This documentation is for a previous release of Cloud Manager.
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Planning your Cloud Volumes ONTAP configuration in AWS

Contributors netapp-bcammett

When you deploy Cloud Volumes ONTAP in AWS, you can choose a preconfigured system that matches your workload requirements, or you can create your own configuration. If you choose your own configuration, you should understand the options available to you.

Choosing a license type

Cloud Volumes ONTAP is available in two pricing options: pay-as-you-go and Bring Your Own License (BYOL). For pay-as-you-go, you can choose from three licenses: Explore, Standard, or Premium. Each license provides different capacity and compute options.

Understanding storage limits

The raw capacity limit for a Cloud Volumes ONTAP system is tied to the license. Additional limits impact the size of aggregates and volumes. You should be aware of these limits as you plan your configuration.

Sizing your system in AWS

Sizing your Cloud Volumes ONTAP system can help you meet requirements for performance and capacity. You should be aware of a few key points when choosing an instance type, disk type, and disk size:

Instance type
EBS disk type

General Purpose SSDs are the most common disk type for Cloud Volumes ONTAP. To view the use cases for EBS disks, refer to AWS Documentation: EBS Volume Types.

EBS disk size

You need to choose an initial disk size when you launch a Cloud Volumes ONTAP system. After that, you can let Cloud Manager manage a system’s capacity for you, but if you want to build aggregates yourself, be aware of the following:

  • All disks in an aggregate must be the same size.

  • The performance of EBS disks is tied to disk size. The size determines the baseline IOPS and maximum burst duration for SSD disks and the baseline and burst throughput for HDD disks.

  • Ultimately, you should choose the disk size that gives you the sustained performance that you need.

  • Even if you do choose larger disks (for example, six 4 TB disks), you might not get all of the IOPS because the EC2 instance can reach its bandwidth limit.

    For more details about EBS disk performance, refer to AWS Documentation: EBS Volume Types.

Watch the following video for more details about sizing your Cloud Volumes ONTAP system in AWS:

Choosing a configuration that supports Flash Cache

Some Cloud Volumes ONTAP configurations in AWS include local NVMe storage, which Cloud Volumes ONTAP uses as Flash Cache for better performance. Learn more about Flash Cache.

AWS network information worksheet

When you launch Cloud Volumes ONTAP in AWS, you need to specify details about your VPC network. You can use a worksheet to collect the information from your administrator.

Network information for Cloud Volumes ONTAP

AWS information Your value




Security group (if using your own)

Network information for an HA pair in multiple AZs

AWS information Your value



Security group (if using your own)

Node 1 availability zone

Node 1 subnet

Node 2 availability zone

Node 2 subnet

Mediator availability zone

Mediator subnet

Key pair for the mediator

Floating IP address for cluster management port

Floating IP address for data on node 1

Floating IP address for data on node 2

Route tables for floating IP addresses

Choosing a write speed

Cloud Manager enables you to choose a write speed setting for single node Cloud Volumes ONTAP systems. Before you choose a write speed, you should understand the differences between the normal and high settings and risks and recommendations when using high write speed.

Difference between normal write speed and high write speed

When you choose normal write speed, data is written directly to disk, thereby reducing the likelihood of data loss in the event of an unplanned system outage.

When you choose high write speed, data is buffered in memory before it is written to disk, which provides faster write performance. Due to this caching, there is the potential for data loss if an unplanned system outage occurs.

The amount of data that can be lost in the event of an unplanned system outage is the span of the last two consistency points. A consistency point is the act of writing buffered data to disk. A consistency point occurs when the write log is full or after 10 seconds (whichever comes first). However, AWS EBS volume performance can affect consistency point processing time.

When to use high write speed

High write speed is a good choice if fast write performance is required for your workload and you can withstand the risk of data loss in the event of an unplanned system outage.

Recommendations when using high write speed

If you enable high write speed, you should ensure write protection at the application layer.

Choosing a volume usage profile

ONTAP includes several storage efficiency features that can reduce the total amount of storage that you need. When you create a volume in Cloud Manager, you can choose a profile that enables these features or a profile that disables them. You should learn more about these features to help you decide which profile to use.

NetApp storage efficiency features provide the following benefits:

Thin provisioning

Presents more logical storage to hosts or users than you actually have in your physical storage pool. Instead of preallocating storage space, storage space is allocated dynamically to each volume as data is written.


Improves efficiency by locating identical blocks of data and replacing them with references to a single shared block. This technique reduces storage capacity requirements by eliminating redundant blocks of data that reside in the same volume.


Reduces the physical capacity required to store data by compressing data within a volume on primary, secondary, and archive storage.