In This Case Study

Challenge

A privately held global holding company faced an executive-level mandate to move all its applications and associated data to the AWS public cloud by 2025. Although the company had started migrating some of its applications, it was experiencing extreme latency with referencing data still housed on-premises in the data center and within its colocation facilities.

There were also multiple branch offices that required access to critical customer forms held within a central repository. To add to the difficulty, all the company's data ran on legacy technology. This was problematic because the legacy system did not have a mechanism inside its environment to enhance the user experience or performance.

Solution

Our cloud data management and migration experts' proposed solution to simplify file distribution and reduce WAN latency consisted of NetApp® ONTAP® paired with NetApp's FlexCache technology. NetApp's remote caching system is designed to enable distributed product development across multiple sites and improve branch office access to corporate datasets.

This approach allowed the company to keep its data on-premises within its physical NetApp ONTAP storage array. The company used the storage array as the source, while holding a cached copy of the data in AWS at the same time. 

Now, when users reference those files, they're seamlessly pulled from a cached copy. Moreover, any changes made to the cached copy are automatically applied to the data both on-premises and in the AWS cloud -- thus significantly reducing latency and improving performance.

WWT helped the company validate this solution by conducting a proof of concept (POC) in our Advanced Technology Center (ATC). Because the POC environment in the ATC was built as in exact replication of the company's IT environment, the company was able to quickly learn what it'd actually be like to migrate multi-protocol data utilizing Datadobi, an unstructured data management software solution.

In the POC, we proved the company's user access and access controls would remain unchanged throughout the migration process. The data from the secure text environment provided the assurance the company needed to move forward with the entire migration to AWS.

Outcomes

FSx for NetApp ONTAP provided the company with a fully managed storage solution in the AWS cloud -- all with the reliable data access and management capabilities of ONTAP. 

With FlexCache as the driver, what once took 50 milliseconds in the company's data center now clocked in at sub-5 milliseconds during the POC. This compute instance in AWS was 10x more performant than inside the company's own environment.

The company also discovered it could migrate and build its applications quickly with ONTAP's data access and management capabilities on AWS. Moreover, the NetApp solution helped broaden the company's data availability to a wider set of workloads and users via industry-standard NFS, SMB and iSCSI protocols.

Not only did the company benefit from 15x latency improvements and 7.5x faster file availability, but it also had better visibility of its performance data.  

WWT's POC helped the company identify more cloud-ready workloads, as well as establish security group rules in AWS and firewall rules and policies in the data center that matched the company's key performance indicators.  

Finally, by moving the company's applications and associated data over Equinix, the company was able to establish an additional layer of security as none of the data was going over the public network.

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