Partner Spotlight: NetApp

The OpenShift Partner Spotlight is a recurring series that highlights the integration work our partners have done with OpenShift. This month’s featured partner is NetApp. NetApp has participated in a number of different integrations with OpenShift, including Trident, their open source storage orchestrator for containers.

Let’s start with an introduction: Name, role, and how long you’ve been with NetApp?

Hi! I’m Garrett Mueller, and I’m a Technical Director at NetApp. I keep an eye on technology forged in open communities, and that happens to be a lot of the most interesting stuff! I’ve been at the company going on 15 years, and I moved into this role after kicking off our container journey just over 3 years ago.

For anyone not familiar with NetApp, can you provide a quick overview of what you do?

NetApp offers a wide variety of hardware, software, and services that help you get the most out of your data. We provide highly automated, flexible, secure, performant and cost-effective persistence that is natively integrated into container platforms, supporting containerized applications that span the core, the cloud, and all the way to the edge.

Before we get into details, what changes are taking place in the industry that drove this integration?

At the heart of it all is the promise, and now rapid adoption, of containers and container orchestration. The shift to containers is taking the industry by storm, and businesses both large and small are looking for the best way to realize the inherent advantages. Over the past year, Kubernetes has become a clear stand-out in container orchestration, a necessary component of any serious container platform. Customers are looking for a supported distribution of Kubernetes that they can safely put into production, and OpenShift offers that and then some. To put that in play, they need to build it on a reliable platform with persistence they can trust, and that’s where NetApp comes in.

Given that, can you describe your integration efforts with OpenShift?

Our primary integration is through project Trident, a fully supported and maintained open source project from NetApp that was the first external dynamic provisioner for Kubernetes and OpenShift.

Trident is designed to provide developers the ability to provision and manage their own volumes on-demand, giving them the instant gratification that the cloud is known for in any environment. It does so in a completely automated fashion that fits naturally into the container platform and is aligned with policies defined by administrators. Recently we enabled self-driven cloning (instant, efficient volume copies) through Kubernetes constructs as well, and there’s a whole lot more to come.

What are the next steps for NetApp?

We’re working with Red Hat and the container community to expose more storage and data management capabilities to developers for applications running in OpenShift, such as native backup and restore, as well as data replication/synchronization. Combine primitives like these with the multi-cloud OpenShift environments of the future and some truly exciting capabilities are on their way!

What is your favorite thing about working at NetApp?

The reason I still work for NetApp after all of these years is that it’s exciting to be a part of a company that considers its innovation chops and culture to be its primary strengths. I like to call us “smart with heart”. The information age is nothing if we cannot remember it, and that means data and data management is going to continue to be key no matter where the world goes next.

Where can people go to find more information?

Trident is an open source project on GitHub. To explore our other integrations and keep yourself up-to-date, visit netapp.io.

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Containers, OpenShift Ecosystem
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