NetApp is a global hybrid-cloud data service and data management company. It offers enterprise-level cloud, data services for the management of applications and data. The Integrator engaged in a discussion with NetApp’s high-profile personalities such as Fadi Kanafani, Walid Issa, and Maya Zakhour on the key aspects of enterprise-cloud business and its prospects in the Middle East.
By Fadi Kanafani, Managing Director
How does NetApp become a trusted partner for enterprises that chose cloud solutions?
NetApp is a cloud-led, data-centric organization supported by a global team of cloud storage specialists. We offer unmatched control, insight, simplicity, protection, and efficiency for applications in the cloud. We collaborate with the world’s leading cloud providers -AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud to deliver native solutions in their cloud and offer our customers the best value. NetApp offers customers simplicity in moving their data from whichever platform to the cloud – be it private cloud, on-premise, hybrid, or public cloud, and the flexibility in managing their applications and data spread across different environments without the complexity. We help our customers manage their entire cloud environment and data consistently no matter where it lives.
What sorts of simplicity does NetApp include in data management through its cloud platforms?
We help customers implement the best cloud storage solutions as part of the data fabric, so businesses can manage their data holistically – no matter where it resides. NetApp offers the public cloud data storage solution that includes a complete, integrated set of data management features to protect and secure customer data, assure business continuity, simplify compliance, preserve integrity, and control access. Our analytics platform – NetApp Cloud Insights and Cloud Data Sense- provides customers with actionable intelligence across their entire IT infrastructure – on-premises and in the public cloud.
The NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP is our cloud-based service available on Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud that delivers advanced data management for file and block workloads. It helps businesses optimize cloud storage costs and increases application performance while enhancing data protection, security, and compliance. It is self-managed through NetApp Cloud Manager, our single-pane management console for all of the ONTAP instances deployed across hybrid cloud infrastructure.
By Walid Issa, Senior Manager, PreSales and Solutions Engineers – Middle East and Africa
Speak about the partnership with major cloud-space providers. How does NetApp make it beneficial for its customers?
NetApp is uniquely positioned in the market with our long-term collaboration with public cloud providers helping deliver outstanding performance and maximum portability. We provide a portfolio of services for running applications in these clouds that reduce cloud costs by up to 90%. Our platform enables customers to run enterprise applications such as SAP, Oracle, SQL, and high-performance compute jobs – for example, in oil and gas exploration and genomics.
In a partnership spanning nearly 20 years with Microsoft, we have jointly delivered innovative products that help organizations manage their data anywhere. Azure NetApp Files gives businesses world-class data management with the performance, simplicity, and cost savings you need to migrate your most challenging workloads to Azure.
Through our partnership with Google Cloud, we provide customers with agility, scalability, and security—all the critical elements to drive our customers’ digital transformation needs. NetApp integrated data services simplify how businesses migrate, run, and manage critical workloads on Google Cloud. It gives businesses the power to harness Google’s advanced analytics capabilities to help solve their toughest challenges while saving up to 70% on cloud storage costs
Our partnership with AWS goes back nearly a decade. We have shared a determined focus to help our customers build solutions, reduce costs, and innovate faster in the cloud. With NetApp’s data management capabilities integrated with the scale of AWS, businesses can migrate, build, and manage more cloud at less cost.
Tell us about the opportunities in front of small and large enterprises in the digital transformation era
The need to adapt and change direction quickly is a core principle of a digital business. Enterprise businesses would look to technology as a source of competitive differentiation in terms of improving their customer experience, automating some customer functions, and their call centers. And therefore, from a cloud perspective, they would want to combine public clouds, private clouds, and on-premises resources to gain the agility it needs for a competitive advantage.
Keep in mind that successful digital transformation relies on the intelligent use of data, Enterprise businesses can leverage data to improve the security of their products and services, and to expand customer engagement. They can also use artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning (DL) to realize operational insights and improvements, drive decision making, ensure compliance, improve customer experience, and reduce operational costs.
Briefly compare between private and public cloud in the aspect of enterprise business
Public cloud is the on-demand availability of IT resources such as computers, storage, and infrastructure over the internet via a third-party provider or what is known today as cloud providers or hyperscalers. The private cloud is an internal equivalent to the public cloud. This is driven by the ability to easily consume and modify resource allocation through a self-service method that requires little interaction with users’ internal IT teams. Contrary to popular belief, private clouds aren’t only deployed on-premises. Private clouds might be owned by one organization and managed by another organization like local service providers in a different physical location.
Note that not everything belongs in a public cloud or a private cloud which is why so many forward-thinking companies are choosing a hybrid mixture of cloud services. Hybrid clouds offer the benefits of both public and private clouds and take advantage of existing architecture in a data center.
By Maya Zakhour, Channel Director – Middle East & Africa, Italy and Spain
How do you feel about being a known representation of women in the tech world? What advice do you have for women who aspire for a big and bold career in the tech industry?
To be recognized as a technology industry influencer is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication to my job and my constant journey of learning and adapting. But this journey doesn’t just end here – I use this recognition to encourage other young women to consider a career in technology, as the options here are endless. Building a career in technology is hard work and some women may feel reluctant to enter technology careers because they are afraid, they do not have enough technical knowledge. However, having curiosity, not technological background, is the top reason one will succeed in the tech industry. You start from the ground and build your way up – no matter what field of technology you choose.
I strongly believe that curiosity will inspire you to identify the problems and dig out the root causes. Careers in technology are not just about acquiring technical knowledge, but about demonstrating leadership and mentorship.