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Expert Storage for Any Workload: Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP Case Studies

This blog was updated in December 2023.

No matter your AWS workload, its underlying storage has a substantial impact on costs and performance.

There’s an AWS storage service that can help unleash your workloads’ full potential—it's Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP.

Read on to find out what FSx for ONTAP can do, or use these links to jump down to case studies on how FSx for ONTAP is transforming operations at these organizations:

What You’re Getting with FSx for ONTAP

Let's take a quick look at what makes FSx for ONTAP an expert-level storage for your workloads.

More data accessibility

FSx for ONTAP is the only AWS-native storage that supports a multitude of storage types and protocols in a single service:

  • Get block, file, and object storage, all from a single service
  • Access the same data with different protocols simultaneously, including NFS and SMB for files, iSCSI and NVMe/TCP for block storage, and S3-based for object storage

Better protection and more resilience

FSx for ONTAP helps you keep your workload data available and quickly recoverable in any case of failure:

  • High availability across multiple AWS Availability Zones with automatic failover and failback provide you with a recovery point objective (RPO) of 0 and a recovery time objective (RTO) that’s under 60 seconds
  • Efficient snapshot copies that are created instantly, without affecting performance or adding storage capacity and costs
  • Backup copies that update incrementally and restore granularly keep your data resilient
  • Cross-Region replication with automatic disaster recovery processes make sure data loss is minimal, even if a whole Region goes down

Security to align with compliance goals

FSx for ONTAP features keep your data safe from cyber threats and help align with data regulations:

  • Built-in tenant isolation segregates data volumes, isolates traffic, and provides security for each tenant
  • Active Directory integration provides authorized access and operational tracing
  • Data tamperproofing is achieved thanks to write-once-read-many (WORM) storage and read-only snapshot copies
  • Powerful data protection with file screening, automated built-in ransomware protection, and antivirus integration

Built-in cost optimization technologies

FSx for ONTAP optimizes storage footprint, which helps reduce costs:

  • Lower data footprint and costs with deduplication, compression, compaction, and thin provisioning
  • Data tiering to low-cost storage automatically reduces your high-cost storage disk usage
  • Adjustable IOPS and throughput levels let you fine-tune cost/performance on the fly

Data cloning and mobility that’s faster and more efficient

FSx for ONTAP creates flexible data copies that simplify and optimize software development lifecycles:

  • Writable thin clone copies are created instantly without impacting storage capacity or costs
  • Data caching at the edge lets your teams collaborate in real time across remote branch offices and disparate locations
  • Data replication moves copies between environments and syncs data easily

How Leading Companies are Leveraging FSx for ONTAP to Optimize Their Workloads

Now that we’ve discussed t FSx for ONTAP’s rich, workload-driven feature set, let’s see how it’s actually being used.

Here are some stories of major enterprises across different industry verticals that are using FSx for ONTAP to enhance their operations on AWS.

Arcesium Reduces Costs and Speeds Up Processes with FSx for ONTAP

Arcesium produces SaaS-based data analytics, operations, and technology for the financial sector.

They noticed that the multi-terabyte databases serving their SaaS applications were refreshing slowly and using large amounts of storage. That was slowing down the development cycle, driving up costs, and making it difficult to protect the data.
FSx for ONTAP solved the problem and introduced other cost-reduction methods that had a major impact on operations at Arcesium:

  • FSx for ONTAP’s instant, near zero-cost clone copies reduced database refresh time by 80% and improved dev/test operation agility.
  • Built-in storage efficiencies were able to cut down Arcesium’s storage footprint by 53%. That resulted in a 46% reduction in costs for storage.
  • Faster, more efficient snapshots made protecting the databases 5 times faster.

S&P Global Market Intelligence Protects Hundreds of SQL Server Databases with FSx for ONTAP

S&P Global Market Intelligence delivers crucial market insights and intelligence for the financial industry through a range of offerings from deep data analysis to Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) solutions.

The scale of their SQL Server cluster—a deployment spanning hundreds of database instances—needed a cost-effective DR solution on AWS. They also had extremely strict RPO and RTO availability targets to meet. FSx for ONTAP was able to provide all that.

  • As part of a self-managed SQL Server database cluster of over 100TBs, FSx for ONTAP provides iSCSI block storage alongside Amazon EC2 compute.
  • Using multi-Region deployment, the databases can withstand the loss of an entire Region and still maintain business continuity.
  • Cross-Region replication provides a more robust and reliable DR solution than SQL Server’s built-in replication.
  • Storage footprint and costs were reduced thanks to FSx for ONTAP storage efficiencies.

For all the details about how this solution worked, check out the full S&P Global customer case study.

A Medical Imaging Software Developer Decoupled VMware Cloud Compute and Storage Thanks to FSx for ONTAP

This born-in-the-cloud company develops browser-based software that provides automated diagnostic imagery tools that are used by healthcare professionals and technicians to determine treatment solutions for patients.

Since VMware Cloud on AWS provisions storage and compute instances in tandem, as the software’s storage needs grew, compute had to be overprovisioned to meet the demand for storage. That was a serious cost concern.

FSx for ONTAP gave them a way to solve the problem:

  • By decoupling compute instances from storage, the company avoids overprovisioning compute and scales storage as needed.
  • DR on FSx for ONTAP is more space and cost efficient.
  • Deploying in multiple AWS Regions makes their data much more resilient.

eHealth NSW Migrated to the Cloud Quickly and Reduced Complexity Using FSx for ONTAP

eHealth New South Wales (NSW) is a governmental organization in Australia that provides patients, healthcare providers, clinics, and agencies with digital systems to facilitate medical treatment and care.

Data center operations at eHealth NSW had grown too complex for them to effectively innovate their Enterprise Image Repository (EIR) application. That wasn’t just affecting IT operations, but the work of life-critical applications as well.

FSx for ONTAP provided a solution by quickly migrating the entire EIR infrastructure to AWS:

  • As an existing NetApp user, they were able to easily lift and shift the entire on-premises deployment to FSx for ONTAP. And all the staff’s familiarity with NetApp carried over to the AWS Cloud, which made onboarding easier.
  • They were able to cost-effectively store 1.6 PB that included the EIR application and its data.
  • All of this reduced operational overhead, letting the team at eHealth NSW focus more on development.

There is more to this story in the full eHealth NSW case study.

Pearson Runs Agile, Performant File Workloads on FSx for ONTAP

Pearson provides learning technologies and content that help people across the globe expand their knowledge, build skills, and grow their potential.

Pearson needed a better way to protect their file-based HR and financial workloads. The storage solution they had been using failed to meet the strict RTO they required.

The answer was to move to AWS and leverage FSx for ONTAP:

  • There was an easy lift-and-shift migration to AWS that didn’t require any changes to the application or the millions of files supporting it.
  • RTO and RPO improved thanks to FSx for ONTAP’s faster recovery abilities, cutting these objectives down to just minutes.
  • Plus, file performance has improved 3 times, speeding up operations.
  • And data is able to refresh 10 times faster, increasing application agility.

Get all the details in the Pearson case study video.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Read about other companies using FSx for ONTAP to solve their workload challenges.

Learn more about how Amazon FSx for ONTAP brings NetApp data management to a fully managed AWS storage service.

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Yoram Pollack, Lead Cloud Architect

Lead Cloud Architect