Behind the Scenes Episode 350: NetApp BlueXP Overview

Welcome to the Episode 350, part of the continuing series called “Behind the Scenes of the NetApp Tech ONTAP Podcast.”

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Have you heard of NetApp’s BlueXP? No? Don’t worry, we have you covered. Phoebe Goh (@phoebegoh), Cecille Kellam (cecillek@netapp.com) and Semion Mazor (semion@netapp.com) stop by to tell us all about the new centralized, cloud-resident control plane to manage NetApp products!

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Transcription

The following transcript was generated using Descript’s speech to text service and then further edited. As it is AI generated, YMMV.

Episode 350: NetApp BlueXP Overview

Episode 350 – NetApp BlueXP Overview
===

Justin Parisi: This week on the Tech ONTAP podcast, we unlock the mysteries of the new NetApp offering – BlueXP.

[Podcast intro music]

Justin Parisi: Hello and welcome to the Tech ONTAP Podcast. My name is Justin Parisi. I’m here in the basement of my house and with me today I have a few special guests to talk to us all about NetApp’s new offering – BlueXP. So to do that, we have Cecille Kellam here, new to the podcast. So, Cecille, what do you do here at NetApp? And how do we reach you?

Cecille Killam: Hi. Yeah, thank you for having me. Justin. Cecille Kellam here. I am a member of a team that covers the data services collectively, so we cover products like backup, tiering, Sync, Data Sense, and edge caching. You can reach me at Cecillek@netapp.com or find me on my LinkedIn and reach out to me there and I’ll shoot you an email.

Justin Parisi: All right. Excellent. Also with us today Phoebe Goh. Phoebe, if people don’t know who you are by now, what do you do here at NetApp and how do we reach you?

Phoebe Goh: Well, hi Justin. Thanks for having me. I was gonna say, people may recognize me from news reels on NetAppTV…

Justin Parisi: From the, from the YouTubes.

Phoebe Goh: The YouTubes too.

Yeah. But I am currently a Principal Technical Evangelist at NetApp, which basically means I get to go around talking to people about what they’re doing and being really excited about what NetApp is doing. And kind of joining the dots and telling some great stories. So that’s pretty much what I do every day and you can reach me on LinkedIn of course, but also I am normally on the Twitters and I’m also on the Fediverse now.

So just look for Phoebe Goh on either of those platforms?

Justin Parisi: The Fediverse?

Phoebe Goh: Yeah. It’s the replacement for Twitter.

Justin Parisi: There’s like eight replacements for Twitter. I’m waiting for it all to suss out and we have the final replacement. There’s Post, there’s Mastodon, there’s I guess, Fediverse.

Phoebe Goh: Well, yeah, the Fediverse is neat because it’s kind of, if you think about what Mastodon is, it’s bringing a lot of these distributed communities together and federating them, hence the Fediverse. So, as somebody who enjoys distributed technologies, there’s a little part of my geeky self that really enjoys how it’s all put up together.

Justin Parisi: Did Fetty Wap start that?

No?

Phoebe Goh: I don’t know!

Justin Parisi: Anyway also with us today – last but not least – before we forget about him, Semion Mazor is here. So Semion, what do you do here at NetApp? How do we reach you?

Semion Mazor: Hi, Justin, Cecille, Phoebe. I’m Semion Mazor. I’m a Product Marketing Manager in the Cloud Innovation Center in NetApp in Tel Aviv.

And you can reach me over my email, semion@netapp.com or reach me out over LinkedIn.

Justin Parisi: All right, excellent. So we have a good collection of people here to talk to us all about the new offering that is BlueXP so if you’re not familiar with what BlueXP is, that’s okay cuz I had only heard about it when it first came out, so you are not alone.

Cecille, kick us off. What is BlueXP? Give us the high level overview.

Cecille Killam: Yeah. BlueXP is our answer to what we’ve been seeing with our customers around their story as they go through their infrastructure journey and evolving to their cloud strategy. BlueXP is how we’re providing a unified control plane with similar workflows, whether you’re talking about your on-prem, whether you’re talking about the public cloud or you’re talking about a private cloud. We’re providing you with the same workflows and then a layer underneath to provide the automation that we know enterprises need to truly scale out these solutions. And all from that single login that’s gonna be linked back to your NSS support account to provide you with just a much more user friendly experience for our NetApp customers.

Justin Parisi: All right, so Phoebe, break that down for me – as an idiot. What does that mean?

Phoebe Goh: [laughs] So the way I see it is that we, these days have lots of data silos. You know, we have data that lives in data centers. We have data that lives in other people’s data centers, and we have data that lives in the cloud. And when you’re trying to think about not just where do I put that data, which is normally, you know, the first question, where do I put it?

But the second question is, okay, how do I protect it and what if I wanna move it somewhere? And what if I need better performance or I need to move it to cold storage. Managing that entire data estate gets complex. So, all of the NetApp portfolio – our first beginnings in ONTAP through to all the different native data services we run in the public clouds today. How do we make data management easier?

And so BlueXP is kind of the evolution of that. It’s kind of saying, "Hey, we have all these great data storage services, we have all these great data management services, migration services. Let’s put them into a single control plane. So it doesn’t matter where your data is, you’re still operating them the same way." As long as you are working with NetApp and partnering with us to help deliver those outcomes that you really want, which is more important in my mind than necessarily physically where that data lives.

Justin Parisi: Okay. So Semion, as a storage administrator, if I’m using NetApp and I see yet another tool to manage my storage, what is your message to me?

What’s happening with Cloud Manager? Can I still use ActiveIQ? Can I keep all this on-prem or do I have to migrate everything to my cloud resident management system like this is. So, what are you telling me?

Semion Mazor: Yeah, I think the key word you said, it is yet another tool. And as somebody that deals with data, if it’s storage admin, IT manager, architect, app owner, whatever it is, they need to deal with a lot of different system, different UIs in some cases, different clouds, and each of them has their own interfaces, their own language. And it’s hard to manage all that and it’s getting confusing even from NetApp. There’s a lot of different interfaces that you need, that each of them has their own credentials and way of operation. And the whole idea behind BlueXP is to have one place when you can manage everything related to your data, whether it’s on-premises or in the cloud.

And to have one consolidated solution control plane to manage it all. So it took what we have in Cloud Manager and combined also other places, integration with the System Manager, StorageGRID, and as we will evolve, it will add more and more capabilities from NetApp into one single place.

And you will have single solution to manage it all.

Justin Parisi: Am I hearing that it’s basically combining all these different tools into one overarching way of managing all of that? Is that what I’m hearing? Or is it just something else that I have to kind of think about in the long term infrastructure management piece?

Semion Mazor: Yeah, this is exactly the idea to have all of that. Somebody deals with data as a NetApp customer, or not yet NetApp customer, what do you do? And I think it comes with running into three pillars: build, protect, and govern. So, build – related to all where my data is stored, what are the performance, who has access to it, and also how do I move data from place to place?

And NetApp has a lot to offer in those aspects. The second one is protect. You want to make sure that my data is protected at the highest level I can do, and the third is govern. And there comes all the different aspects of observability, health monitoring, governance and all this stuff in terms of products that people familiar with.

In NetApp, it include Cloud Insights and ActiveIQ nified Manager and many other tools as well.

Phoebe Goh: I think you touched on a good point, I was thinking about it too, that today… well, when I started in it, going back, you know, I downloaded

Justin Parisi: Back in my day…

Phoebe Goh: [crosstalk, laughter] You downloaded all the Java files, right?

That you would run and you’d realize you had the wrong JVM and you’d have to go and download the right version of Java and then you’d realize they changed to some new architecture and you’d have to download that. And then, as the internet became popular a lot of those management tools moved to web URL. So, and NetApp had ActiveIQ.NetApp.com and CloudManager.Netapp.com, and you bookmarked all of them and you had to remember which one was which, and you’d open all those tabs, which is kind of how my browser looks these days. And I think what BlueXP does is, in its very simplest form is it condenses all of those NetApp services into one place to go.

So you’re not looking for which tab is it? And oh, you know, they changed the url, so I now need to bookmark a different tab and go to a different place. And I would say it’s just reducing those extra cognitive steps as a storage administrator or as a system cloud administrator who’s trying to think, okay, where do I go to get my job done?

BlueXP just kind of makes that, to me a lot simpler. And that’s a nice thing.

Cecille Killam: By having all this information within the same control plane and all able to speak to each other, we’re able to build out things like the ransomware protection dashboard that pulls information from several different products as well as has hooks into other products.

So when you identify where your mission critical data is, you’re able to back that data up or you find something that’s unprotected. You’re able to go into System Manager and apply those things to it that are recommended. And then even further down the road, taking that information and providing our customers with information into things like CO2 emissions.

By gathering all the different information we can pull from different NetApp systems and beyond, and creating dashboards around that, that provide really insightful information to our customers as they’re planning and growing.

Semion Mazor: Another great example for that is data protection. So, you can manage your local snapshot or primary ONTAP to secondary ONTAP on System Manager, and then you had a Cloud Backup to replicate the data to object storage, to StorageGRID, or in the cloud, and you had different tools to do that.

And with BlueXP, what you will be able to do is to manage it also. I have my data, I have this, this, this, and this copies of the data, whether it’s locally, remote in NetApp ONTAP native or in object storage. Now I can have all the different capabilities in one place. I can have easy recommendation. Okay, I need to restore. So where is the best place to restore? All in one place.

Justin Parisi: So how does one convince someone that is kind of set in their ways to move to this kind of architecture? And I like to think of it in terms of like a blinking 12 o’clock, right? So like your VCR, you get this new – and VCR is going way back – but any device that has a clock on it, right?

And if I’m someone who isn’t used to setting a clock on this device, it’s not important enough to me sometimes. So I just let it blink. , right? It’s always gonna be 12 o’clock. I don’t care. All I care about is the functionality of this device. So how do you get your customers to look at BlueXP and say, that’s intriguing enough for me to switch from what I’m using today.

I definitely want to do that. How are you getting people to understand the true value of what that offers?

Cecille Killam: Yeah, for myself as somebody who’s lucky enough to live near our RTP campus, I get to interact with customers that come in to our EBC center from all over the world.

And there’s a lot of common themes. And those common themes are around pain points, around things like skills gaps, and having an ever-changing cloud and on-prem strategy that might have gone from them saying that they were all in two years ago with Azure to recognizing that they’re probably gonna have a multi-cloud strategy that might still only be about 75% of their infrastructure in the public cloud.

And it’s taking those things that we hear around how the skills gap is keeping them from being able to move forward with these projects and by those projects not moving forward, that’s further slowing their own innovation within their organization, which keeps them from being able to make more money that they can reinvest in their business needs.

So it’s finding those commonalities and relating that to why we developed the BlueXP to overcome those challenges with our customers in mind.

Justin Parisi: So Phoebe, I assume you’ve used both Cloud Manager and BlueXP at this point. What are you finding as an end user that might be interesting for people to know about BlueXP that maybe they didn’t know about it as compared to Cloud Manager?

Like what makes it a better experience for you?

Phoebe Goh: Oh, I’m glad you gave me that question. I’m really excited about this because I think, going back to geeking out behind the scenes a little bit, we show the really nice UI and if you log into BlueXP, it looks pretty and they’ve improved a little bit so – Semion and the team have improved, you know, how it looks and the user experience. But I think behind the scenes, what I’m really excited about is, I would say, the kind of common services that allow us to do what Cecille said earlier, which is connect these services together, that when you log in, you log in once, and you can log in with your SSO cuz you can connect it to your company’s directory.

And it just creates a seamless experience between all of our data services and data management and data storage tools. And so that to me is really exciting because what that then enables is more flexibility in the way that you consume them. So, for example, that the APIs can be commonized, is that the word?

They can be made common. Rather than saying, okay, I’m gonna think about what’s the API for managing my data, what’s the API for protecting my data? You kind of speaking to the BlueXP service API and then going forward that also increases flexibility for other things, like even financial management, how I’m managing my licenses, being able to share. What I really like is the common vocabulary between procurement people and maybe storage admins who typically don’t speak. I mean, they speak English, but who knows whether they’re speaking the same English. If you’ve ever tried to talk to procurement, you realize that the things they care about and the things that an IT person that cares about it, not always the same. So I think that there’s this common layer that BlueXP brings in, and it’s not about simplifying and dumbing it down, but it’s about making it easier to consume. So that, to me is key. And it’s critical for any kind of control plane these days because you’ve got multiple cloud providers.

Just look at how people are talking about multi-cloud today. It’s all about common ways of consuming different clouds, or common vocabulary and common licensing. That’s what we really want.

Justin Parisi: Semion, I know this is a cloud resident technology, so how are you approaching that to customers that either are completely averse to using the cloud?

They’re like, "Nope, never gonna do it," or customers that can’t because they’re in secure environments. How are they going to experience BlueXP?

Semion Mazor: I was thinking about the same thing with your previous question, and I think that we look at Cloud Manager, it was built to deploy Cloud Volumes ONTAP, and during the time it were added with additional capabilities and the data services and it became more, but it still was about managing the things related to cloud. With BlueXP it’s a different story.

We’re saying, okay, this is the one place you can manage all what’s related to your data, that they state everything that’s related to ONTAP and not only. If we take it more technically, BlueXP can be deployed in several modes and can be fully SaaS. It can be on-premises with the SaaS layer, with management layer, and it can be also in a dark site, in a totally isolated network, not connected to the internet, fully managed by the customers, and we have such customers that already does that.

I don’t think it’s related to cloud or not cloud, it’s more related to have one place to manage it all, whether it’s multi-cloud or only on-premises.

Justin Parisi: I guess I get why people might think that it’s all cloud because that’s kind of where NetApp pushes people, right? They’re like, Hey, we’re cloud, we’re cloud, we’re cloud.

When we actually have a very still robust on-prem story that some people are very appreciative of. So it’s good to know that BlueXP can handle both the customers that are looking forward into the cloud and the ones that are okay with staying where they are today on-prem.

Phoebe Goh: I think it’s a really good indication that cloud is here to stay and it’s not like you’re going, okay, I’m gonna choose a cloud and then I’m gonna just focus on that cloud. And I know some customers do, and you can use BlueXP for that too. But I think where many of our customers are going and many organizations are headed, is in this world where it’s not all or nothing.

And so having a service like BlueXP that kind of looks across all of that is really what customers need and they like having.

Cecille Killam: Yeah, and I think the word cloud is one of those things that can oftentimes distract people away from what we’re actually discussing. There’s so many times that I’d go into a demo with customers and they were on-prem only customers without a cloud initiative.

And I bring them into Cloud Manager to show them some of the capabilities that we had, and immediately they’d say, we’re not in the cloud. And of course I have a little joke that, well, we can’t just call it manager, right? But by bringing everything under here into this single BlueXP platform, I can speak to it as their on-prem private cloud.

And that resonates with our customers that aren’t ready to take that footstep into the public cloud.

Phoebe Goh: You gave me an idea, Cecille. I’m dressing up as a cloud for Halloween next year.

Justin Parisi: Don’t you already dress up like a cloud?

Cecille Killam: So many different ways. I love it.

Justin Parisi: Isn’t that your natural form? Phoebe . You’re Jigglypuff.

Phoebe Goh: Ah, don’t make me sing

Semion Mazor: Another point related to what Cecille said, and Cecille and I work together on several success stories with our customers. And I think we have many customers that starting with fully on-prem that are currently on-prem, but they do have in mind some kind of strategy or plan to also have footprint in the cloud, but they not there yet. So with BlueXP it gives you the ability to be flexible about it. So currently have the great capabilities, fully on-prem, but then with the same platform, the same UI, the same things you used to have also extend to the cloud.

Cecille Killam: Yeah. If you become comfortable setting up SnapMirror replications between your on-prem AFFs within BlueXP, then when you’re ready to take that jump and try out CVO, for instance, then it, it’s gonna be the same workflow that you were used to making it that much easier to adopt and get your people trained up on how to use it.

Justin Parisi: So Cecille if I’m an admin, and honestly this has been something that has been bothering me as an admin since early days of ONTAP, is the ability to limit access to specific SVMs using RBAC. So being able to have logins that are not the admin to be able to manage my overall architecture. So does BlueXP address that in any way? Can I have more granular security controls over my environment?

Cecille Killam: Yeah, that’s a great question Justin. And one of the things that I heard most frequently speaking with customers, partners in my internal customers, they have other teams here at NetApp the most over the past year, is that they needed better role-based access controls.

So they could really customize workflows and ensure that they were adhering to things like lease privileges and just ensuring that their architecture and the security behind everything was locked down so that only the people that needed to be able to do things were able to do those. And we have extended the role-based access control from four different levels to moving to nine different levels as well as we have things roadmapped around being able to do things like custom roles and permissions and policies within the BlueXP for users, which will help to even further create not only very customized workflows, but have the right automation to drive things, whether it’s business units, products, and different components of their infrastructure.

Justin Parisi: So that’s one thing that BlueXP can do that maybe System Manager or Cloud Manager can’t do.

So let’s talk about other things that you can find in BlueXP and not in the other pieces of management. Like what does BlueXP, what can it not do today that something that Cloud Manager can do today? So let’s start with what BlueXP can do versus something Cloud Manager can’t do.

Phoebe Goh: I think it was kind of what Cecille was saying earlier, you know, having the ransomware protection dashboard. It’s kind of more fleshed out than it was in Cloud Manager. Like there was the starting point. But I mean, I guess at the end of the day, it’s not what it can do versus what Cloud Manager couldn’t do, but it’s more, what has it added? Like what, where is it going? Right? That Cloud Manager already was, and it’s now going, oh, I could do more things now. What else can I do with my data? That’s kind of where BlueXP is. It looks the same, like it feels the same. So it’s hard to say it does something different.

Semion Mazor: I think the approach and the concept is different, like Cloud Manager in the mindset was, again, start from deploying view and added more services and started to have integration with other tools in NetApp. But the concept was mainly for cloud management and deployment of tool and more like, another layer for different products and BlueXP is a different concept at all.

The idea is to have one place and to integrate everything seamlessly and to have it all in one place. So it’s more in terms of, what it is and where it’s going to.

Cecille Killam: By having the common services layer underneath, and what we’re building out also allows for things like portability of licensing from there and consumption.

So being able to illustrate whether you are consuming through your AWS marketplace through a private offer to burn down an EVP spend or a max commit spend in Microsoft, or the same in Google. It’s providing that visibility of your consumption. As well as showing what you’re using in Keystone and what your software licenses are for your ONTAP, and then providing you with flexibility ultimately is what we’re working towards.

So that if you were to have a project, for instance that you have a certain budget allocated for, at the beginning stages of it, if it’s a disaster recovery and backup project, you may not know exactly how much CVO you may need or how much Cloud Backup you may need initially. But you do have funding that you can apply to things. So being able to have some exchangeability and portability of what you’re consuming with NetApp and us not locking you into, you know, 50 terabytes of backup when you actually discover you need 30 of CVO and 20 of backup. And providing that all from one single login, one single place that you can go to, to illustrate and show this consumption and show where you’re spending your money so that as you’re planning for budget, you have that available to you.

Phoebe Goh: I would say as well that one difference in BlueXP compared to Cloud Manager and something that it might take some time to wrap your head around is that it’s not just for the storage guy or gal or person or cat, whoever’s organizing your storage, which is kind of like Semion was saying, deploying CVO was typically the job of a storage person, sometimes the storage architect, sometimes the storage admin. And what Cecille was just saying is, it goes through other roles in the business as well and other people with different expectations of what should happen with their data. And so I think that’s pretty powerful. And hey, if you are the only person who logs in, then guess what?

You have the power to access all of this and to show people what they’re getting as opposed to just, you know, oh, here’s the storage. This is how I deploy it.

Justin Parisi: Yeah. And I imagine that comes with some shiny pretty graphs for the management types, right? That wanna see what this money that we spent on this infrastructure is getting us.

Phoebe Goh: Only the shiniest, prettiest graphs.

Justin Parisi: So this all sounds like things that came from maybe like ONTAP Wssentials. Is that tying into BlueXP at all? The Cloud Insights feature.

Cecille Killam: Yes. Cloud Insights is being brought under the BlueXP header to allow people to take advantage of that information and ultimately to allow us to use that information to provide more correlation reporting and things like showing from power consumption, how that can equate to CO2 reduction when you’re talking about being more green and more efficient.

Justin Parisi: Okay. We’ve talked a lot about ONTAP tools that fit under this umbrella. Are we bringing in any third party partners into the BlueXP umbrella that can be accessed through that interface?

Phoebe Goh: Yeah, I think you should interview them. Well,

Justin Parisi: I, yeah, and we will have a one for next week. I know that they exist, but, and that’s Fluid and we’ll talk to them next show.

But you know, anything else like, I know that we do partnerships with companies like Veronis or companies like Veeam or Rubrik. So are we integrating with their backup architecture technologies? Are we integrating with the Fpolicy stuff? How does that work?

Semion Mazor: I think maybe the easiest way answer that is to cover what is currently part of BlueXP.

And this maybe will provide an answer. So if you just go to bluexp.netapp.com, you can see a menu with everything that’s currently available there. So in storage, we have the on-premises ONTAP, Cloud Volumes ONTAP, FSx, ANF, and CVS. Then we have all the mobility capabilities, which copy and sync, tiering, Edge Caching.

We have all the protection, backup and recovery, replication, ransomware protection which we talked earlier and Kubernetes. And then we have the section of analysis and control, which have observability, which is Cloud Insights, Classification, which was familiar as Data Sense and Digital Advisors. And I think this gives a view of the broadness of what is currently part of BlueXP, it’s going to be much, much more going over time.

Cecille Killam: I love how it relates it to the actual use case and not a product. Now are you looking to tier? Are you looking to Edge Cache?

Are you looking for Ransomware Protection? I think that’s a great update that we did to be more user friendly and help people find what they’re looking for.

Justin Parisi: Right. And as an admin, if I’m already using something like Veeam or Rubrik to back up things, I’m probably gonna want to keep using that. And if I can’t access that through BlueXP and I wanted to add it, how would I, how would I get talk to somebody to get something like that interface added into BlueXP?

Or is that even possible?

Phoebe Goh: I think what you’re getting at Justin is, where do those extensions, where do they start, but where could they go in the future if somebody wanted to add a third party service to BlueXP, it absolutely has that extensibility because we call them extensions.

But how would you go about doing that?

Justin Parisi: Yeah, and I guess that’s maybe something to address at a later time, but, you know, ultimately I think it’s nice to be able to think that everyone would use everything NetApp to do everything, but that’s just not the reality, right? People have their things they like to use.

They are already using it, so they don’t wanna move a bunch of stuff. So there needs to be some sort of way to integrate with that, and that maybe it doesn’t have to be BlueXP, right? Maybe they can just keep using whatever tools they’re using before. But if we’re talking about a total umbrella to keep everything under, then that’s a good place to start. And if that’s not possible, that’s fine. I was just curious if we were looking at expanding that to include things like links to partners, integrations, extensions, whatever you wanna call ’em.

Cecille Killam: Well, I think the part of the major reason for using the APIs and having the common services layer is that it does leave the door open to where we can continue to evolve our portfolio and what we provide to our customers.

Justin Parisi: Now that said, I mean, we do have our own application integration, backup things through Astra and Astra Control Service. So, Semion, how does BlueXP integrate with the Astra suite?

Semion Mazor: It will be down the road. It will be integrated, but in a bit later stage.

Justin Parisi: Okay. So it’s something that’s possible, but not yet there today in BlueXP.

Semion Mazor: Exactly.

Phoebe Goh: And the same with the Spot portfolio as well, Justin. Looking at it kind of half in and half out of the NetApp perspective, if I look at what NetApp has, we have built and we have acquired a lot of great different services across everything from data storage through to compute, and now this next phase, it’s less exciting than, you know, buying and building new things.

But it’s that integration piece of, okay, how do people wanna get the best value out of all of these services? Do we put them together? Do we have them separate? Do we create different UIs and BlueXP is one way to say, Hey, you know, we do think that people wanna access similar services through a single control plane.

Justin Parisi: So we’ve focused a lot on the ONTAP perspective here. So what about things like StorageGRID or E-Series and other things in the NetApp portfolio? Does BlueXP tie into those as well, or is that another one of those futures?

Cecille Killam: With the launch of the BlueXP platform, we brought the E-Series and StorageGRID devices both under that control. For myself, it’s been something that customers have been requesting for a great deal of time because you can actually utilize things like backup service to go from on-prem to a StorageGRID device and have that additional third copy and object storage and still have an entirely on-prem footprint.

Justin Parisi: Okay, good. Cause I know that that’s something that people have been kind of clamoring for, to be able to manage those, you know, I don’t wanna call ’em ancillary, but they’re not ONTAP, right? So things that are not ONTAP into a single area to manage them all. Cuz it’s tough enough to learn one new product, but when you gotta learn three or four new products, it gets a little harder.

So having something that can kind of consolidate it all is gonna be a boon, I think for people that have those mixed environments with different NetApp portfolio products.

Semion Mazor: Yeah, I think that’s exactly what BlueXP comes to solve. Like it’s not another control plane, it’s the control plane. And going forward in some products, it’s already being delivered.

When you going to new version of System Manager, it will redirect you to BlueXP and as we go further in timeline, this is what is planned to be.

Justin Parisi: So I refer to all the NetApp portfolio stuff like StorageGRID and ONTAP and E-Series. But a lot of people are still using or have been using things outside of NetApp, like you know, cloud providers like AWS and Azure, that sort of thing, outside of any of the CVS or CVO stuff.

So what about them? What is their experience gonna be like when they’re integrating with this BlueXP interface?

Phoebe Goh: I would say I like that it gives customers flexibility where if you are entirely in a cloud provider… let’s say you’ve committed to spend all of your IT budget and all of your application budget in something like AWS.

You can deploy a service like Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP, which is bringing all that value of ONTAP into AWS. And you can deploy that and you can manage that through the AWS console, and you can manage your data there and you are living in one cloud provider. But if you don’t just have one cloud provider, it really makes sense to look at BlueXP because then, like we said earlier, you see your StorageGRID, you see your E-series, you can activate all the data services from FSx for ONTAP within BlueXP. So it’s giving that flexibility of how do I want to operate, where do I wanna operate when I’m talking about my data estate? And it gives you a couple of extra services, right? Things like looking at governance and compliance data.

BlueXP is really designed to say we understand your data best. You can understand AWS best from within the AWS console. You can understand Azure best from within the Azure console, but when you wanna talk about data, then come and talk to us. That’s kind of neat from a customer perspective, but of course, do it where it makes sense for you. That’s the nice thing about NetApp.

Justin Parisi: Yeah, absolutely. So what if I’m using more than one cloud, like this whole multi-cloud approach? Does BlueXP support me there?

Phoebe Goh: I feel like that’s where it is possibly it’s most powerful. Justin . I’m sure Semion is, is like, I love that you brought up this question because that’s where we are actually seeing a lot of our customers going is into multiple cloud providers.

Not necessarily because they wanted to, but because they kind of end up that way. There’s a workload that makes sense to run in a different cloud provider or to keep it on-premises. And in that case, when you are looking across the data management of all of that, there is no better tool than BlueXP

Justin Parisi: Semion, you’ve been summoned by Phoebe. What do you think of that ?

Semion Mazor: I just agree. I think I couldn’t say it better than Phoebe.

Justin Parisi: But aren’t you gonna at least try to say it better than Phoebe, or is that an impossible task?

Semion Mazor: No, I’m not. I don’t think we’re equal in our abilities.

Justin Parisi: All right. Alright. That’s fair.

Cecille Killam: Speaking to, you know customers that I have worked with personally, I have some that have mandates to be in all three clouds, and that is exactly the reason why they’re with NetApp and why they’re continuing to grow their data estate and their footprint with us is because they know that they’ll be able to go to Google, to Azure and to AWS, all with the same workflows and from the same control plane, regardless of which of those clouds that they’re looking at.

Justin Parisi: I’m pretty convinced that this is gonna be a good future looking product. So Cecille, if I’m looking to try it out or even use it in my environment today, what’s the process look like there?

Cecille Killam: Yeah, so if you are somebody who’s currently using Cloud Manager, we can assist you through changing over to the BlueXP platform.

But for all of our new customers or somebody who’s looking to try it out, go to bluexp.netapp.com and you’ll go to the Get Started and you’re able to start utilizing that to manage your data estate at no charge from NetApp.

Phoebe Goh: We should get you to do the ad, Cecille. You have the best ad voice.

Justin Parisi: All right. Excellent. So it sounds like we got a place to go to take a look at this. So Cecille, if we wanted to reach you, how do we do that?

Cecille Killam: Yeah, please do reach out. It’s cecillek@netapp.com and I will be happy to assist anybody with people asking me what I do for NetApp.

I tell ’em I talk about NetApp Cloud to anybody that’ll listen, so please do reach out.

Justin Parisi: And Semion.

Semion Mazor: It’s Semion@netapp.com and I’m available there, you’re welcome.

Justin Parisi: All right, and Phoebe.

Phoebe Goh: Don’t email me. That’s my request because I get way too many emails. I would say reach out on Twitter @PhoebeGoh, and I generally respond to that much faster than any other form of communication right now.

Justin Parisi: All right. Excellent. Well, thanks so much everyone for joining us and talking to us all about BlueXP and helping us learn a little bit more about how this is gonna work out for people as a single management plane.

All right, hat music tells me it’s time to go. If you’d like to get in touch with us, send us an email to podcast@netapp.com, or send us a tweet @NetApp. As always, if you’d like to subscribe, find us on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, iHeartRadio, SoundCloud, Stitcher, or via TechONTAPpodcast.com. If you liked the show today, leave us a review.

On behalf of the entire Tech ONTAP podcast team, I’d like to thank Phoebe Goh, Cecille Kellam, and Semon Mazor for joining us today. As always, thanks for listening.

[podcast outro music]

 

 

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