March 15, 2023
Cloud file sharing services and other cloud file services address one of the most important needs for enterprise companies today: the ability to share files with users all over the world without disruption and at scale. Enterprises have learned, though, that cloud file sharing requires a lot more than affordable, scalable storage. It must also be highly available, secure, and resilient.
In this blog we’ll look at some of the success stories of companies that have solved their file storage challenges by turning to Cloud Volumes ONTAP as a file sharing service in the cloud.
- Cloud File Sharing: An Overview
- File Sharing Success Stories with Cloud Volumes ONTAP
- EidosMedia: Global Publishing Platform on AWS
- A Major Financial Institution Transforms Its Business with Kubernetes on Azure and Google Cloud
- A Major Ship Builder Consolidates File Storage to Collaborate on Files Globally
- SCSK Uses BlueXP to Consolidate Files on AWS
- Industrial Cleaning Company Kärcher Consolidates Files on AWS
Cloud File Sharing: An Overview
What is File Sharing?
File sharing, whether public or private, means storing digital files – documents, multimedia, images, and so on – within a network and granting different levels of access privilege to these files. There are many types of file sharing and file sharing protocols. Cloud-based file sharing is often associated with host files for concurrent use within an organization.
The Challenges of a Cloud File Sharing Service
Despite all the compelling benefits, there are a number of challenges that need to be addressed when implementing enterprise file sharing in the cloud. It can be complex to ensure that users all around the world don’t encounter issues when concurrently accessing and sharing a large file system. The requirements also include high availability, protocol accessibility, data protection, controlling costs, automation, data security, and data mobility.
Read more about the challenges to orchestrating file share services in the cloud here. These are challenges that many enterprises have been able to solve with the help of BlueXP Cloud Volumes ONTAP.
File Sharing Success Stories with Cloud Volumes ONTAP
NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP is a data storage management solution that runs on AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, adding a rich layer of features and capabilities that address the challenges of enterprise-grade file sharing in the cloud. Cloud Volumes ONTAP supports all file-sharing protocols—including CIFS/ SMB, NFS, as well as S3 and iSCSI—and is designed for high availability and data mobility across hybrid and multicloud environments.
In this section we describe how three enterprises from diverse industries are leveraging Cloud Volumes ONTAP for robust, secure, and highly available file sharing.
EidosMedia: Global Publishing Platform on AWS
EidosMedia provides a next-generation digital publishing platform used by many of the world’s media giants, such as The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Washington Post, Le Monde, and Cox Media Group. EidosMedia’s customers need to be able to quickly publish new content at scale to a wide range of form factors—web, mobile, and print.
EidosMedia uses Cloud Volumes ONTAP to achieve the flexibility, low-latency, and reliability required in highly dynamic content creation and publication environments:
- With SnapMirror®’s highly efficient incremental data replication technology, data is mirrored and synchronized across storage environments anywhere in the world, to satisfy latency and data sovereignty requirements.
- With FlexClone® new writable data volumes can be cloned instantly with zero capacity penalty so that content is easy to replicate for DevOps work with, cutting development time and TTM.
- Breaking news can’t wait. With Cloud Volumes ONTAP HA (high availability) dual-node configuration EidosMedia and its customers benefit from automatic and non-disruptive failover and failback across AWS Availability Zones, with an RPO of zero and RTO of less than 60 seconds.
Read the full EidosMedia case study here.
A Major Financial Institution Transforms Its Business with Kubernetes on Azure and Google Cloud
This company is a major financial institution in Europe, serving corporate clients that number in the tens of thousands in its home country alone, and over 10 million individual customers in its private banking business. It also runs a subsidiary digital financial service in a number of Eastern European states with customers numbering in the millions. The company has bank branches in nearly 40 countries. Its revenue totals €8 billion annually.
The company was looking for a way to adopt and orchestrate a CI/CD driven containerized operations managed through OpenShift to a hybrid multicloud deployment. The data in the containers was mostly NFS-based file shares, though there was still a need for multi-protocol support.
With a long history of relying on NetApp products, the company found Cloud Volumes ONTAP to be the best solution for these challenges:
- Seamless migration of file share data from on-prem systems to the cloud on Azure and Google Cloud.
- Multi-SVM support in Cloud Volumes ONTAP makes it possible for each Cloud Volumes instance to act as two isolated environments: one for serving files and one to act as persistent storage for Kubernetes which can be provisioned directly from OpenShift.
- The BlueXP Terraform Provider provides a way to automate every aspect of its Cloud Volumes ONTAP cluster deployments.
- Hybrid and multicloud operability across on-prem ONTAP environments, Azure, and Google Cloud.
- The Cloud Volumes ONTAP high availability configuration ensures business continuity with RPO=0 and RTO>60 seconds.
- A full set of security features to keep data safe.
- Data protection is easy and cost-effective with BlueXP backup and recovery via Cloud Backup.
- Data governance with BlueXP classification, which automatically scans, classifies, and reports on file share data that can be security, cost, and regulatory concerns.
Read more about this leading financial company’s use case here.
A Major Ship Builder Consolidates File Storage to Collaborate on Files Globally
This Europe-based ship-making company operates globally, producing more than 150 vessels every year in over 35 shipyards, as well as providing maintenance and repair services. Its product line includes cargo ships, tugboats, luxury yachts, seafloor dredgers, patrol boats, ferries, and more. Its revenue in 2021 exceeded €2 billion.
There is a major drive towards innovation at the company, and storage is at the heart of these efforts. StorSimple had been the company’s solution for file shares, but with Microsoft announcing the end of support for the product, the company needed a new way for its teams to collaborate on shared files globally through a hybrid cloud solution.
To solve this problem, the company turned to NetApp, and found a combined solution in BlueXP Cloud Volumes ONTAP, Cloud Volumes Edge Cache, and Cloud Backup.
BlueXP was able to address all of the company’s challenges:
- Hundreds of terabytes of file data were moved seamlessly and quickly from StorSimple to Cloud Volumes ONTAP in Azure using BlueXP replication.
- BlueXP replication also makes it possible for data hosted on new ONTAP systems to easily sync and transfer with Cloud Volumes ONTAP, enabling a fully hybrid cloud architecture.
- Global file caching makes collaboration easier. Remote teams can access shared files from a local cache stored on the edge instance, guaranteeing fast access from any location across the globe.
- Cloud Backup gives the company a way to create unlimited data backups for the file share data in Cloud Volumes ONTAP and store them in object storage.
- With data tiering, infrequently used data is automatically tiered to object storage on Azure Blob until it’s needed and automatically tiered back to block storage, optimizing storage costs.
Read more in Azure StorSimple EOL: Using Cloud Volumes ONTAP for Hybrid Cloud Management.
SCSK Uses BlueXP to Consolidate Files on AWS
Sumitomo Computer Service Corporation (SCSK) provides a wide range of IT services, from system integration and infosec to cloud computing and B2B software, focusing mainly on its primary market in Japan. These services have made it crucial to companies in many different verticals, from heavy industry and utilities to media, retail, and big financials. The yearly revenue of the company is estimated to be around US $2 billion.
The cloud unit of SCSK’s business is rapidly growing. It provides its users with multicloud infrastructure and services to assist in digital transformation. At the same time, SCSK is in the process of moving more of its own operations to the cloud, including its shared user files. This data had been hosted on-prem and growing at an unmanageable rate of 130% per year.
BlueXP and Cloud Volumes ONTAP have been instrumental in solving these problems:
- Cloud Volumes ONTAP provided a scalable cloud file sharing solution on AWS for hundreds of millions of files—over 150 TBs in total—serving tens of thousands of users.
- Hybrid and mulitcloud operability with BlueXP allows the company to uniformly utilize data management and protection.
- Tiering infrequently used data to Amazon S3 object storage helped scale storage capacity at low costs. This reduced storage costs 90% for the file workload, which was a major cost savings.
- High availability across AWS AZs helps minimize downtime.
- Active Directory integration helps find and use data.
- BlueXP ransomware protection provides an automated way to monitor the file share data, looking for signs of intrusion, alerting about vulnerabilities, and speeding responses.
- Built-in storage efficiencies such as deduplication, compaction, and compression cut costs and reduce storage footprint by 20%.
Read the SCSK case study here (Japanese).
Industrial Cleaning Company Kärcher Consolidates Files on AWS
Kärcher is a family-owned German industrial cleaning company that has global operations to produce floor care devices, military-grade decontamination equipment, cleaning systems, high-pressure cleaners, water treatment systems, and more. This industry-leading company employs over 10,000 and has revenue in the billions of Euros.
Kärcher has relied on hosted NetApp systems for years to store and manage its shared files for user and department shares, simulation, and CAD data. With a push to adopt the cloud, Kärcher decided to extend its NetApp Data Fabric by leveraging Cloud Volumes ONTAP:
- With Cloud Volumes ONTAP, the company consolidates production workloads on AWS, gaining cloud flexibility and scalability, enhanced data protection, security, high availability, and cost efficiency.
- Global File Cache edges make it possible to bring file share data closer to remote branches for easier collaboration.
- Infrequently accessed data is automatically tiered to low-cost Amazon S3 object storage. With the storage cost savings provided by this capability, the company was able to extend its backup retention period from 30 days to 6 months.
Read the full Kärcher case study here.
Cloud file sharing is more cost-effective, elastic, and scalable than on-premises solutions. Cloud Volumes ONTAP further enhances these advantages with a rich set of features, including built-in storage efficiencies, automated storage tiering, incremental backups and reliable DR replications. And all of these capabilities are implemented and managed through a single-pane GUI interface.