New Year, New Role!

Last year, I transitioned from the on-prem ONTAP product group over to the Google CVS and Astra group to work on some new challenges. While over there, I created some new stuff.

For starters, I partnered up with Oliver Krause to work on a Cloud Volumes Services security doc for Google Cloud. You can find that here:

Then, I started to ramp up on Kubernetes and started a blog series (that likely will never be finished. heh.)

Next, I started to dabble a bit into video with a series on Kubernetes called “Nailed It,” which I tentatively plan to keep up with and incorporate into the new role.

And of course, I kept up with the Tech ONTAP Podcast, which you can find here:

I really learned a ton about cloud, Kubernetes and applications, but there’s something to be said for doing what you’re really best at, and what I’m best at is ONTAP, NAS, name services, FlexGroup volumes, etc. So, when the opportunity arose to move back into that realm, I couldn’t say no. But this time, I won’t be in the on-prem group. Instead, I’ll be able to merge the skills I learned in ONTAP and in Kubernetes/CVS for the new role in Azure NetApp Files!

What is Azure NetApp Files?

Traditionally, storage has been deployed on-premises, or, in physical datacenters with physical hardware that required a team of people to manage and maintain. This has worked for decades, and still does for a lot of organizations, but like everything in IT, processes evolve. This happened for a variety of reasons – IT teams shrunk, application teams wanted more autonomy over their storage, automation started to get better, operations teams became more globally dispersed and, ultimately, budget started to shift from capex to opex.

Because of these changing trends, companies like NetApp – who started out as a strictly on-prem storage provider – started to shift, too. While on-prem is still a very large part of IT, and hardware is ultimately what powers even the cloud providers, NetApp needed a way to evolve with the trends and began to partner with the major cloud providers, such as Microsoft Azure.

NetApp provides ONTAP in the cloud with two different methods:

Self Managed – Storage administrators manage ONTAP from a cloud-resident GUI or from a CLI interface in one of the cloud providers. This provides a similar experience to managing ONTAP on-prem. Cloud Volumes ONTAP in Azure is an example of this.

As a service – ONTAP as a Service is a simplified way to quickly present data volumes in the cloud with minimal configuration steps and little need for knowledge of ONTAP. This exposes the goodness of ONTAP to application owners, who can avoid needing to jump through the regular hoops to provision storage and just get the capacity and performance they need quickly and easily. This is where Azure NetApp Files comes into play.

So what will I be doing with Azure NetApp Files?

Mainly, I’m there to help provide ONTAP expertise – particularly with the dual protocol volume functionality. This will include re-vamping the documentation, helping to guide the roadmap, promotion of the service and whatever else comes my way.

If you have any suggestions for things you want to learn or improvements in the current Azure NetApp Files implementation, feel free to reach out and ask away!

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