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A full 58% of enterprises choose to move their business-critical environments to the cloud to enhance business continuity while 63% are moving to the cloud to gain greater flexibility to react to changing market conditions. In keeping with these — and other — needs, Azure NetApp Files is constantly adding new features to enhance service levels for their customers. This blog will focus on three key features you don’t want to miss learning about — they provide enterprises with the resiliency they absolutely must have in a fully managed, native Azure file storage service.
Cross-region replication for business continuity
It is critical for enterprise customers to have the peace of mind of knowing that in the event of an outage, cyber-attack, or natural disaster that their business-critical workloads such as SAP, HPC, and WVD are available in more than one region and a failover can be accomplished both quickly and easily to eliminate costly downtime. They simply cannot afford to lose data.
Cross-region replication (CRR) provides built-in multi-region support to improve disaster recovery and enhance business continuity. With built-in cross-region replication, customers have an integrated solution enabling a seamless switchover from their primary region to secondary region as needed to ensure continuance of all their mission-critical workloads, providing necessary redundancy in case of a primary data center event/disaster and reducing risk.
This disaster-recovery feature that replicates data and applications in a secondary region will enable more enterprise customers to migrate critical workloads to Azure, knowing that their data and applications are fully protected, with a very recent backup copy safely located in a completely different region. DR is complex but CRR provides customers with the confidence of having their data in both a primary and secondary location, meeting their recovery point objectives (RPO).
Dual-protocol volume support
With an increased focus on working from home this year, it has become more important than ever for enterprise customers to have access to files in both NFS and SMB concurrently, to meet the needs of multiple users. With dual-protocol volume support, both Linux and Windows users can simultaneously access the same Azure NetApp Files volume. This provides improved access for customers that need Linux-based access to their volumes for their business-critical applications, but also want Windows-based access so users can access data, file logs, etc. The work from home trend is expected to continue, as a recent Gartner poll showed that 48% of employees will likely work remotely for at least part of their workday after COVID-19.
This feature ensures that access is seamless for both NFSv3 & SMB protocols concurrently, maximizing compatibility, availability, and performance.
On-demand dynamic tier change
The needs of enterprise customers are not static, and they need the flexibility to be able to change service levels in response to changes in demand as they arise to meet peak demand yet maintain cost controls. Dynamic volume service levels enable customers to switch performance tiers easily and in seconds in response to changes in demand, providing flexibility as well as reducing costs. There is no need to copy data, potentially causing outages and incurring higher billing.
Enterprise customers can change between Standard, Premium, and Ultra performance tiers on-the-fly to meet a range of business scenarios, quickly, easily and as often as necessary. For example:
- A customer can begin with a lower performance tier such as Standard and then increase performance levels as applications requiring higher levels of performance are added.
- A customer can initiate a higher performance tier for a capacity pool to expedite migration to Azure NetApp Files, and then reduce performance and cost once the migration is complete.
- A customer can choose a lower performance tier for a disaster recovery (DR) destination in a secondary region, while enjoying the benefits of a higher performance tier for their primary region. They can then increase the performance level of the DR volume in just seconds in the case of a DR event and reduce it again after the DR event is over.
When you add these new enterprise features to the many compelling benefits of Azure NetApp Files, it is easy to see why Azure NetApp Files is gaining in popularity with enterprise customers seeking to migrate their business-critical and mission-critical workloads to Azure. Azure NetApp Files is an Azure-native service, certified for SAP HANA production databases, that offers global coverage, on-premises or better performance, ultra-low latency, and 99.99% uptime.