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Cloud Cloud Data Management
7 minute read

NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP: Maximum Flexibility Across Clouds

Get a quick overview of CVO and learn how it can advance your organization’s cloud strategy.

In This Article

Today companies across all industries are leveraging cloud to drive business growth and innovation. But despite rapid cloud adoption, most traditional enterprise applications still run on premises. To migrate traditional applications to cloud, organizations need to modernize applications, acquire new knowledge and update policies. This can make their cloud journey slow, expensive and complex.

But fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way.

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Cloud Volumes ONTAP delivers capabilities that put you in control

NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP (CVO) is a data-control platform with data management capabilities and storage efficiencies that enterprise IT leaders have historically relied on in their data centers for file and block workloads. CVO gives you the freedom to run traditional and cloud-native applications anywhere — and move them across hybrid cloud without redesigning your code, your processes or your teams.

CVO deploys in your environment on top of your paid infrastructure in AWS, Azure and/or Google Cloud Platform (GCP), providing the ability to “stretch” your data between on-prem and your cloud of choice. CVO delivers file and block storage data services — including deduplication, compression, thin provisioning and zero detection — to optimize the data that lands in the cloud, shrinking your footprint and cloud spend as the data is either migrated to the cloud or created out in the hyperscaler.

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Data flexibility across clouds is fast and easy

For many organizations, flexibility in the cloud is a major sticking point when it comes to cloud adoption. CVO puts these concerns to rest with availability on all three major cloud platforms. No matter where 

your data lives, you can take advantage of all the features your traditional on-prem ONTAP array provides to make your data more available, agile and efficient.

This means you can run CVO where it makes sense for your business, users or apps. If you need multicloud availability for your data, no problem — it’s easy and fast to replicate that data between CVO instances in two different public clouds using NetApp SnapMirror. So rather than dealing with massive migrations that can take weeks or months, you can use SnapMirror to replicate data in your target of choice and incur only incremental charges.

Suppose, for example, you have cold data that no longer warrants the expense of its current location. Because SnapMirror provides support for any of the object stores in AWS, Azure or GCP, you can set up an asynchronous relationship with any type of bucket for tiering that data to a cheaper location. Then, if months or years down the road you find you need that data — to run further analytics, say, or for compliance, an audit or whatever — CVO would automatically tier that cold data out. 

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Cache, don’t carry

For greater efficiency distributing data among corporate locations, CVO features a built-in remote caching capability called FlexCache. NetApp FlexCache lets you cache only actively read data, rather than entire files or volumes, either locally within a data center or geographically dispersed at remote sites. 

Basically, this means you can have a primary origin volume, either on-prem or in the cloud, then use another CVO instance on-prem or in the cloud to extend your primary volume as a single namespace. So you don’t actually have to move your data around; you can just extend it as a cache volume. The nice thing about this is you don’t have to wait for all the data to replicate out there. You can spin it up and immediately start accessing individual files.

This greatly simplifies file distribution, reduces WAN latency and lowers WAN bandwidth costs. It enables distributed product development across multiple sites, as well as branch office access to corporate datasets. And because you’re caching only the bits of data you need, you don’t get hit with egress speeds.

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Use cases for CVO

As an all-purpose solution for your file and block workloads, CVO’s integrations support a wide variety of use cases. One of the most common is disaster recovery for your on-premises workloads. Maybe you don’t have a secondary site, or maybe you’re looking to reduce your datacenter costs. CVO is the ideal solution. You can use a variety of technologies to replicate your primary workloads to a CVO instance and gain instant offsite disaster recovery. 

Say you need a DR location quickly; simply spin up an instance out in the cloud. You can leave it running or power it down whenever you want — for example, power it up at night, get the replication information and power it down when that’s done. In the case of a DR event, you can send all the workloads to this cloud instance after you power back up.

With protocol support for iSCSI, SMB and NFS, CVO can provide storage for your born-in-the-cloud applications while reducing your cloud spend. Storage efficiencies built into Cloud Volumes ONTAP can cut down on your storage footprint and costs by up to 70 percent. If you have a single application running out in the cloud and you don’t want to spend a ton of money on all the EBS volumes required for it, you can use CVO to minimize those costs.

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What else does CVO offer?

Well, lots. Using Snapshot copies — read-only, point-in-time images of a volume — CVO delivers data protection without performance impact. A Snapshot is copy-and-write technology; you hit the button, it snaps and those blocks are locked in place. Then it redirects all writes to the new location. There’s no impact on performance; you’re just taking a point-in-time and locking those blocks where they are, so they can’t be deleted.

To support your ops, dev and test workloads, CVO enables instant cloning. The CVO FlexClone feature lets you create a writable, zero-capacity clone of any storage volume, whether on-prem or in the cloud. These clones, taken from Snapshots of the source volume, are created instantly, no matter the size of the volume. They don’t affect overall storage space unless you want to make changes to them.

There are also built-in features in CVO to detect and protect against ransomware; you can instantly revert to a Snapshot taken before that malware affected anything. And we already mentioned support for various protocols, including NFSv3 and v4, SMB 2.1 and 3.0, and 3.1.1 NAS. Unified code is traditional with ONTAP, so you’re not locked into only file or only block; you can do either.

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Let WWT show you how CVO works in a real-world environment

CVO doesn't simply run a standard copy of ONTAP built for dedicated hardware in a virtualized environment in the cloud. It’s written to integrate natively with cloud infrastructure, provide cost saving optimizations and provide simple access to data for customer workloads.

WWT delivers the technology and expertise to show you how Cloud Volumes ONTAP can help step up your operations in the cloud. Our Advanced Technology Center (ATC) is like no other testing and research lab. It’s a B2B platform built on a collection of physical labs, virtualized to create a collaborative innovation ecosystem. Use it to test or compare solutions in a replica of your environment — without impacting operations. We feature the latest technology from Silicon Valley heavyweights and emerging players, integrated by WWT.

In addition, WWT offers professional services to help you accelerate procurement cycles through a curated digital catalog of software, data and services — making it easy to find, test, buy and deploy the software and data products you need.

Take a look at how Cloud Volumes ONTAP works in a real-world environment.

Check out the lab.