By Brad Nisbet, Senior Manager, NetApp
For IT organizations, these are very interesting times indeed. The requirement to be responsive to the business has evolved so quickly that many workloads need an environment that can adapt practically in real time. This includes aligning enterprise applications with the right level of storage performance, ranging from high performance that demand flash to lower performance generally supported by disk and cloud.
We know there are many choices of technologies, solutions, and services providers out there. Savvy IT organizations recognize they can combine their own data center resources with those in the cloud for the agility to quickly accommodate changing business needs and address the life cycle of data across a range of performance and service levels. However – without a well-thought strategy, they are left to cobble together a data management environment comprised of disparate elements of flash, disk and cloud.
That is the beauty of NetApp All Flash FAS and the Data Fabric.
All Flash FAS (AFF) systems offer blazing performance and low latency for accelerating database applications. But we don’t stop there. Since AFF is built on Data ONTAP, there is a rich data management suite that spans flash to disk to cloud, including:
- Integrated Data Protection that includes storage efficient Snapshots and built-in replication for DR failover and failback with fantastic RTO and RPO
- FlexClones for efficient, writable database copies to accelerate development team productivity
- SnapManager for Oracle and SQL Server so administrators have control to manage backups and developers don’t need to wait for copies
This is where you can benefit from NetApp’s vision for Data Fabric – leveraging a common set of data services for the freedom to innovate without risk across the technologies and resources that are best for the business. To build out the datacenter with cloud-ready infrastructure, to protect data anywhere across the hybrid cloud, and to easily run enterprise applications across a breadth of performance levels while leveraging compute resources that are best for the business, whether in the data center or in the cloud.
So where does the Data Fabric and the cloud come into play when thinking about flash-based workloads like high performance databases? There are three key areas where using common data services across cloud and flash adds value:
- Data Protection (Backup and Disaster Recovery)
- Test Development
- Leverage the scale and economics of “endless” hyperscale compute resources
With our vision for Data Fabric, managing the right levels of performance isn’t relegated to managing across flash and disk in the datacenter, but extends seamlessly to the cloud. No other storage vendor can help you achieve the responsiveness needed across your choice of resources, including the ability to:
- Replicate databases directly to the cloud with Cloud ONTAP for Amazon Web Services (AWS) using SnapMirror to create an instant DR environment, paying only when testing or actually failing over!
- Clone your replicated database in the AWS cloud and spin up virtual servers for instant development environments that leverage common Data ONTAP management tools.
- Backup high-performance application data to the cloud to leverage economic advantages using the NetApp AltaVault cloud-integrated storage appliance.
- Combine flash performance with the elasticity and economics of cloud compute using NetApp Private Storage for Cloud. Replicate data seamlessly to an AFF device in an Equinix facility and instantly switch between multiple compute resources from AWS, Microsoft Azure, or IBM Softlayer to run production workloads with the highest levels of performance and data control.
The advent of flash is rapidly changing the landscape – but it is not simply about applying the fastest performance or the lowest price. Of course those metrics are important, and NetApp is clearly delivering. But there is so much more to the story – not all flash is created equal. Only NetApp has a vision for a Data Fabric that seamlessly connects flash with disk with cloud. You’ve finally got the freedom to run your enterprise applications on your terms – so go for it!