NetApp seals up object storage garden wall with gap-filling products

Pimping up the range

NetApp is trying to plug up the gaps in its object storage wall.

There are plenty of object storage suppliers keen to get into NetApp's customer base. They might see container support or OpenStack integration as a way of gaining entry. Each tactic represents a potential hole in NetApp's customer base.

So the company has stuck plugs in four holes in its defences that might allow competing object storage suppliers to get into its base.

The four plugs arrive courtesy of a v10.4 update to StorageGRID Webscale, NetApp's object storage product:

  • Docker containers support with deployment on bare-metal servers
  • OpenStack enhancements - Keystone integration removes storage obstacles to deploying OpenStack
  • Multi-tenancy improvements with user capacity quotas to monitor and control storage usage
  • Veritas Enterprise Vault certification - centralise retention management across email, files, and social media

StorageGRID and its container engine can run in a vSphere system, an OpenStack system, on appliance hardware (SG5600) with NetApp-engineered compute, software, networking and storage, or be deployed on RHEL/CentOS servers in Docker Container and use internal disks or a shared array.


Basic SG5600 information

The Keystone integration means:

  • Keystone v3 authentication for Swift API users
  • Keystone multitenancy with StorageGRID tenants
  • Automatic Swift account creation: a Keystone project maps to an account
  • Support for UUID and Fernet tokens with token caching (optimised for multisite)

Swift ACL support has been added and you no longer need Heat to deploy grid nodes in OpenStack.

The extra multi-tenancy features will suit MSPs, and include quotas on the amount of data written into a tenant, not the amount of storage used. There is a new tenant admin role, responsible for identity federation, group and user management, and group policy management.

A tenant dashboard enables tenant admins to report usage by the whole tenant and top buckets.

The Enterprise Vault certification involves Enterprise Vault talking S3 to StorageGRID so that customers can:

  • Assign granular, unique retention rules to keep archived content as long as needed
  • Tag archived items with metadata to help supervision, search, and discovery
  • Reclassify an entire archive or a subset as retention requirements change

Find out more at the StorageGRID Webscale website here and check out an SG5600 datasheet here (PDF).


To use a different metaphor, four bricks have been added to NetApp's object storage house as it patiently builds the structure, and makes StorageGRID easier to use with OpenStack, more suitable to MSPs, a cleaner fit with Enterprise Vault, and extends its applicability to the containerised world.

That should help NetApp repel third-party object storage suppliers in its customer base. ®

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