NetApp has said there is a "gigantic opportunity" for it to help customers who are struggling with rival tech firms who make it hard to leave their cloud services, effectively locking them in.
At its Insight technical conference in Berlin, the storage vendor said many cloud offerings may look good to customers to start with, but become problematic further down the line. This, it said, gives it and its channel the chance to better serve those customers.
Joel Reich, NetApp's senior vice president for product operations told a media press conference that some of the practices employed by cloud providers hark back to the 1970s.
"Most service providers will be glad to help you get into their cloud, but they're not that helpful in trying to help you get out of their cloud," he said. "For example, if you were to look at one of the popular backup applications for cloud, it costs very little money to actually archive your data in something like Amazon Glacier, but it costs exponentially more to get it out. This almost goes back in time to proprietary computer operating systems where it was someone's goal... to actually try to lock you into that proprietary operating system.
"Various cloud environments now - because they have their own formats, they have their own business models - you can think of them as analogous to what it looked like back 35 or 40 years ago, where once you put data into someone's mainframe, that's where it sat and you'd have to go through a migration exercise to get it out."
Reich added that the "lock-in" tactics used by some cloud providers means customers have a hard time moving between services if and when a provider's technology, price or strategy changes.
He said such tactics are actually a great selling point for his firm.
"We actually think this is a gigantic opportunity for NetApp," he said. "That's because customers really don't want this lock in. They want to make the right choice for their business, not one that is based on one set of technologies that a particular cloud vendor has in play.
"They want control of their data so they can minimise risk in the cost to move [data] to remain competitive. So we are taking a different approach. We are starting with the customer, not the technology. NetApp believes a real hybrid cloud is one they can build on their own terms."
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