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Cloud Volumes ONTAP Feature Spotlight: Storage Efficiency Case Studies

While there are many compelling reasons to move your infrastructure to the cloud, dealing with storage costs can be a tricky business. If you aren’t careful about how you use your resources, you may find that your cloud bills are going through the roof. Cloud Volumes ONTAP helps enterprises avoid that situation with its suite of storage efficiency features.

What is data compression? What is thin provisioning vs. thick provisioning? Anyone who is familiar with NetApp’s ONTAP systems should have a good idea how to answer these questions, but for those who don’t, this post will explain these features and how several enterprise businesses have used them to dramatically cut their cloud storage costs.

Meet the Storage Efficiency Features of Cloud Volumes ONTAP

NetApp’s storage efficiency technologies have been used for years to reduce storage consumption on-premises, and with Cloud Volumes ONTAP, those features are now available to reduce cloud data storage costs as well.

Data Compression

Data compression automatically compresses data blocks, reducing the amount of storage space consumed, saving up to 87%, depending on the application.

Data Deduplication

Data deduplication eliminates duplicate data blocks by saving a pointer to the original block, reducing storage usage as much as 90%, depending on the application.

Data Compaction

Data compaction automatically combines remaining small chunks of data into single 4 KB physical blocks.

Thin Provisioning

Thin provisioning allocates storage only when data is being written to a volume rather than allocating ahead of time based on peak demand.

Data Tiering

Data tiering automatically tiers infrequently used data from block to lower-cost object storage. For more, read the data tiering feature spotlight here.

NetApp Snapshot Copies

NetApp Snapshot™ technology creates point-in-time snapshots that are extremely space efficient, saving only data changes.

FlexClone Data Clones

Using Snapshot technology, FlexClone® writable data clones are created instantaneously, consuming storage only for changes that are made to the clone.

Customer Success Stories with Cloud Volumes ONTAP Storage Efficiencies

Let’s take a look at five Cloud Volumes ONTAP enterprise customer case studies to see how these storage efficiencies can be leveraged to minimize storage usage and cloud storage spend.

Reach PLC: 50% Storage Reduction

One of the most prominent UK news publishers, Reach caters to millions of readers every day. It publishes 200+ print and online newspapers which include the Sunday Mirror and the Daily Mirror. A few years back, Reach (formerly Trinity Mirror) adopted a hybrid cloud strategy and started to transfer its workloads to AWS. The company turned to NetApp to ease the migration process and to apply NetApp’s storage efficiencies across Reach’s hybrid cloud infrastructure.

By using Cloud Volumes ONTAP’s range of storage efficiencies, such as deduplication, thin provisioning, and compression, Reach was able to reduce its AWS storage bills by 50%. It was able to cut costs even further by harnessing Cloud Volumes ONTAP’s data tiering functionality, tiering infrequently-used data to the lower-cost S3 storage automatically, and moving it back when needed. Since Reach manages an immense amount of data, including vast image libraries, tiering this data had an enormous positive effect on the company’s operations and on its cost savings. The capital saved exceeded Reach’s expectations and could be diverted to additional growth and development. 

Read the full case study here.

Mellanox Technologies is a supplier of ethernet and InfiniBand Interconnect solutions. The multinational company serves different sectors, including telecom, financial services, and network security, maximizing its customers’ business performance with solutions that include network adapters, processors, switches and cables.

Mellanox: 69% Storage Reduction

Mellanox was looking for a way to centralize its data centers scattered in different manufacturing sites around the globe into one shareable and scalable platform. NetApp’s hybrid cloud solution was the perfect fit, providing the company with a platform that unifies their workloads on-premises and in the cloud.

By employing Cloud Volumes ONTAP’s deduplication feature, Mellanox reduced its production data footprint by 69%. The enterprise decreased its storage costs even further, by tiering 90% of its cold backup and disaster recovery data to Azure Blob, the object storage service on Azure.

Mellanox’s operations are now centralized on Cloud Volumes ONTAP’s unified, scalable, and cost-efficient platform. Data can be accessed like never before from disparate factory sites, producing insights and driving innovation through the company at unprecedented ease and speed, reducing time to market.

Read the full case study here.

D2L (Desire to Learn): 60% Storage Reduction

The Canada-based D2L has been transforming education through technology for the past 20 years with its e-learning and online-based learning services platforms. It has a broad customer base which includes K-12, higher education, and corporate customers from all around the globe. The company was faced with serious challenges when it scaled its online learning platform to accommodate millions of users and thousands of educational institutions and corporations. Suddenly D2L had to handle multiple petabytes of data, and discovered that its infrastructure was hardly capable of keeping up with the demand for highly available content. To solve this, D2L migrated its cloud-based learning services to AWS and began using Cloud Volumes ONTAP. 

NetApp’s storage efficiency features helped D2L save significant time and money. In using Cloud Volumes ONTAP’s deduplication technology, D2L could decrease the number of files to be transferred to AWS, reducing the storage space of its various workloads by as much as 60%. In addition, NetApp’s snapshot copies allowed D2L to replicate its data more easily and efficiently, accelerating the transfer of data to the cloud. After migration, those same NetApp features continued to enhance D2L’s operations, ensuring workloads are highly available, and increasing the company’s ability to scale by a factor of ten. 

Read the full case study here.

Concerto Cloud: 96% Storage Reduction

Concerto Cloud Services provides its customers with fully managed private, public, and hybrid cloud solutions. As a one-stop shop, Concerto eases its customers’ IT operations, aids them in securing applications, managing risk, and reducing operational challenges.

Concerto is expanding at a fast pace. With its data footprint more than doubling every year as additional customers transferred their in-house infrastructure to Concerto’s systems, Concerto was exceeding its storage performance limits. To overcome this problem, the enterprise turned to NetApp.

NetApp offered an immediate remedy to this problem. By using Cloud Volumes ONTAP’s deduplication and compression capabilities, Concerto’s 5.4 PB of production data could be protected using a mere 203 TB in AWS—a data reduction of 96%. In addition, Concerto uses Cloud Volumes ONTAP as a single point for its disaster recovery strategy across all its production centers, using NetApp’s SnapMirror® data replication technology to replicate data, and eliminate duplicate capacity that was formerly needed to protect every site. Consequently, not only does Concerto enjoy zero planned downtime and swift data recovery, but it was able to free up 50% of the storage in its data centers.

Read the full case study here.

TechnologyOne: 85% Storage Reduction

One of the largest software companies in Australia, TechnologyOne caters to over 1000 clients worldwide. After experiencing a three-day outage in 2011 due to a natural disaster, TechnologyOne decided to start using AWS as the core of their operations. After several years, the enterprise found that managing their customers’ storage was becoming increasingly difficult, so they searched for an end-to-end storage management solution. They chose to partner with NetApp and began to use Cloud Volumes ONTAP as a cost-efficient, reliable and scalable solution for their hybrid multi-cloud infrastructure.

By leveraging Cloud Volumes ONTAP’s portfolio of storage efficiencies, TechnologyOne was able to reduce its production data footprint by 85%. This translates into a seven-figure sum in savings. The Cloud Volumes ONTAP single-pane interface increased flexibility and visibility, producing not only a reduction in costs, but also an increase of storage performance by a factor of ten, and extended the company’s SLA to 99.999% availability.

Read the full case study here.


The case studies above illustrate the considerable role storage efficiencies can play in enhancing business operations and in lowering storage costs. No matter which cloud you’re using—AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud—Cloud Volumes ONTAP’s data compression, deduplication, compaction, thin provisioning, and data tiering can help cut your storage usage and lower your cloud data storage costs.

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Yifat Perry, Technical Content Manager

Technical Content Manager