NetApp discontinues Astra Data Store

NetApp has discontinued the Astra Data Store product, which provided Kubernetes persistent storage for the NetApp BlueXP data management layer, leaving ONTAP as sole provider.

Astra Data Store, launched in preview mode in May 2022, is cloud-native software providing shared NFS file and block storage to containers and virtual machines. It was one way of provisioning persistent storage to Kubernetes-orchestrated apps in the Astra Control Center with the alternative being Cloud Volumes ONTAP.

Astra Control Center v21.12, released 2021, and the later v22.04.0 released in 2022, could both deploy and manage the Astra Data Store. 

Eric Han NetApp post
Eric Han LinkedIn post from June 2022

Everything changed when BlueXP, a software control plane to manage a customer’s data estate in a hybrid on-premises and multi-cloud environment, was announced in November 2022. The aim was to provide a single control plane, unifying separate NetApp offerings and covering non-NetApp tech. It included the various Astra products inside its umbrella, and provided on-premises data storage (ONTAP, StorageGRID, E-Series) and cloud data storage (Cloud Volumes, ANF/FSx/CVS) but not the Astra Data Store.

Cloud Volumes ONTAP supports Kubernetes dynamic provisioning with its Astra Trident CSI driver. Astra Trident is an open source storage orchestrator for containers and Kubernetes distributions, including Red Hat OpenShift. It works with the entire NetApp storage portfolio, including the NetApp ONTAP and Element storage systems, and also supports NFS and iSCSI connections. CSI, the container storage interface, is a standardized API for container orchestrators to manage storage plugins.

Sources have claimed NetApp closed down the Astra Data Store product, in what looks like a storage responsibility takeover by NetApp’s ONTAP mothership. NetApp was contacted about this closure and a spokesperson told us: “Participating in the Kubernetes ecosystem is strategically important to NetApp and the company continues to invest in building Astra, including Astra Control and Astra Trident. Astra’s mission was always to make stateful workloads simpler to adopt on Kubernetes and to solve the challenges customers face in production – and based on this objective, NetApp is continuing the Astra Control product and pausing the Astra Data Store project.”

“The Astra Data Store (ADS) Beta program revealed that customers were requesting an integrated experience for Kubernetes data management and cloud mobility. NetApp takes customer feedback seriously, and these insights informed the pivot in resources to focus on the customer need – taking advantage of containerized workloads running in native Kubernetes clusters in the public clouds.“ 

“Astra Control provides Kubernetes data management for Azure NetApp Files, and just recently announced support for both Cloud Volume ONTAP and Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP. Astra Control already supported customers who want to self-manage their Kubernetes data, including on-prem customers who have NetApp ONTAP as their storage provider. Astra and ONTAP now provide full data protection for containerized applications that were tested with Astra Data Store.”