AWS, NetApp unveil the first fully-managed ONTAP file system in the cloud

The new storage service, Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP, makes it easy for customers to run applications on AWS without changing their code or how they manage their data.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

On Thursday, Amazon Web Services and NetApp rolled out a new storage service years in the making, Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP. It's the first fully managed ONTAP file system in the cloud, giving customers a simple way to run their applications on AWS without changing their code or how they manage data. 

The new service comes nearly three years after AWS introduced the first iterations of FSx for Windows File Server and Lustre. FSx lets customers choose the file system that powers their file storage, giving them full access to the file system's feature sets and performance -- it runs fully managed in the cloud. Customers get the benefits of AWS performance, along with seamless integration with other AWS services.

ONTAP is NetApp's file system technology that has traditionally powered network-attached storage (NAS) on-premise. NAS is a large market with a number of major players like NetApp, Dell Technologies, HPE,  Pure Storage, and Nutanix. Most enterprise applications rely on NAS, so multiple servers running the application can access a shared dataset. 

For instance, critical programs like Epic's electronic health record (EHR) software use NAS to give doctors within a hospital access to a system of record. Typically, that application physically sits in a hospital. Now, it can live on AWS. 

"This opens up an enormous opportunity for both of us and our customers to really enable more and more digital transformation and adoption of AWS," Anthony Lye, EVP and GM of public cloud at NetApp, said to ZDNet. 

Lye said it's "equally great" for their competitors' customers, whom they plan to scoop up with this new offering. "We think we can take a lot of [market] share," he said.  

"If you're running EMC and you rely on EMC storage on-premise, you haven't had a path to the cloud," Lye continued. "You'd have to refactor; you'd have to re-engineer. ONTAP is the gold standard, and EMC customers know and appreciate ONTAP. They now have confidence that ONTAP is a first-party Amazon service, and we're going to tell all those customers."

The service will serve customers that simply want to stop managing storage on-premises. 

It will also help customers that have hybrid goals, such as bursting to the cloud, maintaining business continuity or dev testing. 

There are no upfront commitments or costs to use Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP, and customers only pay for the resources used.

 Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP is available globally right out of the gate. It builds on nine years of partnership between Amazon and NetApp.

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