s CEO (pictured above), described the distributed hybrid and multicloud architectures that have emerged as the “evolved cloud state.” During the opening keynote, Kurian said: “Moving data, migrating and deploying new applications becomes remarkably easy when your storage foundation is the same on-prem and across every cloud.”

Besides providing unified management, BlueXP provides AIOps-style infrastructure health monitoring. Besides offering AI-based status monitoring and alerting, BlueXP uses NetApp’s Active IQ telemetry scanning.

BlueXP also monitors for ransomware vulnerabilities, and it mitigates them. It uses AI and machine learning to audit user and data activity and can detect anomalies. It is available with NetApp’s Keystone usage-based storage-as-a-service offering.

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During a demonstration of BlueXP, NetApp senior VP Ronen Schwartz showed how the ransomware protection dashboard can rate an organization’s vulnerability.


NetApp’s Ronen Schwartz

“It gives me very visible metrics to drive the enterprise,” Schwartz said. “I get a cheat sheet with recommended actions to improve my score. We can see hundreds of sensitive items in the unprotected data sources.”

According to Schwartz, BlueXP also allows administrators to catalog data and monitor the entire enterprise infrastructure, including non-NetApp hardware.

“BlueXP is offering a consistent set of APIs to storage and data services on-prem,” he said.

Also, Schwartz noted that NetApp developed a standard set of APIs for BlueXP.

“The real value of BlueXP is in the APIs,” he said. “With API support, you can adopt infrastructure as code.”

He added that the BlueXP APIs work with frameworks such as TerraForm, Puppet and Ansible.

Updates to ONTAP

NetApp also announced security enhancements to ONTAP, focusing on improved ransomware protection. The ONTAP update will enable tamperproof snapshots on primary and secondary storage. By locking ONTAP, ransomware attackers cannot delete or change snapshots.

The FPolicy feature in ONTAP can protect against 3,000 known ransomware extensions used in common attacks. Administrators can activate FPolicy from BluleXP or ONTAP System Manager. The ONTAP update will also provide automatic blocking of malicious files.

NetApp also added updates to ONTAP’s zero-trust architecture, including immutable logging, enhanced multifactor authentication and additional auditing capabilities.

Storage Efficiency Guarantee

During his keynote, CEO Kurian also announced a new efficiency guarantee for SAN workloads called “4 to 1.” It applies to workloads running on all-flash systems with NetApp’s ONTAP platform, including AFF, All SAN array and FAS500f.

According to Kurian, organizations that use NetApp’s cloud tiering tier for at least 60% of their data could reduce the amount of on-premises storage they use by up to 80% with the 4 to 1 guarantee.

“It would save over 5.5 million kilograms of carbon dioxide,” Kurian said. “That’s the equivalent of over 6 million pounds of coal burned, all the emissions of more than 600,000 gallons of gasoline consumed.”

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Jeffrey Schwartz or connect with him on LinkedIn.


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About the Author(s)

Jeffrey Schwartz

Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.

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