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Cloud Backup Services

What's Missing from Your NetApp FAS/AFF?

NetApp All Flash FAS (AFF) is a robust scale-out storage platform designed for enterprises. It combines low-latency performance with built-in efficiency, best-in-class data management, integrated data security, non-disruptive operations, and multiprotocol support. Based on trusted NetApp ONTAP technology, organizations have been using this storage service for hosting line-of-business applications and databases, such as MS SQL, Oracle, VDI, and server virtualization. Different types of cloud backup services allow enterprises to secure data copies in the event of a failure, but having an option that integrates natively with your FAS/AFF system is optimal.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at the additional capabilities that you should consider for protecting your data hosted in NetApp ONTAP systems to ensure business continuity.

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Cloud Backup: The Missing Key for Your NetApp FAS/AFF

The NetApp ONTAP storage system is the go-to option for traditional workloads needing NAS or SAN solutions or for advanced workloads like AI and deep learning that require best-in-class storage performance. While NetApp ONTAP ensures storage infrastructure resiliency, high availability, and security, having a reliable backup solution is also essential for meeting defined RPO, RTO, and SLA requirements.

Ensuring that data is protected is a top priority for any organization in today's data-driven world. When data is unavailable due to events like malware infection or corruption, enterprises can practically come to a standstill. Customer trust would be lost, and it could also result in severe legal and financial penalties.

Quick and point-in-time data recovery that can bring a business back online is key to avoiding these negative consequences. Therefore, having the right backup solution should be an integral part of your NetApp FAS/AFF storage portfolio.

NetApp Cloud Backup is an enterprise-grade backup solution that integrates with the ONTAP storage ecosystem right out of the box. As a native option, it can support your on-premises AFF/FAS ONTAP system and also Cloud Volumes ONTAP in all leading cloud service platforms using a hybrid architecture. Even if you are currently using a different backup solution, let’s take a deeper look at why NetApp Cloud Backup might be a better solution to meet your organization’s data protection needs.

Challenges of NDMP or Third-Party Backup Solutions

Extending existing NDMP or third-party backup solutions to your ONTAP system might look like a quick win, however, this approach comes with its own set of challenges.

When used for ONTAP systems, NDMP backup solutions don’t retain the storage efficiencies offered by NetApp proprietary technologies like data compression and deduplication. While the basic requirement of having a backup copy can be achieved, NDMP backup solutions are inefficient and prove costly to ONTAP customers in the long run.

NDMP backup solutions are designed for single stream backups leading to longer backup windows. With longer windows, there’s always the possibility of missing backup schedules, especially for large data estates. There’s also additional operational overhead involved as a dedicated management server is required for the backup. Additionally, the backup process is inefficient as it requires more frequent full backups.

Organizations opting for third-party backup solutions have a different set of challenges to deal with. With backup being handled by a third-party vendor, there would be considerable time and effort required to integrate the backup solution with ONTAP. You would also be dependent on multiple vendors to support your storage and backup solution. For example, you might find yourself coordinating with several vendors if you face issues with data recovery, which could potentially lead to extended downtimes and slipped SLAs. Financially, you could be losing out on additional savings if you choose different vendors for backup and storage infrastructures.

When compared to other third-party and NDMP solutions, NetApp Cloud backup provides an efficient and low TCO backup solution for your ONTAP storage systems. You can calculate your potential savings with our Cloud Backup TCO Calculator.

Cloud Backup for NetApp FAS/AFF

Irrespective of how you use NetApp FAS/AFF, Cloud Backup can be configured to meet all your data protection requirements. Let’s take a look at what Cloud Backup brings to the table for your ONTAP storage infrastructure:

  • First-party solution: Cloud Backup is a first-party backup solution designed specifically for NetApp-Native ONTAP storage systems, therefore it offers out-of-the-box integration for your newly purchased NetApp FAS/AFF boxes.
  • One vendor: With storage and backup being managed by a single vendor, you get a faster resolution for any backup-related issues, allowing you to guarantee defined RTOs and SLAs.
  • Dark site support: Cloud Backup can be deployed in dark site mode, which requires zero internet connectivity. The data and management plane remains on-premises and can help meet stringent data security requirements of highly regulated industries.
  • Tiering: Cloud Backup supports cheaper object storage as target storage for backup data, which helps reduce overall backup service storage cost. This could be NetApp StorageGRID® object storage solution on-prem or any object storage service in the cloud.
  • Storage efficiency: Cloud Backup is a block-level incremental forever backup solution that consumes minimal storage at the target. It does a direct transfer of backup data to target storage without the need for configuring an additional media gateway. This helps preserve the NetApp-native storage efficiency features like data compression, deduplication, and compaction.
  • Improve TCO: As backup and storage are provided by a single vendor, you get a better financial value proposition and improve TCO by bundling the purchase of ONTAP and Cloud Backup.


Once you’ve invested in cutting-edge storage technology for your applications by purchasing NetApp AFF/FAS, it makes sense to also invest in a well-rounded NetApp-native solution for your backup needs. In addition to the benefits discussed above, Cloud Backup ensures end-to-end security of your workloads through immutable backups while providing enhanced encryption and easing up the management process through NetApp Cloud Manager. All these are provided as a managed SaaS service from NetApp, which makes the onboarding and management process hassle-free.

Learn more in these Cloud Backup Service Case Studies.

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Semion Mazor, Product Evangelist

Product Evangelist