NetApp is planning to shortly enter the fast-growing hyper-converged infrastructure market with an all-flash offering based on its SolidFire technology.
NetApp's CEO George Kurian, speaking to financial analysts on Wednesday while reporting the company's third fiscal 2017 quarterly results, said NetApp will be unveiling a hyper-converged infrastructure solution based on NetApp's SolidFire all-flash storage technology that will be tied to the hybrid cloud.
The hybrid cloud is the true architecture of the data center going forward, Kurian said.
"By offering these [hybrid cloud] features, we will re-define the hyper-converged market like we did the all-flash storage market … Soon we will introduce a next-generation hyper-converged infrastructure solution."
Kurian said first-generation hyper-converged infrastructure solutions focus more on single applications, and address a lower end of the market. NetApp, he said, will focus more on providing easy integration into customers' data center and hybrid clouds.
"Our perspective is the long-term winner, as we demonstrated in the all-flash market, is the one that can satisfy market needs … First to market is not necessarily the winner," he said.
Kurian's comparing the change in the IT industry caused by hyper-converged infrastructure to that caused by the all-flash storage array business makes sense, said John Woodall, vice president of engineering at Integrated Archive Systems (IAS), a Palo Alto, Calif.-based solution provider and longtime NetApp channel partner.
NetApp in the past publicly admitted it was late to the all-flash array market, Woodall told CRN.
"But IDC now reports that NetApp is the number-two vendor, and is quickly gaining market share in all-flash storage," he said. "So there's credibility when George compares NetApp's hybrid-converged infrastructure plans to all-flash storage. They went from the only major storage vendor without a presence in the flash storage market to where it now threatens the number-one vendor. So it makes sense for hyper-converged infrastructure."
NetApp has the technology and the architecture to succeed in this new endeavor, Woodall said.