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Windows Apps in the Cloud Giving You a Headache? Here’s the Cure

August 26, 2019

Topics: 5 minute read

Migrating or deploying windows applications in cloud can be a nightmare. If you don’t map your existing services to the right resources in the cloud, you can expect problems, especially when we’re talking about file services.

As deployments hybridize and on-premises services meet their counterparts in the cloud, cloud service providers still struggle to measure up to data center performance when it comes to file services. Often, organizations either have to set up their own virtual machines (VMs) to configure SMB/NFS shares or they have to sign up with a fully managed file service from a cloud service provider, many of which give users limited control over configuration options and feature sets that leave a lot to be desired.

But NetApp® Cloud Volumes Service for AWS can relieve the headaches, allowing you to deploy file services in the cloud with maximized ease and efficiency. Read on to find out how.

Deploying Windows Applications in Cloud: The Pain Points

Big companies like to play it safe. They can be conservative when it comes to deploying traditional application architectures in the cloud, especially when it comes to architectures that have dependencies on SMB-based file shares for storing log files, configuration files, and temporary data.

When they do make the leap to the cloud, they often end up spending more time setting up and configuring the infrastructure required for this single service than they should. That time drain is counterproductive and can slow down the process of meeting migration roadmap goals. What’s really getting in the way of quick and hassle-free cloud adoption? We’ve got a few ideas.

This service doesn’t support our protocols: Cloud service providers focus on making multiple services available over commonly used protocols like HTTP/HTTPS, but there are limited options for file services over SMB. If organizations decide to set up their own SMB infrastructure, they end up configuring and managing multiple components, including an SMB server, an authentication server, and a firewall. This approach is not scalable in the long run.

It’s not how it used to be: It’s inevitable when using a new platform: everything changes. Managed cloud-based file service configuration differs from the familiar process used in many enterprises for share provisioning, authentication, and lifecycle management. The learning curve that it calls for could delay the deployment process.

Size matters: Scalability of storage is another challenge, and cloud-based file services are often limited by a maximum supported capacity. Amazon FSx, for instance, supports a maximum share size of only 65TB. Using a do-it-yourself approach to work around that obstacle has made it necessary for some customers to employ a number of SMB servers to meet their capacity demands. They also have to take care of other aspects, such as storage availability and security, which are crucial for enterprise workloads.

Performance isn’t what it should be: Line-of-business applications can’t risk lower-quality storage performance—it doesn’t matter if they’re hosted on-premises or in the cloud. Data-driven applications, like databases and analytics, are highly demanding in terms of storage IOPS; finding an equivalent SMB solution in the cloud for such use cases can prove to be difficult. With cloud file services like Amazon FSx, customers might have to go through additional configurations like DFS namespaces to get the desired throughput.

Cloud Volumes Service for Windows Applications

NetApp’s Cloud Volume Service for AWS is a fully managed file service in AWS that helps you avoid all the headaches mentioned above. Using Cloud Volumes Service, deploying Windows applications in the cloud is easy. By supporting file share services over SMB and NFS protocols, Cloud Volumes Service gives you the accessibility required, plus the performance benefits of an all-flash storage infrastructure in the backend. Cloud Volumes Service is offered in a SaaS model, which means your organization can focus on the applications themselves instead of worrying about manually setting up, configuring, and maintaining storage infrastructure.

Why Is Cloud Volumes Service Better for Windows Apps in the Cloud?

It’s compatible: Cloud Volumes Service supports SMB 2.1, 3.0, and 3.1.1 NAS protocols, thereby making it compatible with a wide variety of windows applications, including legacy ones.

It saves time: As a fully managed service, it just takes a few clicks to set up and configure the required SMB volumes for your applications. See how to do it here.

It grows with you: As more and more demands get put on applications, customers can automatically scale up the storage size to up to 100TB per volume.

It outperforms the competition: Customers can choose from three performance tiers (Standard, Premium, and Extreme), to best meet their capacity and performance level requirements. By matching your workload with the best service level, you can optimize performance. At the Extreme level, even the demands of performance-intensive databases and HPC applications can easily be met.

It has your back: Cloud volumes are backed up by schedulable snapshot copies that ensure point-in-time recovery of data. This enables data protection without investing in third-party tools, at a frequency that’s impossible to carry out manually.

It helps keep you safe: XTS-AES 256-bit encryption locks down your data, without compromising performance.

It gets your products to the market faster: While migrating applications from on-premises data centers to the cloud, developers can make use of the cloning feature of Cloud Volumes Service for rapid deployment and testing of environments.

Windows in the Cloud on AWS

Whether it’s the scalability to meet growing application demands, the security of your data, file configuration, or getting to use the protocol of your choice, there are a lot of hurdles that Windows users have to jump to make it into the cloud. Cloud Volumes Service for AWS offers an easy way for you to make it there without all the hassle.

It’s a fresh solution, built using NetApp’s proven storage technology, that’s trusted by over 300,000 customers worldwide for meeting their file share requirements.

Ready to be One of 300,000 Customers Who Love NetApp?

Request a free demo of Cloud Volumes Service for AWS to understand more about the service and how it can help deploy Windows file share workloads in the cloud with ease.

Kristina Brand, Cloud Data Services

Cloud Data Services