What is Azure NetApp Files?

Azure NetApp Files is an Azure native, first-party, enterprise-class, high-performance file storage service. It provides Volumes as a service for which you can create NetApp accounts, capacity pools, and volumes. You can also select service and performance levels and manage data protection. You can create and manage high-performance, highly available, and scalable file shares by using the same protocols and tools that you're familiar with and rely on on-premises.

Key attributes of Azure NetApp Files are:

  • Performance, cost optimization, and scale.
  • Simplicity and availability.
  • Data management and security.

Azure NetApp Files supports SMB, NFS, and dual protocols volumes and can be used for use cases such as:

  • File sharing.
  • Home directories.
  • Databases.
  • High-performance computing.

For more information about workload solutions using Azure NetApp Files, see Solution architectures using Azure NetApp Files.

Performance, cost optimization, and scale

Azure NetApp Files is designed to provide high-performance file storage for enterprise workloads and provide functionality to provide cost optimization and scale. Key features that contribute to these capabilities include:

Functionality Description Benefit
In-Azure bare-metal flash performance Fast and reliable all-flash performance with submillisecond latency. Run performance-intensive workloads in the cloud with on-premises infrastructure-level performance.
Multi-protocol support Supports multiple protocols, including NFSv3, NFSv4.1, SMB 3.0, SMB 3.1.1, and simultaneous dual-protocol. Seamlessly integrate with existing infrastructure and workflows without compatibility issues or complex configurations.
Three flexible performance tiers (Standard, Premium, Ultra) Three performance tiers with dynamic service-level change capability based on workload needs, including cool access for cold data. Choose the right performance level for workloads and dynamically adjust performance without overspending on resources.
Small-to-large volumes Easily resize file volumes from 100 GiB up to 100 TiB without downtime. Scale storage as business needs grow without over-provisioning, avoiding upfront cost.
1-TiB minimum capacity pool size 1-TiB capacity pool is a reduced-size storage pool compared to the initial 4-TiB minimum. Save money by starting with a smaller storage footprint and lower entry point, without sacrificing performance or availability. Scale storage based on growth without high upfront costs.
1,000-TiB maximum capacity pool 1000-TiB capacity pool is an increased storage pool compared to the initial 500-TiB maximum. Reduce waste by creating larger, pooled capacity and performance budget, and share and distribute across volumes.
100-500 TiB large volumes Store large volumes of data up to 500 TiB in a single volume. Manage large datasets and high-performance workloads with ease.
User and group quotas Set quotas on storage usage for individual users and groups. Control storage usage and optimize resource allocation.
Virtual machine (VM) networked storage performance Higher VM network throughput compared to disk IO limits enable more demanding workloads on smaller Azure VMs. Improve application performance at a smaller VM footprint, improving overall efficiency and lowering application license cost.
Deep workload readiness Seamless deployment and migration of any-size workload with well-documented deployment guides. Easily migrate any workload of any size to the platform. Enjoy a seamless, cost-effective deployment and migration experience.
Datastores for Azure VMware Solution Use Azure NetApp Files as a storage solution for VMware workloads in Azure, reducing the need for superfluous compute nodes normally included with Azure VMware Solution expansions. Save money by eliminating the need for unnecessary compute nodes when you expand storage, resulting in significant cost savings.
Standard storage with cool access Use the cool access option of Azure NetApp Files Standard service level to move inactive data transparently from Azure NetApp Files Standard service-level storage (the hot tier) to an Azure Storage account (the cool tier). Save money by transitioning data that resides within Azure NetApp Files volumes (the hot tier) by moving blocks to the lower-cost storage (the cool tier).

These features work together to provide a high-performance file storage solution for the demands of enterprise workloads. They help to ensure that your workloads experience optimal (low) storage latency, cost, and scale.

Simplicity and availability

Azure NetApp Files is designed to provide simplicity and high availability for your file storage needs. Key features include:

Functionality Description Benefit
Volumes as a service Provision and manage volumes in minutes with a few clicks like any other Azure service. Enables businesses to quickly and easily provision and manage volumes without the need for dedicated hardware or complex configurations.
Native Azure integration Integration with the Azure portal, REST, CLI, billing, monitoring, and security. Simplifies management and ensures consistency with other Azure services while providing a familiar interface and integration with existing tools and workflows.
High availability Azure NetApp Files provides a high-availability SLA with automatic failover. Ensures that data is always available and accessible, avoiding downtime and disruption to business operations.
Application migration Migrate applications to Azure without refactoring. Enables businesses to move their workloads to Azure quickly and easily without the need for costly and time-consuming application refactoring or redesign.
Cross-region and cross-zone replication Replicate data between regions or zones. Provides disaster recovery capabilities and ensures data availability and redundancy across different Azure regions or availability zones.
Application volume groups Application volume groups enable you to deploy all application volumes according to best practices in a single one-step and optimized workflow. Simplified multi-volume deployment for applications ensures volumes and mount points are optimized and adhere to best practices in a single step, saving time and effort.
Programmatic deployment Automate deployment and management with APIs and SDKs. Enables businesses to integrate Azure NetApp Files with their existing automation and management tools, reducing the need for manual intervention and improving efficiency.
Fault-tolerant bare metal Built on a fault-tolerant bare-metal fleet powered by ONTAP. Ensures high performance and reliability by using a robust, fault-tolerant storage platform and powerful data management capabilities provided by ONTAP.
Azure native billing Integrates natively with Azure billing, providing a seamless and easy-to-use billing experience, based on hourly usage. Easily and accurately manage and track the cost of using the service for seamless budgeting and cost control. Easily track usage and expenses directly from the Azure portal for a unified experience for billing and management.

These features work together to provide a simple-to-use and highly available file storage solution. This solution ensures that your data is easy to manage and always available, recoverable, and accessible to your applications, even in an outage.

Data management and security

Azure NetApp Files provides built-in data management and security capabilities to help ensure the secure storage, availability, and manageability of your data. Key features include:

Functionality Description Benefit
Efficient snapshots and backup Advanced data protection and faster recovery of data by using block-efficient, incremental snapshots and vaulting. Quickly and easily back up data and restore to a previous point in time, minimizing downtime and reducing the risk of data loss.
Snapshot restore to a new volume Instantly restore data from a previously taken snapshot quickly and accurately. Reduces downtime and saves time and resources that would otherwise be spent on restoring data from backups.
Snapshot revert Revert volume to the state it was in when a previous snapshot was taken. Easily and quickly recover data (in-place) to a known good state, ensuring business continuity and maintaining productivity.
Application-aware snapshots and backup Ensure application-consistent snapshots with guaranteed recoverability. Automates snapshot creation and deletion processes, reducing manual efforts and potential errors while increasing productivity by allowing teams to focus on other critical tasks.
Efficient cloning Create and access clones in seconds. Saves time and reduces costs for test, development, system refresh, and analytics.
Data-in-transit encryption Secure data transfers with protocol encryption. Ensures the confidentiality and integrity of data being transmitted for peace of mind that information is safe and secure.
Data-at-rest encryption Data-at-rest encryption with platform- or customer-managed keys. Prevents unrestrained access to stored data, meets compliance requirements, and enhances data security.
Azure platform integration and compliance certifications Compliance with regulatory requirements and Azure platform integration. Adheres to Azure standards and regulatory compliance and ensures audit and governance completion.
Azure Identity & Access Management (IAM) Azure role-based access control (RBAC) allows you to manage permissions for resources at any level. Simplifies access management and improves compliance with Azure-native RBAC, empowering you to easily control user access to configuration management.
AD/LDAP authentication, export policies, and access control lists (ACLs) Authenticate and authorize access to data by using existing AD/LDAP credentials and allow for the creation of export policies and ACLs to govern data access and usage. Prevents data breaches and ensures compliance with data security regulations, with enhanced granular control over access to data volumes, directories, and files.

These features work together to provide a comprehensive data management solution that helps to ensure that your data is always available, recoverable, and secure.

Next steps