Solution Overview

Consolidate distributed data in the cloud

NetApp Global File Cache (GFC) is a transparent, globally distributed file caching solution for organizations looking to consolidate unstructured data into a centralized set of data.  By leveraging the flexibility, scalability, and performance of the cloud, organizations can reduce their storage footprint on-premises.  This software defined storage solution enables real-time global file sharing and collaboration without changing their workflows or experience. 

Use cases

NetApp Global File Cache is a software only storage solution that delivers fast and secure access to your data for for various use cases including:

  • Distributed file server consolidation leveraging public cloud for scalability and performance
  • Regional VDI file distribution without the need to replicate
  • Single set of data for large file collaboration


  • Global SMB/CIFS file services
  • Centralized data in customer's choice of Cloud Service Provider
  • Integration with Microsoft DFS for a global namespace
  • Integration with Active Directory domain
  • Real-time access to data with distributed file locking
  • Software defined edge appliances


NetApp Global File Cache is typically deployed as "hub-and-spoke" model and includes the following components:

  • Centralized Storage:
    • NetApp Cloud Volumes in AWS, Azure, or GCP
    • NetApp Cloud Volumes Service in AWS or GCP
    • Azure NetApp Files
  • Global File Cache Fabric:
    • Global File Cache Core deployed as a Virtual Machine instance close to the CIFS/SMB centralized storage
    • Global File Cache Edge VM deployed in remote locations
  • Virtual File Share
    • Hosts intelligent file cache on a customizable NTFS volume
    • Caches active data dynamically or via schedule
  • Microsoft Active Directory
  • Microsoft Distributed Namespaces


Lab Diagram