Introducing Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP


As an architect, when a new piece of tech comes along, sometimes you just can’t stop thinking about it or the infinite ways it could possibly be used. Every thought consumes you in a sort of fantasy configuration … a way to take advantage of it to enhance a workload or re-think how you build & manage it. Unfortunately, a product like that doesn’t come along that often, but mark your calendars, folks, because today is one of those days!

Today … well, today is a big day.

For years now, Amazon Web Services (or AWS) has led the charge in cloud computing, innovating across the entire technology ecosystem and enabling companies to build, deploy, and transition workloads from on-prem datacenters to the cloud. In some cases, they even extend their native services to your facilities with Outposts and allow you to Direct Connect your stuff to theirs with dedicated circuits.

Now NetApp has been partners, collaborators, and advocates for AWS and their services for a decade or more. I can remember as far back as 2012 installing ONTAP in an EC2 instance just to “see if it would work” and it did.

For the past few years, NetApp has made huge strides in developing our own cloud portfolio, building a vast powerful suite of products and services that all complement those of AWS and empower end users with the storage services they’ve known and loved from NetApp for decades. To date, however, these have all been handled independent of one another, and while they were tightly integrated, they were still managed on separate ends, and while it certainly enabled that sweet, sweet ONTAP functionality we all know and love, it still proved troublesome for some end users. Complicated and disconnected management panes, different consoles, different API endpoints, and varying configuration methods have all come with some level of frustration over the years.

So … what if we took our collaboration one step further? What if AWS adopted ONTAP as their own service and integrated it with many of their other native offerings, making the storage management features and functionality of ONTAP instantly available to any and all VPC’s in any region, all while providing support and billing themselves?

Well, it has arrived. Today, it gives me great pleasure to welcome ONTAP to the AWS portfolio.

Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP is a new storage and data management service that allows you to run fully-featured, fully-managed, enterprise-grade file systems powered by ONTAP natively in the cloud for the first time with no upfront commitments or costs, and you only pay for the resources you use.

Now, while it’s sinking in what a BIG frickin deal that is, for the sake of those that have never used or even heard of ONTAP and are curious as to why this is such a big deal, ONTAP is our proprietary storage OS for our all-flash and capacity storage systems here at NetApp, giving you an amazing set of data management features in a highly-available configuration that has granted us the title of #1 Storage operating system for many years now. Infrastructure admins and storage engineers have enjoyed and trusted ONTAP being the foundation of their datacenters for decades, with things like multi-protocol access, point-in-time snapshots for backups, and replication & sync for mirroring and cloning that makes it super simple to run and manage all of their file and application data. ONTAP even has a complete API to integrate with a user’s tools of choice, allowing you to standardize workflows and processes for managing storage built around ONTAP’s admin interfaces. If you wanted to move it to the cloud previously, it would require some level of reconfiguration of their applications, tools, and workflows to take advantage of other native services in AWS, and usually ended up being a non-starter for most customers. Not to mention the efficiencies you would lose with our world-class deduplication and compression tech.

With Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP, that same feature set is available to you NATIVELY in AWS as a completely managed service. You can migrate on-prem applications using ONTAP to AWS without having to modify code or how you manage your data. You can extend your existing ONTAP footprint on-prem into the cloud with things like SnapMirror, cascade your Backups with SnapVault, or even completely move entire divisions to AWS using the same data and management methods you would have used on-prem or with a secondary datacenter.

Imagine for a second if you could completely evacuate that expensive colo facility and make AWS your secondary site? What if you could move all DevTest to AWS and spin-up/spin-down resources in automated batch runs using sync’ed production data with SnapMirror? And all you had to do was pay a monthly bill instead of hosting racks of gear? Instead of spending 6 months racking, stacking, and configuring gear, simply connect Cloud Manager to your AWS account and setup and manage replication right from there! You can also turn on many of our additional services such as Cloud Insights and Cloud Data Sense to monitor and scan your data whether it’s on-prem or in the cloud or both!

This product has so much potential for our mutual AWS & NetApp customers. It is one of the most exciting launches I’ve had the privilege of being a part of, and I can’t wait to see what you all build with it!

For more information, check out AWS Storage Day and take it for a test drive!

Take care!

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