NetApp enhances data protection portfolio

NetApp announces multiple new releases in its data protection software, including some which leverage new capabilities of the just-released ONTAP 9 OS.

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Tim Russell, Vice President of Product Management at NetApp

Today, NetApp is announcing a series enhancements to its data protection software, with new versions of NetApp OnCommand Insight, AltaVault, SnapCenter, MetroCluster and SnapMirror. They also announced one new solution, NetApp Data Protection Solutions for Microsoft Office 365.

“We are seeing a strong movement to all flash data centres, and a trend to high capacity disk drives,” said Tim Russell, Vice President of Product Management at NetApp. “A key issue then becomes – how do you tie together on-prem data centres with the cloud to manage them consistently. We find that the data protection solutions – disaster recovery, backup, and archiving – tend to be one of the first use cases to do this stitching, so we have been working hard on our portfolio to enhance these.

AltaVault is NetApp’s cloud-integrated backup appliance. The new 4.2 release adds four new cloud providers – Oracle storage cloud service, Outscale, Scality, and Orange Business Services, and integration with a range of backup software solutions and hypervisors like the KVM Virtual Appliance.

“It leverages existing backup infrastructure to provide faster recovery times and better cloud economics,” Russell said. The result is better protection of branch offices in the cloud.

NetApp also announced a new release of OnCommand Insight, which provides operational intelligence, business insight and IT ecosystem integration within complex enterprise environments. The new release offers simplified management with new reports and dashboards, for better management of capacity, performance, and detect risks to IT applications and services.

“We now have better integration with core management tools which allow remedial action to be taken,” Russell said. The tighter integration between OnCommand Unified Manager and OnCommand Performance Manager streamlines management while maintaining a comprehensive view of storage clusters.

“We are seeing great results from our OnCommand Insight portfolio dealing with complexities that customers have to manage,” he added.

NetApp SnapCenter software allows admins to empower application and database administrators to self-manage their data protection and copies from a single pane of glass. This release includes backup, restore, and cloning of both SQL Server and Oracle databases from a central management interface.

“The addition of support for Oracle databases is the new element in this release,” Russell said.

The major change to this release of NetApp SnapMirror was facilitated by NetApp’s recently released ONTAP 9 software, which introduced a unified capability for backup and recovery. Customers who purchase a SnapMirror license now also receive a SnapVault license as well

“These are now unified, so you can use the same image for both remote mirroring and backups and restore,” Russell said. “In addition to cutting storage and licensing costs, it reduces complexity as well, so there is a simplicity advantage.

“ONTAP 9 now provides new support for 8 node clusters, up from 4, and also provides more control over what gets mirrored, so you can synchronously mirror say, your applications, but not your help directories, to save bandwidth.”

The new release of NetApp MetroCluster increases replication distances, which can now be up to 300km between sites, to better support infrastructure uptime objectives.

The one entirely new element in the announcements is NetApp Data Protection Solutions for Microsoft Office 365. It provides for backup and restore of SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, and Exchange Online data. It can also be combined with NetApp Private Storage for high-performance and low-latency storage that provides complete control over the data.