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NetApp  
Customer Communiqué
March 19, 2020
NetApp
CPC-00247

Customer Update: NetApp Kubernetes Service (NKS), NKS on HCI & Cloud Volumes on HCI

Thank you for your interest and use of the NetApp Kubernetes Service, NetApp Kubernetes Service on HCI, and Cloud Volumes on HCI. Based on ongoing engagement with customers like yourself, we have received very valuable feedback. The pace of innovation in the Kubernetes market is extraordinary and requires that we incubate, learn and make rapid decisions based on our learnings.

Customers have shared with us that their #1 challenge in adopting Kubernetes is data persistence and portability. Simply put, while containers may be highly available and portable, the associated data and data services are not. Additionally, both partners and customers have asked NetApp to adopt a distribution-agnostic approach to Kubernetes.

Based on what we heard from customers, NetApp is increasing our overall investment in Kubernetes and, at the same time, we are shifting focus in how we serve the Kubernetes market.

Our goal will be to make applications and associated data highly available, portable, and manageable across both on-premises and clouds through a software-defined set of data services. NetApp is working on enabling a simplified and unified solution across our entire portfolio. Additionally, we will also be transitioning to a scheduler distribution-agnostic approach to support customers.

NetApp’s goal is to transform our converged and hyperconverged storage platforms, including NetApp HCI, to a software-defined architecture, and become a leading on-premises hybrid cloud platform capable of automating infrastructure for Kubernetes.
  • We will support leading and do-it-yourself Kubernetes platforms, with a distribution-agnostic hybrid infrastructure, and look to bring new ideas and capabilities for NetApp’s Data Fabric to our customers.
  • NetApp is working with all the public clouds and on-premise software providers to enable a rich, open, hybrid infrastructure leveraging best-of-breed Kubernetes products and services on NetApp HCI.
  • Today, NetApp HCI has container development solutions for RedHat OpenShift and Google Anthos as a Google Anthos Platform Partner, and we will continue to work on providing support for additional Kubernetes solutions.
  • Over the long-term, NetApp HCI will focus on delivering a software-defined architecture and developing automation and tools around the leading Kubernetes solutions that will be critical to our future strategy.
To accelerate our Kubernetes strategy, we have decided to end availability of NetApp Kubernetes Service/NetApp Kubernetes Service on HCI and Cloud Volumes Service for On-Premises/Cloud Volumes on HCI. Please review the FAQ below to understand the steps you will need to take to transition from these services.

We understand that our customers are facing dramatic circumstances given the COVID-19 pandemic. We carefully weighed the decision to share this update with you today. Ultimately, we wanted to be transparent regarding this strategic decision, which was made ahead of the current situation. Our hope is this allows you time to plan for your environment.

Please stay tuned for some exciting announcements regarding NetApp’s Kubernetes strategy and information on early access opportunities this Spring - we are eager to share where we are heading!

Anthony Lye
SVP/GM, NetApp Cloud Data Services

Brett Roscoe
VP, Product Management, NetApp HCI & SolidFire



Customer FAQ

What services are being impacted?
The following services will be discontinued on April 30, 2020:
  • NetApp Kubernetes Service
  • NetApp Kubernetes Service on HCI
  • Cloud Volumes On-Premises
  • Cloud Volumes on HCI

What is the timeline for migrating from the services? What steps do I need to take?

NetApp Kubernetes Service
  • Current customers are encouraged to migrate any data and workloads off of NKS as soon as possible subsequent to this announcement. NetApp Support and the NKS team are available at slack.nks.netapp.io to assist with the safe removal of data and decommissioning of workloads.
  • NKS will cease operations on April 30, 2020, and support will no longer be available thereafter.
NetApp Kubernetes Service on NetApp HCI
  • New sign-ups for NetApp Kubernetes Service on HCI will close upon customer notification and operations will cease on  April 30, 2020.
  • The recommendation for current preview customers is to stop testing and remove any user clusters via NetApp Kubernetes Service. New sign-ups for NKS on HCI will be closed immediately, and operations will cease by April 30, 2020. Future releases of NetApp HCI software will not include NKS, and any workloads customers have provisioned may cease to operate upon the next NetApp HCI software release. Customers should remove any user clusters from NetApp Kubernetes Service on NetApp HCI before their next NetApp HCI software upgrade and by April 30, 2020.
Cloud Volumes on NetApp HCI
  • The recommendation for customers is to move any data out of Cloud Volumes on NetApp HCI and halt ongoing testing. New sign-ups for Cloud Volumes on HCI will be closed upon customer notification and operations will cease by April 30, 2020. Future releases of NetApp HCI software will not include Cloud Volumes and any volumes you have provisioned will cease to operate upon the next release. Customers should remove any data from Cloud Volumes before their next NetApp HCI software release upgrade and by April 30, 2020. 
  • The service will be replaced by ONTAP Select, a software-defined storage built on the industry’s leading data management software, included in the cost of the NetApp HCI appliance. Long-term, NetApp will use the feedback from the Cloud Volumes on NetApp HCI preview and develop new, innovative cloud-like products for file storage on-premises. Future NAS features for NetApp HCI are also under consideration. 

What support will NetApp provide during this transition?
  • Current NKS customers are encouraged to migrate any data and workloads off NKS as soon as possible. NetApp Support and the NKS team are available at slack.nks.netapp.io to assist with the safe removal of data and decommissioning of workloads. NKS will cease operations on April 30, 2020, and support will no longer be available.
  • NetApp customer support will help preview customers to unregister and remove Cloud Volumes on HCI and NetApp Kubernetes Service on NetApp HCI software from their systems. Customers should move any data and workloads they wish to keep no later than April 30, 2020.
Does this announcement mean NetApp is exiting the Kubernetes market?
  • Quite the opposite! The impetus for these changes is to align better with NetApp’s value and expertise around storage and data management to meet the dynamic needs of our customers.
  • NetApp is increasing our overall investment in Kubernetes but at the same time, we are shifting focus in how we serve the Kubernetes market.
  • Our goal will be to make applications and associated data highly available and portable and manageable across both on-premises and clouds through a software-defined set of data services. NetApp is working on enabling a simplified and unified solution across our entire portfolio.
  • Additionally, we will also be transitioning to a scheduler distribution-agnostic approach to supporting customers.

If you have additional questions, please contact your sales representative or support teams.

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