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Product Brief

NetApp and Fujitsu Team to Provide a Proven, Best-ofBreed Cloud Infrastructure Date: June, 2011 Author: Terri McClure, Senior Analyst Abstract: While many vendors are just rolling out integrated computing solutions targeted at allowing enterprises or service providers to build a robust cloud foundation, NetApp and Fujitsu have been partnering for years to offer these types of solutions. Together, they offer a best-of-breed integrated platform with an integrated management, automation, and orchestration stack and a solution set that spans edge-to-core requirements.

Overview The IT industry is clearly moving toward simplifying infrastructure with a long term goal of reducing ongoing operational costs and increasing agility. This trend is manifesting itself in many ways, but perhaps the most visible is the adoption of cloud infrastructure. Some industries, like media and entertainment, are jumping in to leverage public cloud services. Others, such as regulated industries like financial services, are building private cloud infrastructures and respinning IT to operate within an “IT services delivery” model based on a services-oriented infrastructure. Still others are looking for the best of both worlds, deploying hybrid cloud solutions that enable a services-oriented infrastructure in which data can be stored in a suitable location based on attributes with sensitive data on a private cloud and data not subject to regulation or sensitive treatment stored on a pubic cloud. No matter which approach is taken, the underlying infrastructure needs to be robust enough to maintain high availability since a small failure could affect a great many applications and users; integrated and easy-to-use to reduce the management burden and speed provisioning time; and highly efficient to reduce ever more expensive floor space, power, and cooling requirements at the scale required in a shared cloud model. To that end, vendors are responding with tightly integrated systems that can be quickly deployed to support cloud initiatives in easily consumable chunks of compute and storage. NetApp and Fujitsu have partnered for just such an offering, but this is not a new partnership. The two companies have been working together for more than a decade to provide tested, integrated, proven solutions. The combination of NetApp and Fujitsu technology is ideally suited to meet today’s cloud computing demands thanks to a best-of-breed, field proven platform that Fujitsu itself deployed as far back as 2009 to support its own cloud services offering, and that large enterprises like Lufthansa Systems and Frucor subscribe to and trust.

Economics and Business Requirements are Driving Change IT is under pressure to shift from a cost center to a business enablement center. Data is growing faster than ever thanks to new types of data (with richer files and formats), new uses for data (leveraging advanced analytics that can create a competitive advantage), and easier generation of data (increasing number of endpoint/content generating devices, machine- and user-generated data), making the shift to business enablement even more difficult. The global economy also continues to be a challenge, increasing pressure on IT to reduce costs, both CAPEX and OPEX. Despite improving economics, cost reduction initiatives continue to be a primary IT investment driver (see Figure 1). 1 Businesses need to become leaner, but also more responsive to changing macroeconomic conditions in order to take advantage of new business opportunities as they arise.


Source: ESG Research Report, 2011 IT Spending Intentions Survey, January 2011.

© 2011 Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Product Brief: NetApp and Fujitsu Team to Provide a Proven, Best-of-Breed Cloud Infrastructure

Figure 1. Business Initiatives Driving IT Investment Decisions Business initiatives that will have the greatest impact on your organization’s IT spending decisions over the next 12-18 months? (Percent of respondents, three responses accepted) Cost reduction initiatives

45% 42%


31% 34% 33%

Business process improvement initiatives

25% 29% 27%

Security/risk management initiatives

24% 26% 19%

Regulatory compliance Improved business intelligence and delivery of realtime business information

2009 (N=492)

21% 23% 19%

Business growth via mergers, acquisitions, or organic expansion

2010 (N=515)

22% 18% 16%

“Green” initiatives related to energy efficiency and/or reducing company-wide environmental impact

19% 18% 16% 12% 13% 15%

Improved internal collaboration capabilities Increased use of social networking technology for marketing, customer outreach, market research, etc.

2011 (N=611)

11% 16% 12% 11%

Research and development innovation/improvement

13% 9% 11%

International expansion 0%







Source: Enterprise Strategy Group, 2011.

Speed and adaptability can’t be hindered by an inflexible IT infrastructure. IT is looking for new operational models to reduce cycle time, enable better business responsiveness, and cut costs; cloud infrastructures provide those means.

A Deeper Look at the Shift to Cloud Risk tolerance varies by corporate culture and vertical industry, driving multiple cloud deployment models: public, virtual private, private, and hybrid. •

• • •

Public cloud. Multitenant infrastructure owned and operated by a service provider in a service provider’s facility is shared amongst subscribers who pay as they use capacity, bandwidth, and IO processing. Different public cloud offerings are available: infrastructure offerings (Infrastructure-as-a-Service, or Iaas, which are bundled storage and compute capacity or just storage capacity) and software offerings (Software-as-aService, or SaaS). Virtual Private Cloud. Like a public cloud, this is outside the four walls of the data center, but with a dedicated infrastructure owned and managed by a third party. Private Cloud. Typically inside the four walls of the data center, infrastructure is owned and managed internally by the corporate IT group. Hybrid Cloud. A cloud spans private (either virtual private or truly private) and public cloud service providers. © 2011 Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Product Brief: NetApp and Fujitsu Team to Provide a Proven, Best-of-Breed Cloud Infrastructure


Some highly regulated industries are hesitant to trust data to the cloud. Security concerns and lack of control continue to be an adoption inhibitor. Such industries typically deploy private cloud solutions. Industries that can achieve a business benefit from leveraging large scale public clouds, like media and entertainment content distribution and archive, or that are classifying data in order to shift lightly active archive data that is not regulated or sensitive are adopting public and hybrid cloud models. Cost efficiency, time to deploy, and ease of use are core considerations in building a cloud services infrastructure, regardless of whether it will run on a public or private cloud service. To achieve the required levels of cost efficiency, agility, and ease of use, cloud infrastructures must be: • •

• • • •

Integrated and easy to deploy. When offering cloud services, time to deploy is critical. Integrated offerings can speed time to deployment because they are configured, tested, and ready to put into production as an end-to-end compute offering. Easy to use and manage with end-to-end visibility. It isn’t just the hardware that needs to be integrated; users need a top level management console that provides a complete view of the infrastructure from the virtual servers to the physical servers, up to and including managing and provisioning storage resources and services. A single point of control is critical to efficiency and realizing the true economic benefits of cloud infrastructure. Multi-tenant. Multi-tenancy insulates users’ data and ensures performance SLAs are met. Flexible. There is not really a “one size fits all” model, so solutions need to be flexible with multiple deployment options and edge-to-core solutions. Highly available. Once an infrastructure is consolidated into a shared services offering, failures can be far reaching, affecting every subscriber or application living within the cloud and impacting SLAs. This makes ensuring high availability absolutely critical. Services-oriented. Varied performance and availability service levels must be offered to match varied application requirements.

Integrated computing platforms are an attractive solution that can meet these core requirements. As part of ESG’s 2011 IT spending intentions survey, respondents were asked about their organization’s usage of or interest in integrated computing technology, defined as platforms in which servers, storage, network connectivity, and (in some cases) software are combined in a single solution. Although only 10% of organizations have already deployed integrated computing platforms, two-thirds expressed some level of interest in the technology. Simplified management, reduced deployment times, and a better economic model top the list as users enjoy ease of management, faster deployment times, improved TCO, and less time required for hardware and software integration (see Figure 2). Respondents also envisioned benefits associated with interoperability issues, application performance, and service and support. It is clear that integrated systems are well matched to cloud infrastructure requirements. These types of platforms help reduce risk, cost, and cycle time, allowing IT to become leaner and providing the agile infrastructure required to build a robust cloud offering.

© 2011 Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Product Brief: NetApp and Fujitsu Team to Provide a Proven, Best-of-Breed Cloud Infrastructure

Figure 2. Business Initiatives Driving IT Investment Decisions What benefits do you believe an integrated computing platform offers your organization? (Percent of respondents, N=471, multiple responses accepted) Ease of management


Faster deployment time


Improved total cost of ownership (TCO)


Less time and resources required for hardware and/or software integration


Reduction in interoperability issues


Improved application performance


Improved service and support


It is more straightforward to purchase from one vendor as opposed to several


Less training required

17% 0%






Source: Enterprise Strategy Group, 2011.

NetApp and Fujitsu Partner to Provide a Solid Cloud Foundation NetApp and Fujitsu have had a joint technology partnership in place for more than a decade. Together, they offer an integrated compute platform that combines Fujitsu’s PRIMERGY blade servers and NetApp FAS or V-Series platforms, managed via the jointly-developed Resource Orchestrator software providing a role-based platform to provision and manage the entire stack from servers to storage. This innovative logical server architecture virtualizes the entire stack, creating a flexible resource pool that can be allocated where needed with automated provisioning and resource orchestration software to ensure appropriate utilization and QoS. Integration does not mean force fitting a “one-size-fits-all” solution. The combined NetApp/Fujitsu solutions are still customizable to meet user needs, with multiple configuration types available to meet enterprise requirements from the edge to the core. An entry-level version combines a virtual machine-based NetApp Data ONTAP operating system, the secret sauce in the NetApp architecture, running on a PRIMERGY blade to create a lightweight appliance ideal for remote sites like field offices or retail outlets. There is also a more robust data-center-in-a-box configuration for larger scale environments. The environment can even be extended to make use of legacy or third-party storage with the incorporation of a NetApp V-Series. This is an intriguing move that it allows the Resource Orchestrator stack to provision and managed all storage from one console instead of separately. Orchestration across the stack is incredibly important; it collapses the number of tools required to manage the infrastructure and provides visibility into the relationships between virtual and physical resources. NetApp command and control software is embedded into the Fujitsu storage foundation suite and exposed via Resource Orchestrator. Resource Orchestrator deservers a deeper look; one of the issues with virtualization is that it can add complexity to an already complex IT environment. Users don’t need yet another management platform. They need an end-to-end tool that allows them to set policies that automate orchestration of the various resources that make up the solution— otherwise, all the savings of a server and storage consolidation initiative may be lost to the legions of people required to plan, provision, manage, and troubleshoot the newly “simplified” hardware environment and map the logical world to the physical world, figuring out the implications of the smallest logical server move! © 2011 Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Product Brief: NetApp and Fujitsu Team to Provide a Proven, Best-of-Breed Cloud Infrastructure


Resource orchestrator brings everything together: it automates provisioning of physical and virtual server, storage, and network resources from one control point; it provides pooling of resources with different classes of service to allow applications with different performance or protection profiles to coexist within the same physical infrastructure, a core cloud requirement; it provides role-based administration for multitenant environment, allowing a secure yet shared infrastructure in which users can manage resources without stepping on each other; it further abstracts the physical environment by allowing users to manage logical servers (called L-Servers) which are logical representations of a server which can be either physical or virtual, simplifying administration; and it acts as a control point to automate and manage disaster recovery and failover. A key component to any technology partnership is service and support. NetApp and Fujitsu work together to perform joint testing and integration, ensuring solutions are plug-and-play, and have developed reference architectures to support many different use cases.

Proof Point: Real life Deployment Scenarios All the testing and investment in the world pales in comparison to real results. Vendors can make anything work in the lab; it is how solutions perform in the field that counts. Since this partnership is mature and the companies have been working together for such a long time, there is no shortage of proof points. Fujitsu has seen significant adoption from users looking to “cloudify” classic applications like SAP. Fujitsu and NetApp extended the integrated compute platform to build FlexFrame for SAP, a purpose-built appliance that virtualizes the hardware environment and provides pooled resources that are tuned for and integrated with SAP environments. Together, they have 250 accounts hosting over 12,000 SAP applications. Further proof that this is not a theoretical or a marketing alliance, Fujitsu built its own IaaS offering based as far back as 2009 before cloud was in style and the “buzzword du jour.” Fujitsu has IaaS points of presence globally in the USA, UK, Germany, Japan, Singapore, and Australia, leveraging this technology and hosting applications for companies as well known as Lufthansa Systems. Fujitsu has experience building and managing IaaS solutions that it can bring to bear in helping end-users deploy their own offerings whether they use public, private, or hybrid. As a user starts out and builds a private cloud based on the Fujitsu infrastructure, Fujitsu allows users to seamlessly expand and bridge into a Fujitsubased trusted public cloud over time. Fujitsu essentially allows users to build a virtual data center that can span data centers: their own and Fujitsu’s trusted cloud. Users pick what they need based on pre-defined systems or templates; they don’t have to “provision for peak” in house and instead can leverage Fujitsu’s global trusted cloud services for times when extra capacity is needed. In-house infrastructure can be deployed based on average run rates.

The Bigger Truth It is clear from the level of investment and commitment that NetApp and Fujitsu provide a solution ideally tailored to meet today’s cloud storage infrastructure requirements whether users are building a public, private, or hybrid cloud. Together, they offer best-of-breed infrastructure with integrated end-to-end management. The combined solution is a time-tested and proven model, deployed by Fujitsu to support its own global IaaS offerings. The (surprisingly) wide solution set that these two companies offer enables them to do what's best for users. Their respective portfolios can be combined in numerous configurations to meet a wide variety of deployment use cases and business requirements from lightweight edge solutions running an integrated virtual storage architecture, to heavyweight compute platforms, to dense cloud archives. This is a proven model, delivering integrated offerings to support services-oriented architectures for decades—and at the end of the day, that is what cloud really is: a flexible services-oriented architecture. The name may be new and the technology has evolved over the years, but the depth and breadth of experience these two companies combine to offer makes this “new” technology a safe bet. All trademark names are property of their respective companies. Information contained in this publication has been obtained by sources The Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) considers to be reliable but is not warranted by ESG. This publication may contain opinions of ESG, which are subject to change from time to time. This publication is copyrighted by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. Any reproduction or redistribution of this publication, in whole or in part, whether in hard-copy format, electronically, or otherwise to persons not authorized to receive it, without the express consent of the Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc., is in violation of U.S. copyright law and will be subject to an action for civil damages and, if applicable, criminal prosecution. Should you have any questions, please contact ESG Client Relations at (508) 482-0188.

© 2011 Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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