As enterprise customers accelerate their adoption of public cloud, they increasingly demand high-performing, cloud-based file services. The demand is driven by the need to minimize application re-architecture as applications move to the cloud, as well as the need for easy-to-consume, flexible storage solutions for new applications and workflows, such as stateful apps in containerized environments. As a result of this demand, file-based solutions are proliferating in Google Cloud Platform (GCP). However, existence alone isn’t a good gauge of the usefulness of the solutions for customers.


Having spent several months working closely with customers across industry groups and geographies, we have learned that the following four file service capabilities matter most to application owners who are looking to migrate applications to GCP and to DevOps engineers who are looking for persistent storage in GCP:


  •     Native service experience: Integrated with GCP, consumable as a service, and simple pricing and billing
  •     Performance and capacity scalability
  •     Multiple file-serving protocols
  •     Advanced data management capabilities


With the latest release of NetApp® Cloud Volumes Service for GCP, we are proud to be the only cloud-native service to meet these four requirements. Cloud Volumes Service is a no-ops service that is easy to consume and doesn’t require any previous storage expertise.


The following sections walk through the four requirements and describe Cloud Volumes capabilities in detail.


Native Service Experience

As an outcome of our deep engineering partnership with Google, we offer customers a native GCP UI for provisioning and management of Cloud Volumes Service, making it similar to other native GCP resources. This deep integration gives users project-level isolation for their volumes through their existing GCP credentials, without having to manage identities and access like other alternatives (third-party services).



Above all, Cloud Volumes is a no-ops service, and the volumes themselves are easy-to-consume NFS and SMB endpoints. Application owners and DevOps engineers can simply provision and consume these endpoints without worrying about infrastructure setup and management. Billing is simple and integrated with GCP: Customers pay for the amount of allocated  capacity ($ per GB per month), price points are determined by the service level (see ”Performance and Capacity Scalability,” next), and charges appear on the customer’s GCP bill. Finally, to offer an integrated experience over the entire lifecycle, GCP provides level 1 support for this service.


Watch this video for a deep dive into other capabilities of Cloud Volumes.


Performance and Capacity Scalability

Cloud Volumes are two-dimensional resources: Each terabyte of allocated capacity provides a given level of performance. The level of performance is determined by the service level designated to the volume and scales with capacity.


Service Level Performance Price per GB per month
Standard Up to 16 MB/s per allocated TB $0.10
Premium Up to 64 MB/s per allocated TB $0.20
Extreme Up to 128 MB/s per allocated TB $0.30


In addition, both the allocated capacity and service level for volumes can be increased or decreased as needed, at run time. In true “as a service” fashion, this flexibility means that users don’t have to worry about adding or removing underlying nodes, etc. Each volume can scale up to 100TB in capacity. This allows our customers to use Cloud Volumes for a variety of use cases: enterprise applications, scale-up databases, software development ecosystems, web content delivery, and data analytics, to name a few.


In a few weeks, we’ll post a blog that dives deep into the performance aspects of Cloud Volumes and discusses the workloads mentioned in this blog.

Multiple File-Serving Protocols

Cloud Volumes support both NFSv3 and SMB 3.0 protocols. For volumes that use SMB, the service integrates with Active Directory to manage identities, access control lists, and so on. Active Directory servers must be reachable within the VPC in which  Cloud Volumes are provisioned. Customers can now use Cloud Volumes to move and build both UNIX and Windows-based applications in GCP.

Advanced Data Management Capabilities

Cloud Volumes Service offers powerful data management capabilities: Scheduled and on-demand NetApp Snapshot™ copies and rapid volume copy capabilities. Volumes can be created directly from a Snapshot copy, making it easy to move data for various purposes (dev/test, promote to production, and so on).


As a team, both the Google and NetApp engineers are proud of this release of Cloud Volumes Service, which provides an unmatched combination of a no-ops integrated service, performance plus capacity scalability, choice of protocols, and advanced data management capabilities, all at a competitive price point. Our early-access customers love this service, and we’re sure that you will too.  Learn more and  Sign up today to try Cloud Volumes for GCP!

Alim Karim

Alim is a Product Manager in the Cloud Data Services BU at NetApp. He started his career as a software developer and joined NetApp in 2011. At NetApp Alim has held several customer-facing positions and is passionate about solving business problems with technology. He holds an undergraduate degree in Computer Science and an MBA from Queen's University.

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