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Cloud Volumes Service for GCP enters Beta

The art of building enterprise-level data services is in abstracting the complexity from users. We apply this design principle daily, and we’ve used it in heavy doses as we crafted major features in the Cloud Volumes Service beta release. Our north star is and always will be customer experience and input on what problems to solve, and our aspiration is to continue to be the best file service offering in Google Cloud.

Over the last eight months, we have been on a journey with innovative customers such as Cardinal Health to deploy massive enterprise workloads in Google Cloud. We have a deep understanding about the features, security requirements, and support integration that are needed for a file storage solution to be the platform of choice for enterprise workloads. Through these deep engagements, we are announcing public beta availability for Cloud Volumes Service with several new and unique features. The service is now open to all customers and discoverable directly in the Google Cloud Console menu under the “Partner Solutions” section.

Among other features included in the beta release, the key enhancements include:

  • A global, user-accessible API
  • Support for granular roles
  • Network connections via Private Services Access
  • Shared VPC support
  • Improved user interface
  • Regional expansion including Frankfurt & Los Angeles 

Let’s take a closer look at these key features to understand how they add value to customers’ workflows.

Global, user-accessible API

  • Customers can now interact with Cloud Volumes Service via API and programmatically list, create, update, and delete objects (volumes, snapshots, etc.). This means customers can provision cloud volumes as part of an automated application-deployment package, create application-consistent snapshots, and use other automation frameworks.
  • The API is global, which means customers can interact with a single endpoint and specify regions as location parameters in the URL.
  • APIs are great to have, but 90% of them are unused due to security considerations. Accounting for that, authentication and authorization to access the Cloud Volumes Service API is integrated with GCP service accounts and IAM. See the documentation for more details.

Granular roles

  • To increase security for users and to enable automation via service accounts, Cloud Volumes Service now supports two granular roles: admin and netappcloudvolumes.viewer.
  • These roles can be assigned to users or service accounts to perform Cloud Volumes Service actions. See the documentation for details about how to use these roles.

Network connections via Private Services Access

  • We have a new, simple, and secure method of deploying the data path for new projects for Cloud Volumes Service.
  • Using the Private Services Access framework in GCP, customers can use VPC peering to establish the data path for their cloud volumes.
  • This capability dramatically simplifies the architecture for the service for customers, and it uses RFC1918 addresses from within the customers’ VPCs for NFS endpoints. In addition to the simplicity, this architecture offers complete isolation for cloud volumes and the VPCs that they exist in. See the documentation to get started.

Shared VPC support

  • Over 80% of our enterprise customers extensively use a Shared VPC architecture. We have made consumption of cloud volumes in Shared VPC environments possible in a simple, elegant way: With the aforementioned Private Services Access approach, customers can establish the data path between a host project and CVS once and reuse that path for service projects.
  • Service projects maintain their own view of volumes. See the documentation to further understand the supported Shared VPC functionality.

Improved user interface

  • All volumes in all regions in a given project will now be presented in a single unified view.
  • During the creation of a volume, you can select your region of choice in the drop-down menu.
  • Instead of two separate tabs for NFS and SMB volume creation, there is now a single tab with the protocol selection in a drop-down menu.
  • See this demo video for an overview of the new UI experience.

This beta release is a huge milestone for both our service and our customers. We are already working on several new features that will be available in the coming months. In the meantime, on behalf of the NetApp and Google engineering teams, I invite everyone to log in to their Google Cloud Consoles and build what’s next with Cloud Volumes Service!

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