Storage, NetApp’s ‘Start Right-Keep it Simple-Grow Smart’ strategy


When planning and engaging a robust and resilient IT solution for any business, there are a number of factors and aspects that need to be considered. Although often overlooked, one of the most important considerations is the efficient and intelligent management of data, which needs to be accessed and distributed on demand, 24/7 by various applications, services and business users.


NetApp's has conceptualised a 'Start Right-Keep it Simple-Grow Smart' strategy. (Image: NetApp)

Without the correct data storage equipment to suit the needs of the business, there is a risk that much-valued data could be lost due to insufficient foresight in choice of solution or the incorrect implementation thereof.

NetApp is in the Data Storage Management business for that exact reason – to assist companies to implement a “Start Right- Keep it Simple- Grow Smart” data storage solution with their unique products and services.

“While NetApp is a global company, a major portion of the solution deployments internationally is channel-driven, working with distribution partners across the globe, enabling partners to deploy the right solution for customers who look for Smart Data Storage Consolidation and management capabilities” said Abraham Parel, CEO of Virtual Works, the NetApp distributor for East Africa, Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands.

NetApp adopted the Channel model, especially in emerging markets, as its customers, including global customers need to be supported and enabled through skilled partners who are close to market. Virtual Works Limited, NetApp’s Kenya-based value added distributor, has invested in enterprise class skill-sets, partner/customer training facilities, a Data center Lab facility and a highly effective go-to market strategy, thereby supporting its partner community to deliver solutions to its customers.

“Being able to quickly respond to change in the most flexible manner, and to drive change with its innovative approach, NetApp is best positioned than any other data storage vendor, to meet data management requirements within the market in the most technologically sophisticated, yet simplest form.” Mr. Parel said.

Rex Mafiana, NetApp’s District Manager for West Africa, added that the model has been very successful in West Africa. “NetApp has an extensive network of certified local partners to drive support and customer satisfaction. A team of in-region NetApp support and Professional Services Engineers support our huge install base and varied customer types via these partners. NetApp is a channel-centric organization that invests in the development of local partners to drive customer peace of mind.”

NetApp is a data storage management company, and is a leader in shared virtual infrastructure. The company’s entire business model revolves around efficient, cost effective and flexible management of data.

“Today, in any business, if you look at telecommunications companies, banking or insurance, application data is at the heart of the business – the use and value of which has become integral to modern day business. With the trend of businesses gearing to adoption of shared virtual infrastructure, NetApp with its unique unified storage platform, seamless upgrade options, storage efficiency offerings and ease of management is well positioned as the right solution choice.” Parel said.

Mafiana added that businesses need to determine their needs in order to decide on how to store their data. “This will depend on the type of data but generally the factors will be data type, sensitivity levels, data size, storage period and access type and rates”.
With a large presence across the globe, Mafiana added that it is important for NetApp to have contact with West African companies. “It is very important to have presence in West Africa as we have seen from reports from organizations like the World Bank, there is great growth potential in the region.

The West African market is also not mature, so there is a lot of opportunity for NetApp and due to the nature of our value solutions; NetApp can make a lot of positive difference to the customers notwithstanding the huge infrastructural challenges with the flexibility that our solutions offer.”

Cloud computing has become a bit of a buzz-word lately, and NetApp has been at the forefront to deliver cloud solutions. “NetApp’s solutions around cloud (networked architecture) can actually be traced back many years. Of course NetApp is not a cloud service provider, but with its unmatched innovative approach on data management and alliances with world’s leading software and networking companies, NetApp continues to astonishingly be the choice foundation for world’s leading cloud service companies.” Parel said.

Mafiana added that cloud is definitely here to stay. “It is my personal opinion that the cloud (in terms of shared services /infrastructure) has come to stay, it only makes sense that organizations will find ways to do more with less and this is the cloud promise”.

But employing the correct data storage solution is not always enough, as businesses should strive to reduce their data centre footprint. This can be done in many ways, and Mafiana explains that this can be done through NetApp’s efficient IT solutions.
“Space efficient technologies like the NetApp RAID DP, primary de-duplication, Snapshot and Flexclone can help customers significantly reduce their storage foot print and, as such, their datacenter footprint.”

With NetApp’s virtualization guarantee, they can help save customers no less than 50% of storage space compared to other storage solutions, which in turn reduces physical space, cooling and power requirements.

Staff Writer