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NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP is #1 ranked solution in top Cloud Migration tools, #1 ranked solution in top Cloud Storage tools, #1 ranked solution in top Public Cloud Storage Services, #1 ranked solution in top Cloud Software Defined Storage tools, and #6 ranked solution in top Cloud Backup tools. PeerSpot users give NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP an average rating of 9.0 out of 10. NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP is most commonly compared to Azure NetApp Files: NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP vs Azure NetApp Files. NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 66% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 26% of all views.
NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP Buyer's Guide

Download the NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: July 2022

What is NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP?

The leading enterprise-grade storage management solution, delivers secure, proven storage management services and supports up to a capacity of 368TB. Software service supports various use cases, such as: File shares and block-level storage serving NAS (NFS, SMB / CIFS) and SAN (iSCSI) Disaster Recovery, Backup, and Archive DevOps Databases (SQL, Oracle, NoSQL) Cloud Volumes ONTAP is offered in a standard single-node configuration or in a High Availability (HA) configuration.

NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP was previously known as ONTAP Cloud, CVO, NetApp CVO.

NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP Customers

Rohit, AdvacnedMD, D2L, Trinity Mirror, Eidos Media, WireStorm, Cordant Group, JFK Medical Center, ALD Automotive, Healthix, City of Baton Rouge, ON Semiconductor

NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP Video

NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP Pricing Advice

What users are saying about NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP pricing:
  • "Some flexibility around the licensing model would help. The product is licensed based on capacity. Basically, the largest capacity license that you can buy is 368 terabytes. At this point, NetApp is addressing some people's concerns around this."
  • "Our licensing is based on a yearly subscription. That is an additional cost, but because of the storage efficiencies that the NetApp gives, even with the additional cost of the NetApp license, you still end up saving money versus straight Azure native for storage. It's definitely worth it."
  • "If we wanted to use the AWS solution, we would have to manage two or three different platforms and pay more money than what we should have to pay, as some of the features don't even exist. If we wanted to, we could use AWS cloning, but it is useless because it uses more space, is more expensive, and takes more time."
  • "The pricing of this solution is definitely higher than what the typical Azure Files and AWS solutions charge, but given the features and the stability NetApp has provided, we are okay with it. We are not complaining about the pricing."
  • NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP Reviews

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    Infrastructure Consultant - Storage, Global Infrastructure Services at a insurance company with 10,001+ employees
    Consultant
    Top 10
    Its data tiering helps keep storage costs under control
    Pros and Cons
    • "With NetApp, you can integrate malware scanning or malware protection. This is something valuable that is not offered in SaaS solutions typically."
    • "If they could include clustering together multiple physical Cloud Volumes ONTAP devices as an option, that could be helpful."

    What is our primary use case?

    The primary use case is to use NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP for unstructured data storage, both for Windows and Linux-based machines. We use both from an NAS functionality perspective, along with SMB and NFS file shares/exports, for storing unstructured data.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The solution enabled us to deliver on our cloud-first strategy. It also provided us some savings and consolidation capabilities from a volume perspective where we can run with less management. We can run higher volumes of unstructured data and store higher volumes of unstructured data as compared to other solutions.

    What is most valuable?

    • The data tiering capability
    • Deduplication
    • Compression

    The data efficiencies are valuable, If we want to combine compression and deduplication.

    It is valuable to us that it runs natively in Azure. 

    Using this solution, we are also in control of our backups. In regards to disaster recovery, we don't have to rely on Azure or Microsoft to fail anything over. We are in control of backups and replication (or disaster recovery). 

    With NetApp, you can integrate malware scanning or malware protection. This is something valuable that is not offered in SaaS solutions typically.

    The solution provides us unified storage as long as it's unstructured data that can be accessed through a file share. We are in control of the portability of the data. We are not locked into Azure with this product. For example, if we wanted to go to AWS, there is that capability. If we wanted to pull this data or solution back to on-premises, there's that capability. Therefore, there is some flexibility in the control of the data versus being locked into a non-proprietary solution, e.g., just within Azure.

    What needs improvement?

    If they could include clustering together multiple physical Cloud Volumes ONTAP devices as an option, that could be helpful. 

    The ease of data migration between devices could be improved somewhat. There is already some flexibility which is better than just migrating the data. However, that could potentially be further improved.

    Buyer's Guide
    NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP
    July 2022
    Learn what your peers think about NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: July 2022.
    620,068 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Including the evaluation period, it has been over two years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability of this solution has been great. A couple of interruptions that we had were not really related to the product. They were more related to Azure, where we had a couple of issues with actual Azure hosts which run the virtual storage device and Cloud Volumes ONTAP.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    There is a team of four people who are in the role of managing and administrating the devices. There are thousands of people who access it.

    There is room for growth. We are just in the process of migrating an on-premise system. That will probably service 10,000 users. We started out using it mainly for unstructured data which would be less frequently used or Azure-native. Now, we are at the process of expansion. After using the product for a year and a half, we are comfortable migrating on-premises into our system.

    How are customer service and support?

    NetApp technical support is good. They are receptive and want to make sure that you succeed in using their product. Overall, their Professional Services, setup, and support for the past couple of years, in comparison to other large companies that I have used in the past (like Microsoft, IBM, or Dell EMC support), has been as good or better than their peers. 

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We have used the NetApp solution on-premise with one of our outsourcing providers. We have used NetApp before in Canada. In the US, we used the Dell EMC NAS solution. So, we have had some experience with NetApp as our company has used NetApp in the past for years, but those solutions were not entirely cloud-based. Cloud Volumes ONTAP is unique in that it runs the same familiar operating system that you would run on the on-premise NetApp system with some differences and specifics to Azure. There are a lot of synergies, but basically it's the same operating system. A lot of the things work the same as they would using the on-premise NAS. Currently, we use the solution in Asia and North America.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is well-documented, so it's fairly straightforward. There are all these aspects where you need to have some understanding of what you want to achieve in the end. You also need to have in mind a final design of what the requirements are. Based on that, the initial setup is well-documented and not overly difficult.

    Our initial deployment was a year and a half ago when things were fairly new for NetApp. Our environment was fairly complex because we needed an antivirus integration along with different things, so the initial setup took about two to three weeks. Then, setup of subsequent Cloud Volumes ONTAP devices, as we expanded the solution, would take one to three days. We followed the same steps that we established in the original deployment, and in some cases with a few improvements, incorporating lessons learned.

    What about the implementation team?

    We knew what capacity we required. We knew that we wanted to configure backups and deploy disaster recovery. We also knew that we wanted antivirus scanning and integration as well as malware protection on the system. Therefore, we identified the requirements, then worked initially with NetApp Professional Services to deploy the solution.

    What was our ROI?

    In the past, we were working with outsourcers on-premise. Even compared to just standard Azure or other solutions available, this solution has allowed for probably 50 percent, or in some cases, higher storage savings.

    From a scale or scalability perspective, the more data you store, then the more you can save. For example, the more data you can tear down from SSDs (from premium storage down to Azure Blob), then the more you're going to save. Scale certainly matters because as the more data you store, then the higher savings you can achieve. 

    There are storage efficiencies built into the product. The tiering helps with keeping the storage costs under control, i.e., the tiering from primary storage to Blob storage or object storage helps. Also, the storage efficiencies, deduplication, and compression help to keep storage costs under control. Depending on what solution you are coming off of, a 50 percent savings in storage costs is achievable.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Some flexibility around the licensing model would help. The product is licensed based on capacity. Basically, the largest capacity license that you can buy is 368 terabytes. At this point, NetApp is addressing some people's concerns around this. 

    I can stack licenses, e.g., two, three, or more 368 terabyte licenses can be stacked. However, I would like to see some more flexibility because you can't remove disks that you added from Azure. You would need to delete a whole disk group. When you have highly utilized Cloud Volumes ONTAP systems, you can get into a situation where you can't remove disks. This is something that I run into, so you need some flexibility with the licensing. 

    NetApp could perhaps allow temporary bursts of capacity on the 368 terabytes. For example, if I'm rearranging my disk groups or disk aggregates, then I could add to the existing capacity and move my data around within the system to optimize capacity, costs, and performance. After that, I could migrate off the set of disks that the appliance is using currently, move data around, and delete the original source, but still stay under the 368 terabyte capacity. However, to do that data movement, a couple of sets of disks have to be assigned. At the same time, you might temporarily exceed that 368 terabyte limit. Therefore, that is something that could potentially be improved. 

    I understand why there is a cutoff. Because if you're licensed for 368 terabytes, you should be using 368 terabytes. However, keeping in line with the elastic nature of cloud and flexibility of the cloud, some bursting of that 368 terabyte license capacity should be allowed. I think that would a good idea.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We looked at Azure Files and just regular file servers in Azure. We also looked at a couple of other not well-known vendors who are in the cloud, like SoftNAS. Basically, when we were exploring options in the cloud over two years ago. Now, when we started kind of the journey of trying to see what was available in the cloud over two years ago, nobody had the capabilities of NetApp. To date, I don't find that there is real competition for NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP at the scale that they're doing it at. 

    While I have been aware of Cloud Volumes ONTAP for probably over three years, it wasn't at the scale or refinement that we needed then. That's partly why we didn't go with that solution earlier. However, it met our requirements by the time we got on it.

    The solution provides more granularity and feature-rich options than if we used management options provided by the native cloud service, like Azure.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate this solution a nine out of 10.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud

    If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

    Microsoft Azure
    Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    PeerSpot user
    JeremyHarrison - PeerSpot reviewer
    Senior Analyst at a comms service provider with 5,001-10,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    All our data shares and volumes are on one platform making adjustment of share permissions easier than with Azure native
    Pros and Cons
    • "We're able to use the SnapMirror function and SnapMirror data from our on-prem environment into Azure. That is super-helpful. SnapMirror allows you to take data that exists on one NetApp, on a physical NetApp storage platform, and copy it over to another NetApp storage platform. It's a solid, proven technology, so we don't worry about whether data is getting lost or corrupted during the SnapMirror."
    • "When Azure does their maintenance, they do maintenance on one node at a time. With the two nodes of the CVO, it can automatically fail over from one node to the node that is staying up. And when the first node comes back online, it will fail back to the first node. We have had issues with everything failing back 100 percent correctly."

    What is our primary use case?

    It is managing services in our production environment that are in Azure. It provides file shares, both NFS and CIFS, that are used by other applications that are also in Azure.

    NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP is part of the production environment of our company so the entire company, over 5,000 employees globally, is touching it somehow. It's a part of an application that has data that resides on it and they may consume that application.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Cloud Volumes ONTAP is great because of the storage efficiencies that it provides. When you look at the cost of running Azure native storage versus the cost of Cloud Volumes ONTAP, you end up saving money with Cloud Volumes ONTAP. That's a big win because cost is a huge factor when putting workloads in the cloud. We had a cost estimate survey done, a comparison between the two, and I believe that Cloud Volumes ONTAP saves us close to 30 percent compared to the Azure native costs.

    Azure pricing is done in a type of a tier. Once you exceed a certain amount of storage, your cost goes down. So the more data you store, the more you're going to end up saving.

    The storage efficiencies from the NetApp platform allow you to do inline deduplication and compaction of data. All of this adds up to using less of the disk in Azure, which adds up to savings.

    We have two nodes of the NetApp in Azure, which means we have some fault tolerance. That is helpful because Azure just updates stuff when they want to and you're not always able to stop them or schedule it at a later time. Having two CVO nodes is helpful to keep the business up when Azure is doing their maintenance.

    The solution provides unified storage no matter what kind of data you have. We were already using the NetApp platform on our on-premise environments, so it's something we're already familiar with in terms of how to manage permissions on different types of volumes, whether it's an NFS export or a CIFS share. We're able to utilize iSCSI data stores if we need to attach a volume directly to a VM. It allows us to continue to do what we're already familiar with in the NetApp environment. Now we can do them in Azure as well.

    It enables us to manage our native cloud storage better than if we used the management options provided by the native cloud service. With CVO, all of your data shares and volumes are on the one NetApp platform. Whether you are adjusting share permissions on an NFS export or a CIFS share, you can do it all from within the NetApp management interface. That's much easier than the Azure native, where you may have to go to two or three different screens to do the same stuff.

    What is most valuable?

    The storage efficiencies are something that you don't get on native.

    Also, because of the NetApp product, we're able to use the SnapMirror function and SnapMirror data from our on-prem environment into Azure. That is super-helpful. SnapMirror allows you to take data that exists on one NetApp, on a physical NetApp storage platform, and copy it over to another NetApp storage platform. It's a solid, proven technology, so we don't worry about whether data is getting lost or corrupted during the SnapMirror. We are also able to throttle back the speed of the SnapMirror to help our network team that is paying for a data circuit. We're still able to copy data into Azure, but we can manage the transfer cost because we can throttle back the SnapMirror. It's just very solid and reliable. It works.

    And all of us IT nerds are already familiar with the NetApp platform so there was not a major learning curve to start using it in Azure.

    NetApp also has something called Active IQ Unified Manager, and it gives us performance monitoring of the CVO from an external source. There are several people on my team that utilize the CVO and we each have a personal preference for how we look at data. The Active IQ Unified Manager is a product you can get from NetApp because, once you license your CVO, you are entitled to other tools. CVO does have resource performance monitoring built in, but we primarily utilize the Active IQ Unified Manager.

    Beyond that, it provides all the great stuff that the NetApp platform can do, but it's just in the cloud.

    What needs improvement?

    I think this is more of a limitation of how it operates in Azure, but the solution is affected by this limitation. There's something about how the different availability zones, the different regions, operate in Azure. It's very difficult to set up complete fault tolerance using multiple CVO nodes and have one node in one region and one node in another region. This is not something that I have dug into myself. I am hearing about this from other IT nerds.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We've been using NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP for two years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We had issues with Azure when they did maintenance on the nodes. They just do their maintenance and it's up to us, the customer, to make sure that our applications are up and data is flowing. When Azure does their maintenance, they do maintenance on one node at a time. With the two nodes of the CVO, it can automatically fail over from one node to the node that is staying up. And when the first node comes back online, it will fail back to the first node. We have had issues with everything failing back 100 percent correctly.

    We have had tickets open with NetApp to have them look into it and try and resolve it. They've made improvements in some ways, but it's still not 100 percent automated for everything to return back. That's an ongoing thing we have to keep an eye on.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is definitely scalable. You can add more disk to grow your capacity and you have the ability to add more nodes. There's a limit to how many nodes you can add, but you can definitely scale up.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Tech support is good. A lot of it depends on the technician that you get, but if you're not happy with one technician, you can request that it be escalated or you can request that it just be handled by another technician. They're very eager to help and resolve issues.

    How was the initial setup?

    We had some issues with permissions and with getting the networking correct. But we had a lot of support from NetApp as well as from Azure. As a result, I would not say the setup was straightforward, but we got the help and the support we needed and you can't ask for more than that.

    I've always found NetApp support to be accurate and good with their communications. Rolling out this product in Azure, and working with the IT nerds in our company and with Azure nerds, occasionally it does add another layer of who has to be communicated with and who has to do stuff. But my experience with NetApp is that they are responsive and very determined to get situations resolved.

    It took us about a week to get everything ironed out and get both nodes functional.

    We had done a PoC with a smaller instance of the CVO and the PoC was pretty straightforward. Once we rolled out the production CVO that has two nodes, that's when it was more complicated. We had a plan for getting it deployed and to decide at what point we would say, "Okay, now it's ready for prime time. Now it's ready to be put into production."

    For admin of the solution we have less than 10 people, and they're all storage administrator analysts like me.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Our licensing is based on a yearly subscription. That is an additional cost, but because of the storage efficiencies that the NetApp gives, even with the additional cost of the NetApp license, you still end up saving money versus straight Azure native for storage. It's definitely worth it.

    What other advice do I have?

    Make sure that you can stay operational when Azure is doing their maintenance. Make sure you fully understand how the failover and the give-back process works, so that you can deal with your maintenance.

    Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP
    July 2022
    Learn what your peers think about NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: July 2022.
    620,068 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    Shricharan Ganesh - PeerSpot reviewer
    Technical Architect at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    Tiering saves us significant costs, and Unified Manager helps resolve issues before they have an impact
    Pros and Cons
    • "The storage tiering is definitely the most valuable feature... With respect to tiering, the inactive data is pushed to a lower tier where the storage cost is cheap, but the access cost is high."
    • "It definitely needs improvement with respect to clustering and with respect to more collaborative integrations with Azure. Right now, we have very limited functionalities with Azure, except for storage. If CVO could be integrated with Azure that would help. When there is any sort of maintenance happening in the cloud, it disrupts the service in Cloud Volumes ONTAP."

    What is our primary use case?

    NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP is where we host our NAS storage on which we keep our files, et cetera. We have three clusters of CVO, each serving close to 300 terabytes of data. We have our SQL backup workloads and the application data residing in it. We are using the tiering policy, which pushes the inactive data down to cold storage to help save on costs.

    Cloud Volumes ONTAP is all cloud-based and we have our workloads on Azure.

    How has it helped my organization?

    At one point we were paying close to $80,000 a month for cloud resources, and now it's down to $25,000 to $30,000 after using the tiering.

    Also, using Unified Manager we are able to resolve issues before they have an impact. For example, there were conditions where bulk operations were happening against a particular volume, and our business was also writing the data. We caught it using Unified Manager. The IOPS were low and there was a high latency, close to 1,500 milliseconds. We had a look at exactly what operations were happening and, before the user even reported it, we reached out to the team that was doing the bulk operations to stop whatever process they were running. That's just one example. We have had a lot of occasions where the tool has been really handy when it comes to proactive monitoring. 

    And it's not only for proactive monitoring. The same tool is also used for a lot of root cause analysis.

    What is most valuable?

    The storage tiering is definitely the most valuable feature. With the pay-as-you-go plan, we can choose between standard and premium storage, but we use only premium for high performance. High IOPS and low latencies are the main features of the premium storage. With respect to tiering, the inactive data is pushed to a lower tier where the storage cost is cheap, but the access cost is high.

    NetApp also has something called SnapMirror replications and that's how we replicate our data from production to the DR site, for our BCP. It has pretty solid solutioning for the replications so the SnapMirrors are pretty handy when it comes to BCPs.

    In terms of cloud resource monitoring, we use Unified Manager and it's pretty cool. It has both Excel-based metrics as well as graphical representations, which give us a clear idea of which particular file systems have performance problems. We can go over the statistical information and it comes in very handy. At the same time, it has an alerting mechanism where any sort of conditions can be configured and alerts are then sent to your mailbox or your mobile SMS.

    What needs improvement?

    It definitely needs improvement with respect to clustering and with respect to more collaborative integrations with Azure. Right now, we have very limited functionalities with Azure, except for storage. If CVO could be integrated with Azure that would help. When there is any sort of maintenance happening in the cloud, it disrupts the service in Cloud Volumes ONTAP. 

    If those could be rectified, that would be really good news because it would reduce the administrative overhead my team and I are facing.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP for close to two years now.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is stable, at least with respect to Azure, which is what we use.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    NetApp is scalable. When we initially started with Cloud Volumes ONTAP, it had a hard limit of 378 terabytes as its maximum capacity per cluster. Beyond that you couldn't expand. So we had to spin up another cluster. When that was almost full we had to get a third cluster. But I believe that in the recent build of CVO they have introduced the ability to stack one license on top of another cluster, so you can have infinite data per cluster. So there were challenges, particularly with vertical scalability before, but that has now been fixed in the recent release.

    In terms of increasing our usage in the future, we definitely will if required. It gives us the flexibility to perform automations and it has its own encryption tools. Right now, we are using it for one particular region in Europe, but we do have plans to get it out to other regions as well, but that's not going to happen immediately.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We have used their technical support on a lot of occasions and they have been pretty helpful. I'm completely satisfied with the resolutions they have come up with. We have created more than a hundred tickets in the last two years. Those were all submitted initially, when we had an older version of CVO, but now we hardly create tickets with support because our team has the ability to administer it.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We had ONTAP before CVO. We also used Dell Isilon and SoftNAS before we migrated to CVO. We switched because we found that SoftNAS was not stable enough to handle the workloads. We often had problems with the applications.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup of Cloud Volumes ONTAP is pretty straightforward. We didn't have any sort of difficulties getting it spun up. It was also pretty quick. We had everything needed in Azure. It hardly took us three to four hours to have the entire environment set up and ready.

    We did some architectural planning for setting this up and we got all the approvals and licenses well in advance, before we actually configured it.

    When it comes to maintenance, it depends on what kind of coverage an organization wants. We are a team of four who administer NetApp clusters alongside the cloud resources. We have roughly 2,000 users.

    What about the implementation team?

    We worked only with NetApp. We had one architect and one contractor from Professional Services.

    What was our ROI?

    Now that we have started using tiering, we could still actually save more costs, but we haven't gone to that specific area. We know it is definitely going to affect the performance if we keep all the data in the cloud tier. That's why we haven't. But Cloud Volumes ONTAP has the flexibility to dump all the data to the cloud tier to save every penny possible.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    We have an annual license renewal for all the clusters. The license comes with annual training and with some Professional Services time. We have used all of those. I'm not sure if that's standard or it's an agreement between our organization and NetApp, but that's what we get as a part of our licensing.

    The money you can save with CVO depends on what type of configuration an organization needs. They can also push all the data down to the cold tier. The pricing model for the Azure Cool Blob offering is pretty low compared to the premium or the standard. The cost of cold storage would probably be 10 cents per GB.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Very few of the cloud service solution providers have that tiering option. Tiering results in a lot of savings.

    What other advice do I have?

    NetApp, on the whole, is a whole different tool for me. Two years back, when I started, when I had my hands on it for the first time, I found it pretty interesting. I would note its simplicity. It's simple and, at the same, time very powerful and able to handle any sort of storage workloads.

    NetApp is really cool. If your organization is looking for cost savings, NetApp is the way to go.

    Overall, I would rate CVO a nine out of 10. We had a lot of problems with NetApp, but those were in the very early stages. And NetApp always promises to upgrade their products and they actually listen to the customer's problems. We have raised a couple of defects with NetApp, and they have always been supportive, getting these resolved as soon as possible. 

    The NetApp organization, on the whole, is pretty good. They're coming up with go-to-market products like Azure NetApp Files, etc., which is actually the beta version of Azure Sites.

    Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    PeerSpot user
    John Boncamper - PeerSpot reviewer
    Technology Consultant at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
    Reseller
    It's easy to set up and schedule replications from the cloud manager
    Pros and Cons
    • "The Cloud Manager application that's on the NetApp cloud site is easy to use. You can set up and schedule replications from there, so you don't have to go into the ONTAP system. Another feature we've recently started using is the scheduled power off. We started with one client and have been slowly implementing it with others. We can cut costs by not having the VM run all the time. It's only on when it's doing replication, but it powers off after."
    • "Cloud Volumes ONTAP's interface could use an overhaul. Sometimes you have to dig around in Cloud Manager a little bit to find certain things. The layout could be more intuitive."

    What is our primary use case?

    Cloud Volumes ONTAP is used for disaster recovery right now, and the primary use case for our current clients and environments is CIFS. Most clients use Cloud Volumes ONTAP as a replication destination for CIFS. It's a way to back up their documents and files offsite for disaster recovery. They have VMs that they spin up and connect to. 

    In most cases, we have not deployed anything that uses the service protocol, like iSCSI or NFS. It's strictly CIFS. We haven't used one solution—matching DR for CIFS volumes—which is a destination that replicates from on-prem to the cloud, but we've done DR tests with that. 

    The other two instances we're currently running will be the same scenario, but we're not there yet. Right now, they are being used for SnapMirror destinations of CIFS volumes only, and that's all three. We've been running Cloud Volumes ONTAP in Azure as a VM along with a connector. They had one deployed before I took it over, but it's typically done within the NetApp Cloud Manager system. Once we connect to the Azure portal or subscription, we push out the CVO from there.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Our clients see most of the benefits. Cloud Volumes ONTAP provides offsite backups. We used to host our backups on physical infrastructure in a data center or on remote sites. There were a lot of storage costs for replication. By implementing Cloud Volumes ONTAP in the Azure portal, we eliminated the cost of additional hardware and everything you have to maintain on-prem in a physical environment and put it up to the cloud. That was a considerable cost savings for the customer.

    Cloud Volumes ONTAP is a massive improvement in terms of manageability. It's easier for customers to perform certain functions from that interface, knowing it sits on a high availability platform. We don't worry about paying all these separate vendors for replication solutions. Other costs are associated with maintaining physical infrastructure in a data center, like electricity or storage space, RAM, and other hardware. It has improved our clients' bottom line because they spend less on disaster recovery.

    What is most valuable?

    The Cloud Manager application that's on the NetApp cloud site is easy to use. You can set up and schedule replications from there, so you don't have to go into the ONTAP system. Another feature we've recently started using is the scheduled power off. We started with one client and have been slowly implementing it with others. We can cut costs by not having the VM run all the time. It's only on when it's doing replication, but it powers off after.

    What needs improvement?

    Cloud Volumes ONTAP's interface could use an overhaul. Sometimes you have to dig around in Cloud Manager a little bit to find certain things. The layout could be more intuitive. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I haven't been using NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP for too long. It has been a little under three years since we started working with it. We were mostly doing a lot with data centers, so we only really started getting into cloud systems about three years ago.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Cloud Volumes ONTAP seems to be fairly stable so far. The only time we have issues is when there is a circuit interruption, but this product has been pretty stable. We haven't had issues with crashes or data getting corrupted. We've had interruptions due to internet problems or leaks between the sites. 

    These are things we have no control over because they're different providers. That's the only issue that I've seen. But once those come through the actual system itself, it's been fine as far as resiliency, performance, and availability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We can expand on it as needed. In particular, it's easy to add storage, and storage expansion is probably the feature we utilize the most. We don't mess with any other features, like within the protocols or anything like that. Those are fine, but storage scalability is pretty good.

    Our clients' storage needs vary. Typically, it's somewhere in the range of 20 to 30 terabytes, but at least 15 to 30 terabytes. Each client is a little different, but the one that uses the most storage has a capacity of about 30 terabytes.

    How are customer service and support?

    NetApp technical support is pretty good. We sometimes have to wait a bit, but they're good at resolving issues once they find out what the problem is. They come back with solutions, so I would rate them pretty well.

    How was the initial setup?

    Deploying Cloud Volumes ONTAP can be complex at times, but I think it's a learning curve. You have to put in many different pieces, and it's not always easy to find the documentation you need on the web. Some parts are straightforward, but sometimes you need to do some digging before deploying. 

    It really comes down to planning. When implementing, we ensure each case is planned and deployed to the networking part for Azure. We also put together a template. That way, other engineers can follow or use it as a guideline when building it. I make a basic template of the required information, configuration settings, etc. 

    These were all deployed as part of a much larger project, which included new hardware that was upgraded. The Azure and NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP were part of that upgrade experience. It was in conjunction with the client getting a new on-prem NetApp system and other infrastructure, like switches. Once everything was migrated, we implemented the Azure part in Cloud Volumes ONTAP.

    We have a small team for handling deployment. I think they have maybe two people. One person could do it, but there is an alternative if somebody is out on vacation. The managed service division covers all the maintenance for our clients. The managed service team takes over all the backend IT work for our clients. Instead of having a full staff, the client pays us to manage the backend of their servers and other infrastructure. As a managed service, we go in and take care of their switching, patches, upgrading, etc.

    What about the implementation team?

    We do all of the implementations for our clients in-house who are the end-users. We sell them the solution and deploy it for them.

    What was our ROI?

    I believe our clients see a return because they don't need to purchase hardware. It's much easier and quicker for them to get additional storage when needed compared to an on-prem system. 

    They save on costs associated with ordering additional storage for a physical on-prem system versus expanding what you have and you pay a little more in Azure. One client saw significant cost savings on their electricity bill. They reduced their bill by almost half just by shutting these things off.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Our management and salespeople deal with pricing. I'm not part of the price negotiations or anything like that. I work on design and implementation.

    What other advice do I have?

    I rate Cloud Volumes ONTAP nine out of 10. It's an excellent solution that is cloud-based, so you don't have to worry about leasing or purchasing hardware. All costs of purchasing lines and circuits are upfront. Since this product works over the internet, you only need data access, which most of them have. 

    Overall, I would say this is better than an on-prem solution that requires physical hardware at remote sites. You don't need to invest in buying or maintaining physical hardware. In this case, you're paying a monthly cost for something. You can decide at any time to stop using it if you don't need it anymore. That's a problem with owning physical infrastructure. You have to dispose of it when you don't need it anymore. Cloud Volumes ONTAP is also easier to manage and upgrade than on-prem systems.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud

    If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

    Microsoft Azure
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    Lead Storage Engineer at a university with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Easier to control data since we can run queries across all our platforms with a single solution
    Pros and Cons
    • "It is much easier to control data since we can run queries across all our platforms with just one solution. Not only that, we can also monitor all the platforms with Active IQ, where we can see all the alerts, messages, and space consumption through a single application. This is regardless if the data is on-prem or AWS. It is much more efficient."
    • "The solution is not stable when using single nodes. This is a problem. NetApp should work on this solution to make it more stable with HA nodes and resolve this issue."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it for multiple cases. We use it for DR and backup tiering. 

    We have some Oracle Databases in AWS that need backing up. We back them up to CVO. From CVO, we tier them out in a FabricPool scenario, then tier them off to StorageGRID. This way, we are putting minimum space on CVO, which has expensive storage. Instead, we are pushing them on a stream. This is really efficient in terms of performance and backup. I like it because we are able to restore quickly. 

    We also use this for dev test data. For Oracle database, we are putting the data file for Oracle Database on a CVO data file. This way, we are able to replicate and clone the Oracle Database very quickly and efficiently with minimal space consumption.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It is much easier to control data since we can run queries across all our platforms with just one solution. Not only that, we can also monitor all the platforms with Active IQ, where we can see all the alerts, messages, and space consumption through a single application. This is regardless if the data is on-prem or AWS. It is much more efficient. 

    What is most valuable?

    The number one feature is the solution's space saving, which is great. 

    They are on AWS and Azure. Because we use both cloud options, we have access through them from everywhere. It is a big colo facility, where we can have access to our data wherever we want. 

    We use NetApp technology for deduplication and compression as well as the cloning technology and Snapshot. This usually helps us to restore everything. It is really helpful.

    It is a unified solution for storing data across the board. This data fabric lets us have data across the board.

    What needs improvement?

    NetApp has a big problem with the HA pair model on this solution. If you want to use it with CVO, you need to run lots of tests. The problem with HA pair and CVO is that it has a huge impact on performance. We also can't use HA pairs with CVO because the cost is higher. It is really more expensive than a single node since you have to pay for the data twice, using their single-node solution with an AWS or Azure data center and causing redundant data. We have had many meetings and discussions with our NetApp account manager and their engineers about this issue since we can't have redundant data. 

    Since it is too expensive, we haven't implemented the HA pair solution. Since we don't have an HA pair solution, we make the trade off of data loss. This happened once. We were lucky that we didn't lose data because we were able to recover it.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We were one of the first customers. We have been using Cloud Volumes for a long time. I think that it has been five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The solution is not stable when using single nodes. This is a problem. NetApp should work on this solution to make it more stable with HA nodes and resolve this issue.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    NetApp has to make improvements on the scalability. It is not really scalable for a bigger scope because of many reasons. NetApp is limited to using six disks and the biggest disk size that they can use is just 16 terabytes. Six disks with 16 terabytes is not enough for a big environment. Right now, NetApp CVO can accept 350 terabytes, but it is 350 terabytes including tiering. In many cases, this is not enough for big data.

    How are customer service and support?

    Initially, technical support was not good at all. We were one of the first customers and couldn't get any support from NetApp in the beginning. Then, we had to communicate with the guys from Israel through Slack, which was so difficult. In the beginning, I would rate the technical support as two or three out of 10.

    Within the last year, it has gotten much better. Based on my experience, they help quickly every time that I call, which is great and more solid than before. I would now rate their technical support as seven out of 10.

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Neutral

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    This was the first solution that we used. We were one of the first customers. There were very few options for solutions back then to utilize cloud storage.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was great. It was so easy and straightforward. Everything was automated with no confusion.

    What was our ROI?

    It has saved us a lot of money. If we don't use it and want native AWS, then we have to pay three or four times more. 

    We are also using it for other use cases. We use CVO for replicating product data to the dev test environment in AWS with a SnapMirror technology, using data from CVO to the dev test environment in AWS data using SnapMirror. This is much faster than any other solution that you can imagine for moving data from on-prem to AWS. We tried many methods, including some native AWS methods. We tried FTP server, file transfer, etc., but none of them were as fast and as quick as SnapMirror replication.

    When we store more data with the solution, we can save more money. The savings depends on how many copies we make of each stage of the environment. If we need to clone the environment four times, then we save a lot of money. If we have to clone the data 10 times, then there are huge savings.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We evaluated AWS and Azure file transfers for replicating data between on-prem and cloud. We also tried AWS and Azure native volumes for cloud and those solutions were much better. 

    The reasons that we went with NetApp:

    1. The data fabric technology created a single standard for everything.
    2. Cost.
    3. Our familiarity with it. We didn't have to learn anything new.

    If we wanted to use the AWS solution, we would have to manage two or three different platforms and pay more money than what we should have to pay, as some of the features don't even exist. If we wanted to, we could use AWS cloning, but it is useless because it uses more space, is more expensive, and takes more time.

    What other advice do I have?

    We use NetApp storage when we want to use NFS methods. If we don't have to use an NSF method, then we use native cloud sets. So, we use both.

    I recommend using this technology for now as there isn't another technology that can cover transferring data across sites, provide reliability of data, money savings, and space savings. If you want to compare these factors with any other solution, then NetApp is the best for now.

    I would rate the solution as eight out of 10 because they still have to work on the HA pair issue.

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    Sandeep Gawde - PeerSpot reviewer
    Principal Enterprise Architect at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Real-time dashboard is excellent for providing support and helps with decision-making at business level
    Pros and Cons
    • "In terms of administration, the portal which provides the dashboard view is an excellent tool for operations. It gives you volume divisions, usage rates, which division is using how much data, and more. The operations portal is fantastic for the support team."
    • "The only area for improvement would be some guidance in terms of the future products that NetApp is planning on releasing. I would like to see communication around that or advice such as, "Hey, the world is moving towards this particular trend, and NetApp can help you do that." I do get promotional emails from NetApp, but customer-specific advice would be helpful, based on our use cases."

    What is our primary use case?

    We store our user documentation repository in NetApp. We are serving multiple divisions, and there are use cases grouped by divisions, by user access rights, et cetera. We also have specific requirements for the backups and restores.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The main use case for us in going with Cloud Volumes ONTAP was to ensure the IOPS or performance. There are other solutions available that are probably more cost-effective than NetApp, but given the criticality of our application, the performance expectations, and the availability, those were the factors that helped us to zero in on the NetApp solution.

    What is most valuable?

    In terms of administration, the portal which provides the dashboard view is an excellent tool for operations. It gives you volume divisions, usage rates, which division is using how much data, and more. The operations portal is fantastic for the support team.

    Cloud Volumes ONTAP provides unified storage, no matter what kind of data you have. In terms of our data, it's mainly Word and PDF files, but we have a specific use case where applications are using XML files for document management.

    What needs improvement?

    The only area for improvement would be some guidance in terms of the future products that NetApp is planning on releasing. I would like to see communication around that or advice such as, "Hey, the world is moving towards this particular trend, and NetApp can help you do that." I do get promotional emails from NetApp, but customer-specific advice would be helpful, based on our use cases.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We started using NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP in production in April of this year. But we had been working with the NetApp team before that, from October of 2020, to get the configuration right in the test environment. Overall, we have been using it for about one year and two months.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    There has been just one incident since we started using it, in which a node refresh needed to be done. The stability is pretty good with only one incident in 14 months. We're pretty happy with that.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have been pretty impressed with the scalability because when we started, we had to immediately onboard two more divisions and it was pretty straightforward, once we had the base setup going. We were able to scale it up pretty quickly and we were able to do it on our own.

    We are using Cloud Volumes ONTAP daily. Our departments are copying the files on it and sharing them. It's a part of their daily work.

    At the project level, we are not looking to expand our usage of NetApp, but at the organizational level, there are plans. They are looking at additional use cases that can be  onboarded to NetApp.

    How are customer service and support?

    After we deployed we had a couple of queries in terms of optimizing uses. We raised a support ticket and the help was available within a couple of hours. They had people on a call supporting us.

    We're pretty happy with the support we're getting and with our account manager. Everyone is prompt in responding, so we're quite happy.

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Positive

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We used a typical Windows file share. Then, when we moved to the cloud, we worked with Azure Files. But in terms of performance and stability, we found that NetApp was way ahead of the other solutions.

    How was the initial setup?

    Overall, the setup process was excellent. It was pretty straightforward but we also had NetApp engineers available and dedicated to us on a call when we were setting it up. To help us get going, there was tremendous support available, which was good.

    The setup time was about six hours and there were about two hours during which we had conference calls with the NetApp team. 

    What about the implementation team?

    The NetApp team was very helpful. The engineers worked with us to understand our use cases and advised us on the configurations. They weren't just checking what we were doing but were contributing to the overall setup. That was a good experience.

    What was our ROI?

    It's too early to comment on ROI because we're just a little more than one year into a five-year business case. We'll probably see a return in the third or fourth year.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The pricing of this solution is definitely higher than what the typical Azure Files and AWS solutions charge, but given the features and the stability NetApp has provided, we are okay with it. We are not complaining about the pricing.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We looked at Azure Files and the Amazon EFS file system.

    The pros for NetApp were definitely the stability, performance, and availability, out-of-the-box. Even Cloud Volumes ONTAP can be set up in HA. With Azure as well as AWS, you have to have your own custom solutions on top of them. Another advantage with NetApp is the admin portal which has a very good dashboard. Because it gives a good view of usage in real time, decisions become easier for the business.

    The only challenging part that we faced with NetApp was that it would have been good to have a sandbox available for a PoC scenario. Without it, what we had to do was get a trial license and set it up. With Azure and AWS, you go directly to the console and just provision it. With NetApp, we had that initial period where we had to set it up on a trial license for a month, and when that was getting close to expiring, we had to extend it.

    What other advice do I have?

    First and foremost, test the use cases where you need availability and performance as the key drivers for a solution. In those scenarios, NetApp is way ahead compared to what the competitors offer. But given the cost of the other solutions, there has to be a three- to five-year view if you are going to go with NetApp. You will not see a return on your investment after six months or one year.

    I'm happy with the way it is handling our use cases and meeting our performance requirements.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
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    Senior Systems Engineer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
    Real User
    You don't need to spend time and resources planning and setting up physical storage equipment in your data center
    Pros and Cons
    • "The main benefit we get from this product is the ability to deploy it anywhere we want, whether that's on-prem, a remote physical location, or in the cloud. It doesn't matter from an operational perspective where it is. The command line and operating system are the same."
    • "The encryption and deduplication features still have a lot of room for improvement."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our organization utilizes a hybrid cloud in which Cloud Volumes ONTAP is a single node. We have multiple instances of Cloud Volumes on a single node in AWS, and we primarily use it to take snapshots for disaster recovery.

    We save many snapshots at that location so we can redirect users if something happens on our primary site. 

    The other use case is backup. We enabled SnapLock, which acts as the WORM, making those snapshots immutable. In other words, they can't be deleted.

    Those are the two use cases. One is disaster recovery, and the other is to preserve a third copy of the snapshot. This is typically for Tier 1 applications. We have a third copy, and no one can delete the volume's snapshot. The end-users don't work with Cloud Volumes directly, but if our operational team needs to restore some files that aren't on-prem, they sometimes go to those instances in Cloud Volumes. That's only when they have to restore something beyond the date range of the on-prem snapshot.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The main benefit we get from this product is the ability to deploy it anywhere we want, whether that's on-prem, a remote physical location, or in the cloud. It doesn't matter from an operational perspective where it is. The command line and operating system are the same. 

    If I give it to someone to manage, they don't know if the product is running in the cloud or on the physical location. That's great because you don't have to worry about knowledge transfer. The product runs the same regardless of how it's deployed. Cloud Volumes has also significantly improved performance and storage efficiency because it has capacity tiering, which is helpful if you're cost-conscious. 

    It provides unified storage, so you can use it for NAS or block. However, we segregate a separate cluster for files and another for block storage. Fortunately, it's the same ONTAP operating system, so a user doesn't need to understand a different set of command lines or another method if dealing with block storage or files. It's all the same for them.

    It helps us manage our native cloud storage. Cloud Volumes allows us to choose which storage types are applicable for us. In our case, it lets us choose a cheaper EBS storage, and then we can perform capacity tiering in S3. It gives us the flexibility to determine which type of native AWS storage to use, which is cool.

    What is most valuable?

    We mainly use Cloud Volumes for two features: SnapMirror and SnapVault. Those are the two that our use case requires. Data deduplication and capacity tiering are the main primary reasons we adopted the solution. The data is deduped and encrypted, and we use capacity tiering to cut down on our S3 storage costs.

    What needs improvement?

    The encryption and deduplication features still have a lot of room for improvement. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We first deployed Cloud Volumes ONTAP four years ago.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Cloud Volumes has been stable so far. We haven't had many issues. If there are any issues, it's typically during an upgrade. Some tools are upgraded automatically through the cloud manager, but it's nothing major, and the upgrade has been smooth as well.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Cloud Volumes added an option to stack licenses to increase capacity. Before, you were only allowed one license per instance, which gave you 360 terabytes. Now, you can stack the licenses to add a second license of the same instance to get another 360 terabytes, totaling 720. 

    That's vertical scalability, but we haven't scaled horizontally. We just use it for a single node per instance. We started with one instance, and now we are on the seventh. As we add new on-prem projects, they always require a copy of their data somewhere. That's when we deploy additional instances.

    How are customer service and support?

    My experience with technical support has been positive overall. I would rate NetApp support eight out of 10. I would deduct two points because they don't have complete control of the solution. It's more of a hybrid setup. They provide the software level, but the underlying infrastructure is AWS. If there's an issue, it's hard to distinguish if Cloud Volumes is to blame or AWS. That's why I would say eight because there is that question. When you have multiple layers, it takes more time to troubleshoot. 

    How was the initial setup?

    Installing Cloud Volumes is quick and straightforward. I can deploy an instance in half an hour. Compare that to an on-prem serverless instance, which requires a lot of planning and work with other teams to lay cables and plot out space in a data center. That takes three to six months versus 30 minutes. It's a big difference. We only need one staff member to maintain it. 

    What about the implementation team?

    We used our in-house engineers to deploy Cloud Volumes.

    What was our ROI?

    As we store more data, we save more money using Cloud Volumes. The deduplication engine can find more commonalities as you accumulate more data, which has helped. Of course, it depends on the data type. It doesn't help if you have compressed data, but it's suitable for unstructured data.

    Deduplication is one of the most significant improvements I've seen in the product. In the past, Cloud Volumes could only dedupe on the volume level, but now it can dedupe on the aggregate level, which means you can look at more volumes and commonalities. You have a greater chance to dedupe more data in that scenario.

    We save on storage in general. One of the biggest selling points of Cloud Volumes is that you can deploy it quickly. You don't need to spend time and resources planning and setting up physical storage equipment in your data center. Real estate in a data center is precious, so cost savings makes Cloud Volumes enticing. In our case, we don't need a physical disaster recovery location. Anything that isn't Tier 1 goes to the cloud.

    What other advice do I have?

    I rate NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP nine out of 10. 

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Hybrid Cloud
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    Infrastructure Architect at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    Provides unified storage no matter what kind of data we have
    Pros and Cons
    • "Lastly, the API and web services are fairly good. That is an important feature too. We write some code to do different things. We have code that runs to make sure that everything is being backed up as we say it is and we try to also detect places where we may have missed a backup."
    • "I'm very happy with the solution, the only thing that needs improvement is the web services API. It could be a little bit more straightforward. That's my only issue with it. It can get pretty complex."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use Cloud Volumes ONTAP to back up ONTAP Select instances from our plants and distribution centers to Cloud Volumes ONTAP and Azure. We store a backup solution for all or most sites.

    How has it helped my organization?

    In terms of how this solution has improved my organization, we use a third-party backup solution, like Spectrum Protect from IBM to backup finances. That's not the best way to do it. Our choice was to move from that technology straight to using the same technology for backup, which is essentially NetApp. Cloud Volumes ONTAP is NetApp. It's the same technology which is where the efficiency really is. It's much more efficient than using a third-party solution.

    It provides unified storage no matter what kind of data we have. Right now, it's just backing up Volumes but NetApp is a unified solution. In our case, it's really for file storage, NFS or CIFS.

    Cloud Volumes ONTAP allows us to keep more backup. We can keep more backup because of the cost of storage in Azure versus what we have in our data center. This is also completely off-site from our data centers. We have two data centers close to each other, but this actually keeps us as an offsite copy too because it's far enough away. It does keep control of our storage costs from a previous backup technology because it's kept in Azure and it's cloud-based storage. It's not our on-premise storage, it's kind of a hybrid cloud solution.

    We're saving around 20% on storage. 

    What is most valuable?

    It is the same technology that we run on our sites. All of the backup functions and recovery are similar. It's the exact same process. From a learning experience, it's the same. If you learn ONTAP itself, then you can do Cloud Volumes ONTAP without an issue.

    The main feature of it is what we call "native backup technology." We're not using somebody else's technology backup, we're using NetApp. 

    The other important part to us is the Cloud Manager. It gives us a single pane of glass to look at the environment. Everything is remote right now but we will be backing up some on-premise very shortly.

    Lastly, the API and web services are fairly good. That is an important feature too. We write some code to do different things. We have code that runs to make sure that everything is being backed up as we say it is and we try to also detect places where we may have missed a backup.

    What needs improvement?

    I'm very happy with the solution, the only thing that needs improvement is the web services API. It could be a little bit more straightforward. That's my only issue with it. It can get pretty complex. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using Cloud Volumes ONTAP for a year. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    So far, we haven't had any downtime. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It scales well. We can add to the license. We have a 100 terabyte license right now, but we can add to it very quickly.

    There is very low maintenance because once you deploy it, you run your scripts and you can see what failed and not many things fail. So, it's pretty quick.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We did contact their support initially during the initial install. It was our cloud technical support. We had a resource from them. They were excellent. 

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We switched to CVO because of the efficiency and architectural consistency because it uses the same technology. NetApp to NetApp is not trying to go to somebody else.

    We were backing up Spectrum Protect and we were using SimpliVity backup at one time on the license, but essentially those weren't solutions and we moved totally away from that.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was straightforward. You log onto their marketplace and deploy the Cloud Manager. Then it will deploy the actual CVO itself. It's pretty much a point and click. You have to set up some things ahead of time, like your Azure connections if you don't have them. Those can be more complex, but the actual solution itself was fairly straightforward.

    There are prerequisites that have to be done like networking to Azure to your cloud and making sure that you have firewall rules in place. Those are more site-specific, like customer-specific issues. It's not really related to CVO directly.

    It took about three months to deploy all the sites which are just for North America. This is also deployed within our company and in Asia. We have about 24 sites and we have a 100% adoption rate. 

    What about the implementation team?

    We did the deployment ourselves. 

    What was our ROI?

    We never really got down to the TCO. We just know that it was at least 20% better. The only reason we would pick it and change everything is that it was cheaper and consistent with our architecture. 

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    We don't think it's that expensive when compared to what we were paying for the previous vendor. This is less expensive. Pricing is good. 

    What other advice do I have?

    My main advice is to get your cloud technical support online. Make sure you have all the prerequisites properly done and you understand how to deploy the Cloud Manager. That's really the main thing.

    Anytime we want to deploy new sites, we have to get the network people involved for firewalls because in our case, we're coming from Azure, which is where the CVO is, back into our company's network. The security protection is the most important lesson that you've got to get right. The security of your connections is important. 

    I would rate NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP a ten out of ten. 

    Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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    Updated: July 2022
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.