Skip to main content

TR-4960: FlexPod Hybrid Cloud with Cloud Volumes ONTAP for Epic


In partnership with:
cisco logo

Kamini Singh, NetApp

The key to making a digital transformation is simply doing more with data. Hospitals generate and require large amounts of data to run their organization and serve their patients effectively. Information is collected and processed when treating patients and managing staff schedules and medical resources.

The ever-increasing size of healthcare data and the valuable insights that this data can provide make healthcare data services and data protection both critical and challenging. First, healthcare data must be both available and protected to meet data recovery, medical business continuity, or compliance requirements.

Second, healthcare data must be made readily available for analysis. Often this analysis uses artificial intelligence (AI)- and machine learning (ML)-based approaches to help medical businesses improve their solutions and create business values.

Third, the data service infrastructures and the data protection methodologies must accommodate the growth of healthcare data as a medical business grows. In addition, data mobility is increasingly becoming critical due to the need to move data from the edge where it is created to the core and cloud to use resources available there for data analysis or archival purposes.

NetApp offers a single data management solution for enterprise applications, including healthcare, and we are able to guide hospitals through their journey toward digital transformation. NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP delivers a solution for healthcare data management in which data can be efficiently replicated from a FlexPod Datacenter to Cloud Volumes ONTAP deployed on a public cloud like AWS.

By leveraging cost-effective and secure public cloud resources, Cloud Volumes ONTAP enhances cloud-based disaster recovery (DR) with highly efficient data replication, built-in storage efficiencies, and simple DR testing. These systems are managed with unified control and drag-and-drop simplicity, which provides cost-effective and bullet-proof protection against any kind of error, failure, or disaster. Cloud Volumes ONTAP provides NetApp SnapMirror technology as a solution for block-level data replication that keeps the destination up to date through incremental updates.

Cloud Volumes ONTAP provides NetApp SnapMirror technology as a solution for block-level data replication that keeps the destination up to date through incremental updates.


This document is intended for NetApp and partner solutions engineers (SEs) and professional services personnel. NetApp assumes that the reader has the following background knowledge:

  • A solid understanding of SAN and NAS concepts

  • Technical familiarity with NetApp ONTAP storage systems

  • Technical familiarity with the configuration and administration of ONTAP software

Solution benefits

FlexPod Datacenter integrated with NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP offers the following benefits to healthcare workloads:

  • Customized protection. Cloud Volumes ONTAP provides block-level data replication from ONTAP to the cloud that keeps the destination up to date through incremental updates. Users can specify a synchronization schedule to determine when changes at the source are transferred over. This provides customized protection for all sorts of healthcare data.

  • Failover and Failback. When a disaster occurs, storage administrators can quickly set failover to the cloud volumes. When the primary site is recovered, the new data created in the DR environment is synchronized back to the source volumes enabling the secondary data replication to be re-established. In this way, healthcare data can be easily recovered without disruption.

  • Efficiency. The storage space and costs for the secondary cloud copy are optimized using data compression, thin provisioning, and deduplication. Healthcare data is transferred at the block-level in a compressed and deduplicated form, improving the speed of the transfers. Data is also automatically tiered to low-cost object storage and only brought back to high-performance storage when accessed, such as in a DR scenario. This significantly reduces ongoing storage costs.

  • Ransomware Protection. NetApp BlueXP ransomware protection scans data sources across on-premises and cloud environments, detects security vulnerabilities, and provides their current security status and risk scoring. It then provides actionable recommendations that you can further investigate and follow to remediate. In this way, you can protect your critical healthcare data from ransomware attacks.

Solution topology

This section describes the logical topology of the solution. The following figure represents the solution topology composed of the FlexPod on-premises environment, NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP (CVO) running on Amazon Web Services (AWS), and the NetApp BlueXP SaaS platform.

This image depicts SnapMirror replication between a FlexPod instance running ONTAP and NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP running in hte public cloud.

The control planes and data planes are clearly indicated between the endpoints. The data plane runs between the ONTAP instance running on all-flash FAS in FlexPod and the NetApp CVO instance in AWS by leveraging a secure site-to-site VPN connection. The replication of healthcare workload data from the on-premises FlexPod Datacenter to NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP is handled by NetApp SnapMirror replication. An optional backup and tiering of the cold data residing in the NetApp CVO instance to AWS S3 is also supported with this solution.