Spent a little time this afternoon on the Azure Partner update call and there was a section where NetApp joined and discussed the positioning of NetApp files as the storage of choice for Windows VIrtual Desktop Profile containers.
Now I have seen the announcement in recent months so was happy to hear the interesting position of NetApp Files for use within a WVD configuration to help me understand the benefits.
Over the COVID home working I have been fortunate to work on some really interesting projects where we have utilised WVD to help our customers with remote access. WVD has been hugely beneficial with enableing fast Proof of Concept for remote workers to gain access to applications and data in a rapid, secure and uniform way.
NetApp Files is essentially a high performing storage service hosted in Microsoft Azure. It has the capability of servicing upto 450,000 IOPS with incredible low latency and it has a primary use in supporting large scale Windows Virtual Desktop Deployments.
NetApp files is a first party Azure Storage solution that can be consumed in the Portal in the same way as any other Azure service.
Some key benefits are:
- Bandwidth and Service level changes of Azure NetApp File Volumes can happen immediately with no down time. This enables some cost efficiencies with your WVD deployment.
- Space-efficient, Point in time snapshots of volumes without impacting performance. This enables capabilities such as rolling back an individual user FSLogix user profile container.
- Up to 255 rotational snapshots are in place to protect volumes from data loss.
- Instant restore capabilities
- Supports NFS as well as SMB
- Block Level Replication between region to cover BCR requirements
- Security baked in, accessible via Private VNET access only, i.e. no public endpoint.
Evidently NetApp files is not only limited to use with WVD deployments, there are many use cases, however the WVD opportunities of late seem to be a huge use case for this technology.
Some context as to why Azure NetApp Files came to be:
What is the problem NetApp Files aims to solve?
Why Azure NetApp Files for WVD Profile Containers?
As I mentioned above, NetApp Files is not just a service for WVD, there are many other applications and capabilities.
WVD Challenges that are currently faced:
- Knowledge and Skillset Gap
- Lengthy and difficult deployments
- Manage WVD at scale
- Constant adoption of new features
- Cost control
- If you are a partner then managing multiple customers is also a challenge.
Introducing…….. NetApp Virtual Desktop Service
All delivered utilising the native Azure WVD clients/Paas services and agents.
Management Portal to manage multiple deployments / customers.
Images can be logged into and modified, then locked for use:
Creation of Workspaces / Host Pools and App Services etc. can be done directly from the portal:
Management of users and desktop shadowing directly from the portal:
Overall there is far more control to just WVD as well as additional functions and capabilities baked right into the product which is really interesting and useful. As well as scaling Up and out capabilities as you would expect for our Host Pool VM’s which is great and powerful for managing our environments.
So over all this was a really interesting introduction to Azure NetApp Files and the ability to stand up Enterprise grade storage with incredible scale and supportability within minutes. Definitely a technology well worth investigating for your next use case!
My Main ReadMe Page is all set up with a bit about me!
The guys at 100DaysofCloud have set up the GitHub repo to be cloned and also have a great repo containing ideas and areas to collaborate on: https://github.com/100DaysOfCloud/100DaysOfCloudIdeas
My Github Journey tracker can be found here: https://github.com/jonnychipz/100DaysOfCloud
Please Watch/Star my repo and feel free to comment of contribute to anything I push! I really look forward to hearing from anyone who is going to jump on the journey around the same time as me! Lets see where I get to in 100 days!
I would encourage others to jump on this journey, I’m not sure that I will be able to commit every day for 100 days, but as long as I can complete 100 days that will be great!