Azure NetApp Files vs AWS FSx Comparison of Managed File Storage Services

Azure NetApp Files vs AWS FSx stand out as managed file storage services provided by Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS), respectively. This blog post delves into their features, differences, use cases, and answers frequently asked questions to help you determine which solution best suits your cloud storage needs.

Understanding Azure NetApp Files

Azure NetApp Files offers high-performance file storage that integrates natively with Azure infrastructure. It leverages NetApp’s ONTAP technology to provide scalable, enterprise-grade file shares and supports various workloads, including database hosting, SAP applications, and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).

Understanding AWS FSx

AWS FSx is a fully managed file storage service built on industry-leading file systems. It supports file systems compatible with Windows (FSx for Windows File Server), Lustre (FSx for Lustre), and NetApp’s ONTAP technology (FSx for ONTAP). Each variant is optimized for specific use cases ranging from high-performance computing (HPC) to enterprise applications.

Comparison Table: Azure NetApp Files vs AWS FSx

Feature Azure NetApp Files AWS FSx
Managed Service Yes Yes
File System Types NFS, SMB Windows, Lustre, ONTAP
Performance High performance Variable, optimized for specific workloads
Integration Native integration with Azure Native integration with AWS
Use Cases Enterprise applications, VDI, databases Windows applications, HPC, SAP, enterprise apps
Scalability Scalable to petabytes Scalable with automatic and manual scaling
Data Protection Snapshot-based backups, replication options Automated backups, data deduplication
Cost Efficiency Pay-as-you-go pricing Pay for what you use, cost-effective scaling

Use Cases of Azure NetApp Files

  1. Enterprise Applications: Hosting mission-critical applications requiring high availability and performance.
  2. Database Workloads: Providing fast and scalable storage for databases like SQL Server and Oracle.
  3. VDI: Supporting virtual desktop infrastructure with high-throughput storage for user data and profiles.

Use Cases of AWS FSx

  1. Windows Applications: File storage for Windows-based applications needing native SMB support.
  2. High-Performance Computing (HPC): Utilizing Lustre file systems for compute-intensive workloads.
  3. SAP Applications: Deploying SAP HANA databases and applications requiring robust file storage.

Feature Comparison of Azure NetApp Files vs AWS FSx

Azure NetApp Files Features:

  • Performance: Consistent high performance with low-latency storage solutions.
  • Integration: Seamless integration with Azure services and infrastructure.
  • Data Management: Comprehensive data management capabilities including snapshots and replication.
  • Security: Advanced security features with Azure Active Directory integration.

AWS FSx Features:

  • Flexibility: Support for multiple file system types tailored to specific workload requirements.
  • Scalability: Elastic scalability with automatic and manual scaling options.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Pay-as-you-go pricing model with cost-efficient scaling options.
  • Data Protection: Built-in data protection features like automated backups and data deduplication.

FAQs about Azure NetApp Files and AWS FSx

Q1. Can Azure NetApp Files be used for both NFS and SMB protocols?

  • A1. Yes, Azure NetApp Files supports both NFS (Network File System) and SMB (Server Message Block) protocols, providing flexibility for various application requirements.

Q2. What are the advantages of using AWS FSx for Lustre for HPC workloads?

  • A2. AWS FSx for Lustre offers high-performance file systems optimized for HPC workloads, providing scalable storage and fast data processing capabilities.

Q3. How does Azure NetApp Files ensure data protection?

  • A3. Azure NetApp Files offers snapshot-based backups, replication options, and integration with Azure Backup for comprehensive data protection and disaster recovery.

Q4. Which service is more cost-effective for scaling storage?

  • A4. Both Azure NetApp Files and AWS FSx offer cost-effective scaling options, with pay-as-you-go pricing models that allow organizations to pay only for the storage and resources used.

Q5. How does integration with Azure and AWS services benefit application deployment?

  • A5. Integration with Azure services (for Azure NetApp Files) and AWS services (for AWS FSx) simplifies application deployment, data migration, and management within their respective cloud environments.


Choosing between Azure NetApp Files and AWS FSx depends on your specific storage requirements, workload characteristics, and integration preferences within Azure or AWS ecosystems. Azure NetApp Files excels in providing high-performance file storage integrated with Azure infrastructure, ideal for enterprise applications and database workloads. AWS FSx offers flexibility with multiple file system types optimized for different use cases, including Windows applications, HPC, and SAP environments.

By understanding the features, use cases, and considerations outlined in this comparison, organizations can make informed decisions to leverage the power of managed file storage services in Azure and AWS for optimizing business operations and enhancing application performance in the cloud.