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NetApp Spot tools abstract compute, storage for containers

NetApp Spot optimizes containers for OnTap storage. The objective is to boost data management and protection as containers migrate between Kubernetes clusters.

NetApp took the wraps off improved container storage by integrating its recently acquired Spot cloud technologies into its OnTap operating system and Data Fabric cloud data management platform.

The NetApp Spot automation streamlines Kubernetes deployment by offloading capacity and compute provisioning to cloud service providers. The introductory preview took place at the NetApp Insight digital conference this week.

Spot Storage by NetApp and Spot Ocean by NetApp abstract compute and cloud storage instances needed to run a Kubernetes farm. The services work in tandem via public cloud deployments.

NetApp in June acquired Spot for its hybrid cloud data management software. Spot's continuous optimization platform combines analytics, automation and guidance for any application. Spot also brokers cloud pricing to help organizations control costs.

The NetApp Spot suite is used to optimize containers running OnTap-based storage systems. Spot tools are part of the NetApp Data Fabric methodology for building flexible hybrid clouds.

Spot Ocean by NetApp

Spot Ocean by NetApp launches serverless compute instances in the public cloud. Ocean "right-sizes" the Kubernetes cluster and automates scheduling and provisioning. Spot Storage by NetApp eliminates the need for storage admins to carve storage volumes or capacity pools, said Spot by NetApp CTO Kevin McGrath.

Contextual advertising company GumGum uses computer vision and natural language processing to extract text, images, and video from webpages. GumGum then places context around that data to match ads to the relevant web audience. The startup has been using Spot for several years.

Vaibhav Puranik, GumGum senior vice president of engineering, said Spot helped his company save $500,000 in cloud costs during the first year of implementation.

"We have 10 billion real-time bidding transactions and generate 20 terabytes of data every single day. Spot by NetApp [handles] bidding for AWS Spot Instances and helps us reduce costs by about 50 to 60%, which keeps our business viable," Puranik said.

The Spot rollout is part of NetApp's Project Astra hybrid cloud initiative. Adding Spot advances earlier work that included NetApp's Trident open-source driver for provisioning container storage. Trident allows applications running on Kubernetes clusters to seamlessly access persistent storage from NetApp storage locally and in the cloud. 

Enterprises register a Kubernetes cluster and Trident auto-discovers the apps running on it. Users choose from a catalog of data management options. Sayan Saha, a NetApp senior director, said customers requested tools to manage, migrate and protect containerized apps across Kubernetes clusters.

"Trident showed we were going down the right path, but when talking to our customers, it was clear there was more we could do. They wanted us to do the heavy lifting for them," Saha said.

Spot was among a series of small acquisitions NetApp made this year. In addition to unveiling its Spot integration, NetApp introduce validated reference architecture for VDI installations at Insight. Aimed at Windows shops, the Virtual Desktop Management Service extends use of the CloudJumper VDI technology that NetApp acquired in August. NetApp also this year acquired Talon Storage to add fast file caching to NetApp Cloud Volumes OnTap and Microsoft Azure NetApp Files.

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