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Using IBM Spectrum Protect to protect NetApp® filers with "SnapDiff™" is changing

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NetApp® is changing the supported usage of "snapshot difference incremental backups” (SnapDiff™) to protect a NetApp filer


  • What is the change?
    • IBM Spectrum Protect has multiple ways to back up a NetApp filer. One of those methods is called “snapshot difference incremental backups”, sometimes referred to as “SnapDiff”. It provides an efficient file-level based “incremental forever” backup method to back up files on a NetApp filer to an IBM Spectrum Protect server.
    • Starting with a new version of NetApp ONTAP® (ONTAP is NetApp’s filer operating system) targeted for the future, NetApp will change the policy terms for the backup vendors as to disallow the use of SnapDiff to do backups in this fashion in the future.
    • This change is documented in NetApp Product Communiqué: CPC-00352 (Note: This link requires a NetApp user-id.)
  • What options are available to back up NetApp filers with IBM Spectrum Protect?
    • NDMP - Volume-based backup that provides ability to write data from any NetApp filer directly to back up media. See in IBM Spectrum Protect User’s Guide information: 
    • SnapMirror to Tape (SMTape) - File system-based backup leveraging block level copy of the file system to tape device, used mainly for disaster recovery (DR) purposes. See in IBM Spectrum Protect User’s Guide information: Backup and restore operations by using the NetApp SnapMirror to Tape feature
    • NFS/CIFS - File-level based backup leveraging standard IBM Spectrum Protect Backup-Archive client file scanning to identify changes. See in IBM Spectrum Protect User’s Guide information: Back up and restore data with backup-archive clients
    • Leverage a 3rd-party solution that integrates with IBM Spectrum Protect – For example, General Storage dsmISI MAGS performs incremental forever file-level backups (leveraging CIFS/NFS) of NAS filers. dsmISI MAGS integrates with and stores data to IBM Spectrum Protect and uses a highly parallel algorithm that leverages the IBM Spectrum Protect Backup-Archive Client. 
  • What other options are available?
    • Consider choosing a different storage platform to host your file servers.
      • IBM Spectrum Scale
      • IBM Elastic Storage System (ESS)
      • Both solutions have tight integration with IBM Spectrum Protect, with highly efficient and optimized backup, as well as optional space management (HSM) integration for selected platforms.
  • How do I get more information?
    • Contact your IBM representative or Business Partner for more details and guidance.

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Document Information

Modified date:
17 November 2021