logo-ontap-3Global File Cache

Consolidate your
Unstructured data
Into the cloud

Enable real-time global file sharing for your distributed workforce by using NetApp’s intelligent Global File Cache

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Modernize Distributed Storage using NetApp’s Global File Cache

IDC estimates that 90 percent of today’s enterprise data is unstructured — accessed and stored across multiple environments, in multiple formats, in locations all over the world. By leveraging the power of the cloud, NetApp enables organizations to consolidate the data into the cloud to cut costs and create a globally accessible file system in the cloud.

NetApp’s proven intelligent Global File Cache allows distributed enterprises to securely consolidate silos of file servers into one cohesive global storage footprint in the public cloud, which streamlines overall IT management, significantly cuts costs and boosts business productivity on a global scale.

Why Global File Cache

NetApp’s intelligent Global File Cache creates a software fabric that caches “active data” sets in distributed offices globally. As a result, business users are guaranteed transparent data access and optimal performance on a global scale.

As organizations are aiming to centralize and consolidate their branch office server and storage assets, eliminating IT complexity provides significant cost savings. As Global File Cache deploys transparently on a Microsoft Windows Server instance, enterprises can consolidate local storage and embed services like Microsoft Active Directory, DNS/ DHCP, DNS, DFS Namespaces, and SCCM software distribution in their unified IT infrastructure.


The Challenges

IT Challenges

  • Managing "Islands of Data" in branch offices
  • Excessive data growth and duplication of data
  • Inefficient usage of server and storage resources, server sprawl
  • Local storage, data replication and backups cause poor recovery times
  • Complex IT Management

Business Challenges

  • Poor performance accessing data
  • Unable to collaborate efficiently
  • Data integrity issues
  • Conflicting file versions, resulting in data loss
  • Poor business productivity


The Solution: Global File Cache

NetApp’s intelligent Global File Cache is a software-based solution that delivers fast and secure access to data for users by caching ‘active data’ sets to distributed offices globally.
Anywhere, anytime, as used by your workforce, your data is consistent, and performance is guaranteed.

    • 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


  • ic-cloud-data_2 Cloud Platform agnostic
    Deploy Global File Cache together with Cloud Volumes ONTAP, Cloud Volumes Service or Azure NetApp Files in any of the major hyperscaler platforms (Azure, AWS and GCP) to kick-start your cloud consolidation project.
  • ic-security-1 End-to-end Security
    Seamless integration with Microsoft Active Directory and data access control through ACLs and NTFS permissions along with data encryption at-rest and in-flight.
  • ic-cost-saving-3 Cost Savings

    Leverage existing hardware or VM infrastructure at distributed locations while providing file services to globally dispersed users.

  • ic-data-center-1 Operational Simplicity
    Zero touch management through a self-sustaining, self-managing cache at the edge and a consolidated and centralized storage environment at the core in the public cloud
  • ic-data-mobility Transparent Integration
    By accessing data and collaborating in real-time, users will feel as if they’re all working in the same office, anywhere in the world, regardless of bandwidth, latency, and distance
  • ic-performant-1 High Performance
    Accelerated data access as active data is cached locally in your office together with efficient data transfer over WAN through compression / streaming and delta differencing.


Supported Cloud Platforms

Global File Cache is supported with all variations of Cloud Volumes across all hyperscalers. 

Competitive Snapshot

Architecture File Caching Rep/Sync Rep/Sync
Public Cloud Support
Foundation Software HW/SW HW/SW
Scale Unlimited Medium Small
Total Cost of Ownership Low High High
Central Data Format File & Object Storage Object Storage Object Storage
Data Consistency, Locking Native SMB / Real-time Proprietary / Replicated in Cloud Proprietary / Replicated between controllers
Local File data/cache NTFS Proprietary (Vendor Lock-in) Proprietary (Vendor Lock-in)
User Performance High High Medium
User Workflow Change None Medium Medium
Use existing infrastructure Yes No* No