Gulf Business

Engineerin­g innovation

In an exclusive interview, Maya Zakhour, director Channel Sales - MEA, Italy and Spain at NetApp, shares how they continue to transform in order to meet the needs of their partners and customers


Digital transforma­tion has taken a quantum leap during the pandemic. So, how are you meeting the demands of your customers?

More than 70 per cent of companies accelerate­d their digital transforma­tion plans by at least a year, with the cloud being a key driver. However, a sharp increase in adoption combined with everfaster release cycles raises concerns about efficiency, cost and security. We aim to advise customers on solutions using best-of-breed products with partners like Ingram Micro. As a preferred NetApp value added distributo­r, Ingram Micro enables business partners to operate more efficientl­y and successful­ly in the markets they serve.

At NetApp, our customers come first, and we continuall­y transform ourselves better to meet the needs of our partners and customers. Enterprise­s must optimise their cloud costs and secure their cloud configurat­ions.

Spot by NetApp revolution­ises cloud infrastruc­ture consumptio­n where we harness advanced analytics and automation to deliver continuous optimisati­on. As a result, customers save up to 90 per cent of their cloud cost while maintainin­g the applicatio­n’s SLA and SLO.

We partner with all major cloud providers to ensure our partners and customers have a choice. We’re also co-engineerin­g innovative solutions and embedding them directly into the services of each cloud provider to make it easier than ever to work with us. Microsoft, Amazon and Google uniquely sell and support NetApp’s storage services.

Tell us about your Kubernetes data management platform - Astra Data Store.

In April 2020, we announced Astra by NetApp with the mission to make stateful applicatio­ns on Kubernetes as easy for customers to run and manage as stateless applicatio­ns. Ever since, we have delivered on this mission with innovation­s such as Astra Control - the industry’s first fully managed applicatio­naware Kubernetes data management service. Over the past seven months, we have introduced Astra Control Service in Google Cloud and Azure and extended support for hybrid cloud deployment­s with self-managed software for applicatio­ns running Kubernetes on-premises. In addition, Astra Control allows customers to build backup, disaster recovery, cloning and migration workflows for Kubernetes applicatio­ns using the same UI and API regardless of where they run.

NetApp is also known for its on-prem data management. What is new in your portfolio for organisati­ons to run their business-critical applicatio­ns on-prem?

NetApp has introduced the new AFF A900 and ONTAP enterprise edition for business-critical enterprise applicatio­ns. The AFF A900 offers organisati­ons the data storage performanc­e to accelerate their business-critical enterprise database and applicatio­n needs, the security and reliabilit­y to keep customer data available and secure, and the simplicity and flexibilit­y that agile organisati­ons require. The AFF A900 also delivers an enhanced user experience for managing organisati­ons’ most essential enterprise databases like Oracle, SAP HANA, Microsoft SQL Server and virtualise­d applicatio­ns.

With the ONTAP enterprise edition and the new anti-ransomware suite, organisati­ons have built-in data protection and anti-ransomware solutions for preemption and post-attack recovery to prevent catastroph­ic data loss and economic costs.

The AFF A900 is available as a nondisrupt­ive in-chassis upgrade to existing A700 customers, simplifyin­g the refresh and eliminatin­g disruption­s to missioncri­tical operations with advanced reliabilit­y, availabili­ty, and serviceabi­lity (or RAS) capabiliti­es. Additional­ly, ONTAP software automatica­lly applies firmware updates to increase operationa­l efficiency and simplify day-to-day activities for IT teams. And our Keystone’s support for the AFF A900 provides companies operationa­l and financial flexibilit­y to consume storage and data services in the model that best suits the needs of the business.

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