NetApp today announced a new version of its OnCommand management software, which now allows its storage arrays to plug into most leading cloud management systems to be shared across an IT infrastructure.

OnCommand management software operates in a shared storage infrastructure, allowing administrators to optimize utilization, set service level agreements and boost performance, NetApp said.

Using its Alliance Technology Partner Program, NetApp has integrated OnCommand with nearly 20 cloud management partners, including BMC, CA, Fujitsu, Microsoft, newScale, IBM Tivoli and VMware. The vendors' cloud management software products enable automation and management of the cloud infrastructure and integrate with NetApp OnCommand to incorporate NetApp's storage management interface so that there's one user interface to control both servers and storage.

OnCommand, which uses open APIs and a software development kit (SDK), combines key functions of storage management so that a user sees a single view of all storage, a unified backend architecture and a common configuration repository, NetApp said.

NetApp's new OnCommand management software delivers four fundamental elements that compose a cloud: service catalogue, service analytics, automation and self service. The new NetApp OnCommand unified manager enables the creation of a storage service catalogue and provides policy-based automation, including provisioning, data protection and service monitoring.

OnCommand's new Insight tool provides the service analytics for storage and the rest of the infrastructure so users have visibility into their infrastructure in order to optimise a cloud service delivery. This includes usage-based metering, service level monitoring, and performance and capacity modelling and planning.

"The promise of cloud implementations, including private, public and hybrid approaches... [makes] business more agile while making IT more efficient. Thus there are substantial pressure and opportunity for those organizations and cloud service providers to build innovative, economic and secure infrastructures," said Steve Duplessie, senior analyst at market research firm ESG.

"Today's NetApp announcements focusing on service automation and analytics are destined to be a cornerstone for any cloud environment because these capabilities along with adjoining partners' feature sets help optimise service levels at the lowest possible cost."