Part of building successful alliances involves reflecting on the relationships we build and evaluating what makes them successful. It has been more than a year since NetApp joined Intel’s Storage Builder program, and it’s exciting to see how Intel and NetApp have built on our shared values to co-innovate in ways that we couldn’t have imagined even five years ago.
NetApp and Intel are stretching the limits of what our technologies can do, and we’re developing amazing solutions for clients around the world that are tackling some of today’s most pressing issues with storage solutions that we develop, test, and refine together.
For example, NetApp recently worked with Vital Energi, a company that helps customers in the United Kingdom reduce their carbon emissions and lower their energy bills. Working together with IT partner Gardner Systems, Vital Energi implemented NetApp’s All Flash FAS (AFF), a storage solution powered by Intel® Xeon® processors that has transformed its IT infrastructure by providing faster access to critical data that gives their staff real-time insights into their customers’ energy usage.
Vital Energi is now able to run its enterprise applications up to 20 times faster, with reduced power consumption, less rack space, and lower support costs—all features that are consistent with its core purpose of transforming energy consumption and reducing costs. Reports that used to take more than three hours to generate can now be prepared in less than 10 minutes, allowing them to make decisions faster—decisions that reduce their customers’ energy use and save them money. The reports currently analyze five to six terabytes of SQL data, and that amount is growing by about one terabyte every four months.
Making this happens requires expertise in different technology disciplines, and it takes a willingness to stretch and break the boundaries of what we thought our technologies could do. Instead of saying, “that’s not what this was designed to do,” they say, “how do we make this work?”
NetApp and Intel both thrive by creating a work environment that encourages people to think big, which is what makes our relationship so productive. And that’s how we co-innovate. Our engineering teams work together on product planning and development, testing, and validating workloads to make sure that products are optimized and highly scalable.
Making it real
Seeing what our teams have achieved together reminds me why I love what I do—because it mobilizes people with amazing talent to make a difference in real-world business environments. It delivers the tangible stories that demonstrate what it means to develop next generation storage solutions, and gives us a peek into the window of the future.
With the Internet of Things, technology is already connecting more aspects of our lives. In the case of Vital Energi, their new capacity allows them to take readings from smart meters in homes, analyze the data, and quickly produce actionable reports. As technology becomes further integrated into our homes and cars, the potential for big data analytics grows exponentially. With initiatives like the Intel Storage Builders Program, we already have the teams in place to co-innovate what our customers will need next.
Taking the long view
It’s energizing to partner with organizations like Intel to be at the forefront of things that have such potential to change the way we live. The Internet of Things will bring an explosion of new ideas that will create endless ways for forward-thinking companies to co-innovate.
For more than 20 years, NetApp’s data storage solutions have been built on Intel processors, which meant that joining the Storage Builders program was a natural step for us. Based on our experience so far, it’s clear that the partnership NetApp continues to build with Intel positions both companies to deliver the highest quality solutions to our customers, faster. I can’t wait to see what we do next.