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HomeCloud ComputingIntroducing Google Cloud NetApp Volumes Flex volumes, auto-tiering, and more

Introducing Google Cloud NetApp Volumes Flex volumes, auto-tiering, and more

In August 2023, we launched Google Cloud NetApp Volumes, the result of engineering collaboration between Google Cloud and NetApp. This fully managed file storage service offers robust-yet-simple data management capabilities that enable high performance and strong security (e.g., CMEK) for enterprises looking to unlock the potential of the cloud.

Since the service became generally available, we’ve continued to innovate, expanding our partnership, and improving its capabilities. Here are a few highlights. 

Introducing the Flex storage service level

The new NetApp Volumes Flex storage service level augments our current Standard, Premium, and Extreme storage service levels. It now enables you to create a storage pool as small as 1TiB, a volume as small as 1GiB, and the option for either a zonal (99.9% availability SLA) or regional storage service levels (99.99% SLA). Flex zonal is generally available in 14 regions, and Flex regional is now available in Preview in seven regions.

Serving enterprise workloads

NetApp Volumes is ideal for customers looking to move storage-heavy VMware workloads to Google Cloud. Recently, NetApp Volumes was certified as a datastore for Google Cloud VMware Engine, making it easier to independently scale storage and compute, and migrate VM-based applications. You pay only for the storage and compute nodes that you use and optimize costs with volume reshaping and dynamic switching between Premium and Extreme storage service levels. 

Additionally, for customers running demanding workloads such as high-performance computing (HPC) simulations or electronic design automation (EDA), NetApp Volumes large volumes is now in preview. With the availability of large volumes, NetApp Volumes Premium and Extreme service levels support volumes ranging from 100GiB to 1PiB, and offer performance up to 12GiB/s, a significant improvement over the current Extreme performance level of 4.5GiB/s.

New data protection and cost optimization options

You can now easily back up your data with NetApp Volumes and protect it for longer using cost-effective, incremental backups. This complements existing data protection approaches, including the use of snapshots and cloning for short-term data protection and cross-region volume replication for disaster recovery. Volume backups are generally available today for Standard, Premium, and Extreme service levels. 

NetApp Volumes new feature, auto-tiering, is now in Preview. You can set a policy, based on file access frequency (e.g., 7 days, 30 days), to dynamically tier data from Premium or Extreme service levels to colder storage volumes. The cold storage volumes are approximately 80% less expensive than the Premium storage volumes1. When auto-tiering is enabled, you can now optimize your storage costs with a “set it and forget it” policy to monitor file access frequency. All data residing on either the hot and cold tiers remains accessible through the filesystem and requires no application or user behavior changes. 

Ready for AI and next-generation workloads 

A new toolkit in NetApp Volumes lets you connect to Vertex AI, Google Cloud’s machine learning platform helping you store, manage, and protect your data in the cloud and easily connect it to Google Cloud compute capabilities to fuel generative AI and large language models (LLMs). 

With NetApp Volumes and Vertex AI, you can tap into previously inaccessible unstructured, multimodal data — including images, videos, audio, and text — fueling creative endeavors, scientific research, and business problem-solving. At the same time, NetApp Volumes provide additional layers of data privacy and security for Vertex AI workloads.

Customers and analysts are taking note 

We have received a tremendous response from customers using NetApp Volumes to manage cloud data while maintaining storage costs, improving performance, and strengthening data protection and security. 

“As a global leader in comprehensive radiology and oncology solutions, Akumin depends on advanced technology to deliver the best patient care. We chose NetApp Volumes because it’s a truly integrated solution with the features and performance we need, centrally managed from the Google Cloud console. We easily spun up volumes, configured our storage, and gained peace of mind with a secure, intelligent data infrastructure built on Google Cloud and NetApp technology.” – Afsaan Kermani, Vice President of IT, Akumin

IDC’s “The Business Value of NetApp Cloud Volumes for Google Cloud” report presents research exploring the value and benefits for organizations of using NetApp Cloud Volumes for Google Cloud. 

“There’s a trend to migrate more complex workloads that require enterprise-level management across on-prem, hybrid cloud, and multicloud environments. Partnerships like NetApp’s and Google Cloud’s are attractive to companies that want to leverage their existing technology and knowledge investments, while expanding workload capabilities with innovative cloud services.” – Dave McCarthy, Research Vice President, Cloud and Edge Infrastructure Services, IDC

We are excited to continue collaborating with NetApp, and look forward to further innovations from this partnership.

Connect with us to learn more 

Are you ready to get more value from the cloud? Learn more about Google Cloud NetApp Volumes or contact your NetApp sales rep or Google Sales. You can also schedule a 1:1 session with one of our specialists to discuss your specific use cases.

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