What is NetApp StorageGRID WebScale? Well it is NetApp’s software-defined unstructured data management platform.

Or from NetApp themselves “StorageGRID is a software-defined, object-based storage platform that provides intelligent policy-driven data management.”



NetApp StorageGRID can be deployed a number of ways, this is one of the biggest advantages of being software defined, the ability to be deployed as a Docker container, within VMware environments or as an engineered appliance is all possible.

This also allows for a mix and match approach to where and what is deployed in each location, you can choose to deploy differently in each location.

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Scale & Service


The main premise of Object Storage is to provide Scale and Service to your data. NetApp StorageGRID is built for huge scale and you can span a single namespace across up to 16 data centres around the world and across multiple geography locations. All of this whilst storing hundreds of billions of objects whilst delivering multiple service levels through its internal service catalogue, we will touch on this later this is called the ILM Policy Engine.

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ILM (Information lifecycle management)


The ILM (Information lifecycle management) Policy Engine allows you to ensure that your data is at the right place at the right time with the right level of performance and resilience through its lifespan. ILM is key when it comes to reducing risk and maintaining compliance with your regulation rulings.

ILM is defined through an ILM policy that is made up of ILM rules. Every object ingested into the system is evaluated against the ILM rules in the active ILM policy. ILM rules look at an object’s metadata to filter objects and determine what actions to take in storing and copying the object’s data.

ILM rules define:

  • The location of object data
  • The type of storage used
  • The type of loss protection applied to an object’s data, either replication or erasure coding
  • The number of copies made
  • The changes over time to an object’s location, storage, and loss protection




Now I have cheated here, and I have taken this list from the in-depth documentation centre that I will also link at the end.

Advantages of the StorageGRID system include the following:

  • Massively scalable and easy-to-use global data repository for unstructured data.
  • Standard object storage protocols:
  • Amazon Web Services Simple Storage Service (AWS S3)
  • OpenStack Swift
  • File system storage protocols (requires the StorageGRID NAS Bridge virtual appliance):
  • Network File System (NFS)
  • Server Message Block (SMB)
  • Hybrid cloud enabled. Policy-based management stores objects to public clouds, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS). StorageGRID platform services enable content replication, event notification, and metadata searching on public clouds.
  • Flexible data protection to ensure durability and availability. Data can be protected using replication and layered erasure coding. At-rest and in-flight data verification ensures integrity for long term retention. Tape and S3-compatible public cloud are available as an integrated storage tier.
  • Software-defined deployment across heterogeneous hardware. You can choose to deploy on:
  • Engineered hardware appliances built on NetApp E-Series.
  • Software-defined nodes using virtual machines running in VMware.
  • Software-defined nodes using Docker containers running in third-party operating systems.
  • Dynamic data lifecycle management policy to control storage cost. Administrators can create rules that manage data lifecycle at the object level, and customize data locality, durability, performance, cost and retention time.
  • Compliance with regulatory requirements. Designed to meet the requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Rule 17a-4(f).
  • Non-disruptive upgrade and operations. Maintain access to content during upgrades, expansion, decommission, and maintenance procedures.
  • Federated identity management. Integrates with Active Directory, OpenLDAP, or Oracle Directory Service for user authentication. Supports single sign-on (SSO) using the Security Assertion Markup Language 2.0 (SAML 2.0) standard to exchange authentication and authorization data between StorageGRID and Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS).

This and more in-depth detail on NetApp StorageGRID can be found here.

StorageGRID 11.2 Documentation Center


The images I have used here were created by myself and they are not official NetApp images.

That’s a really quick overview and I am sure I have missed something key to this but this should give you the fundamentals over the course of the next few weeks my intention is to look further into the deployment steps and actually get this up and running in my lab, I also intend on diving a little deeper into how the Veeam Cloud Tier works with NetApp StorageGRID for tiering those backups.

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