NetApp SnapCenter Overview

NetApp SnapCenter is the #12 ranked solution in our list of best Backup and Recovery Software. It is most often compared to Veeam Backup & Replication: NetApp SnapCenter vs Veeam Backup & Replication

What is NetApp SnapCenter?

Unified, scalable platform for application-consistent data protection and clone management. This software simplifies backup, restore, and clone lifecycle management with application-integrated workflows.

NetApp SnapCenter is also known as SnapCenter.

NetApp SnapCenter Buyer's Guide

Download the NetApp SnapCenter Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: January 2021

NetApp SnapCenter Customers

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NetApp SnapCenter Archived Reviews (More than two years old)

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Rostislav Pilka
Senior Systems Engineer at Our Space Appliances
Real User
Top 10
Jan 17, 2019
The main advantage is its fast backup and restore

What is our primary use case?

Primary use case is covering fast backup and restore for customers, mostly for SQL databases, some Oracle database systems in servers, and some file share backups with Snapshots with the possibility of restore. SnapCenter is usually an additional software, which is not the main backup software. Most companies have already found a backup solution and are using SnapCenter to be able to do a fast restoration of their data. Therefore, they are using two solutions at once, side-by-side. Companies will have their primary backup solution and SnapCenter as a redundancy because the primary solution… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "We have been very satisfied with the technical support's help. Their knowledge level is great. For a noncritical question, they will get back to us within a day."
  • "The main advantage is its fast backup and restore."
  • "Some of the minor functionalities from SnapManager did not transfer over to SnapCenter. These should be added in future releases."
  • "The Microsoft environment is its biggest disadvantage due to the central management of all the actions. Because the SnapCenter server is where we deploy everything, it also affects the Microsoft environment, which can cause many difficulties when resolving issues like Windows update problems."
Ivo Dissel
Senior Systems Administrator at a healthcare company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Jan 13, 2019
Cloning enables us to create test databases, even a terabyte in size, instantly

What is our primary use case?

Backing up SQL and Exchange is our primary use case.

Pros and Cons

  • "A feature that stands out is cloning databases. If you have a SQL database and it's huge, like one terabyte, the classical SQL way would be to do a backup-restore to create a clone of your database for test purposes. With SnapCenter now, we can clone a database but through the Snapshot technology, which means if you right-click and you click Clone, the one terabyte database is there instantly."
  • "The backup process finishes very quickly."
  • "I feel a little bit that during the whole process of putting this software into production we were like a beta program. It was full of bugs... For example, we had a problem with truncating our Exchange log files... It has improved over time."
  • "The GUI is still so-so. I' don't use the GUI that often anymore because it's really slow, refreshing disks, refreshing hosts, and you have to click a lot."

What other advice do I have?

Hire someone who has already installed the product ten times, an experienced SnapCenter installer who can implement this product very easily and who knows all the ins and outs and bugs and which patch he should run. Get guidance. In terms of maintenance, I convinced my colleagues, our Exchange people and our SQL people, to use it often and look into it. We all get alerts if SnapCenter fails or if a backup does not complete, but I'm the main person who is looking at it. There are three people in our organization using it: our Exchange admin, our SQL admin, and our VMware storage admin (me)…
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Nikolay Gorbunov
Lead Engineer at a integrator with 201-500 employees
Real User
Jan 9, 2019
Provides fast backup and recovery, but resource management could be improved

What is our primary use case?

It's used as a backup and recovery software. Some of our clients are using the solution for private cloud primary backup.

Pros and Cons

  • "It has very fast backup and can handle a huge amount of data. It also enables really fast recovery."
  • "Groups might be helpful for each site or data center so that we know a given data center has these resources while another data center has those resources. It's not always easy to group hosts by type."

What other advice do I have?

SnapCenter is really good for VMware, it's really nice. It's also very good for SQL and Oracle. But you need to test it properly each time because there are times you will need to reconfigure your infrastructure. We have plans to increase usage of this product. It currently covers about half of our infrastructure. I would rate SnapCenter at seven out of ten. It's very good, allowing us to do fast backup and recovery, but like every product, it has its flaws, limitations and it has a room for improvement. It may not be useful for certain companies. But anyway, when I look at other backup…
Arnold Romeijn
Technical Architect at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 20
Jan 8, 2019
Role-Based Access Control enables us to implement layers of security

What is our primary use case?

We use it in our managed services for customers. We back up customer data from systems that we manage for them.

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the RBAC, the Role-Based Access Control. In our managed service, we can have different layers of security."
  • "Reporting of the jobs could be better."

What other advice do I have?

Do a PoC to see if it's a viable product for you. In our company, we have about 20 users of SnapCenter. They are managed services backup administrators. Our management also uses the reporting. On the customer side, there are also have the people responsible for the virtual environment and the application owners. Those are the types of people that are using the product.
Edgars Jansons
Storage Architect at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 20
Jan 8, 2019
Enables us to clone databases and create test environments quickly

What is our primary use case?

We are a NetApp partner. For our systems, we are using SnapCenter only for testing purposes. For customers, we started to install when it was SnapManager, quite some years ago. We have many installations with SnapManager and some installations with SnapCenter. We're at the stage of migrating from SnapManager to SnapCenter. Our customers primarily use SnapCenter for SQL Server and VMware.

Pros and Cons

  • "Restoring and cloning are easy to do."
  • "I'm waiting for SnapCenter for hybrid solutions. Right now, we only have SnapManager for hybrid. I need agents for that. People are looking to install SnapCenter in a SQL environment, but where they're running SQL on Hyper-V and using virtual files. Currently, we don't have support for hybrid."

What other advice do I have?

Our customers generally have one or two users using SnapCenter. They aren't very big companies which have a dedicated SQL or& Oracle or VMware administrator. Most of the users are DB admins and system administrators. For deployment and maintenance, two is a good number, so that there is some redundancy. But one person is enough to install it and maintain it. I would rate SnapCenter at eight out of ten, because it doesn't have functionality for Hyper-V, etc. I need more agents and support for more systems.
Keith Alioto
Lead Storage Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Jan 8, 2019
Resource groups allow us to put servers into buckets, making backup reporting much easier

What is our primary use case?

We back up Microsoft SQL and Microsoft Exchange 2016.

Pros and Cons

  • "Being able to add everything in as resource groups is a valuable feature... Having all the SQL servers put into specific buckets, based on their year of release - 2008, 2012, 2014 - allows us to get almost immediate backups that are easily seen and reported on."
  • "The reporting feature has been particularly beneficial to upper management... When you do manual backups, you do not get the benefit of seeing successes and failures and how often you have to do restores. With SnapCenter, you get all of that."
  • "The documentation could be a little bit better so that we could handle more of the troubleshooting ourselves, rather than having to go through support."

What other advice do I have?

I'd recommend SnapCenter, if you're currently a NetApp shop and you're using a variety of other backup systems like NetBackup or others. This is much easier to administer and maintain and upgrade.
Manuel Maurer
ICT System Engineer at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Jan 7, 2019
Centralized GUI allows us to see the state of all backup jobs, but working with roles is not user-friendly

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is VM backup and our secondary use case is backup from all databases like SQL.

Pros and Cons

  • "The centralized GUI is the best feature, that there is only one webpage where we can see the states of all the backup jobs. We can see all the tasks that are running and we can quickly see if one fails; if they are running or have any issues. We have all that in one place."
  • "It's integrated with VMware vCenter. You can also see the backups there and you can do a restore completely out of vCenter."
  • "When you have role-based access, for example, it's a bit of a problem that the person who creates the backup job is the owner of it. We are struggling a bit with this, that everyone has the same view and the same permissions in there."
  • "If it was possible to create backups on non-NetApp storage, that would be helpful."

What other advice do I have?

Go for it and have a look at it. You don't really need much time for the implementation, but you have to make sure that you have a bit of know-how on how the Snapshot technology from NetApp works with the SnapMirror labels, etc. That is very important. At the moment, there are three persons using it in our company: My backup colleague, the database specialist also has access, and I. In a future step, we are planning to move our Exchange backups to SnapCenter. We are using about 60 percent of the functionality, and we are planning to go up to between 80 and 100 percent. I would rate SnapCenter…
SysEngineer3401
Senior Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Jan 7, 2019
Gives you one console to monitor all your jobs, rather than going to different vCenters

What is our primary use case?

We use it for VMware. We haven't integrated any of our SQL or Exchange solutions with SnapCenter. We haven't tested that yet. I think there is a plugin for Oracle but we haven't tested that either. The primary thing we have been using in SnapCenter is the ability to integrate with our ESXi environment. We have about 300 virtual machines, including virtual desktops. That's going to be increased to about 400 or 500, once the projects in the pipeline are rolled out.

Pros and Cons

  • "The central pane view is the most valuable feature. You have one console where you can monitor all your jobs, as opposed to going to different vCenters."
  • "We tend to have a lot of Hyper-V... so now we have two management consoles and we would ideally like to leverage SnapCenter to include Hyper-V."

What other advice do I have?

It works. It's reliable. There are no real negative aspects. It's a very solid product. We only have one dedicated user. We haven't defined roles, we haven't used that functionality. We just provide one user with administrative access and that's being shared. We have three staff members managing the solution: SnapCenter, NetApp, and VMware. They all have access to SnapCenter. One is a backup administrator, another is the infrastructure manager, and we have a person who looks after the networking infrastructure, etc. I would rate SnapCenter at nine out of ten. It's not a ten because of the…
Engineer1785
Engineer at a non-profit with 201-500 employees
Real User
Jan 7, 2019
We can clone to different servers, but the manual upgrade process has been a headache

What is our primary use case?

We're using it for Oracle and SQL, and we use it for backups and cloning.

Pros and Cons

  • "The backup features are the most valuable because they allow the DBAs to replace SnapManager for Oracle (SMO), which is going away, and to do cloning as well. We can also clone to different servers and have the actual backup clone mounted on different servers. And we can split easily too."
  • "The DBAs are comparing it to SMO but it doesn't have a lot of the functionalities that SMO has."
  • "My major issue is when I upgrade. I have to touch every last client that I have in SnapCenter, and right now I have 60... They said that in another release that will get better, but right now it's not better and I've had to do this three times."

What other advice do I have?

Test out every function that you think you'll need before you implement it in your production environment. My role is just to do the configurations. The DBAs actually use the product because it's more of a set it and forget it. I configure it on the server then they get to use it. We have only SQL DBAs and Oracle DBAs using it, a total of about eight people. For deployment we just need the storage team which consists of two people. If it botches, we will move more into Commvault, because we do have Commvault for backups. But with Commvault backups, it would be the storage team in control of…
Matthieu Devulder
Support Manager at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Jan 7, 2019
Dashboard provides a good overview, but OS updates occasionally cause instability

What is our primary use case?

We have a handful of customers constantly using it, mostly for SQL databases, while one of them uses it for VMware.

Pros and Cons

  • "What is very handy for our clients is the consolidated view. They have a dashboard with everything, through a single pane of glass. This is what they really need because, within seconds, they can have a good overview and see if there are any errors or any issues."
  • "What I did witness lately are issues with some Microsoft KBs, the updates. But it happened only once, and not on a major platform, it was on a small one."

What other advice do I have?

My advice is the same for all of the offsite products made by NetApp. You need to look carefully at the prerequisites to avoid any bad surprises afterward. But if you follow the rules, it should go easily. The solution is mostly is used by backup administrators and sometimes DBAs. From my side it's really hard to tell who is using it because I am always in touch with the same one or two people at every company, because these are the people who are opening the tickets. I would rate this solution at seven out of ten. It's more than "fair," but it's not perfect. But I will be pleased to have a…
SrSystem599e
Sr Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Dec 30, 2018
Provides good stability and initial setup is not too complex

What is our primary use case?

Our clients use it for backup and restore.

What needs improvement?

It needs to support vSphere 6.7.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability seems good.

How is customer service and technical support?

I have not had to use NetApp support. As far as our customers are concerned, we are the NetApp representative.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is fairly straightforward. There is a little bit of work in getting it to work, but it's not too bad. It's not complex. The one time I installed it myself, it was for a somewhat complex customer, so it took some days.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to someone who is looking into implementing…
Aaron Isaacson
Storage Administrator at a aerospace/defense firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Dec 26, 2018
Takes minutes for it to completely rebuild and restore a VM

What is our primary use case?

We use it for backup and for restore, primarily. It's really just for VMs. You can use it for other things, but we don't have other things to work with.

Pros and Cons

  • "The way that it interconnects with VMware is really handy, because you can go right into your vSphere client, where you spend a lot of the day anyway, right-click on one of the VMs where you have backups running for however long, and you can restore either some files or restore the entire thing."
  • "There is one area that needs improvement and that's in the alerting. When you set up your SMTP alerts, it only has - and I don't understand why - the ability to send an anonymous SMTP. It doesn't do basic authentication, which frustrated me for a while until I figured out that I'm not missing something. It's just not there."

What other advice do I have?

Make sure that you've got some kind of a server in mind for it. If you're not going to be using just an IP address, if you want to use a domain, make sure that you've got access to your domain controllers so that you can create a DNS record. Just download the installation guide form NetApp. A high-schooler could probably pull it off. As for the number of users in our organization, I'm really the only one. I do all the SAN storage and I overflow into the VMware and the enterprise networking. I'm the only one that interacts with it, although we've got three different people who could if they…
StorageA7b81
Storage Administrator at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Reseller
Dec 26, 2018
Instant backups and recovery are key but it needs replication management

What is our primary use case?

It is used for VMware and Microsoft SQL databases. We use it for ordinary backups. Nothing special.

Pros and Cons

  • "I like the instant backups and recovery feature that SnapCenter provides within NetApp storage systems."
  • "I would like to see replication support between systems. Right now, it's kind of limited. We manage them separately from the storage system interface, not from SnapCenter. It would be nice if it was integrated into SnapCenter."

What other advice do I have?

Check the compatibility of all components before, although it's pretty common. After you check the compatibility, then deploy SnapCenter and the plug-ins. Don't try to implement and then troubleshoot. It makes things more complex. Backup and recovery software solutions are very important for every company. SnapCenter is pretty cheap, and that's important as well. Sometimes, customers don't want to pay a lot for backup solutions. That is why SnapCenter is good. We do implementations from time to time, where customers have no backup solutions at all. It's better to have something that is…
StorageA9fdd
Storage Architect at a computer software company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Dec 25, 2018
The Exchange plugin is the most valuable because we have a lot of customers that use SnapManager Exchange and have to migrate to SnapCenter.

What is our primary use case?

We use it as a backup solution.

Pros and Cons

  • "The Exchange plugin is the most valuable because we have a lot of customers that use SnapManager Exchange and have to migrate to SnapCenter."
  • "Plugins should be developed in shorter times. Performance generally could be a little bit faster."

What other advice do I have?

You should always look at best practices and the interoperability matrix.
JoaoLavrador
Pre-Sales at Arrow ECS Portugal
Real User
Dec 23, 2018
Simplicity of backup and restore directly with VMware is an advantage, but it could be faster

What is our primary use case?

It's used for backup and restoring of virtual machines from VMware. I have some experience with SnapCenter but only on the installation. I don't work directly with the end customers.

Pros and Cons

  • "The simplicity of backup and restore directly with VMware is an advantage and the time to backup and restore is reduced."
  • "The compatibility with other manufacturers, like Oracle and Hyper-V, could be improved. I would like to see it be more compatible with other software."
  • "The tool could be faster."

What other advice do I have?

Try it and buy it. Try the product to see the features, the easy installation, and how easy it is to implement and to work with. We have five or six end customers, users, who are system admins. For deployment and maintenance, it requires two people. I would rate SnapCenter at seven out of ten. The tool could be faster.
Christian Gruetzner
Service Architecture at All for One Group AG
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Dec 19, 2018
Centralized system allows us to manage all systems, agents, and updates remotely

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is for our backup strategy. We run almost all our backups over SnapCenter and we are migrating the rest.

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is that it's centralized. In the old SnapManager days, we had software for each server. Now, with a centralized system, we're able to manage all systems remotely, and all agents remotely, and update them remotely. That's a huge benefit for us."
  • "We have hundreds of servers and systems and hundreds of customers and they're separated in a multi-tenancy way in NetApp SVM. Right now, the problem is that it always scan all SVMs. If I backup Customer A, it scans all SVMs, or tries to scan all SVMs, if there is a backup relationship on the storage. But it doesn't have the permissions, so we run into timeouts or the backup just takes too long. They're fixing that in the upcoming release..."

What other advice do I have?

You should definitely plan some time to understand the concepts behind it. What we've seen is that each backup and user permission has its own defaults. You have to plan some implementation time. You can't simply install it and then it's working. It takes some time to understand how it is working. But it's definitely a huge improvement because you can easily automate it. If you have a larger environment, as we have, use the REST API. It's a lot faster and a lot better for scaling. We requested improvements that they have already implemented. For example, there were some GUI improvements…
ITManagec1d3
IT Manager at a tech company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Dec 19, 2018
Enables us to restore an Oracle or SAP machine

What is our primary use case?

We use it for Oracle, on the client side. In our company, we are mostly using SnapCenter software in our test environment. There are many customers using NetApp products, but most of them don't use SnapCenter software in their production environment. So we do not have a lot of experience with it in production systems. We are testing it in our data core environment and our test environment. We check the software's features and new features, and sometimes we do troubleshooting as well. We test VMware Snapshot, Hyper-V Snapshot, database Snapshots, for example, MS SQL and Oracle.

Pros and Cons

  • "It allows us to easily take a Snapshot and use it with any backup tools. We can also take Snapshots on the application side. We can also take Snapshots on the application side. If we want to restore an SAP or an Oracle machine, a normal Snapshot won't do it, but we can do so with SnapCenter."
  • "The replication feature needs improvement in future releases."

What other advice do I have?

It's really useful if you are using NetApp storage. If you have NetApp storage in your environment and want to take a Snapshot, I recommend purchasing this software. We have five users of it in our organization. In most environments, one person is enough to manage the software. I would rate it at eight out of ten. It's useful. If you don't have a backup application, you can use SnapCenter.
reviewer974046
Sr. Unix Systems and Storage Administrator at a retailer with 51-200 employees
Real User
Dec 11, 2018
Cloning capabilities accelerate development, while integration with NetApp storage provides better problem reporting

What is our primary use case?

We use SnapCenter for our VMware, SQL, and Oracle environments providing application-consistent and centralized backup and recovery from disasters, and cloning. It maximizes NetApp Snapshot, SnapMirror, SnapVault and cloning technology.

Pros and Cons

  • "It's a centralized, easy-to-use solution empowering RBAC management, monitoring, notifications, extensive logging, and backup schedules for standalone as well as groups of the same types of environments. The cloning capabilities accelerate development."
  • "The Dashboard view needs to be more compressed with better ease of access and drill-down features. They should also reinstate Linux filesystem backups of storage volumes (which existed in the prior version)."

What other advice do I have?

* Evaluate in-depth features you require * Validate interoperability (very critical) * Thoroughly inventory every existing component of the business that will use it or be impacted * Evaluate the installation, configuration, and ease of use with an eval or vendor * Do a price comparison, once all components needed are identified
StorageE2f71
Storage Engineer at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Nov 23, 2018
I like its ease of access and management from both storage and backup being all in one area

What is our primary use case?

We use HANA Database for SMB. This is where we are using SnapCenter to manage all our Snapshots, backups, etc.

Pros and Cons

  • "It's all together managing both storage and backup, which makes it easier for troubleshooting issues and the automation part of it"
  • "I want to see a few more features add that will help our team in managing solution better."

What other advice do I have?

Gather the requirements and see what your application team needs.
reviewer952908
Storage Engineer at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Nov 23, 2018
It has greatly improved our DR activity

What is our primary use case?

Our ERP structure is on the SnapCenter. We also keep on it SQL Servers, VMware products, etc.

How has it helped my organization?

It has greatly improved our DR activity. 

What is most valuable?

Assisting backups.

What needs improvement?

We would like to see more granular repording and reporting in bigger sets available in SnapCenter. 

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Our ROBOs has told me that stability is good. However, we have been hit by bugs.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not looked yet at scalability because we are using single instances right now.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have experience…
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