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NetApp achieves AWS manufacturing and industrial competence

AWS built a bridge to the cloud for industrial manufacturers. Have the challenges of Industry 4.0 been overcome?

NetApp achieves AWS manufacturing and industrial competence

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narayan kumar
Narayan Kumar

Every industrial manufacturing conference you attend highlights all the possible business benefits and workloads associated with Industry 4.0: the convergence of operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT). Benefits that are often mentioned include:

  • Promises of improved operational efficiency by using detailed digital twin models of your production equipment, facilities, or supply chain.
  • Deploying retrieval-augmented generation (RAG) AI models as a trusted knowledge resource to help workers to quickly identify and resolve production problems.
  • Achieving sustainability goals by identifying enterprise wide best practices, bringing all aspects of production to optimal operating efficiency.

Do all these benefits come without risk? Is it just a matter of connecting siloed manufacturing operations to the cloud to realize all of these promised upsides? Not so fast! Convergence presents a new set of challenges, especially in the realm of cybersecurity.

The importance of cybersecurity in this context cannot be overstated. As the OT environment, traditionally isolated, becomes interconnected with IT systems in the cloud, it becomes more vulnerable to a wide range of cyberthreats that were previously confined to the IT world. These threats can disrupt manufacturing processes, compromise the integrity of industrial control systems, and even pose risks to physical safety. Therefore, robust cybersecurity measures are essential to protect the integrity, availability, and confidentiality of data and systems in the interconnected OT-IT landscape.

To ensure the safe and secure operation of Industry 4.0 enterprise-connected manufacturing facilities, and to foster trust and reliability in any digital transformation journey, AWS reached out to NetApp for their expertise in both the OT and IT worlds.

Foundational to manufacturing customers

NetApp is the intelligent data infrastructure partner to many industrial customers across all aspects of manufacturing: automotive, aerospace, energy, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, high tech, and more. NetApp® solutions, products, and expertise are part of the foundational OT infrastructure in production facilities. And they are trusted by corporate IT architects to underpin their financial, HR, and other business systems. NetApp ONTAP® provides data management services to both environments.

Now a cloud-connected service is offering the same ONTAP capabilities that businesses rely upon on their premises, extended to include the AWS cloud: Industry 4.0, OT and IT converged all connected by ONTAP. Bidirectional communications securely replicate or move multiprotocol-based data to and from the cloud. The AWS cloud is becoming a centralized resource to all geographically distributed production plants. AWS leverages the familiarity of ONTAP because the same tools are used, spanning the breadth of the hybrid ecosystem. Consistency spans from on-premises use of security tools for unified cyber resilience to the same Microsoft Active Directory controls, policies, and encryption protocols.

What NetApp and AWS customers are saying

When they take their first steps on their journey to the cloud, most manufacturers start simply with a solution for backup and disaster recovery. This first step establishes the initial connection to an external cloud-based service. Cybersecurity, data governance, and user entitlements all have to be vetted to meet corporate policies. After this challenging step, next steps can focus more on operational improvement benefits.

“With 20% less storage costs, we can now hold backups longer and support users better.” — Leonhard Kerscher, Senior Director IT & Digital Transformation, Kärcher

Learn how KÄRCHER discovered cost savings benefits from their first step to the cloud.

“I'm excited that we can leverage NetApp as a partner because they're the experts in the technology of storage and synchronization and block-level storage and Amazon Web Services as a way to solve our problems.”-- Noah Brunn, Senior Infrastructure Analyst, Arc’teryx

Arc’Teryx realized benefits by unifying the visibility of their entire data and operations from a single cloud manager.

ONTAP for manufacturing and industrial firms

ONTAP on AWS is the ideal solution to help Industrial firms optimize cloud storage costs and performance while enhancing data protection, security, and compliance.

Business continuity and improved user experience. The multi-AZ high-availability configuration of ONTAP (available in all AWS regions) gives customers an industry-leading recovery time objective (RTO) or recovery point objective (RPO). This capability maintains business continuity and improves user experience for financial services applications running in AWS.

Multiprotocol support. ONTAP supports multiple versions of SMB and NFS, as well as iSCSI for block-oriented workloads, giving customers the flexibility to migrate a wide range of workloads without refactoring.

Storage efficiencies. ONTAP reduces your data footprint with thin provisioning, deduplication, compaction, compression, and intelligent data tiering to low-cost object storage.

Enhanced security. Data is encrypted in transit and at rest and is protected against cyberthreats and ransomware attacks.

Data protection. Data stored with ONTAP is protected with the help of multiple built-in mechanisms for NetApp Snapshot copies, backups, and disaster recovery, creating a highly resilient data layer in AWS.

Disaster recovery in the cloud. The NetApp SnapMirror® feature lets you replicate data from an on-premises ONTAP environment in AWS easily and cost efficiently, with no data loss and no need to refactor applications. 

Lower TCO due to data tiering. NetApp Cloud Tiering powered by FabricPool technology automatically tiers infrequently used data at the block level to S3 object storage.

Data management for containerized environments. Kubernetes integration with NetApp Astra Trident enables advanced data management directly from Kubernetes.

Accelerated DevTest. NetApp FlexClone® technology provides instant writable zero-capacity clones of storage volumes, speeding up testing and QA. It also gives DevTest teams safe access to a clone of a storage volume with no risk of a user accidentally deleting the original data.

A complete approach. ONTAP is natively integrated within AWS to maintain protection, security, and compliance. NetApp Cloud Backup can provide immutable Snapshot protection. NetApp Snapshot capability offers data classification, governance, and compliance scanning and reporting for all data. And Cloud Secure, a feature of NetApp Cloud Insights, uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify anomalous user activity, so you can take proactive steps toward resolution.

Are centralized cloud services the next step for your industrial business transformation?

Every industrial manufacturing company is unique in their quest to discover new opportunities for continuous process and operational improvements. Breaking down the boundaries of traditional manufacturing and embracing the benefits offered by adopting a centralized cloud service can take a manufacturer to that next level. A cloud-connected strategy can help unify disparate plant operational environments. And it can be leveraged to identify best practices across the enterprise, bringing all facets of operations to the same high standard.

To achieve these benefits, manufacturers need a platform that is acknowledged for excellence in security and robustness in coverage, and that is flexible and scalable to handle the complex challenges of bringing together the OT and IT worlds. AWS put their trust in NetApp ONTAP, and so can you.

Explore more

Visit the NetApp webpage Unlock the future of manufacturing. This page discusses solutions for digital twins and RAG AI.

Narayan Kumar

Narayan is a strategic business development manager focused on AWS alliance and ISV partner programs. He applies more than 20 years of cloud and storage technology experience to hybrid multicloud and ISV integrations. Narayan’s second chapter at NetApp follows technical and product management roles with IBM, HPE, and Lenovo. Outside of work, you’ll find him enjoying biking—he loves to be outdoors.

View all Posts by Narayan Kumar

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