From the birth of the hybrid cloud concept, companies have dreamed of finally achieving the elusive free-flowing workload migration. Moving or migrating virtual machines from on-premises to the public cloud has theoretically been possible for some time, but in practice it has proven difficult. Reasons for this difficulty include the differences between on-premises private clouds and public clouds, virtual machine file format differences (for example, Qcow, OVA, OVF), and virtual disk differences (for example, VHD, VMDK, .raw).
The introduction of containers has greatly reduced the barrier of format differences, making application mobility more realistic. Better yet, the largest hyperscale cloud providers have opted to use Kubernetes as their underlying container framework, providing a more consistent approach for customers.
One obstacle has remained: the inability to accomplish data mobility, in large part due to the lack of robust file storage services from cloud provider offerings. Nearly 80% of all file data is created through NFSv3, yet there are few options in the cloud to provide NFS features equivalent to what’s available in traditional on-premises file storage systems. File storage performance is an additional challenge because many enterprise applications storing file data require consistently high performance, often an expensive proposition in the cloud. Finally, customers face the challenge of providing data consistency between their traditional on-premises data and their public cloud datastores (volumes), which often require legacy utilities (rsync) and can carry painful ingress and egress charges.
What if we told you that NetApp now offers native cloud volumes that support multiple file access protocols (NFS, CIFS), provide rich features that enable customers to better manage their data, and provide consistently high performance delivered as a simple native cloud service? NetApp® Cloud Volumes deliver these benefits today: NFSv3, NFSv4, and SMB support; Snapshot™ copies to protect and restore your data; and features to migrate, replicate, and sync your data sources/destinations, whether they exist on-premises or in the cloud. All built to perform as they would on dedicated flash storage systems. Now customers can go from zero to 100TB storage services in a matter of seconds! You can have NetApp cloud data services on demand, when you need them, in the leading cloud offerings.
We are very excited about the future of cloud services and our ability to provide some really cool solutions for customers. More to come, so stay tuned.
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Sign up to test out the new NetApp Cloud Volumes for AWS to experience some of these features already available in the preview program.
Jonsi Stefansson is the vice president of Cloud Services at NetApp. He‘s based in Iceland. He joined NetApp through the Greenqloud acquisition, where he was the company’s CEO. Jonsi has great experience working in product development and operations from everything from startups to large-scale enterprises. Before Greenqloud, Jonsi was the technical director at Opera Software.