The traditional approach to creating a copy of a live production dataset, such as a file share or a database, is to perform a backup and restore. However, this procedure  produces a multitude of issues and does not scale well when you need large numbers of environments, and/or those environments need to be refreshed quickly.


Backup and restore processes typically revolve around file copy operations, and they scale linearly with the size of the source asset. This means that the larger the production dataset, the longer it takes to process. Using data compression techniques can improve these run times, but it doesn’t  solve the problem. The delay in creating these environments costs developers both time and productivity. And when environments need repeated refreshes…forget it.


NetApp® Cloud Volumes Service and Azure NetApp Files are here to relieve your frustration and give you time back. These cloud-native services provide ready-to-use, highly available, high-performance file systems in AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure environments. Just like other cloud services, these file systems require no setup of the underlying cloud resources or ongoing server-side maintenance. Simply choose the size allocation you need, mount the system to the client hosts that need access, and go.


The advanced NetApp Snapshot™ and cloning capabilities of Cloud Volumes Service and Azure NetApp Files remove the complexity of provisioning data for DevOps test environments. From a Snapshot copy, you can instantly create a point-in-time, space-efficient copy of a database of any size.


These copies initially consume a negligible amount of space, because the volume and the copy share the same blocks. This also meansthat  they can be created instantly, regardless of the source data size — which means no more inconsistent backups creating false positives during testing.


Cloud Volumes Service and Azure NetApp Files don’t just save you time – they also save storage costs. These services use a redirect-on-write mechanism, which redirects updates made to blocks held in the Snapshot copy over to new blocks. This constrains storage costs, automatically freeing up allocated blocks after the copy is deleted. These time and cost savings apply to small volumes of a few gigabytes as well as to massive, multiterabyte volumes. In both cases, you’ll experience instant performance and space efficiency.

About Cloud Volumes Service and Azure NetApp Files

Cloud Volumes Service and Azure NetApp Files provide rich features that help you to better manage your data with consistently high performance. Register now to access cloud-native file services on the cloud platform of your choice: Azure, AWS, or Google Cloud. Get started and learn how easy it is to manage, protect, and restore your file data.

Jeff Whitaker

Jeff Whitaker is the Sr. Manager, Cloud Solutions Marketing at NetApp. When he is not carving out new horizons in product marketing for Azure NetApp Files for Microsoft Azure, he can be found racing motocross up and down the west coast. You can reach Jeff directly at

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