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Is NetApp a Bridge for Multi-Cloud? Cloud Storage Performance, a NetApp Perspective

Meg Matich

Want to see how far you can take your cloud performance? Read this blog to learn about optimizing your cloud performance and lowering cost. Ok, we’re not afraid to say it -- everyone uses cloud. Whether it’s AWS or Google Cloud, Azure or Oracle, everyone uses cloud.

As a provider of what some might call “traditional” data center technologies, you might not think of NetApp as a cloud provider.

But we are.

Over the past several years, we’ve been bringing our fundamental product tenets — flexibility, versatility, performance, resilience — to the world of cloud.

We’ve translated our mature, proven approach to storage, NetApp® ONTAP®, for use in the cloud. ONTAP is the industry-leading data management software, a tool for cloud architects to use across a wide range of requirements: file storage, databases, high-performance application storage, and many other use cases.

Because we recognize the value of different clouds for different use cases, we build our distinctive technologies for use in a multicloud world. Today, you can find NetApp storage services in AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.

But whenever a mature, proven technology is adapted for the cloud, there's a lingering question: Does it perform or doesn't it?

As you'll see in this blog post, we have a collection of exciting cloud capabilities with disruptive performance. We offer advantages that other technologies can't, and those advantages work brilliantly in the world of cloud.

NetApp Cloud Volumes Service for AWS: Breakthrough performance

How can you get up to 4,500MiB/s of sequential reads or 470,000 random read IOPS with a single cloud volume? And up to 1,700MiB/s of sequential reads or 220,000 random read IOPS from a single EC2 instance?

The answer is NetApp Cloud Volumes Service and Azure NetApp Files Back in March 2020, we decided to test our performance with a 1 tebibyte working set, and we were able to demonstrate those performance numbers without any issues at all. For our testing, we used an FIO load generator in addition to 32 m5.4xlarge virtual machines (for scale out) and 1 m5.24xlarge (for scale up).

We also proved that our solution came with compelling cost figures: as little as $1,200/month for writes and $4,300/month for reads. And, unlike other technologies, with  Cloud Volumes Service, users can dynamically increase or decrease service levels and allocated capacity as frequently as they like. This ability means that the costs shown will be incurred only if the capacity or service level is steadily maintained for an entire month. That makes it easy to right size your performance at a fair price point.

Want to drill down into the numbers? Here’s the original post.

Azure NetApp Files: Fully managed, fully scalable to here

Did you know that NetApp ONTAP data management software is at the root of Microsoft’s Azure NetApp Files? Azure NetApp Files lives in an Azure data center, gives a consistently low-latency experience regardless of region, and provides on-premises NFS and SMB protocols for any file requirements.

And performance is not lacking. We tested Azure NetApp files using a theoretical Linux-based application we called Acme AppX. The app demands the highest access to the data lake, has a mix of random and sequential I/O, and occasionally demands massive bandwidth. We used FIO to simulate this profile in a scale-out client-server configuration to identify the limits that the hypothetical application might experience.

After running a series of tests, we discovered that a single volume handled about  ~4,500MiB/s of sequential reads and ~1,600MiB/s of sequential writes. One volume can achieve anywhere from 135,000 random writes to around 470,000 random reads.

Read the full performance story.

Google Cloud for Windows: Cloud Volumes excels again

And now we turn to Google Cloud.

NetApp Cloud Volumes Service for Google Cloud supports SMB 3.0. That’s good to know, because as your organization refactors and migrates their Windows applications to the cloud, SMB support is often a hidden requirement.

Many commercial and home-grown applications rely on SMB for data access, so we wanted to make sure that our service is a good fit for a broad range of workflows, including financial applications, web servers, multimedia content development, and Windows home directories.

In our tests, we discovered that, NetApp technologies can support, on a single volume, among other capabilities:
  • Up to 120,000 IOPS and < 2ms latency for small random 8K I/O size
  • 3300 MiBps for 100% reads
For full information, read the blog.

Final thoughts

High-performance cloud storage for the three major clouds—without added complexity or compromise. NetApp’s ability to extend our leading approach to storage to the cloud makes an enormous difference for thousands of organizations around the world.

One final thought. Regardless of which cloud or clouds you use, you can be sure that your NetApp cloud storage comes with the same features and functionality you’ve relied on over the years. Features like data protection, data encryption, data durability, and logical backups are always part of what we do.

Do you have a compelling opportunity to accelerate multicloud adoption with NetApp storage? To learn more about what we can do for you, visit our Cloud Volumes Service benchmarks for AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud.

Meg Matich

View all Posts by Meg Matich

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