Managing data in uncertain times: Flexibility is the key to success

BrandPost By Kent Christensen , Sheila Rohra
May 19, 2021
Technology Industry

Is a ‘bridge’ approach right for your cloud migration journey? Find out here

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Credit: iStock

Over the last year, COVID-19 has almost entirely remade the business landscape. In a flurry of change, companies around the world have been forced to rethink all aspects of operations, from work-from-home requirements to overhauling their IT services.

Even before the pandemic, IT organizations of all sizes were gravitating to the cloud in an effort to digitize services and improve cash flow. Being forced to reinvent how and where we work only hastened the change: 54% of respondents to a recent CDX digital roundtable poll had plans to accelerate digital transformation.[i]

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Today’s data storage priorities Digital transformation is accelerating across industries – all of which need IT strategies to support innovation and success, now and in the long term. Our customers are no exception. And when it comes to data storage, they want it all: now and later, on premise and in the cloud. This demand for flexibility leads the vast majority to select a modern hybrid cloud strategy.

We developed NetApp Keystone to address customers’ top three IT priorities:

  • More flexibility. Keep legacy solutions viable while taking steps toward the cloud.
  • Lower risk. Preserve cash and remove risk related to large capital expenditures.
  • Support for business strategy. Enable digital transformation of IT services.

The evolution of NetApp Keystone

For almost 30 years, NetApp has focused on one thing – your data – and today works continuously to improve how it’s managed, stored, analyzed, protected, and moved. We started with traditional on-premises storage models that required significant upfront capital investments. Later we added a rich portfolio of cloud data services, fully on-demand and opex-based. We then realized that we needed to fill the gap between the two models, so our customers could have cloud-like experiences on premises. Hence, the creation of NetApp Keystone, your bridge to the cloud.

More flexibility

Most IT professionals understand the benefits of moving data workloads to the cloud, making data storage and processing more scalable, flexible, available – and often more affordable. But exactly how to make the leap isn’t always as obvious, especially when complex structures and legacy systems are involved. An organization may need to rethink strategy or adjust operations to optimize data migration, availability, performance, cost, or security.

In these complex cases, the best choice is often a “bridge to the cloud.” Customers move to the cloud at their own pace, supporting business outcomes and reducing risk along the way.

The bottom line: Whatever your industry, whether your organization is public or private, today’s rapid changes in work and social norms demand new levels of flexibility. In fact, 85% of organizations include workload placement flexibility in their top five technology priorities – and a full 99% in their top 10.[2]

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Why is flexibility so important? Many customers know they need to move key workloads to the cloud, but aren’t sure where or how to start. They also need time to plan the migration. And in an unpredictable marketplace, flexibility is even more critical.

It’s not surprising then, that 90% of organizations believe a dynamically adjustable cloud storage solution will have a moderate to high impact on their overall cloud success.[3]

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Instead of forcing an all-or-nothing decision, solutions such as NetApp Keystone Flex Subscription let customers integrate cloud solutions and execute strategic initiatives at their own pace.

Lower risk

When organizations embrace the cloud, more and more opt for a pay-as-you-go model, which better aligns expenses with usage and cash flow while minimizing risks associated with large capital investment. In 2020 alone, flexible consumption models were predicted to grow 15 times faster than capex models.[4] Even for on-premises deployment—traditionally a capital expenditure—15% of companies plan to use pay-per-use pricing by 2022, up from less than 1% in 2019.[5]

Support for business strategy

When it comes to how to run, pay for, and manage your data services, more flexibility is just better. For example, NetApp offers an as-a-service, opex-centric payment as an alternative to traditional capital-outlay models. And customers can always shift purchasing and operating models to meet changing business needs, without switching technologies.

NetApp Keystone Flex Subscription supports business strategy with maximum operational and financial flexibility, for on-premises storage with the versatility of the cloud. Use it to:

• Unlock the best of both cloud and on-premises solutions

• Scale storage across clouds 

• Reduce upfront capital expenses 

• Align data storage costs with business activity 

• Avoid overbuying and overprovisioning 

• Free IT staff to focus on higher-value projects 

Insight Enterprise: As-a-service offering

As-a-service offerings enable your business to reduce risk and lower capital expenditures by paying only for what you need on premises, when you need it. Insight Enterprises partners with NetApp to provide the latest storage technologies to complement services such as cloud, compute and security for a complete, integrated solution. NetApp Keystone Flex Subscription allows us to offer an opex model, public cloud-like experience on premises, consumption-based pricing, and the flexibility to shift on-premises workloads to public cloud at key times.

Learn more about NetApp Keystone Flex Subscription or see our infographic for more infrastructure spending and consumption trends.

[1] CDX Digital Roundtable poll results.

[2] Enterprise Strategy Group, The Importance of Optimized Cloud Storage and Workloads, 2020.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Extrapolation of data from IDC Q3 2020 Enterprise Storage Systems Tracker.

[5] Gartner, “Competitive Landscape: Consumption-Based Pricing for On-Premises Infrastructures,” June 26, 2020, ID G00717180.