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BlueXP edge caching

Learn about BlueXP edge caching

Contributors netapp-tonacki netapp-bcammett

NetApp BlueXP edge caching enables you to consolidate silos of distributed file servers into one cohesive global storage footprint in the public cloud. This creates a globally accessible file system in the cloud that all remote locations can use as if they were local.

BlueXP edge caching is available in two deployment modes to fit your enterprise architecture: as in integrated service combined in a Cloud Volumes ONTAP instance (Cloud Volumes Edge Cache), or as an add-on component to your enterprise storage strategy (Global File Cache)


Implementing BlueXP edge caching results in a single, centralized storage footprint, versus a distributed storage architecture that requires local data management, backup, security management, storage, and infrastructure footprint in each location.

A diagram showing how remote office locations access a single shared file system using BlueXP edge caching.


BlueXP edge caching enables the following features:

  • Consolidate and centralize your data into the public cloud and leverage the scalability and performance from enterprise-grade storage solutions

  • Create a single set of data for users globally and leverage intelligent file caching to improve global data access, collaboration, and performance

  • Rely on a self-sustaining, self-managing cache, and eliminate full data copies and backups. Utilize local file caching for active data and cut storage costs

  • Transparent access from branch locations through a global namespace with real time central file locking

See more about BlueXP edge caching features and use cases here.

BlueXP edge caching components

BlueXP edge caching consists of the following components:

  • Management Server

  • Core

  • Edge (deployed in your remote locations)

The BlueXP edge caching Core instance mounts to your corporate file shares hosted on your backend storage platform of choice (such as Cloud Volumes ONTAP, Cloud Volumes Service, and Azure NetApp Files) and creates the BlueXP edge caching "Fabric" that provides the ability to centralize and consolidate unstructured data into a single set of data, whether it resides on one or multiple storage platforms in the public cloud.

A diagram showing the details of a BlueXP edge caching deployment with software installed in remote offices and in a central server in the cloud.

Supported storage platforms

The supported storage platforms for BlueXP edge caching differ depending on the deployment option you select.

Automated deployment options

BlueXP edge caching is supported with the following types of working environments when deployed using BlueXP:

  • Cloud Volumes ONTAP in Azure

  • Cloud Volumes ONTAP in AWS

  • Cloud Volumes ONTAP in Google Cloud

This configuration lets you deploy and manage the entire BlueXP edge caching server-side deployment, including BlueXP edge caching Management Server and BlueXP edge caching Core, from within BlueXP.

Manual deployment options

BlueXP edge caching configurations are also supported with Cloud Volumes ONTAP, Azure NetApp Files, Amazon FSx for ONTAP systems, and Cloud Volumes Service on Google Cloud. On-premises solutions are also available on NetApp AFF and FAS platforms. In these installations, the BlueXP edge caching server-side components must be configured and deployed manually, not by using BlueXP.

How BlueXP edge caching works

BlueXP edge caching creates a software fabric that caches active data sets in remote offices globally. As a result, business users are guaranteed transparent data access and optimal performance on a global scale.

A diagram showing BlueXP edge caching components at the Edge and the Core.

The topology referenced in this example is a hub and spoke model, whereby the network of remote offices/locations is accessing one common set of data in the cloud. The key points of this example are:

  • Centralized data store:

    • Enterprise public cloud storage platform, such as Cloud Volumes ONTAP

  • BlueXP edge caching Fabric:

    • Extension of the central data store to the remote locations

    • BlueXP edge caching Core instance, mounting to corporate file shares (SMB).

    • BlueXP edge caching Edge instances running in each remote location.

    • Presents a virtual file share in each remote location that provides access to central data.

    • Hosts the Intelligent File Cache on a custom-sized NTFS volume (D:\).

  • Network configuration:

    • Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), ExpressRoute, or VPN connectivity

  • Integration with customer's Active Directory domain services.

  • DFS namespace for the use of a global namespace (recommended).


The cost to use BlueXP edge caching depends on the type of installation you have chosen.

  • All installations require that you deploy one or more volumes in the cloud (for example, Cloud Volumes ONTAP, Cloud Volumes Service, or Azure NetApp Files). This results in charges from the selected cloud provider.

  • All installations also require that you deploy two or more virtual machines (VMs) in the cloud. This results in charges from the selected cloud provider.

    • BlueXP edge caching Management Server:

      In Azure, this runs on a D2s_V3 or equivalent (2 vCPU/8 GB RAM) VM with 127 GB Standard SSD

      In AWS, this runs on a m4.large or equivalent (2 vCPU/8 GB RAM) instance with 127 GB general purpose SSD

      In Google Cloud, this runs on a n2-standard-2 or equivalent (2 vCPU/8 GB RAM) instance with 127 GB general purpose SSD

    • BlueXP edge caching Core:

      In Azure, this runs on a D8s_V4 or equivalent (8 vCPU/32 GB RAM) VM with 127 GB premium SSD

      In AWS, this runs on a m4.2xlarge or equivalent (8 vCPU/32 GB RAM) instance with 127 GB general purpose SSD

      In Google Cloud, this runs on a n2-standard-8 or equivalent (8 vCPU/32 GB RAM) instance with 127 GB general purpose SSD

  • When installed with Cloud Volumes ONTAP (the supported configurations deployed completely through BlueXP), there are two pricing options:

    • For Cloud Volumes ONTAP systems, you can pay $3,000 for each BlueXP edge caching Edge instance, per year.

    • Alternatively, for Cloud Volumes ONTAP systems in Azure and GCP, you can choose the Cloud Volumes ONTAP Edge Cache package. This capacity-based license allows you to deploy a single BlueXP edge caching Edge instance for each 3 TiB of purchased capacity. Learn more here.

  • When installed using the manual deployment options the pricing is different. To see a high-level estimate of costs, see Calculate Your Savings Potential or consult your NetApp Solutions Engineer to discuss the best options for your enterprise deployment.


BlueXP edge caching includes a software-based License Management Server (LMS), which allows you to consolidate your license management and deploy licenses to all Core and Edge instances using an automated mechanism.

When you deploy your first Core instance in the datacenter or cloud, you can choose to designate that instance as the LMS for your organization. This LMS instance is configured once, connects to the subscription service (over HTTPS) and validates your subscription using the customer ID provided by our support/operations department upon enablement of the subscription. After you have made this designation, you associate your Edge instances with the LMS by providing your customer ID and the IP address of the LMS instance.

When you purchase additional Edge licenses or renew your subscription, our support/operations department updates the license details, for example, the number of sites or subscription end date. After the LMS queries the subscription service, the license details are automatically updated on the LMS instance and will apply to your GFC Core and Edge instances.

See the NetApp Global File Cache User Guide for additional details about licensing.


The version of BlueXP edge caching supported within BlueXP (Cloud Volumes Edge Cache) requires that the backend storage platform used as your central storage must be a working environment where you have deployed a Cloud Volumes ONTAP single node or HA pair in Azure, AWS, or Google Cloud.

Other storage platforms are not supported at this time using BlueXP, but can be deployed using legacy deployment procedures. These other configurations, for example, Global File Cache using Amazon FSx for ONTAP systems, Azure NetApp Files, or Cloud Volumes Service on Google Cloud, are supported using the legacy procedures. See Global File Cache overview and onboarding for details.