NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP Review

Provides deduplication, compression, and compaction that should result in cost savings

What is our primary use case?

Desktop-as-a-service is a PoC that I'm doing for our customers to allow them to use NetApp for their personal, departmental, and profile shares. This connects their desktop-as-a-service that we're building for them.

This is for training. The customer has classrooms that they have set up. They have about 150,000 users coming through. They want to have a way to do a secure, efficient solution that can be repeated after they finish this class, before the next class comes in, and use a NetApp CVO as well as some desktop services off of the AWS. 

It is hosted by AWS. Then, it hosted by CVO who sets out some filers, as well Cloud Volumes Manager as well. We were looking at it with Azure as well, because it doesn't matter. We want to do a multicloud with it.

How has it helped my organization?

We haven't put it into production yet. However, in the proof of concept, we show the use of it and the how you can take it in Snapshot daily coverage, because we're doing it for a training area. This allows them to return back to where they were. The bigger thing is if they need to reset up for a class, then we can have a goal copied or flip back where they need to be.

It gives a solution for storage one place to go across everything. So, the customer is very familiar with NetApp on-prem. It allows them to gain access to the file piece. It helps them with the training aspect of it, so they don't have to relearn something new. They already know this product. They just have to learn some widgets or what it's like in the cloud to operate and deploy it in different ways.

The customer knows the product. They don't have to train their administrators on how to do things. They are very familiar with that piece of it. Then, the deduplication, compression, and compaction are all things that you would get from moving to a CVO and the cloud itself. That is something that they really enjoy because now they're getting a lot of cost savings off of it. We anticipate cloud cost savings, but it is not in production yet. It should be about a 30 percent savings. If it is a 30 percent or better savings, then it is a big win for the customer and for us.

What is most valuable?

  • Dedupe
  • Compression
  • Compaction
  • Taking 30 gig of data and reducing it down to five to 10 gig on the AWS blocks.

What needs improvement?

I would some wizards or best practices following how to secure CVO, inherit to the Cloud Manager. I thought that was a good place to be able to put stuff like that in there. 

I would like some more performance matrices to know what it is doing. It has some matrices inherent to the Cloud Volumes ONTAP. But inside Cloud Manager, it would also be nice to see. You can have a little Snapshot, then drill down if you go a little deeper. 

This is where I would like to see changes, primarily around security and performance matrices.

For how long have I used the solution?

We are still in the proof of concept stage.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a good system. It is very stable as far as what I've been using with it. I find that support from it is really good as well. It is something that I would offer to all of my customers.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is easy to scale. It is inherent to the actual product. It will move to another cloud solution or it can be managed from another cloud solution. So, it's taken down barriers which are sometimes put out by vendors in different ways.

How was the initial setup?

We use NetApp Cloud Manager to get up and running with Cloud Volumes ONTAP. Its configuration wizards and ability to automate the process are easy, simple, and straightforward. If you have any knowledge of storage, even to a very small amount, the wizards will click through and help to guide you through the right things. They make sure you put the right things in. They give some good examples to make sure you follow those examples, which makes it a bit more manageable in the long run.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

They use some native things that are inherent to the AWS. They have looked at those things. 

NetApp has been one of the first ones that they looked at, and it is the one that they are very happy with today.

What other advice do I have?

Work with your resources in different ways, as far as in NetApp in the partner community. But bigger than that, just ask questions. Everybody seems willing to help move the solution forward. The biggest advice is just ask when you don't know, because there is so much to know.

I would rate the solution as a nine (out of 10).

We're not using inline encryption right now.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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