NFSaaS becomes ‘Azure NetApp Files’ as ONTAP-on-Azure debuts

Preview teased in October 2017 is better late than never, but not yet for production data

Microsoft’s Azure cloud has turned on a preview of “Azure NetApp Files”, which readers may recall was NetApp teased in October 2017.

The service is a bit late: NetApp called for pilot users back in November 2017 and said it would “be available for public preview in early 2018”. We’re pretty sure July 12 doesn’t count as early in the year. Hmmm ... what was so hard, guys?

It looks like very early days for the service. It’s not recommended for production data, is only in one Azure Region - East US, with West US 2 coming soon – and the preview is tipped to run for a “few months”.

If you’re brave enough to sign up, Microsoft promises “a fully integrated and managed Azure service, accessible through the Azure portal and manageable through Azure SDKs and command-line tools.”

Apparently it “… eliminates the provisioning and management overhead that is required for on-premises storage and empowers users without storage expertise to leverage NetApp’s powerful ONTAP technology.”

All data in the service is encrypted at rest.

The service will also “support multiple protocols, protocol versions, and performance tiers, as well as offer built-in policy-based snapshot functionality, reducing the need for separate data protection solutions.”

NetApp’s argued that snapshots are the cure for most data protection ills for ages. With Microsoft onside, it can now extend that notion to the cloud.

The two companies reckon that together they’re building just the thing for cloudy file-based workloads. They’re not alone in their ambition to do so: Google’s just revealed its own Cloud Filestore and AWS has offered similar services for quite some time. ®

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