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NetApp To Bring Enterprise NFS File Service to Microsoft Azure

Microsoft and NetApp are working to deliver a native version of the storage provider's Network File System (NFS) for Azure. The new Enterprise NFS Service is based on NetApp's flagship Data ONTAP storage operating and management platform and will be available for public preview in early 2018.

Both companies inked their latest of many partnerships over the years to let enterprises move their enterprise storage workloads to Microsoft Azure. The new Azure Enterprise NFS Service was announced at NetApp Insight, the company's annual customer and partner conference.

The announcement was overshadowed by the fact that the conference is taking place at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas, the site of Sunday night's deadly shooting massacre. While the preconference sessions were cancelled on Monday because the hotel was still on lockdown, it resumed yesterday and was marked by a moment of silence.

Administrators will be able to access the new service from the Azure console, which NetApp said will appeal to cloud architects and storage managers seeking to bring NFS services natively to Azure for workloads such as database-oriented analytic workloads, e-mail and disaster recovery. In a statement by Anthony Lye, senior VP of Microsoft's cloud business unit, the solution will use NFS to provide "visibility and control across Azure, on-premises and hosted NFS workloads."

The offering will enable the provisioning and automation at scale of NFS services using RESTful APIs, with added data protection offered through the ability to create on-demand, automated snapshots. The service will support both V3 and V4 workloads running in Azure as well as hybrid deployments, according to NetApp. It will also include integration with various Azure services including SQL Server and SAP Hana for Azure.

NetApp also said the pack calls for integrating Data ONTAP software with Azure Stack, which CEO George Kurian said in a recorded video presentation will speed the migration of enterprise applications to Azure Stack and Azure.

Kurian also said the two companies are integrating NetApp's recently launched all-flash-based FabricPool technology and said it "manages cold data by tiering in a cost-effective manner to the cloud and integration of fabric pools together with Azure Blob Storage. He added that it "gives customers a really capable hybrid cloud data service and allows them to optimize their own datacenters," he said.

Cloud Control for Office 365 now supports Azure Storage and will soon have availability in EMEA and APAC regions, allowing local instances of Exchange, OneDrive and SharePoint. The two companies are working to provide more extensive integration with Cloud Control for Office 365 and NetApp AltaVault archiving platform, enabling customers to choose between hot, cool, and cold storage options in Azure for backup and disaster recovery requirements.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 10/04/2017 at 11:44 AM


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