How do you transform your business?NetApp Insight 2018 saw record-breaking turnout, with over 5,000 attendees. Keynote speeches were standing-room-only. If that’s any indication, it surely reflects just how widely NetApp’s focus resonated with Insight goers—and that focus was all about data.

From Insight sessions to partnership and solutions announcements, all of NetApp’s efforts seem to be geared toward supporting a data driven world. The resounding conference message? Companies must embrace the new data landscape and economy. 

Keynote Highlights

Kurian on data and digital transformation

In his keynote, NetApp CEO, George Kurian discussed how customer needs have changed, shifting the IT conglomerate’s focus toward empowering customers to change the role of data. “Data IS the digital business; data is the fuel for digital transformation,” said Kurian.

Here are the top three musts for becoming data driven:

  1. Digital transformation requires IT transformation. Cloud is the new benchmark. Cloud helps accelerate the deployment of service and the percentage of IT on data.
  2. Speed is the new scale. You have to act fast. Simplification and focus are the ways to gain speed.
  3. Build a data strategy. Move from data centers to data fabrics. Hybrid, Multi-cloud is the de facto IT architecture.

Developing a data strategy, and putting data at the heart of your business via a robust data fabric is essential to leveraging valuable data from all points of business. This allows you to utilize that data in real time, all the time, and not allow it to go stagnate.  

AI and deep learning are all the buzz in IT right now because these are pivotal in accelerating that real-time action. NetApp’s Active IQ combines AI with ML to drive business outcomes.

Leonhard on AI fear and a data driven future

“There is no compression algorithm for experience.” – Gerd Leonhard

If data is the future, and AI is evolving fast to leverage our data, the future of AI is an unavoidable topic. In his Keynote, Gerd Leonhard, leading media futurist and CEO of The Futures Agency, addressed the age-old fear of humans vs. technology.

He described the idea that singularity is imminent, and humans will become obsolete in the face of advanced AI as a “reductionism” and “oversimplification.” “Only five percent of jobs can be fully automated. There is no compression algorithm for experience. Knowledge is not the same thing as understanding,” said Leonhard. “The future is driven by data–defined by humanity; it’s not either/or. Embrace technology, but don’t become it.”

NetApp Services and Support now revolve around the ethical side of data across a hyperconverged and hybrid environment. The emphasis is on the integration of legacy applications with cloud native applications to provide the speed, scale, and differentiation companies need.

Lye on Data fabric innovation

The following day, Sr. Vice President of NetApp’s cloud business unit, Anthony Lye, reinforced Kurian’s message on the value proposition of data fabric innovation. He demoed NetApp’s Kubernetes Service with the added benefit of Trident. Kubernetes is set to be the standard operating system for public cloud. Many solution demos followed Lye’s, illustrating NetApp’s dedication to developing a solutions portfolio that spans across the complex hybrid, multi-cloud world.

Partnership highlights


  • NetApp/Lenovo joint venture to combine forces to serve the growing Chinese market.
  • Best of breed partnership leveraging NetApp’s all flash and growing data management solutions. Lenovo’s server technology and capability as a data center group will be able to accommodate a data driven economy.


  • Co-developing technology to collect the best information via bike sensor data to transform it into usable information that will improve the customer experience.


  • Working with NetApp to enable customers so they can take advantage of AI with a joint reference architecture.
  • Integrating NetApp products with the Nvidia DGx1 super computer to make it easier to deploy AI software and accelerate AI innovations.


  • NetApp and Veeam expand their partnership with greater integration for seamless data protection.
  • Joining Veeam’s virtual presence with NetApp’s strong on-prem capabilities for a best-solution approach. The goal is a comprehensive solution over point solutions.

Solution highlights

With these new and expanding partnerships come new solutions that will enable customers to deliver data-driven business outcomes for applications across hybrid cloud and multicloud environments. These solutions include NetApp® Cloud Insights, Azure NetApp Files, NetApp Kubernetes, Cloud Volumes Service, Cloud Volumes ONTAP®, NetApp HCI, SaaS Backup for Microsoft Office 365, and NetApp Data Availability Services.


  • NetApp Kubernetes Service – following the acquisition of StackPointCloud, which provides Kubernetes-as-a-service, this service simplifies the deployment of Kubernetes clusters with high-performing storage, AI and machine learning.
  • NetApp Cloud Insights – cost optimization tool that prevents up to 80 percent of cloud-infrastructure issues from impacting end users.
  • NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP 9.5 – new cloud storage service that allows users to run mission-critical applications in the cloud with built-in high-availability failover functionality.
  • NetApp HCI with SolidFire Element software – new enterprise-grade hybrid infrastructure architecture that facilitates seamless integration between public and private cloud with scalability.
  • Azure NetApp Files – Microsoft Azure file service powered by ONTAP. Manages application data from within the Azure environment. Enterprise-grade.

In case you missed it, you can find more on Insight 2018 here.

Become a data visionary

Current hot topics, both at Insight and beyond, point to a future where data is king in business transformation. Insight subject matter experts made clear the goal of enabling customers to become data visionaries—helping them to integrate and leverage all their data for business advantage.

But this can’t be achieved without data innovation. Having a solid data strategy is a must. The pace at which the Data Age is emerging is constantly quickening. Wonder where to start and how to keep up? Let Sirius specialists show you.

NetApp and Sirius experts work together to define a strategy that helps you unleash the full potential of your data. Learn more about the Sirius and NetApp partnership and find out how we can help you implement hybrid cloud and storage solutions. To actualize your data vision, contact a Sirius expert today.