NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP: A GigaOm Benchmark Field Test

Cost and Feature Analysis of a Consistent Storage Solution in Multicloud Environments

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. What Drives Multicloud?
  3. Challenges: When Multicloud Means Multi-Problems
  4. Benefits of a Consistent Storage Platform
  5. NetApp CVO: A Coherent Storage Platform
  6. Test Criteria
  7. TCO
  8. Analyst’s Take
  9. Appendix

1. Executive Summary

With options like multicloud, hybrid cloud, or on-premises to choose from, we’ve evolved to the point where platform choice and flexibility can become an organization’s key differentiators. Multicloud, in particular, enables organizations to innovate by keeping data and applications mobile, and leveraging a cloud provider’s best-in-class services to achieve their business needs. Those needs could be growth, security compliance, or risk mitigation. Additionally, multicloud can be an appealing prospect to meet availability, business continuity, and disaster recovery requirements.

However, the mobility, flexibility, and availability benefits of multicloud solutions often get mired in complexity, and this is especially evident in cloud storage subsystems. Moving data between clouds efficiently and securely is no trivial task. Each cloud service provider has different management tools, features, and workflows. Often, short-staffed teams get forced to context switch between vastly different environments. Duplication of effort and re-work comes at the expense of innovation.

On the other hand, homogeneity in the infrastructure stack supports consistent workflows and automation, and eases manageability for teams. Better business outcomes often come from consistency and simplicity, and this can translate to time and money savings.

This report explores the capabilities and benefits that a homogeneous storage platform can bring to an organization running multicloud workloads. We evaluate NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP (CVO), an infrastructure-as-a-service solution with tie-ins to NetApp BlueXP, a central control plane.

To this end, we tested whether CVO could help organizations running multicloud workloads with mobility requirements, consistent and simplified workflows, and optimized cloud spend. We learned that:

  • NetApp simplified moving data between clouds with drag-and-drop ease. When pairing CVO with Cloud Sync, the workflow for moving data between multiple clouds became much more straightforward and streamlined.
  • NetApp supports many low-effort ways to save on cloud spend, like storage efficiencies and object tiering. Support among Google Cloud and Amazon Web Service (AWS) often did not provide feature parity with CVO.

This GigaOm field test report helped us assess how NetApp fared as a cohesive storage platform for IT teams managing data and applications in multicloud environments. We determined that NetApp CVO provides a measurable TCO advantage for those customers who need data mobility workflows.

Among the tested cost benefits, we found:

  • 50% reduction in storage management labor costs
  • 42% reduction in incident and operations labor costs
  • Outage-free adjustment of storage properties with CVO vs. 100% outage rate with cloud native

Additionally, CVO brings simplicity and data agility to IT teams that transcend the total cost of ownership (TCO). Complexity and context switching between clouds and workflows can lead to employee burnout and poor retention. These staffing problems aren’t quantifiable.

As a result, we can say that CVO may be viewed as an imperative element for enterprises that need the agility and mobility that multicloud workloads can offer but don’t want the complexity to overburden their teams and muddy their strategic objective. NetApp is building such a user experience by partnering with cloud providers and building a robust feature set across public, hybrid, and private clouds, as well as on-premises infrastructure.

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