Replacing tape with cloud object storage is an objective of most IT departments, but in reality it’s just not that easy. First off you need a mature backup solution, that is able to compress, de-duplicate and backup the data to the cloud as efficiently as possible – this process requires a lot of resources to manage the de-duplication database and more often than not a full copy of the data on disk.
A better solution would be for your storage array to do the heavy lifting as most modern arrays already compress, de-duplicate and replicate the data – they just need to be updated to send changed blocks to the cloud and provide a catalog of what has been backed-up for easy restore. Enter ONTAP 9.8, the latest release of NetApp’s premier storage operating system that provides exactly this capability using the components below:
- SnapMirror Cloud – incrementally moves ONTAP snapshots securely and efficiently to object storage
- SnapDiff v3 – an API that enables applications to automatically update their catalog with a list of changed files
- Orchestrator – a backup application, such as ProLion RestoreManager, or NetApp Cloud Backup Service
Typical legacy backups of large datasets are slow and inefficient, particularly when using technologies like NDMP that have to tree walk to calculate changes, perform full periodic backups and throw away all the storage efficiency savings.
NetApp ONTAP provides modern data protection that uses a snapshot based difference engine which is quick and efficient, retains storage efficiency savings, only sends changed blocks incremental forever and supports long-term retention with up to 4,000 snapshots per volume – to say one is legacy and one is modern is clearly an understatement.