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The Benefits Azure NetApp Files Delivers to Content-Streaming Workloads

Jeff Whitaker

Hate buffering? Slash your data center costs and still run your mission-critical Linux workload in the cloud with Azure NetApp Files.

Streaming media (the process of delivering or downloading digital video and/or audio content to a screen via the internet) first became available to consumers in the mid-90s. Microsoft was one of the early pioneers in the media streaming industry and contributed greatly to its widespread adoption. Expected to be a $70.5 billion industry by 2021, the video streaming market has become an invaluable marketing tool or even core business offering for many industries.

With 80% of customers claiming they prefer to watch live videos rather than other forms of content delivery, the need to include video and audio streaming in a company’s social media marketing campaign has intensified. Enterprising firms are now embracing content streaming services - from video conferencing and on-demand training to employee-generated content and more - that drive better worldwide collaboration between their teams and customers.

Television cable and satellite providers are perfect examples of how the introduction of content streaming has changed the way companies connect with their customers as they deliver new streaming products and capabilities. As today’s mobile lifestyle has customers looking to “cut the cord” and let go of their cable and satellite subscriptions, these same companies are offering content streaming as an alternative. Customers now have the option to watch television and movies, listen to music, and connect with web-based email and social media while on their smartphones, tablets, and laptops, from almost every corner of the planet.

Azure NetApp Files—the first high-performance file service delivered natively from the Azure data center as a Microsoft on-demand, tier one service—was developed to meet the sub-millisecond latency needs of mission-critical applications (like content streaming) in the cloud.

Whether for cloud architects or solution developers, access is a simple point-and-click away via the Azure Portal. Azure NetApp Files can be consumed exactly like every other Azure service.

With increased competition between cloud providers, Azure is differentiating itself with Azure NetApp Files. Moving your mission-critical file workload into Azure provides bare-metal-like capabilities for the enterprise by offering customers Linux file shares – without creating custom files servers – and the ability to scale up petabytes on demand. In the world of content streaming, think what this could mean during events (such as sporting events like soccer finals, the Olympics and more), where demand can stress a limited capability environment.

Content Delivery

Although the earth’s population currently sits around 7 billion people, IHS Markit estimates the number of connected devices worldwide could conceivably reach 30.7 billion by 2020, and 75.4 billion in 2025. Each of these devices comes with unique profiles and delivery technologies. One of the biggest challenges facing companies looking to offer streaming is how to deliver their content in the right format and to the right device.


Azure NetApp Files offers world-class capabilities along with world-class support, with MS Support working in tandem with NetApp cloud teams. This level of support not only provides consumers with the ability to deliver their content but will also eliminate concerns, and empower them to fully leverage and optimize their streaming capabilities.


Streaming as a tool to engage with customers, vendors, partners, and employees has never been more affordable. Lower capital investment combined with reduced cost for in-house technicians, plus reduced hours spent uploading content, provides the opportunity for companies to deliver sub-millisecond response times, while quickly scaling to meet demand without incurring the massive costs typically aligned to hosting these types of enterprise applications.

Microsoft Azure has been a trusted public cloud since 2010. Built on NetApp technology, Azure NetApp Files is providing Microsoft with an enterprise-class file service for clients to host any enterprise workload in the cloud.

Download the eBook NetApp Predicts 2019 and discover what other workloads will move to the cloud with Azure NetApp Files.

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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