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Cloud Storage

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Cloud data storage with NetApp

Whether you’re cloud-curious or cloud-native, most enterprises have already moved or plan to move to the cloud in a big way. And why not? Storing data in the cloud has plenty of advantages. But if you’re not careful, you can end up with major complexity, trapped data, and out-of-control cloud costs. From hybrid cloud to multicloud, NetApp delivers cloud storage services and enterprise-grade data management across your clouds of choice and your data center. Our BFFs are big in the cloud—AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud have all integrated NetApp® technology into their cloud storage and data services strategies. Wherever your data lives, we can build your data fabric with cloud as a cornerstone for successful digital transformation.

Why use cloud storage?

There’s a lot to love about the cloud. And the advantages over on-premises infrastructure are why most enterprises now say that they have some data stored in public clouds. Here are some of the main reasons why:

  • Cost savings and reduced capital expenses

  • Data mobility and global accessibility

  • Disaster recovery and reduced risk

  • Dynamic scalability with high performance

  • Agility and time savings

Enterprise-grade data and file services in the cloud

It’s no secret that data is integral to your business. So, the way you store, protect, and use data can make or break digital transformation. Our data-centricity and deep connections with some of the world’s biggest cloud providers mean you can manage your data holistically and consistently—no matter where it lives—with enterprise-grade data and file services.

Types of cloud storage

Public cloud storage

Public cloud storage consists of third-party data center and server resources managed by cloud vendors. With public cloud storage, you can easily license storage capacity for data and house it almost anywhere around the world using third-party data center and server resources managed by cloud vendors. The resulting advantages are why most enterprises now employ some cloud data storage. For example, it’s easy to deploy, you get dynamic capacity and performance scaling, and vendors offer flexible storage options, automation, and pay-as-you-go pricing.

NetApp public cloud solutions

Our public cloud storage and data solutions are born from our close relationships with some of the biggest cloud providers in the world—AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. We built our suite of products based on our data storage, management, and data protection expertise. You get enterprise-grade storage and data management capabilities in your clouds of choice, with a consistent experience across those clouds and your data center.

Private cloud storage

With private cloud storage, you can achieve a scalable, public-cloudlike storage experience in your data center. Private cloud offers many of the advantages of public cloud, but without issues like potentially higher costs, lower performance, and a lack of control over where your data is stored. If your organization has strict security, compliance, and regulatory needs for your data, this option might be for you. 

NetApp private cloud solutions put you in control 

We help you develop new applications efficiently on premises while running your existing workloads in a modernized environment—all with enhanced security and control. You can automate and simplify your IT infrastructure or build a cloud environment from the ground up with cloud-native features. Either way, you choose the infrastructure and platform tools that are best for your business. Our private cloud solutions deliver performance at scale with simplicity and operational efficiency.

Hybrid cloud storage

Hybrid cloud storage consists of any combination of on premises, private cloud, and public cloud resources and can make your business agile. Not all data belongs in the cloud—if you have mission-critical legacy applications or data with strict compliance regulations, you might want to keep data locally accessible.

NetApp hybrid cloud solutions deliver a unified experience 

Hybrid cloud expertise is kind of our thing. Storing your data where it makes most sense—on premises or in your clouds of choice—can mean skyrocketing complexity, locked data, and your IT team chasing its tail instead of innovating. We help you build a better hybrid cloud that frees your data and unifies infrastructure to give you a connected experience no matter where your data lives. Your data-centric business can get back to gaining an advantage over your competitors. 

NetApp connects you to the world’s biggest public cloud storage providers

Our innovation and leadership in the cloud are why three of the biggest public cloud providers—AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud—continue to collaborate with NetApp. Our world-class storage and data management solutions are built right into their clouds. We give you control across your clouds with enterprise-grade data management solutions available right from your cloud management console—with zero vendor lock-in.

A cloud storage success story

We’ve helped countless customers turn their cloud dreams into reality—on their terms. Don’t just take our word for it.

Siemens Healthineers

Healthcare and data go together hand in hand. Siemens Healthineers experienced explosive growth of data volumes from every area of the business, had aging infrastructure, and needed better data access for various teams, so they needed a solution—and fast. Enter NetApp. We helped them build a cloud-first strategy for data services that cut complexity and let innovation flourish. And Siemens Healthineers reduced their data tiering costs by as much as 50%.

Benefits of public cloud storage

  • Cost savings. Because you don’t need to purchase or maintain hardware (a third party handles that), you can reduce your capital expenses. You might even be able to afford higher performance storage, because vendors distribute costs among users. And data can be tiered based on priority and how frequently you use it, so you can reduce costs for lower-priority data storage.  

  • Data mobility and accessibility. You can access cloud storage at virtually any time, on any device, and from anywhere, because the storage environment’s interface is over the internet through a web browser. It’s easy to work with geographically distributed teams and users this way. 

  • Disaster recovery and reduced risk. Cloud storage services usually include automatic data replication and redundancy. Your data is distributed across hardware and geography. This redundancy protects you from natural disasters, hardware failures, and so on. By using the cloud to store failover systems and backups, if your on-premises systems go down, your data remains available.  

  • Scalability. You can scale cloud storage capacity up or down dynamically based on application needs. And capacity limits are usually high enough for most workloads.  

  • Agility and time savings. Licensing and deployment of cloud storage is quick and easy—it’s often done in less than an hour and is significantly faster than procuring hardware. And you don’t need major technical knowledge to deploy a storage container, because the cloud provider maintains and manages the environment. Instead of slow FTP and SFTP protocols, uploading files is convenient and much faster. 

Benefits of private cloud storage

  • Cloudlike experience. Private cloud storage offers a scalable, public-cloudlike storage experience on premises with many of the advantages of public cloud. 

  • Better security and control. You can achieve higher levels of security and control, because private clouds are deployed either in a data center or a controlled environment managed by in-house IT. If you have strict compliance and data sovereignty regulations, this approach is advantageous. 

  • Environment tuned to the business. You can size and tune a private cloud environment to your business needs. Plus, performance degradation and latency associated with public cloud data centers are reduced.

Cloud Storage FAQ

What is cloud storage?

Public cloud storage, is a cloud computing model where multiple users license storage capacity and store data remotely on servers with storage infrastructure managed, operated, and maintained by a cloud storage provider. Companies such as AWS, Google, Microsoft, and IBM offer storage as a service that businesses can use to support various enterprise workloads. You benefit from the scalability, agility, data accessibility, and freedom from having to manage your own storage infrastructure. 

With private cloud storage, all resources are dedicated to a single business or customer. Private cloud offers many of the advantages of public cloud, combined with the control and security of on-premises IT infrastructure. Private cloud storage can be advantageous if your organization has strict security compliance requirements and workloads with sensitive and proprietary data. Private clouds can be hosted on premises in your data center, on a third-party cloud provider’s infrastructure, or on infrastructure in an off-site data center. 

How does cloud storage work? 

Public cloud providers’ storage systems consist of many distributed data centers or servers. You lease these resources as on-demand or reserved capacity. Services are usually offered in several geographic locations around the world; you might choose a region that’s close to your business, or that addresses regulatory, geographic, or other requirements. The storage provider is responsible for managing, operating, and maintaining their storage infrastructure and making sure that users have reliable access to their data.

You can access, modify, and save your data in cloud storage from virtually anywhere, because your connection to the storage environment is usually over a network—typically a web browser on the internet. Most cloud providers offer different storage options, such as object storage, block storage, and file services, that will meet the needs of most of your applications.

How do I set up cloud storage?

First, you need to choose a public cloud provider that meets your organization’s unique needs. These include things like security practices, reliability and performance SLAs, cloud services, and regional resources. To set up your cloud storage, you sign up with your chosen cloud provider (or providers) and access their management console. It’s easy to deploy storage through the cloud provider’s web portal or marketplace. For larger enterprises, cloud providers might offer an enterprise agreement that’s tailored to the company’s needs.

What are the main types of cloud storage?

The three main types of cloud storage are public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud. Cloud data storage technology includes object storage, block storage, and file storage or file services. They all have different advantages and are suited to different use cases.  

Object storage 

With object storage (or object-based storage), each piece of data is designated as an object. You can store unstructured data in separate storehouses that use metadata-based schemes versus file hierarchies. Each piece of data is combined with its relevant metadata and a unique identifier to form a storage pool, and you can use the ID to recall the object when necessary.     

Block storage 

Block storage uses abstraction to separate a file into individual volumes or blocks of data. These blocks are then stored as separate pieces of data, each with a unique address. This approach removes the need for storage in a file structure. The blocks act as virtual hard drives; they can be attached to virtual machines or instances that can serve as persistent storage.  

File storage 

With file storage or file services, data is stored as a single piece of information. To organize it among other data, it’s placed in a folder. This approach imitates the way we store paper files and is known as hierarchical storage. To access the data, a computer system must know the path to locate it.

Why should I use cloud storage? 

There are many benefits of using public or private cloud storage, including potentially reduced costs, scalability, data availability, and increased performance and reliability. 

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