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NetApp, Perspectives on Intelligent Data Infrastructure and Strategic Direction

NetApp, Perspectives on Intelligent Data Infrastructure and Strategic Direction

Introduction

In June, NetApp held Analyst events in the US and Europe, rolling out their Intelligent Data Infrastructure vision. This is a perspective on the strategy and strength of the company.

NetApp, Perspectives on Intelligent Data Infrastructure and Strategic Direction

On the heels of their FY24 earnings announcements, George Kurian opened the event with highlights of their successful 2024 Fiscal Year, which ended April 30th. In addition to strong profits and operational discipline, they recorded $3.6 billion revenue from all-flash products (17% YTY) and nearly $150 million in Keystone Total Contract Value (TCV). Notably, they are at $622 million ARR in public cloud revenue, which reflects their first person offerings with AWS, Amazon, and Google.

So why do I call out these numbers? One NetApp’s platform is structured to manage a data infrastructure that crosses the many boundaries of place and protocol, such that the processes and procedures are similar or the same. On Premises, Off Premises; Block, File, Object; Data Security/resiliency, etc. It is not that they have built the “god-box” but that their three planes—data, metadata, and services—built over decades can deliver comprehensive, integrated data infrastructure. This provides a differentiation by offering consistent operating systems and hardware integration, needed for seamless management across hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

A second big point to their overall growth strategy is focusing on the core of what they projected as the $40 billion all-flash market opportunity by 2027, the largest segment being block. NetApp, long known as the filer company, has been winning as a standalone SAN deployment. What is meaningful here is not “do you want fries with that filer” win. Rather these are tenders for SAN environments going head-to-head with competitors. Performance, capacity, and price are the top three drivers tied closely to data resiliency proof.

The third area that was notable is the investment in AI, both as part of their data infrastructure and their engagement with AI deployments. Previously announced, but then underscored by a third-party validation is their 99% accuracy tracking of a cyber attack, which kicks off snap shots. No personnel involved. With RPO being of a critical consideration, this is a significant tool for data administrators.

In terms of their engagement with AI and the current Generative AI movement, as with others, they have integrated architectures including the Nvidia SuperPod and newly announced Lenovo for RAG in a box. The configurations leverage the full line of AFF, FAS, and StorageGrid. They are not new into this market. There is a long history of the e-Series delivered for the HPC market. AI systems are expected to streamline entry with the FlexPodAI and AIPod. We expect to see advancements from them to leverage their data classification and management abilities for streamlining the data pipeline needed for training and inferencing. However, nothing has been announced as of yet.

Overall, NetApp’s discussions on AI solutions, commitment and advancement for cyber resiliency, and their focus on a platform to manage the entire data suite with Intelligent Data Infrastructure put them in a good position to deliver the technologies and services needed for enterprises. Probably, more important was their overall commitment to customers in a very measured and deliberate fashion.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Other Insights from The Futurum Group:

NetApp Updates Storage Portfolio with a Focus on AI

NetApp Bolsters Cybersecurity Posture with Enhanced Solutions

NetApp All Flash FAS (AFF) – Product Review

Author Information

Camberley Bates

Camberley brings over 25 years of executive experience leading sales and marketing teams at Fortune 500 firms. Before joining The Futurum Group, she led the Evaluator Group, an information technology analyst firm as Managing Director.

Her career has spanned all elements of sales and marketing including a 360-degree view of addressing challenges and delivering solutions was achieved from crossing the boundary of sales and channel engagement with large enterprise vendors and her own 100-person IT services firm.

Camberley has provided Global 250 startups with go-to-market strategies, creating a new market category “MAID” as Vice President of Marketing at COPAN and led a worldwide marketing team including channels as a VP at VERITAS. At GE Access, a $2B distribution company, she served as VP of a new division and succeeded in growing the company from $14 to $500 million and built a successful 100-person IT services firm. Camberley began her career at IBM in sales and management.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in International Business from California State University – Long Beach and executive certificates from Wellesley and Wharton School of Business.

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