Breaking Through The Cloud

12 Posts authored by: amandaw

by Sumit Lahiri, Sr. Product Manager, Service Provider solutions



Love it or leave it we are the “cloud”



The usage of the word “cloud” has become commonplace to the extent that it appears in almost every discussion related to providing or consuming IT. That said, I would like to take a moment to express my views with the hope to absolve the facts from the hype.



Been there done that…



In my conversations with customers, colleagues, friends and virtually any one in the business of consuming or providing IT, one would often hear various analogies being drawn to describe the cloud. For some, the cloud is about automation & manageability, others construe it as another name for virtualization and for yet others it is the “network”. Without being specific, the central message almost always has been packaging old wine in a new bottle – “been there done that..”.

I would agree with the statements in general, datacenter automation, manageability, virtualization and such others have been in vogue long before the concept of “Cloud” became prevalent. So this begs the question – what is different about “cloud” that hitherto has remained obscured.




To Cloud or not to Cloud…


If I may be given the carte blanche to provide yet another point of view, my response would be on the following lines… “Cloud is the consumer centric ideology on how IT should be consumed as a service”. Cloud is flipping the perspective from the provider to the consumer. That being said, as we begin looking from the consumer side an entirely new paradigm or ideology of consuming IT as a Service begins to emerge – the parallels are drawn with usage and consumption of any utility based service. The forces of supply and demand engage and dynamics of utility marketplace begin to apply.


Without being overtly pedantic, I have attempted to map the “consumer expectation” to “provider competence”, please refer to the table below. And truth be told, this model doesn’t look different from any other utility we consume, except there is no standard unit of consumption. This makes consuming and providing IT as a Service both complex and interesting.




Consumer ExpectationProvider Competence
On Demand ServiceRapid Provisioning, Elasticity, Automation
Consume from multiple providers without changes to mechanism
of consumption
Standard Interfaces, Data mobility, Security
AssuranceHigh Availability
Subscription PlansService Tiering, Chargeback, Smart Bundles




From the provider standpoint all of the existing concepts of automation, manageability and virtualization are still very much applicable. However, to provide the agility, scalability, elasticity and availability, the underlying data center architectures need to evolve.  Such is the evolution of software defined “X”. “Software Defined” is fundamentally a different design philosophy from “Software Implemented “X”. Not to digress, this seems to be good topic for a future post.



NetApp into the Cloud  and Back….



For the providers of IT (here I refer to both enterprise customers and service providers) the last few years has presented unprecedented disruption across all layers of the stack. While the choices for the providers has grown, their decision making process has become far too complex. Most Data Center decisions have long standing effects, and as such, need to be evaluated with a keen eye to discriminate between hype and sustainability.


This is where Netapp, together with our partners, is committed to supporting customers and helping them reshape the future of “Cloud” based IT consumption. While virtualization of compute and network functions helps to orchestrate functionally equivalent topology between on-premise and provider cloud, this needs to be accompanied by the movement of data – remember “Data has gravity”. Moving the data to and fro between clouds needs careful planning and is no easy feat to accomplish!  NetApp enables this with near zero downtime and minimal service disruption. In other words, we help our customers effectively “commoditize compute while personalizing data”. NetApp’s groundbreaking work with Amazon is the testament to this fact.


Tiered storage services, accelerated provisioning, simplified manageability & secure multi-tenancy are just some of the capabilities that NetApp provides out of the box. NetApp and Cisco have taken the best that NetApp has to offer and bundled it with best of breed architecture from UCS and Nexus to develop FlexPod, the “converged infrastructure” building block for cloud. Recently IDC published their quarterly results and are we are #1!


NetApp & Citrix – Winning together


On the open source front, NetApp has a strong commitment to simplify storage integration with OpenStack and CloudStack infrastructure orchestration frameworks. Speaking specifically on CloudStack, NetApp is developing it’s first Virtual Storage Console (VSC) plugin for Apache CloudStack. The plugin is expected to go into closed beta early January of next year.


The VSC plugin for CloudStack is designed to work with both Apache CloudStack 4.3, as well as, Citrix’s supported version of CloudStack (i.e. “CloudPlatform” version 4.3).For more details on the API specifications refer here .


Once the storage controller initial set up is complete, the cloud or the storage administrator may then leverage CloudStack either programmatically or via user interface to create storage pools. The administrator has the option to create different classes of storage (think gold, silver, bronze) based  on a set of technology attributes such as media type (SAS, SATA,FLASH or combination of such), backup & recovery, storage efficiency, auto growth and such others.


After the storage pool is provisioned, the cloud administrator can then create disk offerings from the pre-provisioned storage pools. Imagine if you may, the “disk offering” as an encapsulation of storage profiles and policies.


The “disk offerings” can then be selectively included while defining compute offerings and they serve as storage definitions for the compute. The design decouples the provisioning of storage from the allocation. This facilitates a vendor neutral implementation for providers to expose differentiated services to their customers.


In addition to simplifying the provisioning and allocation of storage, VSC plugin for CloudStack integrates with two hypervisors (XenServer 6.x and ESXi 5.x) to enable volume level backup and restore. The option of hypervisor assisted quiescing is also available.


CloudStack & OpenStack - a tale of two cities


Both OpenStack and CloudStack frameworks are built on common design philosophies: vendor neutral integration, web services based and modular architecture. Customer who have built services on CloudStack continue to reaffirm their commitment. NetApp is closely working with Citrix to further support that commitment. NetApp will continue to enhance our plugins and integrate with our diverse portfolio of storage offerings. Happy Stacking!


PS: David & Chris, our lead architect and lead developer on "VSC plugin" will be at Amsterdam this week attending the Apache CloudStack Collaboration Conference. If you happen to be there, please swing by and introduce yourselves to David & Chris.

By Rob McDonald, Sr. Manager, NetApp / Citrix Joint Solutions


I recently “came home” to NetApp after being gone for 2 years.  While some things have changed, like some new products coming to market (can you say clustered Data ONTAP?), the most important things haven’t. The focus on customers, innovation, and joint solutions with great partners are still top of mind for all of us.  We deliver multiple integrated solutions with our alliance partners, including VMware, Cisco, Microsoft, and Citrix. My focus is on NetApp and Citrix solutions. Together, we’ve been delivering some outstanding solutions that enable customers to save money, simplify their IT operations, and provide a better experience for their end users.


Here is just a small sample of the great things that we’re doing together. But don’t just take my word for it…see number 2 below to hear directly from our delighted customers.


1.   We’ve just announced FlexPod cooperative support that includes Citrix customers. Nothing new here in terms of the model which has been in place since we launched FlexPod, and now the FlexPod Cooperative Support program brings together the technology expertise of Cisco, NetApp and Citrix. Customers will have direct access to Cisco, NetApp and Citrix engineers trained to rapidly address any operational issues.



2.   Customers benefitting from our joint solutions that enable mobility, flexibility, scalability, and cost efficiencies include University of Sao Paulo, which is delivering virtual desktops to over 105,000 students and 6000 faculty, staff, and researchers, who can access their data anytime, from any device, anywhere. Suncorp, Australia’s largest general insurer, can deploy claims adjusters to customers in the field while still having their desktops and resources available to them on site. KIVBF in Germany, supporting 600 municipalities, have been able to save their taxpayers €10M over the past 5 years using joint NetApp and Citrix solutions.


3.   A real world virtual desktop deployment with the storage cost per desktop as low as $35/desktop, targeted for knowledge workers and task workers. Yep. $35 per desktop.  Here’s how we did it.


4.   High performance VDI for Power Users: NetApp and Atlantis are now partnering to deliver a set of cost efficient VDI architectures for power users (e.g. software developers, healthcare PACS imagery, CAD/CAM users, to name a few) that are simple to deploy and manage, provide high IOPS with better-than-PC performance, and support high availability and disaster recovery with CAPEX and OPEX costs that are lower than a physical PC. The joint architectures are flexible, and can be deployed with Citrix XenDesktop or VMware View as the connection brokers.


We’ve expanded our long standing relationship with Citrix to focus on file sharing, sync, and collaboration with Sharefile, and highly scalable open source cloud infrastructure with CloudStack, to provide even better results for our mutual customers. NetApp Recovery Manager for Citrix ShareFile is a perfect example of such innovation. I’m excited about this, and we’ve only just begun. There will be many more innovative solutions coming, including management for the cloud. It’s so good to be back. Stay tuned.

this post was originally published on NetApp 360


By Tom Shields, NetApp Service Provider Solution Marketing


People may not know it but Data ONTAP is the most widely deployed enterprise storage operating system in the world. More data is managed under ONTAP than in any other single storage architecture. Hundreds of thousands of customers use ONTAP in their enterprises.  ONTAP has also proven itself in the cloud with data management capabilities like storage efficiency, secure multi-tenancy, integrated data protection and non-disruptive operations that are particularly well suited for building cost effective, secure, available, high-SLA services.  Today over 175 NetApp Service Provider Partners deploy NetApp storage, running Data ONTAP, as the foundation for over 300 service offerings.  However, the Verizon announcement represents the first time a cloud provider will deploy Data ONTAP as a virtual storage appliance.   This has important implications for both service providers and end users.


For NetApp Service Provider Partners like Verizon it presages new architectural flexibility to use the power of ONTAP as a software appliance to address new requirements and reach new classes of customers.   It also further demonstrates the value of NetApp’s partner centric approach to cloud.  Is NetApp willing to develop new business models that promise to make our service provider partners even more successful in the cloud?  The answer is “Yes, let’s get creative.”


For end users this signals the beginning of a new era of innovative cloud offerings.  In the case of Verizon, customers will be able to activate the enterprise-grade feature set of NetApp on a high performance Verizon public cloud infrastructure where they benefit from reserved performance, while paying only for the IOPS, storage and bandwidth they need on an hourly basis.  As we move forward, providing Data ONTAP software to service providers promises to spur a wave of creativity and ultimately choice for end users, with ONTAP end points across a spectrum of new cloud services. 


The best part is that all clouds using Data ONTAP can efficiently connect with on premises and other ONTAP-enabled clouds using NetApp data movement and portability technologies. Clouds built using ONTAP as a Virtual Storage Appliance will connect with on premise clouds using the same techniques that move data between remote physical NetApp storage devices. Facilitating data movement across clouds with stewardship is a core NetApp strength and increasingly critical as IT seeks leverage a hybrid data center to lower costs and increase agility.  Our goal is to support IT with a reliable cloud data fabric across all types of clouds as they evolve from builder operators to service brokers.


I for one am very happy to take this significant step toward software defined clouds with a visionary service provider partner like Verizon.  It’s a path we are committed to as we move forward and I can’t wait to see what innovative Data ONTAP based clouds are around the corner.


EC2 plus the power of the world’s #1 storage OS

Contact: Stacey Pang


Visit NetApp and our partners at AWS re:Invent to learn about innovative solutions that combine the economics of public cloud with the performance, availability and control of private storage.



Booth 301 Partner Demo Schedule


Tues 5-7pm, Wed 1:30-5:30pm, Thurs 10:30am-2:30pm


·        Cognizant –    Cloud360 Hybrid Cloud  Management & Solutions

·        HotLink – Unify VMware, AWS & NetApp!

·        Zadara – Hourly, Elastic NetApp Private Storage for AWS - also featured exclusively in Booth 711

·        NetApp Private Storage for AWS



Wed 10:30am-1:30pm, Thurs 2:30-6:30pm, Fri 9am-12pm


·        Avnet-Peak – Avnet CloudAttach powered by Peak

·        Blue River IT – Managed Services for Disaster Recovery & Archive

·        Smartronix – Intelligent Cloud Hub for AWS

·        NetApp Private Storage for AWS



Breakout Sessions


NetApp and Blue River IT

Thursday, November 14, 3-4pm. Room: Veronese 2404

NetApp VP, Cloud Solutions Group, Phil Brotherton and Blue River IT CEO, David McLaughlin, share customer successes and demonstrate DR for business apps.



Friday, November 15, 9-10am. Room: Veronese 2504

Network-Ready Your Hybrid IT Environment featuring Sean Iraca, Director of Global Content & Digital Media at Equinix



Partners in nearby booths:

·        CommVault, Booth 713 – Long-term archive to S3/Glacier with Simpana® Software

·        Day1 Solutions, Booth 305 – Direct Connect to on-premises DCs

·        Equinix, Booth 814 – NetApp Private Storage for AWS in Equinix Data Centers





About our Partners



AvnetAvnet CloudAttach Powered by Peak

Based on NetApp Private Storage for Amazon Web Services (AWS), Avnet CloudAttach pre-architected packages combine the performance and control of NetApp enterprise storage with the affordable, elasticity of AWS and the ability to consume the storage in an OPEX model with as little as a 12 month commitment.


Blue River ITMallard for NetApp and AWS

Blue River Information Technology specializes in managed services and technologies for cloud and on-premise data center infrastructures.  Mallard for NetApp and AWS is a data management solution that utilizes NetApp Private Storage for AWS for disaster recovery, archive, backup & restore, data migration, PaaS, and our NetApp-as-a-Service managed service.


CommVault - Simpana® Software for NetApp and AWS

CommVault® enables NetApp Private Storage for AWS customers to tier & archive data into AWS storage services.  CommVault Simpana® software provides a single data management platform for automated, policy-based data movement between NetApp storage and Amazon S3 & Glacier. CommVault is a NetApp Strategic Alliance & OEM partner and an AWS Technology Partner. CommVault Simpana 10 is an industry leading software platform that seamlessly manages client data across customer on-premise, service provider managed, and public cloud infrastructures.


Day1 Solutions

Day1 Solutions is an emerging industry leader representing the new “Cloud Solutions Provider” model. From cloud consulting, to implementation, and ongoing managed services, Day1 offers a full scope of services and solutions.

Day1 NetApp aaS

Based on the NetApp Private Storage for AWS reference architecture, Day1 NetApp aaS allows enterprise customers to combine the performance and control of enterprise class private storage resources with the efficiency and elasticity benefits of the AWS cloud.

Operating in a Day1 NetApp aaS hybrid architecture provides a unique opportunity to understand which workloads can be optimized for the cloud.  Day1 cloud experts will assess your cloud requirements and deliver the right hybrid architecture to meet your needs.



EquinixNetApp Private Storage for AWS in Equinix Data Centers

Equinix is the largest global data center provider

o   100 locations in 31 strategic markets

o   Network neutral – 950+ network providers

o   Over 90% of all internet routes pass through Equinix

Equinix is the largest AWS Direct Connect provider

o   18 data centers located in London, Seattle, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Washington, DC.



HotlinkUnified VMware vCenter/AWS for NetApp Private Storage

HotLink extends VMware vCenter to support NetApp Private Storage for AWS for easy hybrid cloud-bursting, backup, disaster recovery and business continuity



SmartronixIntelligent Cloud Hub

Smartronix Intelligent Cloud Hub offers a Managed NetApp Private Storage for AWS Direct Connect Service to enterprise customers. ICH includes a cloud brokering capability and services portal, integrated service and security management, and secure trusted connections to AWS running on NetApp Data ONTAP and FlexPod converged architecture. Data ONTAP delivers enterprise performance and enables Smartronix to host high IO applications such as Oracle RAC, MySQL, SQL Server, SharePoint and Exchange while leveraging the agility of AWS compute and networking.



ZadaraZadara Storage Elastic NPS for AWS

Zadara’s exclusive elastic NetApp Private Storage (NPS) for AWS features flexibility, security, and QoS. Offered by the hour, with no minimum commitment.
Available now in the US east region

by Tim Donovan and Tom Shields


Since the launch of NetApp Private Storage (NPS) for AWS in November of 2012 there has been a whirlwind of interest, opportunity, and expanding use-cases.  While interest and opportunity will naturally lead to expansion and evolution, it is worth pausing to consider recent meaningful developments in the NPS for AWS ecosystem that offer new consumption options for this solution. 

In the original offering the NetApp portion of the solution is procured in the traditional fashion, shipped in cardboard, and deployed into a secure brick-and-mortar CoLo facility with the nifty and hugely advantageous fact that this CoLo facility is directly connected to the industry leading AWS Infrastructure (aka fleet).  Directly connecting a capex NetApp device via CIFS, NFS, or iSCSI to their AWS EC2 instances is a perfect solution for many who want cloud compute cost and flexibility while maintaining full control over their data layer data. 

For others there is the question “is there a way to have my cake and eat it too?”  Wouldn’t it be great to have a NetApp solution coupled with EC2 with all the NetApp data management, protection, and mobility features that have made Data OnTap the world’s leading storage OS…all delivered in an elastic, pay as you go package.

In recent weeks there have been two announcements from innovators in select geographies that have started us down precisely that road; allowing customers to maintain full control of their data in a conveniently packaged elastic pay-as-you-go solution combined with AWS.  At the forefront are Peak CoLo, a NetApp Service Provider Partner; and Avnet, a NetApp distribution partner, who recently announced they will develop an integrated and packaged off-premise cloud solution for Avnet Channel partners to be powered by Peak. This Peak-powered cloud solution will be based on NetApp Private Storage for AWS.

Peak CoLo founder and CEO Luke Norris had this to say about the new offering:

"The success of our channel-centric model rests upon the fact that partners can build and grow their cloud practice at their own pace without capital expenditure, minimal product development cycles, using best of breed technologies," he said. "By enabling business agility through high availability services, we can ensure positive results for our partners going forward."

And Avnet VP Tim FitzGerald had this to add:

"What PeakColo provides is the technology for a [cloud] solution but consumed in a way that doesn’t require customers to own it," he said. "PeakColo works as the infrastructure-as-a-service [IaaS] platform that provides a unique opportunity for overall solutions to be brought to market under the partners' brand. It allows partners to add services over and above what PeakColo and Avnet are providing to that partner, and gives increased profitability and a longer-term strategic partnership with their end customer."

On the other side of the globe the very savvy NetApp distribution partner Distribution Central, led by Chairman Scott Frew and Managing Director Nick Verykios, were busy making their own news with the launch of CloudSelect. In a nut shell, CloudSelect will provide partners to access a range of cloud-ready/enabled solutions (CloudPODs), including a hybrid cloud solution that integrates NetApp Private Storage and Amazon Web Services (AWS) Direct Connect, all hosted in an Equinix data centre.  All elements of the cloud solution are delivered and supported through one central point - Distribution Central and delivered in an OpEx model. Nick Verykios, Distribution Central Managing Director, had this to say about the launch of Cloud Select:

We have collaborated with all entities involved in delivering this solution to offer our partners a single aggregation point for configuration, transaction processing, support and optimized delivery. Cloud solutions don’t have to be exclusively private or public. Increasingly businesses are choosing hybrid cloud solutions to take advantage of the benefits of both worlds. Our CloudPODs combine public and private solutions, which enable our partners to offer the right cloud mix for their customers’ business needs.”

It is easy to see how these OpEx based bundled service offerings are a huge step in making it simpler for customers to pay for their hybrid cloud needs and opens up the solution benefits to new classes of customers.   What’s next?  Is there more to be done with NetApp Private Storage for AWS to embrace the essential characteristics that have come to define the cloud? It is not difficult to envision a further convergence of capabilities to deliver something that looks and feels precisely like Public Cloud while maintaining all the value and benefits of OnTap.  Might we see an offering that has all components (Network, CoLo, Storage) bundled into a per hour comprehensive price that is competitive with AWS’s own offering while maintaining much of the same hands-off ease of deployment/provisioning?  The world is full of innovators…guess we’ll just have to wait and see.   

by Calvin Nieh, Product Marketing Manager at NetApp


This week at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference, 16,000 people are gathered to learn about all things Microsoft.  Value added resellers and partners are determining how they make their investments in technology solutions, products and services for the next 12 months (and beyond).   Cloud is THE hot topic.  Microsoft and its top partners (including NetApp) are making investments to accelerate the deployment of Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 to help customers take advantage of cloud benefits. 


NetApp has made major investments in support of Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, SMB 3.0 and ODX, to enable award-winning solutions for customers.  In the last 12 months alone, NetApp was recognized as Microsoft’s 2012 Private Cloud Partner of the Year, 2013 Server Platform Partner of the Year, and was a Best of TechEd 2013 Winner for Systems Management (with FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud).


Why the buzz (explanation on  What does it take to deploy a private cloud? What is the true value for customers (See the infographic below)?


Microsoft Infographic.png


Businesses require lower costs, faster time to market, and improved efficiency, all while providing high availability or even non-disruptive operations.  Because of this, customers are investigating and investing in private cloud solutions that deliver.  With the deep integration engineered by NetApp and Microsoft, customers can harness the power of private cloud solutions.

By Karen Forster, Director, Server and Tools Marketing, Microsoft

June 11, 2013


Great strategic relationships are built on an alignment of vision. “When it comes to giving customers the benefits of the cloud—and its potential for simpler, more cost-effective storage—Microsoft and NetApp are aligned in a vision of providing automation, flexibility, and control to support datacenter scalability and manageability,” said Chris Phillips, Partner Director PM, Windows Server. “One key area of collaboration has been around Microsoft’s Cloud OS vision and NetApp’s clustered Data ONTAP 8.2, with built-in support for SMB 3.0 and ODX.”


The Cloud OS is Microsoft’s groundbreaking, comprehensive vision for a consistent approach to infrastructure on premises and in the private and public cloud. Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 are at the heart of the Cloud OS, which is advancing at lightning speed, as witnessed by last week’s announcement of the upcoming R2 releases of these products. The 2012 wave of products brought industry-leading advances in virtualization, such as Hyper-V Network Virtualization, and in storage with such capabilities as Windows Offloaded Data Transfer (ODX) and SMB 3.0 (for details on Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V storage performance with SMB 3.0, check out NetApp's TR-4175). Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 are poised to take the Cloud OS to the next level.


As Microsoft’s innovation accelerates, the company recognizes the importance of strategic alliances with industry innovators such as NetApp with its Data ONTAP. Windows Server Hyper-V, SMB 3.0 and ODX are important components to the workloads for clustered Data ONTAP 8.2.


These all aim to address customers’ need to extend the potential of virtualization beyond virtual machines (VMs) to increase IT agility and to easily migrate VMs across the datacenter and even across cloud sites. For example, Clustered Data ONTAP 8.2 supports ODX.  This file storage and data transfer technology enables the storage subsystem—rather than the host—to perform file copy operations. This helps speed up file copies and helps improve system utilization. With NetApp’s Clustered Data ONTAP and ODX, you can accelerate all file copy operations by using deduplication and SIS-Clone functionality


The importance of these capabilities becomes evident when you consider facts such as the following: More than 50 percent of storage is connected to virtualized servers, and this figure is increasing as customers ramp up deployment of Windows Server 2012. With Windows Server 2012 and SMB 3.0, customers can now deploy Hyper-V on NAS, SAN, or both with clustered Data ONTAP 8.2 storage. This simplifies management and produces performance that is nearly equivalent to SAN performance—which has traditionally been reserved for enterprise applications. As customers increase their virtualization usage and take advantage of cloud technology, Microsoft and NetApp are helping them achieve a new level of agility and storage efficiency.


A key differentiator for NetApp has been its deep integration with System Center 2012, which allows management of heterogeneous hypervisor environments that are found in most enterprise datacenters. In addition, NetApp ad developed thousands of PowerShell cmdlts that enable exceptional management and automation.

MS Award.jpg

NetApp’s work with Microsoft to give customers the benefit of our strategic relationship is one reason why Microsoft has recently named NetApp Server Platform Partner of the Year. Our long history of alliance and innovation will continue to give our mutual customers an efficient, flexible, and reliable IT foundation for delivering business-critical services.

by Abhinav Joshi, Sr. Product Manager, Desktop Virtualization, NetApp

May 22, 2013


For NetApp, 2013 has been another “Year of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)” with deployments across all key verticals – Finance, Healthcare, Government, Education, etc. Citrix XenDesktop has been one of the key drivers for the accelerated adoption of Desktop Virtualization. Earlier this week, we announced another point in customer momentum with a major international airline using NetApp and Citrix solutions for their 11,000 desktops. This is part of the general shift to virtualization.


Citrix visual.jpg

NetApp’s focus around offering a low cost, end to end storage solution to meet all the desktop data needs (OS, Apps, Profiles, and user data) has been a key driver for our success in desktop virtualization. Cost efficiency, performance acceleration, simplicity, intelligent backup/DR, and non-disruptive operations are the key elements of our solution.


Based on feedback from deployments for the last several years, we are continuing to develop/enhance the right set of partnerships, tools, reference architectures, deployment services, etc. to make your deployments successful. A recent example is our new Citrix XenDesktop on NetApp Clustered ONTAP solution. This solution offers a very compelling price/performance for real world desktop deployment; with the storage cost per desktop as low as $35/desktop. This compelling storage $/desktop number includes cost of NetApp hardware, software, installation, premium support & services.


Citrix Provisioning Server (PVS)  is a very popular XenDesktop deployment model worldwide, especially for large scale deployments. Citrix and NetApp have categorized the PVS based deployments into six scenarios based on the use cases that we commonly see deployed in customer environments today. The new Citrix XenDesktop on NetApp Clustered ONTAP Solution Guide (TR-4138) highlights the details on these deployment scenarios.


IOPS and capacity assumptions per desktop used to generate the sample storage array scalability guidelines for the NetApp FAS2240-2 HA and FAS3250HA storage platforms are also covered in detail in the NetApp TR-4138:

  • IOPS assumptions were determined based on detailed performance validation using LoginVSI heavy user workload scenario in conjunction with profile management tools such as the built-in Citrix User Profile Manager, redirecting user profile and folders to CIFS shares. Please see section in the new TR-4138 for details on the performance validation.
  • Capacity assumptions are based on what is typically observed in customer deployments.
  • Please note that LoginVSI does a great job at simulating users in a typical environment, and is commonly used by most of the vendors for developing Reference Architectures. However, the IOPS and capacity numbers for your deployment may vary based on the user profile and desktop applications in your environment. NetApp’s recommendation is to perform site assessments using tools like Liquidware Labs Stratusphere FIT to determine the actual performance and capacity requirements for your environment. NetApp and Liquidware Labs have partnered to #1) offer free site assessments for up to 500 users, and #2) deliver a custom NetApp report in Stratusphere FIT, helping simplify the sizing process.

Sample storage scalability guidelines for the entry level FAS2240-2 HA and mid-tier FAS3250HA storage systems for the six PVS based deployment scenarios are also highlighted in the TR-4138. The scalability guidelines range from a small 500 seats deployment to a large 4500 seats deployment. Using this cookie cutter approach, deployments can be easily scaled to 1000s of desktops. Similar scalability guidelines can be easily obtained for other FAS models by using the VDI module in the NetApp SPM sizing tool (accessible by NetApp field and partners).


These sample NetApp configurations offer a very compelling price/performance for the “all in one” NetApp storage solution to meet the data management needs of desktop OS, Apps, Profiles, and User Data from a single storage array. The storage cost per desktop for these sample configurations range from $35 to $92 (considering standard discounts).


Listed below are the design details of the persistent desktop deployment scenario offering a very compelling $35 storage cost per desktop (considering standard discounts). This storage configuration allows hosting 800 users in a 2 Rack Unit NetApp FAS2240-2 storage system. You can scale to 1000s of desktops at the same $35 storage cost per desktop by adding more 2U NetApp 2240-2 storage systems to the environment.

Filer visual.png

With all the storage $/desktop numbers floating around in the industry, its critical to understand the details on what’s included in these numbers.


The $35 storage cost per desktop includes:

  • NetApp Hardware: FAS2240-2 HA with 24 internal drives (600GB SAS, 10K RPM)
  • NetApp Software: NFS, CIFS, FC, iSCSI (storage protocols)
  • Support & Services: 36 months, 24/7, 4 hr parts replacement, and initial installation 

Here are the key design assumptions for this storage configuration. For details on this and the other configurations, please read section 12 in the NetApp TR-4138.

  • Personal Streamed Desktop (no roaming between desktops)          
  • Profile and folders hosted on Personal vDisk
  • User installed apps are persistent across reboot
  • Capacity requirements per VM:

·        PVS vDisk = 25GB (shared by 100s-1000s of users)

·        PVS write cache file = 2GB

·        Personal vDisk = 10GB

·        Personal vDisk dedupe savings assumption: 35% (savings might be higher or lower for your environment depending on the type and amount of data)

  • Performance requirements per VM:

·        PVS write cache file = 2 IOPS (95% writes) >>> lot of the IOPS moved to Personal vDisk

·        Personal vDisk = 6 IOPS (95% writes)

·        This system is capable of handling more than 10-15 storage IOPS per desktop (95% writes to storage array). PVS by design handles majority of the read IOPS from the host cache itself.

  • All VMs boot under 10 minutes.
  • LoginVSI application latency is within the acceptable limits (VSImax number less than 1,500).
  • NetApp storage controller utilization no more than 60% during steady state operations.
  • No performance degradation occurs when one NetApp controller fails.
  • 2GB storage per VM as VM memory vswap space on storage.

Please drop me a note at if you are interested in discussing this further. 


In closing, if you are looking at storage for your Desktop Virtualization deployment, always look for a complete storage solution that can help you cost efficiently meet the data management needs for desktop OS, Applications, Profiles, and user data.

NetApp Private Storage for AWS is generating a lot of excitement amongst Amazon users, developers and prospects worldwide looking to transition their data center to a true hybrid cloud environment with full mobility, security and control of their data.  Come learn about the solution at the AWS summit events  in Sydney, Auckland and Tokyo. Visit with our experts at the show to learn how NetApp Private Storage for AWS can benefit your company in critical IT cases such as disaster recovery, dev-test, multitier backup to the cloud, cloudburst, multi-region application continuity and data center migration and consolidation. Come hear what all the excitement is about!

·          SYDNEY : April 24th


Registration for this summit is full. More information


Where: Hilton Hotel, Level 3, 488 George Street, Sydney, Australia

Booth:   #6 

Breakout session #3: NetApp Private Storage for Amazon Web Services

Contact: Mathew Zele


·        AUCKLAND : May 30th  


Information will be updated here as it becomes available

Contact: Mathew Zele


·        TOKYO : June 5th & 6th


More information and to register for the event

Sponsors :

Contact: Tsuyoshi Okawa


Join the Conversation on Social Media


Join in or follow on Twitter: #NetAppAWS, @NetApp


Check out our AWS blog posts on our community:

Val Bercovici Exposed

Tim’s Tales

Breaking through the Cloud

NetApp 360 Blog


Further Reading


ESG Solution Brief – why the solution matters

Technical Report – what to order

NetApp Private Storage for AWS – how to order

NetApp internal resources on the Field Portal

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We look forward to meeting you at an upcoming event!


The NetApp Private Storage for AWS Team

Join NetApp at the upcoming AWS summit events in the US. Visit with our experts at breakfast or at the show to learn how you can transition your data center to a true hybrid cloud environment with full mobility, security and control of your data using NetApp Private Storage for Amazon Web Services. Use cases include disaster recovery, dev-test, multitier backup to the cloud, cloudburst, multi-region application continuity and data center migration and consolidation. Come hear what all the excitement is about! Join in on Twitter #NetAppAWS



April 30th in San Francisco: Join us for our Breakfast Reception….



Where:         The W Hotel
Work Room 3
181 3rd Street
San Francisco, CA 94103


Time:           8:00-9:30am (registration opens at 7:30am)

Speakers:     Brian Matsubara, AWS Alliances

                    Paul Gibson, Intuit SaaS Infrastructure Architect

                    Vaughn Stewart, NetApp Cloud Evangelist
                    Tim FitzGerald, VP Cloud Solutions, Avnet


To attend:     RSVP for Breakfast in San Francisco


…. and visit us at our Booth 108 in Moscone South if you are registered with AWS for the summit.



Join the Conversation on Social Media


Join in or follow on Twitter:

#NetAppAWS, @NetApp


Check out our NPSAWS blog posts on our community:


Val Bercovici's  Exposed

Tim’s Tales

Breaking through the Cloud

NetApp 360 Blog



Further Reading


ESG Solution Brief – why the solution matters

Technical Report – what to order

NetApp Private Storage for AWS – how to order

NetApp internal resources on the Field Portal

AWS Direct Connect Facilities



We look forward to meeting you at an upcoming event!


The NetApp Private Storage for AWS Team

AWS illustration.jpg

Howdy, Partner!


Delivering successful IT is the result of successful partnerships.  These partnerships take a variety of forms within a matrix of customers, technology/service providers, distributors, and resellers.  When it comes to delivering cloud to the enterprise, particularly hybrid solutions that span both on-premises (private) and service provider (public) resources, no one provider can cover the full gamut of technology and service offerings necessary to meet business needs.


Market leaders recognize where future momentum is heading, and in the power of partnership to realize the full potential of that momentum.  As Tom Georgens, NetApp CEO, often points out, “Partnering is not important to our strategy, it IS our strategy.”


On November 28th, NetApp and Amazon, two cloud leaders, entered an historic partnership by delivering NetApp Private Storage for Amazon Web Services (AWS), which combines the proven performance and efficiency of NetApp storage with the flexibility and compelling economics of Amazon’s cloud compute offerings.  The solution entails deploying NetApp FAS or V-Series storage in an AWS-certified Direct Connect co-location facility.  This enables Amazon EC2 to directly leverage NetApp storage and data management capabilities via a secure, low-latency, high-bandwidth network connection.  Enterprise customers can now harness the power and efficiency of Amazon cloud offerings while preserving what they rely on with NetApp - security and control of their data.


I knew this solution would be well-received when announced at Amazon’s Re:Invent show in Las Vegas.  However, I didn’t realize what an understatement that would be.


Amazon is clearly resonating with a growing population of enterprise customers – the turnout among this group was impressive, to say the least.   A steady stream of customers bombarded the NetApp booth - eager for more details on the new solution.  Why?  Many expressed that moving some applications to public cloud and the use of AWS was not simply an interesting possibility, but an inevitable transformation, if not an outright mandate.  For these NetApp customers who have been trying to figure out how to gracefully navigate to the cloud, the notion of possibly being forced to give up what they love about NetApp performance, efficiency, and data manageability was horrifying.  To them, this solution, which bridges their newfound need for compute in the cloud with the familiarity of enterprise storage performance and control, is a Godsend.


One thing is for sure – the momentum of moving to the public cloud continues to build, and for most enterprise customers, a hybrid environment that spans both private and public cloud will be center stage for the foreseeable future.  We are thrilled to embark on providing ultimate flexibility for a broad set of customers.  Partnership is a beautiful thing.


For more thoughts on our new partnership check out these other blogs:

Exposed - Val's Blog

Tim’s Tales


Virtualizing SAP Applications with Confidence on FlexPod

While customers with SAP environments were not the first to adopt virtualization, surveys and studies have found that in 2012, virtualization is a priority within IT investments.  In fact, 71% of surveyed companies plan to invest in SAP virtualization in Germany (Source: DSAG investment survey, 2012.)  This rise in adoption shows that organizations have gained confidence in virtualizing business critical applications, such as SAP.

SAP users are often cautious about virtualization because they worry about the sensitive nature of the data and that this abstraction layer will add overhead and increase management complexity.  They are looking for proven solutions to help them safely deploy virtualization for CRM, ERP, and other applications.  The SAP applications built on FlexPod®  solution from NetApp does just this.  It is a unified, pretested, and validated data center solution built on a flexible and secure shared IT infrastructure using leading technology from NetApp, Cisco, and VMware. The solution integrates with SAP Adaptive Computing and combines NetApp’s unified architecture, advanced data protection, and provisioning technologies with the Cisco® Unified Computing System server platform and Nexus® switches and with VMware® vSphere® enhanced by its vendor-specific management software.  It offers secure multi-tenancy capabilities that deliver the security and efficiency of a shared IT infrastructure, enabling isolated landscapes for a variety of use cases. This allows customers to benefit from reduced risk and TCO and high application availability. Application and data mobility and accelerated SAP lifecycle management help to improve business agility.


The enhanced release of the SAP applications built on FlexPod solution integrates with SAP’s Landscape Virtualization Management (LVM) and VMware vSphere and vCenter Orchestrator to automate workflows and routine IT administration tasks.  It helps reduce costs, hardware resources, and power; and simplifies IT landscape management.  As a result, SAP basis teams are freed from devoting additional time to manual, time consuming tasks and can spend more time on strategic projects.  A number of companies from energy infrastructure to IT services have deployed and realized the benefits this solution offers further proving the confidence companies have in virtualizing their SAP applications.


For more information about companies who have deployed and realized the benefits of the SAP applications built on FlexPod solution, click on the Resources tab of the NetApp at SAP TechEd 2012 website to see customer success stories.

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