HotLink Unifies VMware, Amazon Web Services and NetApp

Most data centers want to use cloud services like Amazon Web Services (AWS) to compliment, not replace their existing data center operations. This may be for augmenting a disaster recovery plan, bursting computation workloads into the cloud to cover peak load conditions or simply to use the cloud for testing and development. NetApp was one of the first storage companies to fully embrace AWS, rather than look at them as a competitor. For NetApp customers, moving data into the AWS cloud has been relatively easy. Using that data in the form of an Amazon cloud based application, however, has been challenging.

NetApp Private Storage for AWS

With “NetApp Private Storage for AWS”, Netapp customers can bidirectionally replicate data from on-premises NetApp virtualized infrastructure, to NetApp storage in an AWS Direct Connect colocation facility. This allows them to leverage cloud computing services while retaining full control and mobility of their enterprise data. The solution provides cloud benefits with familiar enterprise storage services and enhanced disaster recovery capabilities.

AWS Direct Connect

AWS Direct Connect allows you to establish private connectivity between AWS and your data center, office, or colocation environment to reduce network latency and provide a more consistent network experience than Internet-based connections. It uses industry standard 802.1q VLANs, which can be partitioned into multiple virtual interfaces. It also allows you to use the same connection to access public resources such as objects stored in Amazon S3, by using public IP address space. Private resources may also be configured using Amazon EC2 instances running within an Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC).

AWS Enablement

The challenge for most data centers is how to leverage virtual machine data once it is in the Amazon Infrastructure. HotLink changes NetApp Private Storage for AWS from a data repository to a fully enabled DR or cloud bursting service. HotLink, as we have discussed in our briefing note, “Seamless Hyper-V or VMware To Amazon EC2”, provides data centers with the ability to move virtual machines to the EC2 architecture from within the vCenter console. Now with their partnership with NetApp, HotLink can leverage the data that is already there thanks to the NetApp Private Storage for AWS solution. The combination allows for the pre-positioning of VM images into EC2, so that when a disaster or peak load occurs, the switch to the Amazon cloud can be near instantaneous.

Storage Swiss Take

HotLink promises again to broaden the appeal of Amazon’s infrastructure by seamlessly integrating it into the operations console manager that most companies are most familiar with; vCenter. NetApp has been very forthcoming with its embrace of the cloud, especially through its AWS solution. This combination now allows for almost any organization, regardless of how “cloud savvy” they are, to fully and safely leverage AWS to build a more efficient and better protected data center.

Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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