Migrating to the Cloud? Enable a Fast, Safe Trip
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This article was written by Karl Konnerth, Sr. Product Manager for Cloud Volumes Service at NetApp.
Imagine your dream vacation. You've booked your ticket, packed your bags, and called a cab to take you to the airport. Everything is going according to plan.
But even with everything in place, reality can differ vastly from your vision. Perhaps the trip costs more that you budgeted, or takes longer than you expected. If you're dealing with multiple airlines or modes of transportation, making the right connections (without losing your luggage or your patience) can be tough. And that's just getting there. Arriving — and even just staying — can add a whole new realm of complexity.
Now: Picture getting your data-intensive VMware workloads to the cloud. All the complex logistics of a perfect vacation? Apply those to your virtual machines (VMs). But it doesn't have to be overwhelmingly difficult or inconvenient. NetApp® Cloud Volumes Service for Google Cloud and VMware Engine make it quick, easy, and cost-effective to get your critical workloads safely to the cloud—and to keep them there.
VMware Engine is a native VMware vSphere environment that's fully integrated with Google Cloud. That means you can move your VMware workloads to Google Cloud without any major modification — what we call a true lift-and-shift migration solution. All management, networking services, and back-end infrastructure, as well as the operating platform, are run at scale by Google Cloud. It doesn't get any easier than that.
But as you know, virtualized enterprise applications and databases can be data-intensive, and the amount of data they generate is continually growing. Adding Cloud Volumes Service to the picture enables you to augment the native VMware Engine datastore without paying for extraneous compute. A fully managed solution for file storage, Cloud Volumes Service gives you all the data management capabilities of NetApp ONTAP® software, including data protection. Using SMB or NFS protocols, you can connect Cloud Volumes Service volumes to your VM guests to store large amounts of data or share data between VMs.
- Cloud Volumes Service is the only easy, viable SMB solution with native data protection available for VMware Engine today. It's fully documented and supported.
- You'll save money by being able to scale storage independently of compute — up to 100TB per volume without adding nodes.
- You'll extend the capabilities of VMware Engine for a more comprehensive solution.
Cloud Volumes Service for Google Cloud, combined with VMware Engine, supports a variety of use cases:
- Data center exit initiatives. Because VMware Engine is natively integrated with VMware, there's no need to redesign your code. So, it's quick and easy to get your VMware applications out of the data center and into the cloud. You'll preserve your investment in tools, skills, and staff for even greater efficiency. For example, you can use your existing VMware HCX and vSphere replication tools to move VM-based applications in bulk or move selected VMs with zero downtime. By adding Cloud Volumes Service to this equation, you can separate data from VM disks onto individual SMB shares or NFS volumes for greater cloud mobility and cost efficiency. One large enterprise used Cloud Volumes Service with VMware Engine to support their exit from two U.S. data centers. Cloud Volumes Service was the only SMB volume service that could support their Active Directory requirements and add volume replication for data protection. They've migrated about 400TB of data so far using the guest access method.
- Application file sharing. Applications often need to share data, such as for an ETL (extract, transform, load) pipeline. Or key information might be shared between enterprise resource planning (ERP), human resources, and customer relationship management (CRM) applications. Cloud Volumes Service for Google Cloud enables you to share files between multiple VMs that are hosted in VMware Engine. Files can also be shared between applications running in a VMware Engine VM with Google Compute Engine (GCE) VMs or Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) containers.
- Database workloads and backups. Cloud Volumes Service delivers the performance you need to run your database applications directly on an SMB or NFS share. (To learn more, see this report). In addition to hosting the database directly on Cloud Volumes Service, you can also use its volumes to store database backups for easier recovery if data loss or inconsistency occurs.
- Virtual desktop home directories and profiles. Virtual desktops often need file shares for personal and group files and to manage profiles for each user. Cloud Volumes Service volumes can store thousands of profiles for a VDI deployment.
- DevTest environments. You can also apply Cloud Volumes Service features in support of VM-based application development and testing. NetApp Snapshot™ copies can serve as checkpoints when you're making major changes to an application, or as fast clones for application changes and testing — so you don't have to touch the original volume data.
NetApp and the Google Cloud VMware Engine team are hard at work on a new, hardier solution for your VMware. Keep an eye on our blog for new developments. And register for our September 16 webinar to find answers to all of your VM questions.