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How to Choose the Right Cloud Volumes ONTAP Package For Your Workload Requirements

December 9, 2022

Topics: Cloud Volumes ONTAP Advanced7 minute read

For a growing number of enterprises, IT infrastructure is a blend of different setups that support resilient, flexible, and highly-scalable infrastructure deployments. While these hybrid cloud models offer a lot of benefits, optimizing the cloud storage portion requires rigorous modeling of resource usage and cost implications before formulating the appropriate deployment configuration.

NetApp BlueXP helps you do that, providing a unified control plane that lets you build and operate an efficient, resilient, secure, and performant hybrid multicloud data estate. As one of the cloud-based storage options on BlueXP, Cloud Volumes ONTAP is offered in three different capacity-tiered licensing packages to help you choose the usage that is most suitable to support your workload requirements. Each of these packages offer various self-service cloud storage options that are meant to optimize storage costs while factoring in performance and security.

In this article, we discuss the three Cloud Volumes ONTAP storage packages, their features, and suitable use cases.

Use the links below to jump down to the Cloud Volumes ONTAP storage packages sections:

Cloud Volumes ONTAP Optimized

Cloud Volumes ONTAP Optimized is a capacity-based, cost-optimized package that is ideal for high-capacity storage requirements. With this licensing package, clients only pay for the consumed storage capacity and I/O usage.

The Optimized package is currently available from the Azure marketplace on pay-as-you-go or annual contract. The package will soon be offered for other public cloud services, including AWS and Google Cloud, which are currently being beta-tested before general rollout. Cloud Volumes ONTAP instances deployed using the Optimized package can be configured to run either as a single node or in the dual-node high availability (HA) configuration. To support various use cases, Cloud Volumes ONTAP with the Optimized package also supports a wide range of Azure virtual machines, including: E4s_v3, E4ds_v4, DS4_v2, DS13_v2, E8s_v3, and E8ds_v4.

Suitable Use Cases for Cloud Volumes ONTAP Optimized

Cloud Volumes ONTAP offers the Optimized package as a cost-efficient licensing option that is suitable for use cases that require infrequent access to data or those that rely on long-term, large-capacity data storage. Suitable use-cases for the Optimized offering include:

  • General purpose file shares: Using the Optimized package for file shares provides native multi-protocol access to enable seamless file-sharing across different devices and frameworks.
  • Media repositories: With the Optimized package, Cloud Volumes ONTAP provides unified storage access to media files with simple cloud transfer that supports both SAN and NAS media access protocols.
  • Archiving, backup, and disaster recovery: The Optimized package can use SnapMirror data replication to create point-in-time backups that can be tiered to low-cost object storage.
  • Big data: The Optimized package uses NFS for simplified operations of big data while offering large capacity storage and low IOPS for cost benefits.
  • e-Discovery: By leveraging efficient storage features, such as thin provisioning, data compression, and data tiering, Cloud Volumes ONTAP with the Optimized package is ideal to preserve, protect, and extract electronically stored information.

Cloud Volumes ONTAP Essentials

The Cloud Volumes ONTAP Essentials package is the most suitable option for business-critical enterprise applications. With the Essentials package, you pay by capacity for Cloud Volumes ONTAP setups depending on the configuration type. The package supports different Cloud Volumes ONTAP configurations:

  • A single node or high-availability pair
  • File and block storage for primary data
  • Secondary data for disaster recovery

The Essentials package is available on all three major cloud providers (AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud), and includes all ONTAP features.

Suitable Use Cases for Cloud Volumes ONTAP Essentials

The Essentials package is built for high performance and availability, making it the right choice for I/O-sensitive workloads with high throughput requirements. Suitable use cases for the Essentials package include:

  • Application file shares: The Essentials package is ideal for the high-throughput required for sharing application files and underlying data.
  • VMware deployments: The Essentials package can offload a significant amount of operational overhead of a VMware hyper converged storage infrastructure to achieve a highly-available, scalable storage without impacting the deployment’s computing capacity and address the main VMware challenges with cloud storage.
  • Web apps: Highly available and performant storage and automation make the Essentials package the right fit to manage the storage backends of dynamic web apps.
  • High performance computing: The Essentials package is purpose-built for complex performance-intensive and latency-sensitive workloads that rely on rapid IO operations and system availability.
  • Data analytics: To meet the performance and capacity demands of big data analytics, the Essentials package only charges you for capacity, making it suitable for IOPS intensive data streaming workloads.

Cloud Volumes ONTAP Professional

The Cloud Volumes ONTAP Professional package provides resilient, secure storage with a single pricing tier for all Cloud Volumes ONTAP storage configurations. The offering also includes unlimited backups for all applicable Cloud Volumes ONTAP systems that have been deployed with the professional package. This package is suited for mission-critical I/O and throughput-intensive workloads with special considerations when it comes to data protection, security, and compliance.

The offering charges licensing for single-node or HA deployments with capacity charging for all volume types at the same rate. The Professional package is available for all three major cloud platforms (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud) and offers all ONTAP features that are licensed based on the provisioned capacity.

Cloud Volumes ONTAP Professional is also available as both a pay-as-you-go and fixed annual subscription license. The package offers a single licensing tier regardless of whether the Cloud Volumes ONTAP deployment is a single node or high availability pair.

Suitable Use Cases for Cloud Volumes ONTAP Professional

Appropriate use-cases include:

Comparing Cloud Volumes ONTAP Packages

The table below outlines key differences between the Cloud Volumes ONTAP packages for ease of comparison:






  • Cost efficient

  • Ideal for high capacity, long-term storage

  • High-performance, highly available storage with low latency

  • Ideal for business-critical operations requiring optimized I/O and throughput

  • Enhanced data security and compliance

  • Optimized IOPS and high-availability

  • Integrated storage with unlimited backups

  • Ideal for high-throughput, data-intensive applications, such as data warehouses, etc.

Supported cloud providers

Azure (AWS and GCP service launches in the pipeline)

Azure, AWS, GCP

Azure, AWS, GCP


Charges separately for I/O operations and provisioned capacity

Charges separate licensing fees for different deployment (single-node or HA) and volume types (primary or secondary data volume storage)

Single licensing tier regardless of whether the Cloud Volumes ONTAP system is single-node or HA

Possible use-cases

  • General purpose (NFS/SMB) file shares

  • Big data

  • Media repositories

  • eDiscovery

  • Disaster recovery

  • Backups & archives

  • Application file shares

  • VMware

  • Web apps

  • High performance computing

  • Data analytics

  • Enterprise apps

  • Database & data warehouses

  • SAP

  • Kubernetes

  • SaaS

Additional details of subscription and pricing can be found here.


Cloud Volumes ONTAP’s capacity-based licensing packages help you decide and choose the optimum storage resources and features required to support your cloud-native workloads. The packages are built to follow a consumption model where clients can opt to pay for consumed capacity or as per the chosen configuration, either GB/month or TB/hour.

Which package is right for you? If you still aren’t sure, reach out to talk to one of our cloud architects who can answer any questions you might have about picking the right package for your requirements.

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Robert Bell, Product Evangelist

Product Evangelist