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The challenge

Users often delete or overwrite files by mistake, or drag and drop them into the wrong sub-directory. Then they ask IT for help, but often later on and without many specific details, for instance: “2 days ago I deleted a file by mistake, it's got ‘Sales Q1” in the name....”

NetApp systems have no global search function!

So the company's storage and backup team face the challenge of how to find the files that have got lost. Though the file is there, there is no efficient way to search for it: NetApp ONTAP does enable SnapShot to be used to generate regular backups and to replicate these on backup systems using the functions SnapMirror or SnapVault, but there is no central catalogue with search and filter functions.

The result: All the directories within a SnapShot need to be searched manually, and if the NetApp environment is large this is a laborious task which takes up time and resources unnecessarily.



The solution:

RestoreManager creates a central directory of every NetApp SnapShot.

RestoreManager creates a central catalogue for NetApp SnapShots in NAS environments. It enables you to manage all your SnapShot backups and search them by name, file type, date or size.

RestoreManager integrates both primary and secondary storage.

As a rule, SnapShots are only kept for a few days or weeks in primary storage. SnapShots from the SnapMirror/SnapVault Destination systems are also integrated in RestoreManager so that files can be searched for in the central index itself and restored.



How it works

Immediately after a new SnapShot is created, the SnapDiff API extracts the relevant metadata from files and folders and loads it to the RestoreManager database. You can use this central index for targeted searches. You can click once to restore the files you find to a specific folder or to their original location.

Many filters enable targeted searching

  • By name, parts of the name or file path, with wildcards being permitted
  • By data type or file ending: jpg, xls, doc, ppt, …
  • By deletion period from – to
  • By creation period from – to
  • By file size from – to
  • Etc.

Flexible choice of indexing strategy

With RestoreManager, you are free to choose the NetApp systems from which the index is to be created using SnapDiff API depending on your backup and restore objectives:

Index of primary storage:

In the database, all the SnapShots from primary storage are indexed without exception. You achieve the best possible granularity, but the licensing costs may be greater because the primary storage systems have to be licensed in RestoreManager.

Index of secondary storage:

The only SnapShots that are indexed in the database are those that are transferred to the destination (secondary) system. The SnapShot granularity is less, but there is less load on the primary system and the licensing costs are usually lower.

Architecture

All versions of the NetApp DataONTAP operating system are supported for primary storage. ONTAP, AltaVault and ElementOS can be used with secondary storage.

Elasticsearch is the database used. This open source database scores highly on scalability, performance, load balancing and availability.

The IT administrator uses RestoreManager in the current version. The plan for the next development phase is to give end users access to a web-based GUI which they themselves can use to search for and restore files.

Optional DataAnalyzer module for greater storage transparency and efficiency

You can add the DataAnalyzer reporting module to RestoreManager. Easy-to-interpret diagrams show data such as: the age of the data, how many and which data types have been saved, who the data belongs to, etc. This deep insight into the data structure enables you to clean up and optimize storage space and to transparently allocate in-house services to particular departments. This saves money and improves efficiency.



Screenshots





Licensing

Pricing does not depend on data volumes but is instead based on the storage controllers. The only systems that are licensed are those used to build the central index with the SnapDiff API. Those are either the SnapMirror or SnapVault target systems or destination systems. Other backend systems are always included in the licence.


The benefits at a glance

  • Criteria-based searching for lost files or folders in NetApp SnapShots
  • Possible filters are name (including with a wildcard), file type, size, deletion or creation period
  • One-click restore from the SnapShot itself
  • The secondary system is also integrated
  • Substantial time savings as no manual searching through directories
  • Easy to install on either the target or destination system
  • Simple licensing based on storage controllers, does not depend on data volumes