Build your Hybrid Cloud Storage with NetApp Cloud ONTAP

By Todd Bey| May 18, 2016

NetApp’s Cloud ONTAP platform allows organizations to take advantage of both the feature-rich on-premises Data ONTAP operating system as well as the flexibility of the cloud services in Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The Cloud ONTAP platform is Clustered Data ONTAP running in an EC2 instance (virtual server) in AWS. An EC2 instance would then function as a NetApp array instance and run NetApp’s proprietary Data ONTAP storage operating system. Storage can be served via NFS, CIFS and iSCSI to other services, servers and applications in the same way you would with an on-premises NetApp array. The simplicity in the design makes for a powerful solution, and one of the many reasons why the mid-market is choosing NetApp for their online data storage solution.

Cloud ONTAP integrates with NetApp snapshots and the related features such as SnapMirror. For example, organizations can easily replicate NetApp snapshots to AWS for an offsite backup and/or DR. See the list of supported features below:

NetApp offsite backup

Top Use Cases for NetApp Cloud ONTAP

Move Offsite Backups and/or DR to the Cloud

This allows you to avoid the cost of maintaining a secondary physical NetApp array at a DR site along with the associated datacenter costs (network, bandwidth, etc.). This storage is rarely used and the VMs are rarely turned on for production. AWS will charge for the storage, but will not charge for the DR EC2 instances which will always be turned off. AWS does not charge for inbound data. You can also avoid needing to buy compute hosts for DR. All aspects of DR then become elastic in the cloud.

Peak Workload Management

For organizations that need to scale on-demand or be ready for peak busy periods, the cloud is a perfect fit. By using Cloud ONTAP, you can replicate your applications data to the cloud and easily spin up additional EC2 instances and other services. With Cloud ONTAP, there is greater flexibility in replicating and managing your hybrid storage.

Cloud Hybrid Storage

Development and Test

The cloud can be used as a sandbox to give your development team maximum flexibility. Your NetApp on-premises Flexible Volumes (FlexVols) can be replicated to the cloud and be cloned using the FlexClone feature. The FlexClones can then be presented to test/dev EC2 instances in the cloud using real data. The clones can also be easily and frequently updated with a copy of real data using SnapMirror.

How Cloud ONTAP Deployment Works

Cloud ONTAP is driven by the “OnCommand Cloud Manager” software which makes deployment simple. This is a component to the OnCommand Management suite which integrates with on-premises management tools such as System Manager.

Deploy a preconfigured Cloud ONTAP template in Amazon via the marketplace, input your AWS credentials and OnCommand Cloud Manager automatically deploys Cloud ONTAP. The instance is supported by EC2 instances and EBS storage per your specifications. If you have a site-to-site VPN tunnel already up to AWS, you can then configure SnapMirror and begin to replicate data. It’s that simple.

NetApp Cloud Manager

This architecture removes the complexity and paradigm shift common with public cloud storage. With Cloud ONTAP, an existing NetApp administrator can also manage cloud storage.

The storage efficiencies of your on-premises volumes are also replicated to the cloud. The deduplication and compression ratios are maintained within each volume, so no efficiency is lost. This can help reduce cloud storage needs.

It's important to note that Cloud ONTAP is not available in Azure or other public cloud platforms. It is available with AWS only. NetApp does offer a “Near the Cloud” solution called NetApp Private Storage for Azure. This is an enterprise solution where the customer owns the NetApp arrays and uses Azure’s compute via ExpressRoute (directly connection) in Equinix Tier 1 datacenters.

Build your Hybrid Cloud with NetApp

NetApp’s mission is to enable organizations to take advantage of a hybrid cloud model. This is built upon the robust features and performance of Data ONTAP and on-premises arrays.

If you're ready to move your business forward with a hybrid cloud solution, contact BDO Digital to learn more about what the strategies that will work best for you business need and goals.

Leveraging opportunities in the cloud