Data storage systems maker NetApp and data center firm Equinix have joined forces to provide businesses with secure, cloud-based storage capacity that leverages Amazon Web Services. The product, called NetApp Private Storage for AWS, provides customers of select Equinix International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers a way to shuttle data between Amazon’s massive public cloud and NetApp arrays.

In an era of cloud connectors, the ability to link with public cloud services is hardly new. However, Equinix is banking on its data centers’ inherently fast network resources — both internally and over the Internet — to lure organizations that value performance.

“When located within an Equinix IBX data center, NetApp PrivateStorage for AWS enables sub-5ms response times on data traveling between the hosted NetApp array and AWS,” boast the companies in press remarks.

This approach gives them a leg up on other data centers, claim the companies. “Other data center providers claiming a ‘direct connection’ to public cloud services use long-haul circuits for the connection, which introduces additional latency and impairs performance,” they said.

The offering employs NetApp arrays and AWS Direct Connect, a private and dedicated 802.1q VLAN-based network connection between AWS and a customer’s compute center. This alternative reduces ISP bandwidth costs and qualifies for reduced data transfer rates.

NetApp Private Storage for AWS offers enterprises a safe way of embracing cloud computing, mentioned IDC research vice president Melanie Posey in a statement. “NetApp Private Storage for AWS offers enterprises a ‘toe in the water’ approach to public cloud — leveraging its scalability and elasticity with the added benefit of maintaining control of and easy access to private storage,” she said.

In addition to giving IT managers some peace of mind, the offering also addresses any performance hang-ups that they may have.

“Secure private filers may also help mitigate barriers to enterprise cloud services adoption, particularly for organizations concerned about securing corporate data in the cloud. For companies concerned about cloud performance issues, this offering facilitates high security and low latency through the ability to physically connect enterprise infrastructure to public clouds in a secure data center environment, thus avoiding the potential threats of public Internet connectivity,” added Posey.

Currently, NetApp Private Storage for AWS is up and running at Equinix facilities in Silicon Valley and Ashburn, VA. Testing and validation services are being readied for the IBXs located in Singapore, Silicon Valley, and Ashburn.

For NetApp vice president and general manager Jon Mellon, the team-up is another example of his company’s pursuit of cloud-enabled storage technologies. “Our partnership with Equinix puts NetApp in the perfect position to give businesses control over a highly flexible mix of on-premise and cloud resources,” he said.

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