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Cloud File Sharing

File Sharing in the Cloud on GCP with Cloud Volumes ONTAP

A large part of enterprise data is stored in files—serving everything from back-end legacy databases to today’s cloud-native applications. That’s a lot of data, and with more and more enterprise workloads making their way to the public cloud, the need for high-performance cloud file sharing is only going to grow.

For enterprises that are planning to leverage file storage on Google Cloud Platform, there are some important considerations to keep in mind. This article takes a look at several enterprises that have solved the challenges of cloud-based file sharing with Cloud Volumes ONTAP for Google Cloud.

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What Makes File Sharing in the Cloud Challenging?

When pursuing file-based Google Cloud storage options, there are a number of key challenges to keep in mind:

  • Performance: Cloud file shares are expected to provide the same low-latency performance as on-premises file storage, and must be able to agilely scale out and up on request and non-disruptively.
  • Availability: Cloud file shares must meet strict uptime and durability SLAs, often requiring complex manual configurations for failover/failback processes.
  • Accessibility: Cloud file services rarely support multiple file-sharing protocols, serving either CIFS/SMB or NFS, but not both.
  • Data protection: File data must be backed up and replicated in order to ensure full and immediate recovery in any situation (including disasters) where data becomes corrupted, infected, or is accidentally (or maliciously) deleted.
  • Cost containment: Enterprise file shares typically have massive storage footprints in both their primary (production) and secondary (backup, DR) sites. Without careful management, storage and transfer costs can spiral out of control.
  • Data collaboration: In globally dispersed operations, users need the same access to the most up-to-date data. Those files also need locking mechanisms to ensure multiple users aren’t working at odds simultaneously.
  • Multicloud/hybrid architectures: File shares are often deployed both on-premises and in the cloud, and sometimes across multiple clouds. These complex environments create data portability and management challenges.

Cloud Volumes ONTAP Brings Enterprise-Level File Sharing to Google Cloud

Major enterprises around the world have turned to NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP to enhance their cloud file sharing on GCP. Cloud Volumes ONTAP is a data storage and management platform that deploys on native Google Cloud resources. It provides enterprise-grade performance, availability, accessibility, and data protection along with cost containment capabilities and single-pane management across multicloud and hybrid architectures.

With Cloud Volumes ONTAP for Google Cloud, enterprises benefit from a wide array of benefits, from lift and shift migrations, superior performance over cloud-native file shares, and multiprotocol accessibility to scalability, data protection, enhanced security, and reduced storage footprint.

File Sharing on Google Cloud with Cloud Volumes ONTAP Success Stories

In this section we describe how several multinational giants from different verticals have used Cloud Volumes ONTAP for Google Cloud to accelerate their cloud strategies in general and their cloud file sharing capabilities in particular.

Helping the Carrefour Group Pivot to the Cloud

The Carrefour Group is a France-based global retailer that ranks among the top ten earners in its industry. It operates groceries and hypermarkets in tens of thousands of locations spread out across more than 30 countries around the globe.

When Carrefour Group decided to undertake a digital transformation, migrating applications and data to the cloud was a major goal. Carrefour chose Cloud Volumes ONTAP to help make that possible.

Read more about the Carrefour success story with Cloud Volumes ONTAP here.

Migrating Petabytes of File Share Data for a Global Energy Company 

This company is an energy concern with worldwide operations, providing products and services that help deliver renewable power to hundreds of thousands of customers in more than 80 countries.

Many of those services are run on file-based SAP workloads. But as part of a company-wide shift to the cloud, those SAP workloads had to move to Google Cloud.

The major concern was making sure that vast amounts of data remained available, protected, and that the new environment could handle that scale. To make sure all that happened, the company chose Cloud Volumes ONTAP.

  • File scalability was easily managed, as Cloud Volumes ONTAP seamlessly migrated the entire 3 PB SAP data set to Google Cloud. That capacity can grow as needed.
  • Global sharing and collaboration with NetApp Global File Cache, allowing file data to be consolidated in the cloud for faster access across disparate locations, with file locking for real-time sharing.
  • High availability with Cloud Volumes ONTAP makes sure business continuity is preserved with RTO<60 and RPO=0.
  • Disaster recovery with Cloud Volumes ONTAP makes sure that should a disaster ever take place, the system will failover automatically to a secondary mirrored copy.
  • Backup through BlueXP backup and recovery leverages object-based Google Cloud Storage to keep backup copies stored cost-effectively.
  • Multiprotocol access for files made it possible to serve both NFS and SMB shares on Google Cloud.

Enhancing the DevOps Culture of a Major European Financial

This European financial institution is responsible for the banking and financial services of tens of thousands of corporate customers throughout the continent, with individual private customers that number over 10 million.

The company has an extremely DevOps-driven IT culture, and wanted a way to manage its container-based NFS file share workloads using OpenShift across multiple storage environments both in multiple clouds and in its data centers.

While there are many aspects to this Cloud Volumes ONTAP deployment, several points related to file sharing stand out:

Find out the rest of the details of this major financial company’s deployment here.

Major SEA Telecommunications Company Runs Mission-Critical Applications That Serve Millions

This company is one of the largest telecommunications providers in the Southeast Asia/Pacific Region, providing wireless and internet services for tens of millions of customers. What makes this company’s story unique is that it has a strategic partnership with Google Cloud to advance the hyperscaler in the region.

As part of that mission, the company was migrating its customer-facing application and related iSCSI file data to Google Cloud. But the application had strict performance requirements and the company needed data center-class storage management features in the cloud: easy-to-scale high performance storage with flexible management options and high availability. They found that in Cloud Volumes ONTAP for Google Cloud.

  • Mission-critical deployment thanks to Cloud Volumes ONTAP, which was the only storage option that met the company’s requirements for high performance, virtual machine types, and vCPU count.
  • Multiprotocol use with Cloud Volumes ONTAP is the only way to serve the application’s iSCSI data on Google Cloud.
  • Cross-zone high availability uses two Cloud Volumes ONTAP nodes configured in different zones to ensure business continuity.
  • Data protection with SnapMirror and backups in object storage provide an easy way to restore the data if needed.

An International Music Publisher Serves Multiple File Protocols

This international music publisher creates products for managing and delivering audio and video content to Digital Service Providers (DSPs) including some of the biggest streaming services in use around the world today.

This company is leveraging Cloud Volumes ONTAP as a unified platform that solves multiple business challenges. By utilizing storage efficiencies, cross-region replication, NFS and SMB protocols, caching, encryption, governance, and multi-tenancy, the company gets to benefit from a wealth of unique innovative advantages that NetApp delivers to its customers.

The benefits include:

  • Global file caching allows the company to move all its file servers to Cloud Volumes ONTAP while enabling rapid access to the file shares from remote locations.
  • FlexCache brings data closer to users in remote locations by creating cached copies of file data.
  • Business continuity and data protection thanks to high availability, disaster recovery with SnapMirror, and incremental forever backups stored in object buckets.
  • Data tiering reduces storage consumption costs by tiering cold data automatically to object storage on Google Cloud Storage. If the data is needed, Cloud Volumes ONTAP automatically tiers it back to the performance tier on block-based Google Cloud Persistent Disk.

Cloud Volumes ONTAP Is Transforming File Sharing in the Cloud. Don’t Miss Out.

With Cloud Volumes ONTAP for Google, Cloud enterprises get the best of both worlds for their cloud file-based storage. With file sharing in the cloud, enterprises benefit from cloud agility, elasticity, and operational efficiency without forfeiting the performance, availability, and data protection of on-premises file servers.

Cloud Volumes ONTAP for Google Cloud enhances these benefits of file sharing in the cloud and ensures seamless data mobility and optimized storage footprints across the enterprise’s entire Data Fabric—even in complex hybrid and multicloud architectures.

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Yifat Perry, Technical Content Manager

Technical Content Manager