Tech Preview: Shift Cloud Platforms without Migrating Data


Here’s a brief preview of something we’ve been building that internally we are tentatively calling Project NetApp Shift. Shift allows customers to change the cloud platform their VMs run on without migrating any data. Shift provides unprecedented agility and the ability to create heterogeneous cloud solutions that previously were too costly to implement due to the resource requirements of importing and exporting data.

Shift has quietly been posted in the NetApp communities for over a year. It's comprised of the Convert cmdlet in the DataONTAP PowerShell Toolkit. For over a year it has been slowly evolving into the version that I’m sharing here. The current version of Shift supports bare-metal shifting with P2V & V2P and cloud shifting or V2V between Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere. Shift (or whatever it’s eventual name may be) is one of many of the examples of the capabilities in NetApp's Software-Defined Storage offerings. Stay tuned for more.



Project NetApp Shift will be on display at Microsoft TechEd next week. Stop by the booth and maybe Glenn Sizemore and another one of experts will be available to share more about what's in Shift and the PowerShell Toolkit.

My apologies for the hurried voice over, I think the team were trying to challenge me with the condensed run time 😉



  1. This, to me, is a very interesting piece of technology. Seems as if it could be a game changer in a multi-hypervisor environment. To be able to seamlessly migrate from environment to environment is awesome. To do so outside of your inside environment and over the cloud would be the “Brass Ring.” What an amazing step in that direction.

  2. I like the idea, the issue is most enterprise customers have a hard enough time doing migrations on the same platform, let alone other platforms. I have been involved in several as part of NetApp PSO and it wasn’t really a technology thing it was the application owners, the support teams, the shear number of VM’s, the testing and re-testing of applications when they move to a new set of hardware potentially run by completely different teams. There is a lot of red tape in large organisations that technology doesn’t fix. Also, typically the management of applications on a platform and the capacity, change etc management on that platform is heavily invested in. Re-platforming potentially means that goes out the window in all but the storage vendors case.

    Having said that, I’m running through my head how the script achieves this and the times in which certain tasks or loops would need to be executed. I’d like to understand more how it works and how it specifically works with older Windows VM’s, not concerned about the disk extension, more what the OS sees and how it reacts.

  3. Hi Vaughn, maybe you like to Share your Script as seen in the excellent Video 🙂 Me and my Collegues in the german Automation Specialist Team are pretty much interested in.

    Regards – Oli

  4. G’day Vaughn,

    This sounds pretty awesome.

    Question: is it NetApp -> NetApp only?
    Will it (or a future version) handle 3rd party -> NetApp?

    I know at least one customer trying *right now* to do EMC/VMware -> NetApp/HyperV.


    Ash Thrift
    (NetApp University)

    • Ash,

      Yes, Project Shift is only for NetApp systems. Among the technologies it leverages is FlexClone, which is a feature within Data ONTAP.

      I have more content coming on Project Shift – stay tuned!

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