NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP Valuable Features

John Hegyi
Lead Storage Engineer at a insurance company with 5,001-10,000 employees
I'm very familiar with working from the command line, but Unified Manager, System Manager, and Cloud Manager are all GUI-based. It's easy for somebody who has not been exposed to this for years to pick it up and work with it. Personally, for the most part, I like to get in with my secure CRT and do everything from the command line. We do a lot of DR testing of our environment, so we're using a couple of components. We use Unified Manager to link with WFA, Workflow Automation, and we do scripted cut-overs to build out. We use the mirroring to mirror our volumes to our DR location. We also create snapshots for backups. Snapshots will create a specified snapshot to be able to do a DR test without disrupting our standard mirrors. That means we can create a point-in-time snapshot, then use the ability of FlexClones to make a writeable volume to test with, and then blow it away after the DR test. We could also do that in an actual disaster. All we would do is quiesce and break our mirrors, our volumes would become writeable, and then we would deploy our CIFS shares and our NFS mounts. We would have a full working environment in a different geographic location. Whether you're doing it on-prem or in the cloud, those capabilities are there. But that's all done at a lower level. The data protection provided by the Snapshot feature is a crucial part of being able to maintain our environment. We stopped doing tape-based backups to our NAS systems. We do 35 days of snapshots. We keep four "hourlies," two dailies, and 35 nightly snapshots. This gives us the ability to recover any data that's been accidentally deleted or corrupted, from an application perspective, and to pull it out as a snapshot. And then there are the point-in-time snapshots, being able to create one at a given point in time. If I want to use a FlexCone to get at data, which are just pointers to the back-end data, right now, and use that as a writeable volume without interrupting my backup and DR capabilities, those point-in-time snapshots are crucial. The user can go and recover the file himself so we don't have to have a huge number of people working on recovering things. The user has the ability to get to that snapshot location to recover the file and go however many days back. Being that it's a read-only a file to the user community, users can get at that data, as long as they have proper rights to that file. Somebody else could not get to a file for which they don't have rights. There's no security breach or vulnerability. It just provides the ability for a user who owns that data to get to a backup copy of that data, to recover it, in case they've deleted or had a file corruption. We also use their File Services Solutions in the cloud, CIFS and NFS. It works just as well as on-prem. The way we configure an environment, we have the ability to talk back to our domain controllers, and then it uses the standard AD credentials and DNS from our on-prem environments. Cloud Volumes ONTAP in the cloud, versus Data ONTAP on-prem, are the exact same products. If you have systems on-prem that you're migrating to the cloud, you won't have to retrain your workforce because they'll be used to everything that they'll be doing in the cloud as a result of what they've been doing on-prem. In that sense, Cloud Volumes ONTAP is the exact same product, unless you're using a really old version of Data ONTAP on-prem. Then there's the standard change between Data ONTAP versions. View full review »
Christian Gruetzner
Architect, Storage Services at All for One Steeb AG
The high availability of the service is a valuable feature. We use the HA version to run two instances. That way there is no downtime for our services when we do any maintenance on the system itself. For normal upgrades or updates of the system - updates for security fixes, for example - it helps that the systems and that the service itself stay online. For one of our customers, we have 20 systems attached and if we had to ride that customer all the time and say, "Oh, sorry, we have to take your 20 systems down just because we have to do maintenance on your shared file systems," he would not be amused. So that's really a huge benefit. And there are the usual NetApp benefits we have had over the last ten years or so, like snapshotting, cloning, and deduplication and compression which make it space-efficient on the cloud as well. We've been taking advantage of the data protection provided by the snapshot feature for many years in our on-prem storage systems. We find it very good. And we offload those snapshots as well to other instances, or to other storage systems. The provisioning capability was challenging the first time we used it. You have to find the right way to deploy but, after the first and second try, it was very easy to automate for us. We are highly automated in our environment so we use the REST API for deployment. We completely deploy the Cloud Volumes ONTAP instance itself automatically, when we have a new customer. Similarly, deployment on the Cloud Volumes ONTAP for the Volumes and access to the Cloud Volumes ONTAP instance are automated as well. But for that, we still use our on-premise automations with WFA (Workflow Automation). NetApp has a tool which simplifies the automation of NetApp storage systems. We use the same automation for the Cloud Volumes ONTAP instances as we do for our on-premise storage systems. There's no difference, at the end of the day, from the operating system standpoint. In addition, NetApp's Cloud Manager automation capabilities are very good because, again, it's REST-API-driven, so we can completely automate everything. It has a good overview if you want to just have a look into your environment as well. It's pretty good. Another feature which gets a lot of attention in our environment is the File Services Solutions in the cloud, because it's a completely, fully-managed service. We don't have to take care of any updates, upgrades, or configurations. We're just using it, deploying volumes and using them. We see that, in some way, as being the future of storage services, for us at least: completely managed. View full review »
Padmaja Reddy
Storage Architect at NIH
The most valuable feature is the migration should be seamless. Basically, we shouldn't be spending a whole lot budget-wise. We would like to have something reasonable. What's happening right now is when we try to develop a cloud solution, we don't see the fine print. Then, at the end of the day, we are getting a long bill that says, "Okay, this is that, that is what." So, we don't want those unanticipated costs. We use the solution’s inline encryption using SnapMirror. We did get Geoaudits and things like that. In other words, everything put together is a security. It's not like just storage talking to the cloud, it's everything else too: network, PCs, clients, etc. It's a cumulative effort to secure. That's where we are trying to make sure there are no vulnerabilities. Any vulnerabilities are addressed right away and fixed. The solution’s Snapshot copies and thin clones in terms of operational recovery are good. Snapshot copies are pretty much the write-in time data backups. Obviously, critical data is snapshotted more frequently, and even clients and end users find it easier to restore whatever they need if it's file-based, statical, etc. The solution’s Snapshot copies and thin clones has affected our application development speed positively. It has affected us in a very positive way. From Snapshots, copies, clones, and things, they were able to develop applications, doing pretty much in-house development. They were able to roll it out first in the test environment of the R&D department. The R&D department uses it a lot. It's easy for them because they can simulate production issues while they are still in production. So, they love it. We create and clone for them all the time. The solution helped reduced our company's data footprint in the cloud. They're reducing it by two petabytes of data in the cloud. All of the tape data, they are now writing to the cloud. It's like we have almost reached the capacity that we bought even before we knew we were going to reach it. So it's good. It reduces labor, because with less tapes, you don't have to go around buying tapes and maintaining those tapes, then sending them offsite, etc. All that has been eliminated. View full review »
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Eyal Shimony
Sr. Manager at a tech vendor with 10,001+ employees
The snapshot ability we're using is very good, SnapMirror. For example, we have a vault account and we can SnapMirror our volumes to that vault account. It has a NetApp that sits on it as three buckets and acts as our offset backups. The FlexClones make all the management easier for us. View full review »
SystemsPd6ff
Systems Programmer at a university with 10,001+ employees
The ability for our users to restore data from the Snapshots is very valuable. View full review »
reviewer1223481
Storage Admin at a comms service provider with 5,001-10,000 employees
The most valuable feature is DR backups. ONTAP's snapshot copies and thin clones in terms of operational recovery are pretty useful in recovering your data from a time in a snapshot. That's pretty useful for when you have an event where a disaster struck and then you need to recover all your data. It's pretty helpful and pretty fast in those terms. We use SnapMirror inline encryption for security in the cloud. A lot of people, especially legal, want their data to be protected. That's what we use it for. Snapshot copies and thin clones have made our recovery time a lot faster. Doing a restore from a snapshot is a lot better than trying to do a restore from a backup. In terms of time management and managing our infrastructure, we are a lot better because of the consistency of storage management across clouds. I wouldn't say it has reduced our data footprint in the cloud because whatever we were using was basically a lift and shift as of right now. We are hoping as we go we'll be able to take advantage of all the storage efficiencies like compression and all that. Hopefully, that'll save us quite a lot of space and time. View full review »
GeorgeLavrov
Consultant at I.T. Blueprint
The most valuable features are the ease of management, the deduplication, storage optimization, SnapMirror, it has flexible in testing for different scenarios, rapid deployment of the test environments, and rapid recovery. The fast recovery time objective with the ability to bring the environment back to production in case something happens. The ability to go back in time. It's easy to restore the data that we need and it has good stability with CIFS. When a client is using CIFS to access their files, it is pretty stable without knowing Microsoft issues. The simplicity and ease of usage for VMware provisioning are also helpful. View full review »
SeniorMa9b1f
Senior Manager, IT CloudX at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
What is most valuable is that the system is the same as what we use on-prem. So the guys who are responsible here for managing NetApp feel comfortable with it& and that they have enough knowledge to manage the system in the cloud. We are able to& keep the same standards that we have on-prem in the cloud. The usability is& great. We don't have any issues with it. We're using snapshots as well and it's a pretty useful feature. That& is one of the main NetApp benefits. Knowing how to use snapshots in the on-prem environment, using snapshots on the cloud solution was natural for us. View full review »
Ed Alexander
Senior System Engineer at Red Hat
ONTAP is extremely reliable. View full review »
reviewer1223403
Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
* Dedupe * Compression * Compaction * Taking 30 gig of data and reducing it down to five to 10 gig on the AWS blocks. View full review »
AbnerCordova
Storage Specialist at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Replication to the cloud is the most valuable feature. Deduplication and compression are also very important to us. We are in the process of adopting the cloud. We are going to AWS and we are trying to do a safety technician call out with integration to the cloud. NetApp allows us to move some of the volumes to the cloud, at the same time that we continue providing the cloud services that we have on-premises. We are in the process of doing various plans for all equipment in order to do acceptable recovery of products in the new environment. View full review »
Matt Ebert
Storage Supervisor at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
Some of the most valuable features of ONTAP for us are the reliability and availability. We have a lot of built-in functionality within ONTAP to provide back-ups and restore at the volume level. Also, individually if we need to restore specific files within a volume. It's been very helpful us to have that. Within ONTAP, some of the new features that we've been utilizing recently are the FabricPools which we think is great. One of the new services is the cloud volume service that's available within AWS and Azure that we're really liking. We use ONTAP in the public cloud for Linux NFS mounts, as well as Windows CIFS volume shares. A lot of times multiple applications or systems will need to share that data and NetApp ONTAP in the cloud really allows for all those applications to utilize shared data in their application communication. NetApp ONTAP, easily, in our environment, allows for a 3:1 compression ration on average. That's really helped, whether it be on-premise or in the cloud, to help drive down cost utilization in our systems. There's a number of systems that we have that run pretty high utilization. That data reduction helps us prevent from having to continue to expand those systems. View full review »
RazvanOprea
Sr Storage Engineer at Ripe NCc
For us, the value comes from the solution's flexibility, speed, and hopefully cost savings in the long term. View full review »
reviewer1223607
Systems Engineer at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
The ability to Snapshot and SnapMirror between locations is the most valuable. The solution’s Snapshot copies and thin clones in terms of operational recovery works very effectively. If you want to automate it, use SnapCenter 2.0. Otherwise, do it manually. It's not that hard to do. View full review »
reviewer1223592
Pre-sales SE at a software R&D company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Our customer finds SnapMirror to be valuable. View full review »
reviewer1223382
Sr Systems Engineer at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
The most valuable features are the native filer capabilities because a lot of SAN providers don't do that. When they do it, they do it with an appliance or a secondary. With this, it is just baked in right there on the system that you require. You don't have to have anything extra. The solution’s Snapshot copies and thin clones in terms of operational recovery are the best thing since sliced bread. Rollback is super easy. It's just simple, and it works. It's very efficient. View full review »
LeadStord24a
Lead Storage Operations at Autodesk, Inc.
The most valuable feature of Data ONTAP is it's very user-friendly, It gives the administrator or engineer a lot of scope to look into the locks. It has a fair amount of visibility into what is happening. We do not have to depend on the support all the time. If you have a fair amount of experience with NetApp, you can work on it very easily. View full review »
OliverJuliano
Systems Engineer at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
The solution's Snapshot copies and thin clones is a really fast and easy method for recovery. View full review »
Asim Masood
Director of Applications at Coast Capital Savings Credit Union
It manages our environments with a single purview of data management, especially as each variant of ONTAP uses identical metadata and file system formats. Then, data can be universally managed and manipulated throughout the data fabric. SnapMirror helps mirror metadata and data volumes between endpoints in a data fabric. View full review »
PrakashKanniayan
Sr Systems Engineer at Ucare
The most valuable feature of this solution is that it makes our data readily available and we don't have to go through a lot of trouble to access it. View full review »
reviewer952908
Storage Engineer at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
Multiprotocol is the most valuable feature because Amazon was not able to provide us with access to the same data from Linux and from Windows clients. That was our value proposition for CVO, Cloud Volumes ONTAP. The operational recovery of snapshot copies and thin clones is very fast and efficient. We do a lot of database refreshes, and the dual clones and copies have reduced a lot of operational time. View full review »
James Koepsel
Principal Architect at a aerospace/defense firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
* SnapMirror * SnapVault * Fast, persistent storage in the cloud View full review »
SrSystemf052
Senior System Engineer at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
The support is its most valuable feature. They provide on-call support and responds to issues in a timely fashion It also offers disaster recovery. View full review »
TzvikaKlinger
CTO at Poria
The most valuable features are that it's easy to manage and it's reliable. I haven't had to restore the Snapshot copies and thin clones. Every time I check, it's working. I don't use the inline encryption. View full review »
Fran Maita
Analyst at a non-tech company with 201-500 employees
La característica más valiosa se define por la seguridad en la que se muestran los datos y las acciones recíprocas para establecer los criterios de búsqueda. Su funcionalidad y soporte técnico son adecuados para ayudar a prevenir fallas debido a errores. Funciona muy bien con datos externos cargados en la nube desde otras plataformas. La integración ha sido exitosa y segura. View full review »
reviewer1223556
Solution Architect at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
The most valuable features of this solution are SnapShot, FlexClone, and deduplication. View full review »
AwsArchi57bf
AWS Architect at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
* Ease of file storage. * Ease of use. View full review »
LUCAS GIANPAOLO
Project Development Coordinator at a logistics company with 51-200 employees
One of the features of this tool is the ease of use, in addition to the control access and the dynamics with which it is structured. View full review »
Find out what your peers are saying about IBM Spectrum Scale vs. NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP and other solutions. Updated: November 2019.
382,399 professionals have used our research since 2012.
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