It is no secret that NetApp ONTAP is the reigning leader of data storage management services. With a valuation of over $8 Billion, NetApp ONTAP is the go-to data management suite for over 600 enterprises! (Organizations like Apple, Walmart, and Microsoft use ONTAP.)
But like all things to do with integrating into a hybrid cloud environment, no software suite is an island. Take vSphere by VMWare for example, they owned 83% of the world's virtualization market before they integrated with the largest public cloud provider in the world, making enterprise-level virtualization suites available to anyone on the AWS Cloud. A similar collaboration has been brewing up this last quarter.
NetApp's ONTAP has made its name amongst NetApp data center users as the go-to solution for managing storage saved on NetApp managed data centers. Though they are one of the few solitary independent data management suites in the market, ONTAP has been slowly but surely gaining ground as an easy to run alternative to Azure servers.
As of now, NetApp ONTAP owns about 0.5% of the entire Windows and Linux data management market, nowhere close to the 55% market hold held by Azure, and if they had to nudge their way further into the ecosystem, the only viable solution at hand would be for NetApp to align themselves with another public cloud storage who could go head-on with Azure and emerge victoriously.
Enter their Knight in shining armor: AWS FSx ❤️
Prior to the ONTAP update, the Amazon FSx family included Amazon FSx for Lustre and Amazon FSx for Windows File Servers. While AWS loyalists would continue to choose FSx for their storage requirements, what was missing was a simple straightforward way to manage data stored on FSx servers.
The NetApp ONTAP integration offers AWS users the opportunity to now raise FSx servers the old-fashioned way, or tap into ONTAP and avail a whole set of features like inline data compression, deduplication, compaction, thin provisioning, replication (SnapMirror), and point-in-time cloning (FlexClone.)
But that's not all! Here are some of the business advantages of picking ONTAP for FSx:
On average, ONTAP users claim to be able to scale their storage in less than ten minutes while also ensuring saving time and money by sharing the same consolidated infrastructure for workloads or tenants that have different performance, capacity, and security requirements. ONTAP is also capable of creating a unified environment that spans file, block, and object storage.
The most obvious answer would be enterprise companies that have a significant workload on Data centers that currently use NetApp ONTAP and they want to move to AWS cloud.
If your data is on the AWS public cloud and you're at minimum a mid-level enterprise then ONTAP would start to look really good to you. Especially if you are looking to migrate on-premises applications that rely on network-attached storage (NAS.)
Outside of which, here are some helpful use cases for ONTAP on FSx that might interest you just a bit more to move even your regular FSx servers to an ONTAP managed server:
Getting started with ONTAP is easy enough; you obviously need an AWS account to begin with, but after which here's what you do:
With ONTAP for FSx, you can establish one or more Storage Virtual Machines (SVMs) within each Amazon FSx file system, each of which supports one or more Volumes. For shared block storage, volumes can be accessed through NFS, SMB, or as iSCSI LUNs. You may access each volume from AWS computing services, VMware Cloud on AWS, and your on-premises applications, as shown in this diagram:
On-premises applications currently using ONTAP can construct an ONTAP file system in the cloud, replicate data with NetApp SnapMirror, and access all the features that Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP has to offer in an AWS native environment.
This collaboration has set every DevOps and infra manager's heart in a flurry and for good reason! Being able to secure, scale, and save money and time on Windows and & Linux workload management in an AWS native environment is just the kind of goldilocks solution that the market has been demanding for a while now.
Here's what some industry leaders have had to say about the ONTAP integration:
“By fully supporting NetApp ONTAP APIs and features like SnapMirror and SnapVault, Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP enables NetApp customers to seamlessly replicate their data from on-premises to the AWS Cloud.”
“Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP makes it easy for organizations to extend the power of ONTAP into AWS, enabling teams to easily use the NAS features and capabilities in AWS that they’ve come to love on premises.” Wayne Duso Vice President of File, Edge, and Data Services, AWS
AWS Chief Evangelist Jeff Barr writes: “If you are migrating, you can enjoy all of the benefits of a fully-managed file system while taking advantage of your existing tools, workflows, processes, and operational expertise. If you are building brand-new applications, you can create a cloud-native experience that makes use of ONTAP’s rich feature set. Either way, you can scale to support hundreds of thousands of IOPS and benefit from the continued, behind-the-scenes evolution of the compute, storage, and networking components.”
If FSx servers with a fully managed ONTAP suite is for you, here's all the information you will need to get started:
We hope that answers all of your questions on the latest collaboration between AWS and NetApp. Drop a comment if you'd like to see any more information on the topic or even if you just enjoyed reading about the integration!