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Getting on Top of Cloud Migration with NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP

Cloud migration tends to be a challenging and time-consuming process. IT professionals tasked with cloud migration duties therefore like to have tools that lighten the load, or at least make things a little simpler to handle. As IT Central Station members relate in reviews of NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP, the solution enables them to manage massive amounts of data in the cloud while achieving high availability (HA) and other sought-after qualities in their cloud deployments. The toolset also helps them lower their costs of operating in the cloud.

Cloud Migration Advantages

John H. serves as a lead storage engineer and cloud administrator at an insurance company that pursues a “cloud first” strategy. For John, this means being responsible for a huge amount of data across cloud and on-premises infrastructure. He described his situation as follows: “We're sitting at multiple petabytes of storage on our NetApp infrastructure, meaning hundreds of thousands of shares across thousands of volumes. Even with an infrastructure of this size, it's being supported by only three people. And it's not like we're working 24/7.”

To cope, his team has adopted Cloud Volumes ONTAP so they can manage multiple petabytes of storage with a small team. This includes single node and HA instances. He added that “for the most part we're using it to move data off-premises. We have the ability to do mirrors from on-premises to Cloud Volumes ONTAP. We are running it in both AWS and Azure.”

Cloud Volumes ONTAP gives John and his team the ability to do a lot and to do more with less. Combined with the comparable ONTAP product, it’s easier to migrate without extensive training. As he put it, “If you have systems on-prem that you're migrating to the cloud, you won't have to retrain your workforce because they'll be used to everything that they'll be doing in the cloud as a result of what they've been doing on-prem.”

High availability is what impressed Christian G., a service architect at computer software company All for One Group AG. Cloud Volumes ONTAP enables Christian and his team to run two instances so there is no downtime during maintenance. He commented, “We are running the shared file systems for our SAP production environment systems. It helped us to dive into the cloud very fast. We didn't have to change any automations or processes, which we already had, and we were able to adopt it quickly. The benefit was to use the same concepts in the cloud as we do on-premise.”

In addition, he found it helpful that his staff and operators didn't have to learn new systems. They have the same processes and use all the same skills and knowledge they had before. As he noted, “it was very easy and fast. Cloud Volumes ONTAP is a very easy, light, and wide service. You just use it and it doesn't require much configuring. You just use the standards from NetApp.”

He added that “we run more efficiently because NetApp has a tool simplifying the automation of NetApp storage systems. We use the same automation for the Cloud Volumes ONTAP instances as we do for our on-premises storage systems. At the end of the day, when it comes to the operating system standpoint, there is no difference.” 

Cost Impacts

IT Central Station members involved in cloud migration also tend to be under pressure to keep costs down. For a senior manager IT CloudX at a manufacturing company, Cloud Volumes ONTAP positively affects costs through automated scheduling of data synchronization. “We are using it for storing files and get high-performance access to files,” he said. They also use it for disaster recovery (DR). His company has been able to substantially reduce costs, because they can copy the information to the same system in other regions.

He added that “the solution's bells and whistles, the high-availability features, are cost-effective for us because we are able to use the cloud benefits to reduce the cost of DR. For example, if we have it in one region, we can copy the data to another region. They keep it powered off and then they power it on for a few minutes, copy the data, send the data again, and shut it down again. That reduces the costs by approximately 80 percent.” The solution has reduced their overall storage footprint as well, which saves money, as does its data tiering capability. Data tiering contributed to cost savings for Christian G. as well.

A reduced storage footprint, leading to lower costs, was the benefit realized by a storage engineer at a pharma/biotech company with more than 10,000 employees. His primary use case is multiprotocol access. “It helps us with our snapshots backups. We do a lot of SnapVault backups to our secondary data center and the process for us is really efficient,” he said, adding that “it has definitely reduced our recovery time. ONTAP has reduced our company's footprint on the cloud and has reduced our cloud costs.”

A solutions architect at a tech services company saves money with Cloud Volumes ONTAP by leveraging its storage efficiency features: data deduplication, compression, and compaction. His use case involves connecting their desktop(s) as-a-service for a customer with approximately 150,000 users. He revealed that “they're getting a lot of cost savings off of it.”

Click here to learn more about what IT Central Station members reviews about Cloud Volumes ONTAP

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