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Top Enterprise Turbocharges Financial Services with NetApp and AWS

An innovative enterprise delivers high performance and highly secure cloud computing services to financial industry customers. The organization that this blog revolves around has a deep portfolio of products running on AWS that offer a wide range of financial services functions, including financial data ingestion, enterprise-grade data storage, high availability and durability, DR/BC, and centralized management of hundreds of applications and services.

The Challenge of Cloud Computing

It wasn’t always this way. The company used on-premises and hosted computing sites to provide excellent performance and security to financial services customers. But when the enterprise reached over 700 applications, they needed to evolve DevOps into a unified services framework that would support faster go-to-market and higher customer satisfaction in the cloud. They also decided to deliver computing, migration, and storage using the cloud platform.

The company realized that moving applications and services into the cloud was going to take a new level of thinking. Hundreds of applications had created massive sprawl and siloed data sets, and there were more than 3,400 individual account owners. The complexity was immense.

Centralizing services in the cloud made a tremendous amount of business and customer satisfaction sense. The new environment would be far more efficient, stood to improve RPO and RTO, would cost less, and result in better customer satisfaction.

They created a cloud enterprise team to solve these issues and to orchestrate different services and platforms in a hybrid cloud configuration. They chose AWS, and adopted Amazon CloudFormation to deploy infrastructure as code. This allowed their DevOps teams to simplify on-boarding, and application development and release within the AWS environment.

Migrating data to AWS presented its own big challenges. The company’s top priorities for migrating applications and data to the cloud were SLA and uptime, availability and durability, storage footprint and costs, storage management features set, and user experience.

Building a Partnership

The company used AWS migration toolsets, but they did not offer all the functionality the enterprise needed. So they partnered with NetApp to speed up file migration by pairing AWS Direct Connect with NetApp Cloud Sync. Together, the toolsets successfully migrated over 200 million files comprising more than 4 petabytes .  

As part of the migration, the enterprise had to assign optimal cloud tiers for the data. AWS has several tier options: S3 for object, EBS for block, EFS for NFS, FSx for file systems, and Glacier for cold storage.

If a company has just a few defined usage cases, then it is relatively easy to decide what storage tiers they need. But if a business needs to deliver a broad range of sophisticated applications and services to customers, storage choices are not as clear.

How could this company migrate vast amounts of information to cloud storage and expect immediate results while containing costs?

They did it with NetApp cloud solutions for AWS.

NetAppTM Cloud Volumes Service and Cloud Volumes ONTAP 

The company uses the following NetApp cloud solutions:

  •       Cloud Sync for timely cloud migration and data mobility between regions
  •       Cloud Volumes ONTAP for cost savings and advanced file management features
  •       Cloud Volumes Service for SLAs, performance, and self-service
  •       Cloud Insights for analyzing environments and optimizing costs

NetApp Cloud Volumes Service leads the way. Cloud Volumes Service is a fully managed file storage service for AWS, and runs file shares at peak performance with the highest levels of data protection and security.

The company uses CVS in place of Amazon EFS to manage their massive file data. Cloud Volumes Service enables the company to carve up capacity and easily assign different quality of service settings as needed. And CVS offers much more: It operates enterprise-grade features like high performance, automated data movement between tiers, dynamic service levels, and strong security for an optimal cloud operating environment—all easily managed in CVS’s simplified interface.

There is no refactoring (rewriting) necessary to migrate applications. Each CVS volume provides POSIX-compliant NFS and SMB interfaces, dynamic service tiers to balance performance and price, and a rich data management environment for financial services file data. Cloud Sync easily and quickly imports to Cloud Volumes Service from a variety of sources, including the company’s on-premises servers. Direct connection from customer data sites occurs over an NFS encrypted pipe to Cloud Volumes Service on AWS.

The company also makes extensive use of Cloud Volumes ONTAP for AWS. Cloud Volumes ONTAP is an enterprise-grade data storage management platform that runs as an instance on AWS storage. Cloud Volumes ONTAP virtualizes on-premises and cloud-based storage into a powerful virtual array with high availability, DR, efficient storage, centralized management, dedupe, thin provisioning, and automated data tiering to Amazon S3.

 The enterprise in question listed the following key benefits of NetApp AWS cloud solutions:

  •  Uniform solution for all of the company’s AWS accounts
  •  Fast and low-cost encrypted data transfer from internal and external customer data centers to Amazon S3
  •   Production SLAs of RPO of 0 on multi-zone high availability storage, and RTO of under an hour on multi-region DR storage
  •  Multi-protocol support (NFS/CIFS/iSCSI)
  •  NetApp FlexClone speeds up dev/test cycles by instantly creating full virtual copies of data volumes

The enterprise’s director of storage and systems wrapped up their partnership with NetApp. “We need more from our storage than some cookie-cutter approach. With NetApp, our customers can buy familiar enterprise storage for on-premises or hosting. Meanwhile, Cloud Volumes ONTAP uses essentially the same code base to migrate the data to our fully virtualized environment on AWS. NetApp also gives us enterprise-grade features in the cloud that we believe no other vendor or cloud provider has.”

Product Marketing Manager, Cloud Data Services