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Continuously available file shares: SQL Server databases demand it. Azure NetApp Files has it.

Jeff Whitaker

Enhance business continuity & disaster recovery for your SQL Server production databases with ANF, which supports continuously available (CA) file shares. We’ve learned a lot about the importance of resilience over the past year. When it comes to your business data, resilience, reliability, and high performance are crucial to your success. Research shows that 58% of enterprises move their business-critical applications to the cloud to enhance business continuity. Enterprises that are reluctant to migrate their complex applications to the cloud often fear reliability issues or believe they have to take a performance hit. With Azure NetApp Files, you can relax—we’ve got your back.

In fact, many of our customers have told us that Azure NetApp Files saved their entire migration project. Azure NetApp Files, a shared file service that is fully managed and built on trusted NetApp® technology, has been instrumental in the success of complex workload migrations such as SAP HANA and Oracle to Azure. Let me tell you why.

Get continuous availability for your SQL Server databases at the click of a mouse

In addition to providing critical support for complex databases in the Azure cloud, Azure NetApp Files provides enterprise-grade storage with continuously available (CA) file shares. CA shares are required by SQL Server production databases to ensure that the secondary node has access to the database storage at all times, including during disruptive scenarios such as controller upgrades or failures. CA file shares eliminate the need to replicate data between nodes.

Azure NetApp Files supports CA shares for SQL Server system databases and user databases over SMB. Azure NetApp Files uses SMB 3.0 scale-out, persistent handles, and transparent failover to support nondisruptive operations (NDOs) for planned and unplanned downtime events, including many administrative tasks.

Improve your business continuity and disaster recovery

Azure NetApp Files’ support for CA shares provides enhanced business continuity and disaster recovery for your SQL Server production databases. And you get built-in high availability, layers of protection, and a 99.99% SLA.

With a few simple clicks, the NetApp Snapshot capability in Azure NetApp Files lets you quickly and easily create a point-in-time copy of your database and restore that copy to a new volume. You can also quickly revert a volume to the state it was in when a particular Snapshot copy was created by using the “Revert volume” function. Recovery from a Snapshot copy is much faster than from a data backup—significantly reducing RTO times and with no performance impact. You can create a policy to specify the frequency of Snapshot copies in hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly intervals. You’re in control, specifying the number of Snapshot copies to retain for each volume.

With cross-region replication, your databases are also protected if an entire region goes down. You can fail over from your primary region to a secondary region, which can be used as a backup, as a disaster recovery location, or as a clone of your dataset.

Other benefits

Azure NetApp Files reduces the TCO for SQL Server by eliminating virtual-machine-level I/O limits. With smaller instance sizes, you can lower compute costs to only 25% of the cost for block storage solutions. In addition, Azure NetApp Files reduces SQL Server license and deployment costs.

With Azure NetApp Files, you gain extreme performance, on-demand scalability, and ultralow latency. And we’re constantly adding new features and regions to meet your expanding needs. Just last month, we added regions in Brazil, Korea, and Norway.

More functionality; less complexity and cost

Azure NetApp Files reduces the complexity and the cost of running high-availability (HA) SQL Server deployments.

If you’re running SQL Server production databases, consider an architectural design session.

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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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