We talked to Andrew Sjoquist, Founder of Fluid, technology visionary, and all-round great guy, about all reasons why people at NetApp need to know about Fluid and how it can make their lives easier.
Andrew, tell us why the team at NetApp would be interested in Fluid?
Fluid is an automation and orchestration platform that allows the promise of hybrid and multi-cloud stories to come true. It is an enabler for NetApp technology, from either native leverage of technologies like NetApp Trident that we utilize to connect containers and virtual machines running in Fluid to NetApp storage systems, or from the visibility and enhanced functionality that is achieved by connecting Fluid to NetApp Cloud Manager.
For NetApp team members, that integration with Cloud Manager introduces a whole world of new and exciting possibilities for NetApp technology in the eyes of the customer. We’re seeing already from early adopters that Fluid customers are exposed to services like Cloud Backup, Cloud Insights, Spot and other technologies that they wouldn’t have necessarily seen had that not been driven there through the management of their Fluid environment from within Cloud Manager.
In addition, Fluid simplifies the network complexities of connecting various public and private clouds together to create a true hybrid, multi-cloud environments.
Who at NetApp would be interested in this product?
Public Cloud team: Fluid provides a fantastic way of connecting to and from public clouds, bridging that frontier gap that’s existed between them previously, to make real hybrid clouds.
Teams who inherently run AFFs, FASs, and E-Series – basically any ONTAP or SANtrictiy system – as well as StorageGRID. There’s really something in there for everybody from a product perspective.
Spot team: Fluid allows for the analysis and presentation of on-premise workloads natively inside of the Spot Cloud Console to provide a true side-by-side comparison between workloads running on-premise, and workloads running in the cloud, from a cost management perspective.
Edge team: Fluid creates a way to deploy compute at the edge, but also as a propagation box for Astra Data Store. We can easily and automatically deploy Astra Data Store, and make the promise of that whole fantastic story ring true.
How would NetApp Partners look to utilize Fluid?
Partners are going to deploy Fluid as an easy way of creating hybrid architecture, particularly with on-premise infrastructure. All the complexities that go into building on-premise hardware or in data center hardware, and then connecting into the cloud, goes away and are done in a matter of minutes.
Partners can look to retire their legacy hypervisors, which used to be a whole other console, whole other interface, a whole other set of skills, as that all now wraps up inside of Cloud Manager to treat that on-premise environment as the fourth cloud.
We can actually create and treat on-premise infrastructure, resources, storage compute, and networking as a cloud vendor. We’ve pulled out all the best configuration, principles, and methodologies that Cloud Vendors operate in, and worked them into Fluid so that it becomes just a turnkey click of a button for customers to deploy cloud-like architectures.
How can Fluid help NetApp teams retain their existing customers?
Leveraging Fluid and how it deals with the compute element is a great pathway to penetrate all land-and-expand accounts that haven’t previously been penetrable. For example, Fluid deploys on anyone’s x86 compute hardware, deploys on anyone’s servers, and then creates a nice wedge point and discussion point for other NetApp services like Insight and Astra Data Store, and AFS. Fluid completes the whole story.
It means that the conversation doesn’t have to get stonewalled when a customer says that they’ve already running a competitor’s product.
What other NetApp products does Fluid integrate with?
Spot, Astra, Trident and it connects back to ONTAP so it can leverage the ONTAP capabilities around functionality and any other feature that’s callable on NetApp API’s.
Fluid integrates with E-series mainstream products, ONTAP AI – because we handle the complexities and the networking and these environments, and of course provide optional connectivity into the cloud inherently, to connect through the public cloud if required. Or you can connect it between sites, in between Private cloud, making all the networking complexities simple. It’s a win-win product.
Where do I find Fluid to check it out?
You can find Fluid inside of Cloud Manager. We are the first third-party integration on the platform. It’s currently in closed preview, accessible to people with NetApp.com email addresses. If you’re interested and can’t access it, shout out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can easily set that up for you.