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Deal enables NetApp private storage in Amazon public cloud

Partnership allows NetApp customers to maintain private storage in the Amazon public cloud by connecting on-premises arrays to EC2.

NetApp has teamed up with Amazon Web Services to deliver hybrid cloud storage for big data analysis, tiering, backup and archiving.

NetApp Private Storage for Amazon Web Services (AWS), which launched this week, gives customers a link from their on-premises NetApp storage to the Amazon public cloud via the AWS Direct Connect service.

Amazon established Direct Connect in 2011 to let customers move data to and from the Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) over a private network connection instead of the Internet.

The NetApp Private Storage AWS is targeted for enterprises and medium-sized companies that use NetApp FAS or V-Series Open Storage Controllers. The service gives companies the ability to connect on-premises NetApp storage to a certified collocation site and the Amazon public cloud. It also requires them to purchase a second FAS or V-Series system to set up in the Amazon cloud.

"People start off using the cloud for less critical applications, but as time goes on, they want to do more," said Tom Shields, product marketing manager for Sunnyvale, Calif.-based NetApp. "That is the direction we see this going. It's not just for backup or disaster recovery. It's for primary applications as well."

Shields said the service is an alternative to cloud gateways sold by vendors such as Ctera Networks, Nasuni, Panzura, TwinStrata and StorSimple.

The NetApp partnership, announced at Amazon's re:Invent conference in Las Vegas this week, is part of Amazon's push to gain greater acceptance for its cloud services in the enterprise.

Shields said customers can use the AWS cloud storage for backup, archiving, disaster recovery and for EC2 computing power to perform application development and testing. NetApp's SnapMirror data replication and SnapVault snapshot software moves data sets to the colocation site.

Shields said one use case is to use private storage and EC2 for high-performance workloads. Customers can keep giant data sets on on-premises storage arrays and access Elastic Amazon MapReduce (EMR) to run big data analysis on a pay-per-use basis. Other use cases include moving data to the Amazon S3 storage cloud for multi-tier backup, while keeping compliance-regulated data on private storage, and using EC2 for big data analysis. Data also can be synchronously or asynchronously replicated between sites.

The NetApp Private Storage for AWS is available through NetApp's North American channel and distribution partners. Shields said the service also will be sold through distributor Avnet. Customers will purchase the NetApp storage equipment and pay for the collocation through the distributor and AWS; EC2 and Amazon Direct Connect is purchased as a subscription from Amazon.

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