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Financial Industry Storage Challenges

Recent trends in finance are leading companies to generate massive volumes of data. Non-traditional stakeholders such as fintech companies and challenger banks are putting tremendous pressure on banks to go through a digital transformation and become data-driven.

As financial information and services move into the digital sphere, financial organizations must store, maintain and access massive volumes of data that capture online financial transactions, customer journeys, customer information, an ever-expanding repository of historical data, marketing campaigns, and more. This data must also be processed from many channels, including video, audio and images. In addition, consumers expect applications that rely on this data to be highly available and accessible 24/7 from anywhere in the world.

Besides playing a central role in day-to-day transactions, data can have a tremendous positive impact on financial companies, assuming there are mechanisms in place that can extract value from that data. Applying data science tools to financial data can lead to significant benefits, including enhanced fraud detection, optimized decisions, personalized services, customer analytics and automation. To reap these benefits, however, requires having enough storage capacity to gather massive volumes of data.    

This dramatic growth in data poses a major concern for IT teams. Financial firms that store their data primarily on-premises must constantly expand their in-house storage infrastructure to accommodate the inflow of data. As a result, IT departments are put under constant pressure to handle limited storage space, high-availability issues and high expenses of both managing data and having to purchase more and more physical storage.

Although many financial companies opt for on-premises storage because of their high-speed requirements, there are additional reasons behind companies sticking to their on-premises architecture. Migrating to the cloud poses special challenges for the financial industry which companies often wish to avoid. The biggest barriers for moving data to the public cloud in this industry are data visibility and governance, inconsistent data management as well as compliance, privacy, and security concerns. Nonetheless, with so much data piling up, the pressure to move to the cloud is mounting.

Before taking the risky step of moving everything to the cloud, there is another solution out there that can extend the cloud’s flexibility and capabilities to your in-house storage.

Saving Valuable Storage Space and Costs with Cloud Tiering

Cloud Tiering can serve as an immediate relief for financial companies, saving storage space and reducing costs. It can also serve as a strategic first step towards moving to the cloud.

The Cloud Tiering solution uses NetApp’s FabricPool technology to seamlessly extend on-premises data centers that use NetApp SSD-backed FAS and NetApp AFF storage arrays to the cloud. This occurs silently behind the scenes, without changing the application layer or impacting operations.

Cloud Tiering automatically identifies infrequently used data and seamlessly moves it to the cost-saving public or private cloud object storage and transfers it back to the high-performance tier on the FAS or AFF arrays when it's needed again.

This enables financial companies to tackle their storage challenges head on by adopting a much more efficient approach to storage space management. This is achieved by separating data that is highly-used from colder data that can be stored on a less-performant storage, lower-cost tier in the cloud. This is essential for businesses that have vast volumes of data that are needed at different and often unpredictable times. 

Cloud Tiering allows companies to maintain their on-premises storage, workflows and processes and at the same time benefit from the cloud’s numerous advantages. By using Cloud Tiering, financial companies can: 

  • Free up on-premises storage and optimize its usage.
  • Significantly reduce their data footprint and lower costs by transferring an average of 70% of their data to low-cost cloud storage.
  • Scale capacity almost instantly by up to 50x, as needed, with users paying only for the data that is tiered.
  • Configure the proper tiering policies for data volumes, such as cold snapshots, cold user data or all user data.


Financial companies, whether they are banks or non-traditional players such as fintech companies and challenger banks, must collect and store vast amounts of data. To track every customer journey and every transaction requires huge repositories of historical data that may or may not be needed at any given time. Most of this data is stored on-premises and quickly accumulates, forcing companies to constantly expand their physical storage. To cope with this challenge, financial organizations must adopt a smarter strategy when it comes to storage capacity and optimization.

With NetApp’s Cloud Tiering service, financial companies can enhance their data centers with cloud storage capabilities on AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, with tiering to multiple clouds and MetroCluster support coming soon. The solution ensures data is stored in its appropriate tier and transferred only when needed, optimizing on-premises storage usage and capacity management.

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Oded Berman, Product Evangelist

Product Evangelist