Compute Data / Storage

Azure NetApp Files – Manual Snapshot (On-Demand) and Automatic Scheduled Snapshot

Azure NetApp Files snapshot technology delivers stability, scalability, and faster recoverability, with no impact to performance. Azure NetApp Files snapshot technology provides the foundation for data protection solutions, including single file restores, volume restores and clones, and cross-region replication.

What volume snapshots are

An Azure NetApp Files snapshot is a point-in-time file system (volume) image. It can serve as an ideal online backup. You can use a snapshot to create a new volume, restore a file, or revert a volume.

An Azure NetApp Files snapshot simply manipulates block pointers, creating a “frozen”, read-only view of a volume that lets applications access older versions of files and directory hierarchies without special programming. Actual data blocks aren’t copied. As such, snapshots are efficient in the time needed to create them; they are near-instantaneous, regardless of volume size. Snapshots are also efficient in storage space. They themselves consume no space, and only delta blocks between snapshots and active volume are kept.

The following diagrams illustrate the concepts:

How ANF Snapshot works

There are a couple of benefits in using ANF snapshot technology such as:

Snapshots are storage efficient.

Snapshots are quick to create, replicate, restore, or clone.

Snapshots have no impact on volume performance.

Snapshots provide scalability because they can be created frequently and many can be retained.

Snapshots provide user visibility and file recoverability.

Ways to create ANF snapshot

You can use several methods to create and maintain snapshots:

  • Manually (on-demand) in Azure portal or
  • Automated, by using Snapshot policies via the Azure portal

Manually Creating ANF snapshot

In Azure portal, click on your ANF volume and there is “Add snapshot” button as below.

Give a name to your snapshot and click OK button. Within seconds, the manual on-demand snapshot is created.

Automated ANF Snapshot via snapshot policy

The first thing to do is you have to create your snapshot policy with your desired schedule in NetApp Account within Azure portal.

Once a snapshot policy is created, then you have to right click on your ANF volume and click Edit

Then you can assign the snapshot policy you created to apply on this ANF volume

Ways of restoring ANF snapshots

There are a couple of ways for you to restore your files/entire volume from ANF snapshot.

  1. Restoring files or directories from hidden snapshots folder in Linux/Windows or in previous version tab for windows
  2. Restoring a snapshot to a new volume
  3. Restoring a snapshot in-place to the same volume

Hope this can give you a better idea on what’s ANF snapshot, how it works and how you restore your data

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