By Corey Adolphus, Hybrid Cloud Architect, NetApp ANZ


The NetApp Private Storage (NPS) solution for Microsoft Azure allows customers to access the massive scalability and on-demand elasticity of Microsoft’s Azure cloud with NetApp’s proven high-performance and feature-rich enterprise storage arrays and data management software.


Technical overview

NPS leverages Azure’s ExpressRoute for a dedicated high speed, low latency Ethernet network connection between the Azure compute cloud and the Equinix co-location datacenter in the same geographic location. The ExpressRoute bandwidth options range from 200Mbps to 10Gbps, with less than 1ms latency. Customers can place a NetApp storage array in Equinix and provision storage from it to Azure virtual machines over the ExpressRoute circuit using standard storage protocols.


Use cases

Organisations can use NPS to run an application on-premise for production and simultaneously utilise Azure for disaster recovery, development & testing, or both. NetApp’s SnapMirror replication makes it easy to keep large datasets synchronised, which is essential for a hybrid cloud model to be viable. Similarly, organisations can run an application on-premise for production then make use of Azure for burst capacity when required. Again, this needs the dataset from on-premise to be kept closely and easily in-sync with the dataset used by the cloud.


Additionally, with the high-performance and rich data management features of NetApp Private Storage, enterprises will now be able to run mission- and business-critical applications in Azure without risk. The associated data is stored on the customer’s dedicated NetApp storage arrays protected inside Equinix datacentres (rather than in the cloud) that satisfy data security and data sovereignty requirements.


The NetApp Private Storage solution is also available cloud providers including Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and IBM SoftLayer – all from the same Equinix co-location facility. This means a single NetApp system can be connected to any or all of these hyperscale clouds at the same time – allowing you to choose your cloud and control your data.


One major advantage of this multi-cloud provider functionality is that in the event that one cloud provider has a widespread outage, you can failover your application to run in a different cloud without having to maintain a replica of your data in both cloud providers.


NPS allows you to store your data on your own private storage system “next to the cloud” rather than “in the cloud”.  This means that if you want to move to another cloud provider, you don’t have to bulk copy all your data out of your existing cloud, as you simply disconnect the cloud virtual machines from the storage presented from the NPS system, and then attach these same data volumes to the new cloud.


Key benefits

NPS facilitates a hybrid cloud model for IT. Your data must be close to where the application will run, but data is hard to move around, which is where NPS comes into its own.


High performance, high availability, feature-rich storage and data management for your cloud applications are all on tap, as well as the ability to access key NetApp features such as instant backups, rapid restores, instant and space efficient data clones, replication, and more.


Enterprises can maintain access to their data on their own terms, as they are not locked into any single cloud provider. Multiple clouds can be utilised while keeping your data on a secure private NetApp storage system.


Customers can change cloud providers without exit charges and lengthy data copy processes, whilst always ensuring they are meeting any data sovereignty, security and compliance requirements that apply to their industry.


Data portability is a key aspect of hybrid cloud computing – just as you don’t want your data to be a barrier to adopting and realising the benefits of public cloud, you also don’t want it to be a barrier to switching cloud providers if another provider offers more attractive terms for the same or better service provision.


Remember it’s your data – NetApp Private Storage for Cloud allows you to keep control whilst leveraging the enormous benefits of hybrid cloud computing.


To find out more about NetApp cloud solutions, click here.

To test drive an NPS solution, register here.


Recommended Reading

Choose Your Cloud. Control Your Data

The Multi-cloud Challenge

The Importance of Data Control in Hybrid IT

The Evolving Public Cloud Landscape

Rent, Lease or Buy? Consuming Storage in the Cloud

How NetApp DevOps uses cloud to improve productivity



NetApp Staff