NetApp Taps Microsoft Azure, Equinix for Private Hybrid Cloud Storage

Posted on July 15, 2014 By Pedro Hernandez

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NetApp today announced a new offering that enables businesses to build private hybrid clouds that leverage Microsoft's massive cloud infrastructure.

Dubbed NetApp Private Storage for Microsoft Azure, the solution uses Azure ExpressRoute to provide secure, high-speed links from customer storage infrastructures to the software giant's cloud. ExpressRoute provides direct, low-latency connections to Azure for data services that do not pass through the public Internet, increasing security.

Private Storage for Microsoft Azure is available in Equinix International Exchange data centers. The aim is to blend the technical resources and know-how from the three companies to provide a fast, enterprise-grade cloud storage for businesses that performance and security concerns about parking critical data on public cloud services.

In a five-month test of NetApp Private Storage for Microsoft Azure, "throughput between NetApp Private Storage customers and Microsoft Azure rose 36 percent when the services were connected via the Cloud Exchange, instead of public networks," said Equinix in a company blog post. "Latency, meanwhile, was two milliseconds or less in the Azure U.S. East and Azure U.S. West regions, where NetApp Private Storage Labs are deployed with Equinix."

In a statement, Phil Brotherton, vice president of NetApp's Cloud Solutions Group, said his company's "test results confirm the performance benefits of connecting private storage to public clouds through Equinix Cloud Exchange."

The end result is a platform that combines NetApp storage and "the elasticity and savings of Microsoft Azure compute," providing a cloud storage foundation for Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, SAP and other business critical workloads, according to NetApp. The solution "enables organizations to simply and securely extend into the cloud, expanding options for enterprises, without adding complexity," said Brotherton in a statement.

Microsoft's Garth Fort, general manager of Cloud and Enterprise Partner Marketing, said the partnership with NetApp, "around its expanded portfolio of Microsoft Cloud OS solutions, makes it easier for customers to drive maximum business benefit through their hybrid cloud strategy."

Other benefits include low-cost disaster recovery and flexible peak workload management capabilities that seamlessly extend into Azure when activity spikes. The company claims that NetApp Private Storage for Microsoft Azure provides "performance similar to on-premise infrastructure stacks" along with data security controls that promote regulatory compliance and adherence to sovereignty regulations.

NetApp Private Storage for Microsoft Azure is available now in Equinix's facilities in Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. The companies plan to roll out the service to additional Equinix data centers in U.S., Europe and Asia in "the near future," according to NetApp.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.


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