Amazon Web Services Plus NetApp—A Win-Win Cloud Strategy for CIOs

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

― Aristotle


Amazon Web Services (AWS) and NetApp recently announced (November 29, 2012) the formation of a partnership to offer customers a hybrid cloud solution that leverages NetApp® data management technology with AWS’ proven and innovative cloud offerings. The result is a cloud solution that offers CIOs, CTOs, and CFOs a sensible, secure, and practical path to adopt the cloud and realize some key benefits: improve IT agility, optimize cost, and focus scarce IT resources on high-value activities to support the business.

Since we announced this partnership, customers and prospects have asked a lot of questions about the solution. To provide more information about this partnership and solution, I’m posting the answers to some of the questions that are most frequently asked.


What is NetApp Private Storage for Amazon Web Services?

NetApp Private Storage for AWS consists of dedicated NetApp storage and data management solutions deployed in an AWS-certified colocation facility. The dedicated NetApp storage is accessible to the AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and AWS Simple Storage Service (S3) by using high-bandwidth AWS Direct Connect. The solution essentially offers a new tier of storage for AWS users, enabling bidirectional data mobility for existing NetApp customers between on‐premises storage and NetApp storage residing in a Direct Connect colocation facility.


Why did Amazon partner with NetApp to deliver this solution?

Amazon is looking to move deeper into the enterprise markets where NetApp has a broad and loyal customer base (over 150,000 FAS systems deployed), making NetApp Data ONTAP® the #1 storage operating system in the world.


Why did NetApp partner with Amazon to deliver this solution?

The IT industry is in a transformative period where IT is shifting to an “as a service” model. Our customers are interested in leveraging private and cloud resources together. Partnering with the largest public cloud provider, AWS, enables NetApp customers to build hybrid infrastructures that leverage the strengths of private IT resources and public cloud together.


What about security—how secure is my data?

Security in the cloud is a huge concern for CIOs; questions about data integrity, protection, and guardianship are important considerations when selecting a cloud provider. The NetApp and AWS solution offers customers the best of both of worlds: on-premise enterprise data protection in the cloud. Because customers own the storage infrastructure, they know where their data is at all times, and they can leverage built-in data protection features to continue to protect their data in their accustomed manner. The only difference is that they now have access to massive compute resources (EC2), which they can use when and how they see necessary. Their data is always protected.


How is this different from Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3)?

Amazon S3 is designed to provide cloud storage as a service with scale at commodity prices, leveraging the Amazon infrastructure. NetApp Private Storage for Amazon Web Services enables NetApp customers to leverage the same performance, customization, compliance, and control they have with their on-premises NetApp storage, but within the Amazon cloud environment.


How is the solution supported?

The customer owns the NetApp hardware in the colocation facility. The colocation provider offers basic unpacking and installation of the equipment (racking), and NetApp support is provided through the customer’s support contract with NetApp. AWS Direct Connect, EC2, and S3 support is provided directly by AWS. In addition, this solution offers basic Elastic Block Storage (EBS) compatibility (via Direct Connect) for AWS EC2 instances. AWS support offers a highly personalized level of service for customers seeking technical help. Customers who do not select AWS support have access to basic support, offered at no additional charge, which includes the Resource Center, product FAQs, discussion forums, and support for health checks.


What does it mean to the CIO, the CFO, and the IT operations team and storage administrator?

  • CIOs can confidently implement a cloud strategy to support their business while minimizing risk and meeting data security and compliance requirements.
  • CFOs have a financially viable option to reduce major outlays of capital (capex) and employ a more predictable financial model (opex).
  • IT operations teams and storage administrators can continue to leverage their storage and data management best practices with confidence. Nothing really changes, because they continue to manage the NetApp infrastructure as they did before. Also, AWS is working with major enterprise technology vendors, like BMC Software, CA and others, to integrate their management and operations solutions to make it easy for IT departments to manage and operate emerging hybrid cloud environments.


Where can I find more information?

You can find more information about NetApp Private Storage for AWS on the NetApp Field Portal and at the AWS Marketplace. More information about AWS can be found here.


So, ready to create your AWS strategy with NetApp? If so, join the conversation at @netapp on Twitter


Great post Cesar!  Could you go into enterprise customer use cases a bit more?

We are finding customers who want to consolidate IT by leveraging NPSAWS.  In addition to moving more servers into AWS EC2, it's common for our customers to use 3rd party tools for getting rid of tape with Amazon Glacier. 

Be it COOP with SnapManager Suite, or cost-effective DR with AWS resources on-demand, our customers continue defining how NPSAWS fits as a cloud-gen "platform" for their IT needs.

If you would like to better understand how NPSAWS could be applied to your IT needs, please feel to reach out to us directly at or visit us at

This is truly a game-changing solution for companies of all sizes and provides a different perspective on "private cloud".