Data Migration – The Role of Data in a Cloud World

As companies embark on their journey to cloud, one often overlooked component is the migration of their data. Neglecting the strategic impact of moving your data to the cloud undermines the value that you place on your data and ultimately drives up your operational expense. And data, and the insight that it provides, is a core component of your company’s ability to take advantage of business insight, competitive leadership, product differentiation, and the relationship you have with your customers.

Application migration strategies to the cloud abound from Gartner, IDC and others. I tend to like the 5R model from Gartner detailed here:

Rehost – moving the entire application to the cloud in an IaaS model framework

Refactor – moving the entire application to the cloud in a PaaS model framework

Revise – modify or rewrite the application to work on a cloud provider’s environment

Rebuild – complete rewrite of the applications functionality into a PaaS environment

Replace – purchase a SaaS solution that mirrors the original applications functionality

As important as these models are, the role of your data is often minimized or overlooked in their migration model. When I consult with customer on their cloud strategies, most often their focus is purely on the applications. Companies that have migrated quickly learn that beyond the unexpected cost increase of data in the cloud, sometimes 3x – 5x greater per GB, there is the unexpected consequence of access, control and governance of their data.

Access to your data, and the benefits you can derive from that data, is directly proportional to where that data lives. Where once all enterprise data lived within the confines of a corporate data center, now it’s highly distributed across multiple locations with various access protocols that create barriers to achieving heterogeneous data insight.

As you build out your cloud migration strategy, elevate the role of your data and consider how data plays in that migration. A hybrid approach to where the data resides is a critical component to your strategy. Options abound on strategies to placing your data in the cloud, near the cloud, or even implementing a segmented approach to location based on use, metadata, localization, and data sovereignty.

Where your data lives matters.


Building Applications with NFS at DeveloperWeek San Francisco


Most people on a normal weekend don’t pull an all-nighter writing code. Especially when that code is in response to a challenge to create an application that incorporates technology from hackathon sponsors. For over 800 developers, that’s exactly what they did at the DeveloperWeek Hackathon San Francisco. Billed as the nation’s largest challenge-driven hackathon, over 100 teams competed to win prizes and be recognized by their peers as the top application developers.

As a featured sponsor, NetApp once again led the contest with well over 20 teams accepting our challenge to build creative and innovative applications using NetApp’s Cloud Volumes for AWS, a new cloud service that delivers more predictable performance over traditional cloud NFS options. Since consuming Cloud Volumes is straightforward, many of the team’ questions revolved around how they can take advantage of all the cloud volume features to distinguish their application over the competition.

Once again, NetApp was thrilled with the submission. “The quality and ingenuity of the teams was the strongest we’ve ever seen”, remarked Saleem Mohamed – Senior Cloud Evangelist for NetApp. “Ranking the winners came down to single point differences with each of the winners really impressing the judging panel.”

Taking first place in this year’s DeveloperWeek NetApp challenge was team MedSync. Focused on improving doctor / patient information and communications, MedSync automated and integrated the transcription and processing of medical records into a fully integrated and patient available system. Taking advantage of the Express framework for Node.js, MedSync was able to incorporate AWS Lambda, Docker containers, and NetApp cloud volumes into their design and demonstrated an impressive working prototype. Ken Lee, NetApp Data Protection & Migration Services manager remarked “MedSyncs command and incorporation of the technology distinguished them as the challenge winner.”

Tacking the challenge of an on-demand smart trash pickup earned team Garbage Collection (GC) a strong second place prize. Utilizing the features of NetApp Cloud Volumes to mount, clone and connect to an SCM build process, team GC was able to validate data migrations, perform data algorithm tests including validation of processing and execution times, and build a machine learning model for training and evaluation of their garbage collection application. Nikash Narendra of team GC remarked that “this capability extends Gitlab’s build and test tool to a full-fledge CI that required for current data drven systems.”

Achieving third place in the hackathon by combining Google connection with Alexa voice integration to simplify Kubernetes deployment, monitoring and scaling was team Captain Flint. One of the key components of their solution was the challenge of persistent volumes on containers, a feature that has been addressed in the release of NetApp Docker Volume Plugin (nDVP). “Integration of these key components distinguished team Captain Flint above their peers” remarked Ram Kodialbail, storage administrator for NetApp. “Their application marks another evolution of the deployment of containers in the data center.”



This year marked the 4th year of NetApp’s participation in the DeveloperWeek hackathon series. Each year brings stronger competition and this year was our most difficult competition to judge. In addition to the winners, we gave out 9 honorable mention prizes for teams that created truly impressive applications utilizing NetApp Cloud Volumes as a part of their solution.

Turn your technology stack into rocket fuel for innovation: NetApp® Cloud Volumes for Amazon Web Services (AWS) delivers enterprise-class performance and capabilities to your cloud applications. Our native cloud service enables analytics, DevOps, enterprise applications, backup, and disaster recovery. Discover more at the NetApp Cloud Volumes webpage.



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