Cloud Backup

Application-Aware Backup with Cloud Backup and SnapCenter

February 18, 2022

Topics: 7 minute read

Comprehensive data protection for mission-critical applications is non-negotiable for organizations. Downtime due to data loss can have severe implications, including financial penalties, loss of business, and—maybe most importantly—losing your customers’ trust.

Now organizations have a better way to make sure application data is protected with NetApp Cloud Backup’s new integration with NetApp SnapCenter®.

This new integration gives organizations a way to address all the requirements of application-aware backups and leverage the best features of Cloud Backup for applications and VMs, including cloud-based backups, object storage, 3-2-1 strategy alignment, PAYGO consumption, object storage scalability and reliability, and reduced infrastructure overheads and costs.

In this blog we will deep dive into how NetApp Cloud Backup and SnapCenter combine to help you simplify your application recovery process.

Jump down to the sections on:

Have Application-Aware Data to Back Up? Now Cloud Backup Can Do It

Netapp Cloud Backup now supports backing application-consistent data through its new integration with SnapCenter.

NetApp Cloud Backup is designed to protect data on your ONTAP systems using a block-level, incremental forever back up process that is completely automated. Available across all the major hyperscalers—Azure, AWS and GCP—and on-prem, Cloud Backup provides users with a single pane for managing data back up and restore processes, no matter where the data resides.

NetApp SnapCenter is a backup service from NetApp that enables users to create application-consistent backups for your enterprise-level database workloads such as MSSQL, Oracle, SAP HANA, and Microsoft Exchange using ONTAP storage environments.

With the new integration, the power of Cloud Backup now extends to additional workloads including databases, applications, and VMs in the cloud.

The integration between Cloud Backup and SnapCenter is handled in the new Cloud Backup for Apps tab inside the Cloud Backup interface. The services are integrated to work seamlessly and equipped to protect your applications through application-aware backups, irrespective of whether they are hosted on-premises or using the cloud services on AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud.

This integration offers benefits for existing users of both services. Existing SnapCenter customers get all the benefits of Cloud Backup and can now extend their backup ecosystem to the cloud. Cloud Backup customers can now further protect their enterprise workloads with application-consistent backup.

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The application tab inside Cloud Backup.

Bringing the Cloud and 3-2-1 to SnapCenter

SnapCenter has long been trusted with companies to create application-aware backups, but it’s about to take the step in its evolution. SnapCenter users can now leverage the cloud and all the backup-as-a-service features that come with NetApp Cloud Backup.

Let’s explore some of the benefits that are now available to SnapCenter users with Cloud Backup integration:

  • Extend backup to cloud: SnapCenter users can now leverage backup storage in the cloud through Cloud Backup. Instead of upfront CAPEX investments for on-premises hardware to store backup copies, SnapCenter users can rely on cloud-based object storage and benefit from the cloud’s pay-as-you-go, OPEX model.
  • Low-cost object storage: Object storage is far less expensive than traditional disks and tape-based backup storage options. Thanks to Cloud Backup, SnapCenter users can also benefit from the inexpensive cold and archive tier options the cloud object storage services offer for long-term data retention and DR.
  • High durability: While storing data on-prem, users are responsible for ensuring data resiliency. That involves significant operational and configuration overheads. The cloud service providers offer object storage as a managed service, with resiliency and durability with assured SLAs baked into the services. Through NetApp Cloud Backup, SnapCenter users get to benefit from ‘11 9s’ of durability for their data.
  • Hybrid and multicloud support: NetApp Cloud Backup not only supports on-prem ONTAP but also all the leading hyperscalers—AWS, Azure and GCP—which means customers aren’t locked in to a specific platform. Whether you’re using a hybrid or multicloud architecture, Cloud Backup’s integration with SnapCenter will help application and VM admins protect data across every environment.
  • Offsite backup copies: Most organizations have a 3-2-1 backup strategy, where one copy of the data is stored in an offsite location. Through the new integration with Cloud Backup, SnapCenter’s app-consistent copies can be stored in cloud object storage, giving users that single offsite location. The overall cost of the solution can also be reduced by leveraging archival storage options for storing this redundant copy of the data. This helps in meeting your backup requirements in a cost effectively.

Application-Aware Backups: The Value Proposition

Point-in-time recovery is crucial to restore corrupted data or data lost due to manual/hardware errors and malware attacks. Traditional backup processes involve file-based or storage-based snapshot technologies that do not take application state into consideration. That means there is no assurance that the restored data will work.

The new Cloud Backup for Apps capability uses native software plugins to ensure application-aware backup and restore. That means your data can be restored in a usable format, whether it’s for your Oracle /SQL DB databases, SAP HANA, or Exchange servers, bringing these enterprise applications back to a working state.

The integration of SnapCenter with NetApp Cloud Backup adds the following capabilities for users:

  • Unified data protectionfor applications across the NetApp Data Fabric
  • Extensive support for enterprise workloads through native and custom plugins: MS Exchange, MS SQL, Oracle, MySQL, MongoDB, SAP HANA, file systems, etc.
  • High performance back up and point-in-time recovery of application workloads
  • Restores up to 10x faster than traditional backups
  • 18x improved RPO through frequent application-consistent backups using NetApp Snapshot™ technology
  • Built on trusted NetApp technologies like SnapVault®, SnapMirror®, and SnapRestore®
  • Cost-effective long-term retention and DR through object storage
  • Application- and DB-specific backup workflows to simplify backup and restore processes

How to Take the Next Step in Application-Aware Backup

Cloud Backup for Apps brings together the best of NetApp Cloud Backup and SnapCenter for customers of both these services. Built on industry-leading backup technology from NetApp, users now have a way to increase the performance of your backups and ensure application availability all in one automated service.

This new feature ensures data integrity of your application backups so that the data remains usable when you need it the most. The backup and restore process is seamless, even for the most complex workloads through workload-specific workflows. These are must-have features for enterprise and mid-size organizations that have diverse application and database workloads deployed across on-premises as well as cloud environments.

Sign up for a free trial of Cloud Backup today to learn how your organization can benefit from application-consistent back up with NetApp Cloud Backup.

FAQs

What are the types of backup?

The commonly used types of backups are full backups, file-level incremental backups, and block-level incremental backups. In full backup, all the files in a data volume are copied to backup media. In file-level incremental backups, only the updated files since the  full backup are copied. In block-level incremental backups, the changed data blocks since the last backup are copied.

What is an application-aware backup?

Application aware backups capture not just the data but also state of the application, including any pending transactions or data stored in memory during the backup. Application-aware backups work transparently and do not impact ongoing application or database processes. The data will be restored in a format immediately usable by the application.

What is the main difference between a snapshot-based backup vs. an application-aware backup?

Snapshot-based backups work at the disk level and capture data at the point in time of the back up. It is usually used for machine-level or disk-level recoveries. Application-aware backups, on the other hand, have direct integration with the application and create consistent backups of the data used by the application. The backup can be used for application-level recovery without having to restore the entire machine or disk.

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Product Marketing Manager