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Not my legacy: Education replaces legacy data centers with the freedom of the cloud

In this entry of our series on file services with the AWS cloud, we look at the need for efficiency with the right cloud file system.

Public sector education is moving away from legacy architectures and moving to the cloud. The idea is to accelerate student learning, give teachers more freedom, and free educational institutions from time-consuming and expensive data delivery and storage maintenance.

That doesn’t mean that every institution has embraced the cloud. Universities and educational services companies led the way, but K-12 generally held back because of the cost and complexity of moving massive data and delivering educational services from the cloud.

The pandemic changed all that. Within days of receiving shutdown orders, schools were forced to deliver education remotely. A few of them were already using the cloud to deliver learning services and communications. But most were left to build a remote educational program from the foundation up. School districts were able to provide little guidance and few resources. They tried, but the districts were no more advanced in cloud computing and storage then their schools were.

Fortunately, NetApp is expert at working with educational institutions, from the largest university to the smallest kindergarten. NetApp® Cloud Volumes ONTAP® and Cloud Volumes Service are here to help move educational services to AWS.

Taking the plunge: How one education company did it, and how you can too

Let’s see how one NetApp customer easily moved its massive educational data to the cloud, and how you can do it too.

The challenge: Move massive data to the cloud, fast

Toronto-based D2L delivers learning services to educators and students from kindergarten to graduate school. They also have a corporate branch that delivers services to adult learners. They were early private cloud adopters, but storing petabytes of data was stretching their data center to the limit. They needed to move data to the scalable cloud, and they had to do it right — Case Study.

Most educational organizations that don’t have a large (or any) cloud presence still planned on moving to the cloud. Most of them believed that they had the time to make that move.

Then the pandemic hit, accelerating the need for the cloud from years to weeks.

The good news is that once you’re in the cloud, you can take advantage of limitless scalability for massive data, communications, and education delivery. The bad news is that getting from a district or school data center to the cloud can take time and resources you don’t think you have.

So back again to good news—NetApp helps right from the start.

The solution: AWS with NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP

D2L adopted NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP for AWS. NetApp was there from the beginning to help D2L plan its move. Data migration was a massive project with active course content, test scores, videos, records, communication data, and much more to be moved. With NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP, the migration went quickly and smoothly. Go-live in AWS was seamless — Case Study.

NetApp doesn’t wait until the data is in the cloud. We offer ONTAP software and migration services from the very beginning of the migration, helping administrators plan the migration project. Wherever possible, we enable customers to use lift-and-shift, the easiest method of data migration.

To speed up data movement and get the cloud environment running, ONTAP deduplicates data and replicates only unique data to the cloud by using VPN or AWS Direct Connect. Because ONTAP deduplicates workl0ads before moving them to the cloud, customers typically free up from 20% to 60% of cloud storage space over legacy data center storage.

Up and running: Peace of mind

D2L had peace of mind with AWS, NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP, and Cloud Volumes Service for fully managed file services. The deployment is highly available, simply managed, and flexible. And NetApp delivers robust backup and recovery and disaster recovery capabilities. Backup and restore in the cloud rivals or surpasses data protection in the data center, and DR works without the need for an expensive secondary site — Case Study.

NetApp Cloud Volumes does the same for all its customers.

For example, NetApp SnapMirror® and Cloud Sync enable rapid data migration and replication. After the initial baseline upload, ONTAP only syncs changes, which means highly efficient backup. NetApp Snapshot™ technology enables strong data protection by creating instantaneous point-in-time copies of file systems. Educational admins can create up to 255 space-efficient Snapshot copies per volume without impacting performance.

And Cloud Manager provides simple data storage management on AWS, no matter how complex your platform may be. The platform scales up and down to suit schools of any size, and NetApp’s dynamic service levels keep costs low.

With Cloud Volumes Service for AWS, schools enjoy an even more cost-effective, hands-off, fully managed file services environment for their unstructured data.

With NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP for AWS, any educational institution can replace legacy infrastructure with cloud-based data management. By saving on storage purchases, management overhead, and resources, schools can pursue even higher objectives for student learning--and lives.

In Summary

Cloud Volumes ONTAP provides robust file sharing services. For more insight into file shares with NetApp on AWS, watch this webcast: The Basics of Migrating to the Cloud with AWS and Cloud Volumes ONTAP.

For more on our files services on the AWS cloud blog series please visit our enteries The Cure for Windows File Share Blues, SMB and NFS? NetApp Has You Covered, Not my legacy, and Windows Apps on AWS Cloud? Solving the Top Four Concerns.

Also, you can read about Cloud Volumes Service and start a free trial of Cloud Volumes ONTAP

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Product Marketing Manager, Cloud Data Services