NetApp Announces a New Consumption Model for Perpetual Technology Refresh

By , Tuesday, February 7th 2023

Categories: Analyst Blogs

The News:

NetApp launched NetApp Advance, a consumption program that includes free controller refreshes and capacity upgrades, and storage efficiency guarantees. NetApp Advance also allows customers to swap an on-premises controller refresh for cloud services or NetApp Keystone Storage as a Service credits. See more from NetApp here.

Evaluator Group Take:

NetApp Advance includes programs and guarantees to help customers extend their storage without disruptive upgrades and costly controller refreshes.

Customers who subscribe to the Storage Lifecycle Program can get free controller upgrades every three years for their NetApp FAS and AFF (all-flash FAS) storage arrays. They also get NetApp storage efficiency guarantees based on workload types, and the option of moving data to the cloud instead of refreshing on-premises controllers.  Storage Lifecycle Programs are designed to be six-year commitments, but subscriptions start at three-year terms and customers can renew for three more years.

Here are the highlights:

Free controller refresh and capacity upgrades

Customers can get a free controller upgrade after three years, or upgrade at an incremental cost at any time to a larger system without paying additional software charges.  When upgrading capacity, customers who want four times as much capacity as they are currently using will get the amount of capacity they are trading in for free. For example, a customer going from 25 TB to 100 TB will pay for 75 TB and get 25 TB for free.

Storage Efficiency Guarantees

NetApp Advance includes the vendor’s storage efficiencies guarantees based on its data reduction technologies. These apply to AFF systems, including the new C Series of high-capacity flash storage. NetApp guarantees the following reduction rates:

  • 4:1 for SAN workloads
  • 1.5 to 1 for NAS workloads
  • 3 to 1 for VMware, Hyper-V and KVM workloads on NAS

If its AFF systems fail to meet these guarantees, NetApp promises to cover any shortfall by providing additional SSDs.

The Storage Lifecycle Program also includes support services with predictive and proactive monitoring, on-site support and troubleshooting and NetApp’s AIOPs Cloud Insights and Active IQ for visibility beyond the storage layer.

Cloud Advantage

Storage Lifecycle Program subscribers can move from on-premises NetApp arrays to NetApp storage in public clouds, or hybrid cloud services as part of its Keystone Storage-as-a-service program. NetApp will provide credits for moving to the cloud or a managed instead of a controller refresh. This should appeal to organizations looking to buy an on-premises storage system today but are considering moving to public cloud storage at some point.

In summary, Evaluator Group sees storage refresh programs as a positive development because they take much of the pain and cost out of upgrades. Most major storage vendors now have a similar program for at least some of their products. Pure Storage’s Evergreen Forever program started the trend, and by adopting their own versions, Pure’s competitors are validating its value.

Common features to NetApp Advance and Pure Evergreen Forever include controller upgrades every three years, non-disruptive hardware and software upgrades, capacity upgrade/media refresh, component upgrades, and guaranteed storage efficiency. NetApp positions Cloud Advantage as an edge over Pure’s Evergreen Forever, which does not grant credits for moving from on-premises to cloud storage. NetApp’s edge here is its tight integration with hyperscalers. Its storage is natively available on AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google. Cloud, and its ONTAP operating system used by AWS as FSx for NetApp ONTAP and Microsoft as Azure NetApp Files.

For More Information:

Access Evaluator Group’s NetApp AFF and Keystone product briefs and SAN and NAS EvaluScale Comparison Matrices on

Disclosure: Evaluator Group, wholly owned by The Futurum Group, is a research and analyst firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article.  The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article. Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually.

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