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NetApp Snapshot OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

NetApp Snapshot is #3 ranked solution in top Data Replication tools. PeerSpot users give NetApp Snapshot an average rating of 8.6 out of 10. NetApp Snapshot is most commonly compared to Hitachi Thin Image: NetApp Snapshot vs Hitachi Thin Image. NetApp Snapshot is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 72% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 24% of all views.
Buyer's Guide

Download the Data Replication Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2022

What is NetApp Snapshot?

NetApp Snapshot is a data replication software that works through snapshot copies, crucial for the recovery of data. These copies are used as safe points for rollback before upgrades or patches. NetApp Snapshot provides prompt data replication which is also highly space-efficient, and provides users with the full management and control of their data and its copies. Through the various solutions the Snapshot technology has introduced, companies receive enhanced stability, functionality, and performance, as well as storage efficiency.

NetApp Snapshot uses two types of snapshot technologies to handle data replication: Copy on Write (COW) and Redirect on Write (ROW). The COW technologies make a copy of the original information and then only after the replication process is completed does the system overwrite the modified data into the original blocks. In contrast, ROW redirects the snapshots to new storage blocks, updating pointers to those blocks, which always point to the original location. When NetApp Snapshot combines the two technologies, it allows customers to save storage efficiency by way of deduplication and compression.

NetApp Snapshot Features

NetApp Snapshot’s valuable features include:

  • Data replication stability: Every NetApp Snapshot copy is an immutable, static copy, giving organizations the opportunity to create consistent backups from their storage system while applications are running.

  • Performance impact: The performance of NetApp's systems that store NetApp Snapshot aren’t affected. The actions of creating or deleting a Snapshot copy also don't greatly impact the performance of the systems where they are located. NetApp’s storage can be used for data replication, backup, and archival even if a company is using another storage system.

  • Storage scale: Another beneficial feature of NetApp is the volume of storage, which supports 255 Snapshot copies. This provides users with the opportunity to perform frequent data replication, thus creating current versions of their data.

  • File recovery: The above-mentioned features allow for the creation of backup for recovery purposes. They also provide\ the opportunity to copy backups to offline storage as well as to create an archive for them.

  • Storage utilization: The option for utilization of storage allows NetApp Snapshot users to benefit from storage volumes similar to those of active file systems. The software works through block increment, which limits the interval of time between added blocks of Snapshot copies, thus creating more efficient storage.

NetApp Snapshot Benefits

The benefits of using NetApp Snapshot include:

  • Ability to create instant data replication while applications run
  • Up to 255 data replicas available
  • Various tools for full-package coverage, including SnapManager, SnapProtect, SnapMirror, SnapRestore, and SnapVault

Reviews from Real Users

Gregg N., Manager of Data Center Services at TTi Power Equipment, states that the primary use of NetApp Snapshot by his organization is as a data-protection solution in the cloud and in the data center. He points out that this data duplication software is very user-friendly, extremely stable, and scalable.

Edgar M., Sr. Data Protection Engineer at DataPivot Technologies, uses NetApp Snapshot for its monitoring or clone capabilities, and he agrees that the solution is very stable.

According to George A., CEO at BDPR Technologies Limited, the most valuable features of NetApp Snapshot are the integration with other vendors and customization.

NetApp Snapshot Customers

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NetApp Snapshot Video

NetApp Snapshot Pricing Advice

What users are saying about NetApp Snapshot pricing:
  • "The price of the solution is reasonable but could improve. However, if you are in a country that has a poor currency then the price will be considered expensive."
  • "The price of NetApp Snapshot depends on the use case. They charge by how much data you need, the capability, and for snap licenses."
  • NetApp Snapshot Reviews

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    Gregg Norton - PeerSpot reviewer
    Manager - Data Center Services at TTi Power Equipment
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    Very user-friendly, extremely stable, and scalable
    Pros and Cons
    • "From a functional standpoint, it's been, pretty much bulletproof. I have never gone to a snapshot and not been able to do what I needed to do."
    • "The UI is probably their biggest weakness. There are always glitches in the HTML UI."

    What is our primary use case?

    We primarily use the solution to protect data in the cloud and data in the data center.

    If something such as ransomeware comes along and corrupts our production data, I roll the volumes back to the last snapshot. More commonly, somebody deletes or corrupts a file inadvertently. In some cases we can roll back to the last Snapshot, however, that usually isn't a viable option because other data in the volume would be lost. That said, the system gives me the ability to mount up a Snapshot, go get the data that they were looking for, and move it back to where they need it.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Saying that Netapp Snapshot technology has "improved [my] organization" is a bit of a stretch, but it - and the other technologies based upon it - is a critical component in our BC/DR strategy.

    What is most valuable?

    I really believe the NetApp product is awesome. There may be others in niche spaces that can fill a particular use case better than NetApp, or provide an even less expensive alternative, but in our environment, Netapp is our go-to storage provider.  There will be specific use cases that bring other things into the data center, so I'm not a purist, however, we've had phenomenal success with NetApp and their support. It's been a great relationship for the entire duration. They have evolved well technologically, they've done a great job of getting past the idea of being a vendor for spinning disks. They've really repositioned themselves as a management system for your data regardless of where it resides. I just can't speak highly enough.

    Snapshot, SnapMirror, and SnapVault have worked really well for us over the years. The next piece of that puzzle that we will be adding is data tiering, particularly as we start to move some of the stuff that I currently house on SATA disk (e.g. departmental shares, user shares, etc.) to the cloud. There's a lot of that data that's accessed frequently, and there's a lot of that data that's not. 

    NetApp's FabricPool technology will allow me to basically set up a series of rules and then tell it, "Okay, go do it." When a block becomes hot, it brings it into my fastest storage. If the block is accessed less frequently, it goes out into warm storage. If it cools down even further it goes to cheaper and deeper storage.  The product automates moving the data blocks from one tier to another based on the rules we create. There's a lot of promise there because the cloud is never cheaper than on-prem until you can take advantage of some of that cheap and deep stuff.  Of course, this isn't directly related to snapshots, but when discussing Netapp, the focus is on an intertwined collection of data management tools, and snapshots are just one piece of a larger strategy.

    The integration with the cloud is seamless. They have a singular management interface that makes it so you don't really have to know or care where the data resides.

    The greatest value in the snapshot technology lies in the fact that we can mirror these snapshots to a remote site. In fact, one of the features that will be enabled that I have been looking forward to -- and it's been around for a while now, but it's still above the version I'm running -- is a continuous data protection scheme with near real-time mirroring. A lot of times my snapshot schedule might be every hour. By definition, if I snap it and mirror it every hour I could lose, 59 minutes and 59 seconds worth of data.  In most cases, that is acceptable for our business.  With the addition of synchronous mirroring, we can tighten the RPO for our most critical data.

    Because of Snap Mirror and Snap Vault, I can keep (for example) two weeks' worth of data on my primary storage, yet I can keep a year's worth of weekly backups on the remote array. If somebody says "Gosh, you know, we had this file. I don't know exactly when we deleted it, but the last time we knew we had, it was March." Then I have those weekly snapshots and can go and try to recover that data for them. It's not as slick as it could be. Most traditional backup solutions will allow me to just type in the file name, and it would tell me where the data is.  With the NetApp snapshot approach, the search really very manual, but it is doable, and It does give us a longer-term retention strategy. The snapshots are immutable, so if I end up getting ransomware or something like that, we have the facility to roll back.

    From a functional standpoint, it's been, pretty much bulletproof. I have never gone to a snapshot and not been able to do what I needed to do.

    It's extremely user-friendly, it is a set it and forget it kind of setup.

    What needs improvement?

    It would be ideal if mirrored/vaulted snapshots were searchable. If I have to go looking for a file in a stack of snapshots, it's mount one and look, mount another and look, etc. It's a very manual activity. Indexing the data is one thing that traditional backup products bring to the table, that to my knowledge, NetApp does not, and I'm not sure if they ever will. They are very tightly partnered with backup vendors like Rubrik, so they may leave searchability as a third-party option.  I don't necessarily have all the software that Netapp makes available, so it's possible they have a solution that I am not aware of.  In my day-to-day activities, I'm more concerned with adding better management tools than I am with occasionally having to go get a file by hand.

    The UI is probably their biggest weakness. There are always 'features' the HTML UI, but those are minor annoyances, not functional problems.  In recent years, Netapp has made a concerted effort to simplify the UX, and IMHO, this is the wrong strategy.  With each iteration, there is more information that I can only get from the command line.  

    Buyer's Guide
    Data Replication
    September 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about NetApp, Hitachi, Dell Technologies and others in Data Replication. Updated: September 2022.
    634,590 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've worked with the solution for 15 years. We were an EMC shop for quite a while, but we moved to NetApp, and we have never looked back.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The solution is quite stable. It's pretty much bulletproof.  As with all vendors, there are periodic software updates, bug fixes, and security updates, but I am not aware of any direct connection between the updates and the snapshots per se.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability is very good, if I want to add more storage, I just add more storage. It happens all the time.

    There are some limits to the size of the aggregates, however, that's never been an issue for us. We're talking in large numbers of terabytes before you hit that. It's really a function of the size of the disks in the aggregates.

    All of our users store data on the Netapp, but that is completely transparent to them.  The only person that uses the software interfaces is me. I'm the only one that administers the product.

    How are customer service and support?

    I've never had to call technical support for an issue regarding snapshots. It's a very stable technology so there are very few issues.

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Positive

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    Previously, we were using EMC. That was really before I had any involvement with our storage apparatus. I was part of the same team, but I was not 'the storage guy', so I really can't speak to the motivation for our changing storage providers.

    When Netapp came into our environment, my immediate supervisor said, "Hey, I need to start backing off from some of the tactical work. Would you look at taking this over?" After that, bit by bit, starting in 2007, I started learning more and more and more about NetApp, and eventually when he moved on, I took over his job, so I inherited the solution.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is fundamental to the product, so architecting the correct solution is the primary effort during implementation. You can mirror at the volume level or an entire storage virtual machine. With MetroClusters, there are even more alternatives, but we are not currently using that technology.  The point is that there are different levels that you can mirror, and snap. It's an integral part of the product. That has more to do with why we bought NetApp than just its management of local disks.

    What about the implementation team?

    We have an implementation partner that assists us with engineering the solution.

    What other advice do I have?

    We're just customers. We don't have a business relationship with the company.

    A lot of our data protection strategy is still centered around NetApp.

    We will be, over the next three years, migrating to a more cloud-enabled strategy that will still be centered around Netapp technology.  We looked at all on-prem, cloud as much as possible, and a couple of points in between, but the problem with migrating from on-prem to cloud is that we were going to have to lift and shift a serious amount of data from the data center to the cloud.

    If you account for ingress fees and all those sorts of things, that's just part of the cost of doing that kind of business, but data availability would have been grossly impacted, and we don't have enough of a downtime window anywhere in our scheduling to effectively do that. What we elected to do was go all on-prem, one more round.

    Then we can figure out how to break the data transition to the cloud into smaller chunks. I bought five years of support for all my SSD-related hardware. I only bought three years for all my spinning disks. The plan is in the next three years to eliminate the need for spinning disks, but this buys me three years to move stuff to the cloud in a piecemeal fashion rather than trying to do it in a 'big bang'.

    I'm a big fan of NetApp. I'm not saying that they're the only storage vendor I would ever do business with. The days of the data center having one of anything are kind of passing us by. In the modern data center, we're going to end up with tiered everything. You'll have multiple public clouds. You'll have a private cloud. You'll have multiple providers for storage, multiple providers for compute. And essentially what we all end up with eventually is a data center where if somebody wants to spin up a server, they pick items à la carte off a menu with a price at the bottom of the screen and say, "Okay, I can live with that."  The challenge will be to provide that level of service without incurring tremendous administrative overhead.

    The Snapshot technology rides along with the management interface on the controllers. I'm using 9.3, and the latest is 9.6. When we bring the new hardware in January, we will immediately follow it with an upgrade project. There are some new features that they've enabled that we can take advantage of. I'm not currently in a position to talk about what all of those are. I've done some reading and pretty much said, "Huh, that'll be cool one day," and then discarded it from my mind. We have implementation partners who will help with "Here's what makes sense for you." I'm looking forward to getting there, however, we're a couple of versions behind.

    They're pretty good at knowing what their marketplace is looking for. They are probably the most technologically proficient in the storage arena. There are other niche players that do one thing very well, and they might do it better than NetApp, however, when you look at storage as a whole, Netapp really stands out. It is the center of my IT universe. Everything else is helped out from it. I've got hosts that boot to it. I've got most of our VMs in NetApp volumes. If it is not in HCI, it's in the NetApp and that's probably 85% of our storage. It's significant. Between data and backup, I've got about a petabyte and a half.

    I'd rate it at a nine out of ten because of the searchability issue, and as I've said, NetApp may have a solution for that in a software package that I do not own.  In the course of doing my job, I never have to sit there and worry about whether the storage technology is working right or not. It just does what it needs to do, and gives me the ability to focus on other things. 

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Flag as inappropriate
    PeerSpot user
    CEO at BDPR Technologies Limited
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    Integrates well, customizable, and highly reliable
    Pros and Cons
    • "The most valuable features of NetApp Snapshot are the integration with other vendors and customization."
    • "NetApp Snapshot's price could improve to allow them to capture more market shares."

    What is our primary use case?

    NetApp Snapshot has a lot of use cases depending on the user's resourcefulness. What it does is replace an image of the volume or whatever you want to create. Once you create it, then you can do whatever you like with it.

    My customers use it for backups, replication, and cleaning.

    Most of my clients do not use the cloud version because they are in the banking industry.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable features of NetApp Snapshot are the integration with other vendors and customization.

    What needs improvement?

    NetApp Snapshot's price could improve to allow them to capture more market shares.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using NetApp Snapshot for approximately nine years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    NetApp Snapshot is highly scalable. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability of NetApp Snapshot is very good. A lot of the features of NetApp are built around Snapshots itself.

    The can be some performance degradation if the user misuses the solution. For example, if the user is running too many Snapshots. It is not NetApp's fault, it is the fault of the user.

    How are customer service and support?

    NetApp Snapshot has different levels of support. The standard support works perfectly well but you can purchase additional support depending on the response time you want. For example, 6, 12, or 24-hour support. Overall the support is great.

    I rate the support from NetApp Snapshot a four out of five.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I am familiar with Dell and IBM solutions, and NetApp Snapshot is better. It is very easy to maintain and easy to use.

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup of NetApp Snapshot is simple. Once you teach the users, they will have a good handle on it immediately. It is very simple and user-friendly.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The price of the solution is reasonable but could improve. However, if you are in a country that has a poor currency then the price will be considered expensive. However, overall the price of the solution could be better.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    NetApp Snapshot is superior to any other solution in this category that I evaluated.

    What other advice do I have?

    I rate NetApp Snapshot a nine out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
    Flag as inappropriate
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    Data Replication
    September 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about NetApp, Hitachi, Dell Technologies and others in Data Replication. Updated: September 2022.
    634,590 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    Edgar Melendez - PeerSpot reviewer
    Sr. Data Protection Engineer at DataPivot Technologies
    Real User
    Top 20
    Useful directory snaps, reliable, and scalable

    What is our primary use case?

    I use NetApp Snapshot for the mirroring or clone capabilities. For example, snapshots of different applications.

    What is most valuable?

    NetApp Snapshot's most valuable features are the snapshot capabilities, you can take snaps of shared directories, files, and VMs.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used NetApp Snapshot within the past 12 months.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    NetApp Snapshot has been around a long time and they are stable. They are a standard on their own.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    NetApp Snapshot can be scaled.

    The disc arrays can be expandable, that's what the NetApp does it sells you hardware and it's a benefit for the company to make it available to the end-user to add storage easily. It's can be an easy sell for them.

    How are customer service and support?

    I have not needed to use the support. If you have to spend a lot of time with support, that means their instructions are not solid and the solution doesn't work as advertised.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup of NetApp Snapshot is not straightforward. It's not something that you can do just by clicking on the next step button. It has to be designed and it has to be implemented according to your network capabilities and the use case scenario.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The price of NetApp Snapshot depends on the use case. They charge by how much data you need, the capability, and for snap licenses.

    What other advice do I have?

    I rate NetApp Snapshot an eight out of ten.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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