NetApp HCI End of Availability announcement on March 2nd, 2021
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated May 27, 2021
Q1.1: What is NetApp announcing?
• NetApp is announcing the end of availability of the NetApp HCI platform effective February 2022, with last ship occurring March 2022, one year from today. As a leader in storage software for public, private and hybrid clouds, NetApp is transitioning from appliance-based HCI solutions to a software-based and software-defined one, we can best leverage our strengths and investments towards you. Coupled with 3rd party compute, NetApp is leveraging its strengths in the area of storage and data management for virtualized and containerized workloads.
• As part of a commitment to our customers for long-term planning, we are announcing the end of availability of NetApp HCI with its H410C, H610C and H615C compute nodes and H410S storage node in March 2022. This one-year advanced noticed of availability allows customers continue to purchase the NetApp HCI platform for existing deployments and plans.
Q1.2: How long will NetApp HCI be supported?
• Sale of the NetApp HCI platform continues until February 2022, with last ship occurring in March 2022, including compute and firmware/BIOS software support through March 2025 and hardware support until March 2027. Customers can continue to deploy HCI as a solution with full support through these timeframes. Support contracts can be extended to align with the support timeline for NetApp HCI.
• Software updates for the NetApp Deployment Engine (NDE) and Hybrid Cloud Control (HCC) will continue through February 2022. These software packages will be supported by NetApp through March 2025.
• H400 and H600 firmware updates will continue to be delivered through March 2025. Hardware support will be provided through March 2027.
Q1.3: Why is NetApp making this decision to exit the compute node business?
• When we launched NetApp HCI four years ago, we believed at the time – and we still do – that the most important challenge to solve for enterprise IT is to help them with the management of application data, in hybrid and multi-cloud environments. Over the years, more enterprise customers have moved to standardize their on-premises hyperconverged infrastructure on a narrowing set of industry-standard server platforms (compute) and look at software to provision and lifecycle their infrastructure. NetApp has seen this shift and invested more in developing software-defined solutions. Thus, we have made the decision to transition the on-premises HCI appliance portion of the market to focus our resources on software-defined solutions.
Q1.4: Why is NetApp giving customers one-year notice on this announcement?
• NetApp is making this announcement to provide existing NetApp HCI customers with enough time (one year) to make expansions to their existing deployments. NetApp HCI nodes will continue to be available for purchase until February 14, 2022.
Q1.5: What does this announcement mean for NetApp SolidFire and SolidFire eSDS?
• NetApp SolidFire portfolio is unaffected by this announcement: NetApp will continue to innovate, sell, and support SolidFire eSDS and storage nodes. NetApp HCI customers can continue to purchase NetApp SolidFire H610S storage nodes to expand their HCI clusters and utilize Element Software updates through the support period of their deployments
Q1.6: How do customers add compute resources going forward?
• The NetApp HCI compute nodes will continue to be available for sale until February 14, 2022, with last ship occurring by March 14, 2022. After that date, customers will need to purchase compute resources from a 3rd party source. Because of NetApp HCI’s disaggregated HCI architecture enables an open architecture, it allows for the addition of third-party compute nodes to the managed vSphere clusters through VMware vCenter and to be connected to the existing NetApp SolidFire storage cluster. Additional nodes should be of similar configuration and support vSphere 7.0 for cluster compatibility.
• To explore vendors to grow computing resources, NetApp recommends industry-leading servers like HPE (DL300 Gen10, Apollo 2000 Gen10), Dell (R640, R740), and the Lenovo ThinkSystem server platforms. These platforms offer vendor-vetted firmware and driver baseline that can be applied through Update management in vCenter for a VMware integrated experience. Cisco UCS is also a third-party compute option for NetApp HCI.
Q1.7: Will existing customers need to transition away from NetApp HCI?
• This announcement only affects the sale of the NetApp-branded compute nodes beyond March 2022. The platform will continue to be fully supported through 2025 for software support and 2027 for hardware support. Customers can continue using storage in NetApp HCI and will not need to transition to another storage platform in reaction to this announcement. The storage capabilities are functionally equivalent to the NetApp SolidFire product line which is available to expand the storage clusters in the future. Existing VMware integrations in NetApp HCI are available on NetApp SolidFire product. The Element Software which powers the storage clusters in NetApp HCI and NetApp SolidFire products is an integral part of the NetApp Data Fabric which also allows for data mobility to ONTAP based systems, like FlexPod, All Flash FAS and FAS products.
Q1.8: What is the go-forward solution for NetApp HCI customers requiring hybrid cloud data management?
• NetApp Astra, our containers and Kubernetes storage management solution, is currently available on Google Cloud Platform. Its data management and storage capabilities will be available for additional cloud environments and on-platforms in the future, enabling data services directly atop public cloud and private infrastructures.