Let’s start with a confession: I’m not a storage guy. I’d rather spend my time coming up with the next big innovation in healthcare data and operations management than administering infrastructure. That said, I am excited about data. At Advanced MD, helping healthcare professionals and managing their data is our business.


We offer software solutions for the healthcare industry that help small to midsized medical practices with practice management, billing, electronic medical and health records (EMR and EHR), and even telemedicine. We help healthcare professionals harness their data so that they can make more informed decisions and run their practices more efficiently.


We were recently spun off from our parent company, ADP, and as result, we had to leave our secondary data center. We decided to stand up our own data center in the cloud and needed to do it quickly. Because the data we handle is so sensitive and personal, our #1 concern was making sure that we could keep that data safe and available at all times. Downtime or a breach could be catastrophic to our reputation and our business.


Cloud Volumes ONTAP was the perfect fit for us. Here are the top five reasons why.

Quick Deployment, Low Opex, No Capex

This is what initially drew us to AWS. Since we were already running NetApp storage arrays in our data center, the switch to the cloud was really easy. NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP enabled us to lift and shift our data into AWS without increasing our capital expenditures or rearchitecting our infrastructure. Now our storage costs are a manageable monthly expense, and we’re only paying for the resources we need to support our customers.

Simple to Manage, Zero Overhead

When we started looking at new solutions, we knew we wanted something that was as low-touch as possible. The simplified data management that Cloud Volumes ONTAP provides in the AWS cloud means my team and I don’t have to be storage experts to run it. Amazon manages the infrastructure on the back end, and as our data needs expand, I don’t have to worry about creating new volumes, LUNs, etc. In fact, we don’t need a storage expert at all!

Do More in AWS for Less

With Cloud Volumes ONTAP, not only do we get the efficiency features of AWS, but we get the enterprise storage capabilities from NetApp that we wouldn’t get anywhere else. With compression, deduplication, thin provisioning, and FlexClones, we get additional cost savings that we can turn around and invest into new innovations. Because we deal with small to midsize companies, pricing is always a big priority. Cloud Volumes ONTAP running in AWS lets us provide enterprise-quality services for cloud prices.

Protect Data Integrity

This is a term we use a lot in the healthcare industry. With everything that’s been happening today around data privacy, we’re under more pressure than ever to make sure our customers and their patients are protected.


It’s not just compliance regulations like HIPAA that we have to think about, it’s also making sure that our data is available and restorable in the event of a disaster. If that data is compromised for any reason, we lose the trust of our customers and put our business on the line.


With Cloud Volumes ONTAP, we get the enterprise-level data protection and encryption that our customers expect, without sacrificing the scalability or agility that we gain in the AWS cloud. And if there were an outage (heaven forbid), we could stand up a new instance of our data center rapidly with no data loss.

Scale Up and Down Painlessly

With our data stored in the AWS cloud, we never have to worry about running out of room. Whether our customers need to support hundreds or even thousands of new patients, everything is infinitely scalable. We can spin up and spin down as our customers’ needs dictate. Cloud Volumes ONTAP automation and orchestration help us develop and deploy new capabilities on the fly.

New Capabilities in Sight

At the end of the day, it’s not just about what Cloud Volumes ONTAP can do for us now, it’s what we can do with it in the future. We’re using our newfound agility and scalability to develop new applications that allow customers to gain more insights from their data. Using advanced predictive analytics in our AWS cloud, we can provide value to customers that we were never able to deliver before.


Learn what Cloud Volumes ONTAP can do for you at cloud.netapp.com.

John Esser

John is currently Sr. Director of IT and Data Center Operations at AdvancedMD. John was previously the Director of Cloud Architecture as well as the Director of Engineering Productivity and Agile Development at Ancestry.com. John has spoken at numerous industry events on topics related to DevOps, Continuous Delivery, Agile Development, and Testing, including two previous DevOps Days events. He co-founded, with Jez Humble, FlowCon, the conference for continuous design, data, and delivery. He was featured in the 2013 PwC Technology Forecast article “DevOps: Solving the engineering productivity challenge.” John has more than 29 years of software development and operations experience working for such companies as AdvancedMD, Ancestry, IBM, Corel, Control4, and others. His spare time is gobbled up by his beautiful wife, four sons, reading lots of books, and fly-fishing on the Provo River.

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