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NetApp Private Storage for Amazon Web Services

Today, at Amazon's 5500-attendee user conference, re: Invent in Las Vegas, NetApp announced NetApp Private Storage for Amazon Web Services. This is a tremendous validation of the value NetApp's Agile Data Infrastructure can bring to large-scale Cloud infrastructures and it's customers.

 

Amazon Web Services is a large player in providing Elastic, on demand, Web, Development, DR and Burst Compute environments for a wide range of customers.  Typically these customers are looking to build out their compute environments without the risk and associated capital cost requirements of building and hosting it themselves.  In true cloud fashion, Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) and S3 (Simple Storage Service) are self service, on-demand, elastic and pay per use services. 

 

The solution gives customers a way to better leverage a combination of public clouds and private data resources by essentially coupling an actual NetApp FAS system with Amazon EC2.  The customer owned, NetApp FAS is hosted in an AWS Direct Connect facility (http://aws.amazon.com/directconnect), essentially a Colocation allowing for low latency, high bandwidth connections directly into the Amazon Web Services Datacenters.  Customers are able to SnapMirror or simply copy their dataset to this Colocation facility for immediate use via iSCSI, NFS or CIFS to and from their EC2 environment.  All the core efficiencies and functionality NetApp FAS, with DataONTAP delivers, are made available for the Amazon customer to leverage.

 

Two weeks ago, Amazon Web Services announced certification for SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Supply Chain Man....  NetApp has a rich product and solution portfolio around SAP and thus most of this portfolio would be available to AWS customers who implement the NetApp private storage solution.  Click here for more possibilities around what SAP applications in combination with NetApp could look like.

 

One of the more interesting cases on the financial side are the combination or hybrid-financial models which could exist.  This solution would allow for the coexistence of an OpEx & CapEx or, with the help of a 3rd party, a pure OpEx model.  In this case the OpEx for EC2 and CapEx for NetApp private storage is interesting because the compute side tends to be more ‘bursty’ and variable in utilization levels whereas the storage tends to be more static.  Off course all the powerful NetApp data efficiencies are also fully exposed and available for the customer to take advantage of.

 

This new Cloud service, I believe, really changes the dynamics for everyone involved.  For Amazon they are able to expand into accommodating private storage for their customer base.  NetApp has the opportunity to help their existing customers harness the benefits of EC2 while utilizing private storage they’ve come to know and love.  On the IT Partner Ecosystem side of things, this opens up a lot of opportunities for Cloud experienced or non-Cloud experienced NetApp partners to participate in Hyperscale Cloud offerings like Amazon while still remaining true to their go to market model.

 

I’m truly proud to see this sort of solution coming to market and my imagination runs wild, thinking about the possibilities of how this can be taken further. 

 

Share your own ideas on what possibilities you can envision around this solution in the comments section below.  I would love to hear from you.

Comments
on ‎2012-11-28 02:04 PM

Great to hear NetApp getting tracking in this space and adapting to an ever-changing market

NetApp Employee on ‎2012-11-29 01:54 PM

Wow, this announcement does open up lots of possibilities!  I would love to see the CapEx and OpEx for a few "typical" use cases using AWS Direct Connect.  Maybe an idea for a future blog post?  Great stuff!

on ‎2012-12-01 10:21 AM

I truly appreciate the content of your blog.. Keep going.

on ‎2012-12-04 07:57 PM

What an exciting solution that brings together the strength of two industry leaders: NetApp and AWS.  At Avnet, we are excited to bring this integrated solution to the channel.  Whether your clients needs are the combined Cap Ex/Op Ex solutions or a full Op Ex solution, we will stand ready to support NetApp's partners with this integrated solution.  Please contact us at AvnetCloudSolutions@avnet.com for further information. 

on ‎2012-12-04 09:31 PM

Good Deal, but one question : how we gonna use this netapp storage in AWS facility ? is that EC2 instances can be created on top of Client's NetApp array which is placed in AWS facility ?

NetApp Employee on ‎2012-12-05 08:04 AM

Hi Suddhasil, The NetApp storage would be located in an AWS Direct Connect facility/Availability Zone:  http://aws.amazon.com/directconnect These facilities provide a close proximity, low latency high bandwidth connection directly into AWS but are not owned by AWS.  From the customer's EC2 instances they can mount data volumes located on the NetApp system via iSCSI, CIFS or NFS.

The benefits of doing this for the customer are that it opens up the Enterprise rich features of a NetApp FAS to the EC2 environment. Some examples of these would be FlexClone and all the rich storage efficiency features which drive down capitol costs and decreases development cycle times.  From a data compliance perspective, having data residing on their own equipment and in a datacenter/location which is known to them satisfies a lot of Enterprise data compliance requirements. NetApp having a uniform, unified architecture serving multiple protocols allow for the ease of integration into an environment such as AWS.

Use cases would include:

Disaster Recovery

Test/Dev/Cloud Burst

Global Load Balance

Tiered Backup

Migration and Consolidation

on ‎2012-12-07 05:52 PM

Great post Tim,

Excellent point about OPEX+CAPEX or just OPEX, lot's of options available to how people want to buy.  NetApp and AWS provide a rich ISV ecosystem which help us further customize the solution.

The response has been amazing.  We have a bunch of customers reaching out to us, and several pilots beginning this month in US-East.  Vaughn Stewart and I were interviewed on @thecloudcastnet

A detailed architecture and use cases can be viewed on our data sheet: http://day1solutions.com/netapp

on ‎2012-12-07 05:53 PM

Here is the link to the podcast interview @thecloudcastnet http://tinyurl.com/ntapaws

on ‎2012-12-27 03:08 AM

hey the post is absolutely amazing and mind blowing .... so keep up the good work and well done

on ‎2013-01-08 02:46 AM

Communication is necessary to stay touch and updated with customers and clients. appreciable post with usable information.