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Cut your Cloud Storage TCO by 80% with NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP

Ely Ronen, Solution Architect, Cloudport.

Experienced with Cloud cost reduction, Cloud Infrastructure, and AWS services



Introduction


Delivering higher performance levels from cloud-based storage usually drives up the entire application stack's performance, as business-critical data in enterprise organizations must always be read and written to at scale.

Using cloud provided options like high-performance disks (EBS/Managed disks/GCP persistent disks) will probably be the first go to; however, these solutions prices are excessively high and usually eat up a larger chunk of costs in cloud-based companies. On the other side of the scale, low-cost storage options (S3/Blob/storage bucket) will not provide your applications the needed performance.

Finding the sweet spot between performance and cost is the key, especially in dynamic environments. You need to provision more and more resources that will fit your needs. More often than not, you end up in a situation where your costs go off the charts on unnecessary resources. In addition to that, managing data storage is usually pretty complicated while trying to fit some SLA needs or facilitate an updated and functioning disaster recovery environment.


Here at Cloudpor t, we always seek new ways to cut cloud costs for our customers without sidelining the performance. Perhaps, you would be delightfully surprised to know how easy it is to cut costs while simultaneously enhancing your performance.

As part of our methodology, we like tackling our customers' cloud bills' most painful cuts. We find the best solutions for our customers and make sure they know the potential cost reduction they can achieve just by applying these solutions.

One of these solutions is NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP.


NetApp, the world's number one data management company, leveraged the 30 years of experience in data management for on-prem infrastructures (ONTAP) and shifted into the cloud environment (Cloud Volumes ONTAP).


Good news — We have partnered with NetApp! and let's talk about it.


Cloud Volumes ONTAP


Cloud Volumes ONTAP, also known as Cloud Volumes ONTAP, is a software-defined version of ONTAP available in all the major public cloud providers like AWS, Azure, and GCP. It utilizes native cloud resources, so you can benefit from the agility of the cloud while leveraging ONTAP native capabilities. This means managing storage in a very efficient way, which has already been deployed on the most prominent companies on this planet. After all, NetApp is all about the software, supporting cloud-first, cloud-only, and hybrid cloud strategies.


Key benefits of Cloud Volumes ONTAP


TCO Reduction

You want to pay for what you need, and nothing more. With Cloud Volumes ONTAP, TCO Reduction is pretty much guaranteed. Some of NetApp's solutions for reducing TCO don't exist in the native cloud providers.


Automatic Data tiering

The substantial cost difference between high-performance disks (such as SDD and HDD/Azure managed disks/GCP Persistent disks) and low-cost object storage options (such as S3/Azure Blob/Google cloud storage bucket) means that there is substantial cost-saving potential. With the right data management, you can achieve significant cost reductions while not affecting the performance.

Using FabricPool technology and manual configurations, you can mark the data with a temperature mark if required. Hot data, continuously being read, will stay available in the high-performance disks for no latency processes. Cold Data, in comparison, after a certain amount of time (can be configured according to your wanted tiering policy - default = 30 days) will be "lifted and dropped" in low-cost object storage due to lack of usage.

Thus, saving storage costs dramatically.

Once data from the low tier is being used, it will automatically gain back the "Hot Temperature Mark" and be "lifted" back into the High-performance disks. As implied above, Data Tiering is available in all cloud providers.


Thin provisioning

A thin-provisioned volume is one for which the storage is not reserved in advance. Instead, storage is allocated dynamically, as it is needed. Free space is released back to the storage system when data in the volume is deleted.

Thin provisioning allows you to satisfy the large storage consumers' needs without purchasing the storage you might never use. Since storage space is not allocated until it is consumed, you can "over-commit" without worrying about additional un-needed costs.


Thin provisioning will also benefit in acceleration of CI processes, with the option to instantly provision more resources, turn on/off resources as needed and many more capabilities without facing any downtime.


Deduplication

Deduplication reduces the amount of physical storage required for a volume by discarding similar blocks and referring them to a single shared block.


Using native technology called WAFL, ONTAP can prevent duplicates of data within your storage, saving space and cost. This technology operates automatically, comparing blocks signatures inside your data and preventing you from spending money on 'waste.'


Compaction

Data is organized into 'blocks', which are chunks of memory that can be 8, 16, 32 KiB in size. All volumes on the storage system share the same cache space; therefore, the volumes can have only one cache block size.


ONTAP uses compaction to maximize the efficiency and the usage of each of these blocks, for example, by summing small chunks of data together into one chunk.


Compression

Compression reduces the amount of physical storage required for a volume by combining data blocks in compression groups, stored as a single block. Reads of compressed data are faster than in traditional compression methods because ONTAP decompresses only the compression groups that contain the requested data, not an entire volume.

Snapshots efficiency

Snapshot prices can get pretty high. The initial snapshot will be another copy of your data in everyday use, therefore costing you a significant amount of money and using a substantial space from your storage.


With NetApp's FlexClone, there is a way to save money on your data copies. FlexClone allows you to make fast, space-efficient copies of flexible volumes.

With FlexClone, large volumes can be copied within seconds (compared to hours in traditional copies). A clone uses a small amount of space for metadata and then only consumes additional space as data is changed or added. The cost reduction has been proven to be 50% or even higher compared to traditional copies.


With some additional benefits, the added value of FlexClone shows excellent outcomes regarding cost reduction and performance enhancement.


Less Maintenance

Cloud Volumes ONTAP is a Multi-protocol component.

It will host and manage multiple resources regardless of their protocol, all the way for your IT applications that might be running on ISCSI or SMB to your Web Services using NFS protocols. ONTAP Supports them all, making it much easier for you to operate efficiently and consolidate all your disks and data under 'one roof.'



Data Protection & Disaster Recovery

Many customers hear about Cloud Volumes ONTAP, and one of their first thoughts is that it might be a single point of failure situation, in which any sort of issue with the ONTAP machine might cause a failure of their entire system's data. However, that isn't the situation. Netapp offers a higher SLA for your data than even the EBS volumes on AWS, for example.

Yes, you are more likely to have issues with your traditional disks than with NetApp's Cloud Volumes ONTAP solution. DR and data protection is one of NetApp's highest key values. Using technologies such as Snapmirror and maintaining a high-availability environment, your data cannot get any safer.


NetApp's SnapMirror provides intuitive and efficient data replication, which can be used to keep your data synchronized between on-premises and cloud installations/ different regions within the same cloud provider or even between two different cloud providers (it will also make it easier to switch between cloud providers as wanted – one of the most common catchphrases is "ONTAP is ONTAP, regardless of where you use it")


Using FlexClone, a snapshot is used to synchronize the cloud instance with a complete copy of the source data, after which block changes are sent over incrementally.


With Cloud Volumes ONTAP, you get a compelling technology for enabling the cloud to meet your DR needs.


Improved User Experience

With NetApp Cloud Manager, managing, simplifying, and monitoring your data cannot get more comfortable.


From a rich API Capability, provisioning tools support, and an excellent simple user interface, your Netapp environment's actions can easily be done.


You will have the ability to deploy volumes ONTAP instances, facilitate hybrid environments (Cloud + on-prem), and even manage your data replications in just a few minutes.


Looks great! How do I get started?

All you have to do is leave your details here and get a 30 days trial with Cloud Volumes ONTAP.



For more information about data tiering:

Cloud Volumes ONTAP - Data Tiering

For more information about FlexClone and some relevant use cases:

NetApp FlexClone

Relevant TCO blogs:

Azure - TCO reduction

AWS - TCO reduction AWS - Performance and Cost reduction

GCP - TCO reduction






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