Cloud Computing in Finance with NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP: Case Studies and More

[Cloud Volumes ONTAP, DevOps, File Services, Customer Case Study, Advanced, 6 minute read]
Driven by competition from born-in-the-cloud, innovative FinTech companies as well as by consumer demand for more efficient, customer-centric services, financial institutions around the globe are embracing the cloud.

As a highly-regulated sector that handles some of our most sensitive personal information, public cloud service providers have worked closely with finance industry players and regulators in order to effectively address security, governance, and compliance requirements.

This blog is part of a series of posts on the unique cloud challenges and opportunities of various verticals. Here we examine the drivers and constraints that affect the dynamics of the finance cloud, and bring real-life examples of finance companies that have leveraged NetApp’s Cloud Volumes ONTAP to accelerate their journey to the cloud.

The Finance Cloud: Challenges and Opportunities

As in many sectors, cloud computing in finance began with non-core business processes, such as human resources and admin systems. Today, however, we are seeing core processes such as credit risk management, payment transactions, and customer due diligence moving to the cloud.

The opportunities and emerging trends in financial services driving adoption of the cloud include:

  • Shortened time-to-market for new services through leveraging cloud-based, agile DevOps approaches.
  • Breaking down silos and achieving greater operational efficiency, at lower costs and with minimal CAPEX investments.
  • Conducting analytics in the cloud, for enhanced business intelligence, strategic planning, targeted marketing, and more.
  • Customer-facing web apps and portals that streamline self-service, provide efficient channels for promoting new products and services, and generally enhance customer satisfaction and engagement.

public cloud in fintech industryWith the early concerns about data security and privacy in the cloud having been mitigated, the finance cloud has now become substantial and poised for even more dramatic growth. In this research paper, PWC estimates that the public cloud will become the dominant infrastructure model in FinTech by 2020.

However, the financial sector’s journey in the cloud is not without its challenges. In cloud computing, regulations still matter: as already noted, the finance sector is subject to very strict data security requirements, which can include restrictions on geographic locations where their data resides as well as the need for full visibility at all times into where and how primary and secondary data sets are being stored and backed up. Cloud computing in banking is one example of a customer-facing area that demands such high levels of data protection.

In addition, finance companies are held to very high standards of data protection, data privacy, business continuity, and disaster recovery. Thus, they must exercise extreme caution when outsourcing their infrastructures to a cloud service provider. They will also want to avoid vendor lock-in as much as possible, often deploying hybrid multicloud architectures that introduce additional layers of complexity to managing their digital assets.

In short, a “one-size-fits-all” approach is not suitable to meet the diverse needs of cloud computing in financial services. The goal for these finance companies is to take advantage of hybrid infrastructures, virtual private clouds, and managed services geared specifically to the finance sector. They also need to leverage containerization and a growing professional services ecosystem that helps financial institutions implement and manage tailored cloud solutions. What can they do to manage all that complexity? Many companies are turning to Cloud Volumes ONTAP as the data management solution for cloud computing in financial services.

Cloud Volumes ONTAP Benefits for the Financial Services Industry

Cloud Volumes ONTAP is an enterprise-grade data storage management platform that runs as an instance on AWS storage or Azure storage, creating a seamless Data Fabric across even the most complex hybrid multicloud infrastructures. Its key benefits for cloud computing in finance include:

Cloud Volumes ONTAP Success Stories

How are FinTech companies using Cloud Volumes ONTAP to benefit from the cloud? Let’s take a look at three successful case studies of cloud computing in financial services with NetApp’s help.

Diversified Financial Services Company: Rapid Deployment of CIFS File Sharing

This Cloud Volumes ONTAP customer is the largest provider in the US of commercial and residential mortgages and other diversified financial services.

Following a corporate initiative to leverage the Azure cloud, they sought a data storage management partner for feature enhancements that would accelerate their business.

The solution they devised with NetApp’s professional services team involved six Cloud Volumes ONTAP instances for Azure that were implemented automatically using the Cloud Manager RESTful API and integrated seamlessly with their existing authentication and security standards. And with Cloud Volume ONTAP’s unique snapshot capabilities, they can now recover single files and shares in virtually no time, without increasing storage footprint.

Technology-driven Stock Exchange: Moving App Development to the Cloud

The world’s first and largest electronic stock market is also a technology company that powers 70+ marketplaces around the globe, facilitating one out of every ten securities transactions that take place worldwide.

Their DevOps team sought to leverage the cloud for DevOps and dev/test activities. They also wanted a way to replicate data easily across a hybrid (on-premises/AWS) architecture.

After implementing multiple Cloud Volumes ONTAP HA pairs for AWS, their stock market technology and operations benefited from:

  • Seamless replication of their data to and from AWS using Cloud Manager.
  • Reduced storage spends due to Cloud Volumes ONTAP’s built in storage efficiencies.
  • Instantaneous, cost-effective creation of dev/test volumes using FlexClone.
  • A Data Fabric that is encouraging them to further reduce their on-premises footprint with additional in-the-cloud initiatives.

Life Insurance Company: Highly Available Storage for Production Workloads and File Shares at Reduced Cost

This prominent American mutual life insurance company listed on the Fortune 500 offers a wide portfolio of insurance products and services, including disability, annuities, dental, and more. They have 8,000 employees and a national network of 3,000+ financial representatives.

While in the process of implementing a “cloud-first” strategy, which will ultimately lead to an “all-in” cloud infrastructure, this company is continually increasing their cloud footprint and aiming to achieve zero-second RPO. They have chosen Cloud Volumes ONTAP as their data management solution, reaping the following benefits:

  • High availability for their production CIFS applications in the cloud.
  • Storage efficiencies have reduced their cloud spend, without compromising business continuity and DR (Disaster Recovery) requirements.
  • Seamless support for a multicloud architecture as they seek to avoid vendor lock-in and further strengthen their DR profile.

Financial Services Company: A DR Cloud Migration

This customer is a publicly-traded, global insurance and financial services company headquartered in the USA with ~49,000 employees and sales associates that serve institutional and private customers in more than 40 countries.

They were already using NetApp ONTAP as their enterprise data storage platform when they decided to adopt a “cloud-first” strategy based on a hybrid infrastructure. To do that, they turned to Cloud Volumes ONTAP which helped them extend their data fabric into the public cloud. They are pleased with this flexible solution and intend to purchase additional Cloud Volumes ONTAP licenses as their cloud journey unfolds.


As consumers, we all benefit from the agility, scalability, and flexibility of cloud computing in finance. NetApp is proud of the role that Cloud Volumes ONTAP plays in facilitating that journey for financial firms of all sizes. 

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