NetApp Cloud Backup Review

We're not 24 hours behind the times, literally dedupes to the cloud in seconds

How has it helped my organization?

We were able to get away from tape for backups. Being able to backup directly to the disk and have it dump directly to the cloud means we're not 24 hours offsite, or 24 hour behind the times, where literally seconds is as fast as it can dedupe to the cloud.

What is most valuable?

The deduplication engine. Right now, we're at about 10.5 to 11 times deduplication of our backup data. That's really handy because we're only using about 200 terabytes onsite, but we're getting two petabytes worth of deduped expanded data.

What needs improvement?

I really want to partner it with the SnapCenter. We haven't implemented that yet. We're upgrading all of our stuff to the ONTAP 9, which you had to have. You can set up different shares, but I would like to be able set up retention windows inside those shares, which right now they're not. You have to use your backup software to be able to keep it forever or say, "Hey in 30 days delete".

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's been great. It's been up since April 2nd, about six months. I've rebooted it once, never had an issue, no bad disks. It just works. It's very, very simple, but it works.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Excellent. I have two different nodes that are 116 terabytes of usable data on each. I'm using about 95% of them, and I was hoping to get about three months onsite that I could keep for backups or for recoveries, and I have literally six months on and still going strong. Still haven't hit the cap.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We were using LTO-6 and we were having to swap tapes out constantly. We were murdering our tape library so we had to buy another tape library, and then there was the overhead of storage, moving it offsite, keeping it for a year, keeping records, and the like.

Here, I just dump to a location, it dedupes to the cloud, and after one year it automatically deletes itself and I don't have to do any extra work. It's all automated.

How was the initial setup?

Straightforward. Super simple.

We're connected to public cloud, to Azure, and right now we're using NetBackup but we're looking to move into Veeam.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We a NetApp shop, so we have multiple NetApp appliances. It was a no-brainer. We did look around but AltaVault seemed to do everything that we wanted it to do, so we took a chance and it's paid very, very well.

What other advice do I have?

It's super simple. We tried to overly complicate it and expected it to be overly complicated and it wasn't. From start to finish, within three days I had moved all my backup policies over to it, and it took longer to replicate to the cloud for that initial data. But after that, like I said, in seconds, where our recovery window is a 24-hour period. We're literally 30 seconds out from backup, to dumping, to dedupe, to the cloud.

Definitely try a demo. I think the on-prem solution where you buy the storage, you keep it locally for quick re-stores. Our restore window has been cut by 10 times. From having to pull back from tape -  I'd definitely recommend it. I don't have to worry about where it's at, I don't have to worry about anything. It literally knows to either pull it from local or pull it from the cloud, and it does everything itself. I just use my backup software, which I know how to use.

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