Approximately all company and mid-vary storage arrays come with snapshots. But that is not the only put you can regulate them from.

Backup software also will come with snapshot features, and in point some of the extra new entrants to the current market have built their solution to backup all over snapshots.

Snapshots capacity in backup items starts with the capacity to control and copy storage hardware makers’ snapshots. This is the circumstance with Veritas, IBM’s Spectrum Defend and EMC’s Networker. Points get additional subtle with, for illustration, Commvault, which can control a selection of array makers’ snapshots from a single console.

Then there is the more new wave of facts defense merchandise that arrive as appliances and are rather akin to hyper-converged nodes. These solutions – this sort of as individuals from Cohesity and Rubrik – could be stated to be snapshot-centric and base their backups all over them. Veeam also sits someplace near these suppliers and their techniques, but without the need of the hardware kind factor.

In advance of wanting at backup suppliers’ snapshot capabilities, let us operate over some snapshots fundamentals. 

Snapshots essentials

A snapshot is a duplicate of the state of a device of storage (travel, quantity, and many others) at a specific position in time.

To be additional accurate, snapshots are frequently comprised of pointers to an current copy or copies – an unique and/or subsequent snapshots – as well as precise storage blocks, this sort of as all those that have been deleted and have to have to be retained to rebuild the comprehensive image at a specific stage.

Storage arrays usually keep a set volume of snapshots (256 or 1,024, for instance) and clients can roll back again to a earlier version if required. Based on how generally they have been created, that could give several days’ worthy of of coverage to restore to.

Array makers’ snapshot features

All arrays appear with snapshots and, in normal, they supply a similar set of decisions.

Prospects can established how a lot of photographs they want to retain (up to specified limitations), irrespective of whether they want them to be copy-on-produce or redirect-on-generate and in some instances (these as NetApp) regardless of whether they want frequent snapshots, archive copies or clones that can be made use of for catastrophe restoration (DR) failover.

Snapshots in backup solutions


Cohesity’s method is based on its DataPlatform and SpanFS file process, with snapshots and its SnapTree functionality functioning as a metadata-dependent operation in just it.

In SnapTree, in which generally recovery from snapshots would call for the rebuilding of a huge chain, Cohesity shifts some of that on to a chain of metadata pointers to attain a claimed boost in restoration times.

It calls SnapTree “distributed redirect-on-write”. Adjustments are penned to new blocks every time and the “distributed” part refers to the reality variations are penned across the file technique.

Cohesity has indigenous snapshot management integration with Pure Storage arrays.


In addition to standard backup, Commvault lets customers to choose backups of array snapshots. These can be saved somewhere else in circumstance of troubles on the storage array that cut accessibility to snapshots held there.

Also, Commvault has IntelliSnap, which permits prospects to manage several supplier array- and cloud-based snapshots through a one console and claims it can be utilized to base details security on snapshots alternatively than standard backup.

IntelliSnap can discover snapshot abilities across the storage estate and cloud, and make lengthy-phrase snapshot backups and archives from snapshots making use of commodity disk, cloud or tape.  


EMC delivers Avamar and NetWorker, both of those of which will do the job with VMware snapshots – as will most mainstream backup items – but of the two, the business-amount NetWorker has the extra produced snapshot management ability. Its Snapshot Management automates the era of level-in-time facts snapshots and cloning on supported storage arrays this sort of as EMC VNX, XtremIO, and Symmetrix.

NetWorker’s snapshot ability contains its module for Microsoft apps that uses Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) to shield Trade, SQL Server, Active Directory, SharePoint and Hyper-V. Then there are its PowerSnap Modules for SAP, Oracle, SQL Server and IBM DB2 programs and databases.

NetWorker also has what it phone calls “snapshot-assisted backups” whilst these seem to be snapshots that are saved elsewhere for extra security or, for case in point, disaster restoration functions.


IBM’s Spectrum Guard (previously Tivoli Storage Supervisor, or TSM) functions Spectrum Safeguard Snapshot, which enables backups to be designed from a selection of storage array makers’ snapshots, as perfectly as people from databases and purposes these types of as enterprise useful resource organizing (ERP) software. But it seems to will need IBM storage components or a General Parallel File Method (GPFS) as a goal.


Snapshots are at the main of Rubrik’s approach to backup and details safety, making use of them to make a secure procedure picture to make backups from.

In VMware environments it makes use of VMware’s vSphere APIs (software programming interfaces) for Facts Protection (VADP) to generate a snapshot of virtual machines (VMs) from which it will make backups.

For Home windows environments, Rubrik wrote its own VSS agent for application-regular snapshots. Creating its have VSS agent can help presents a claimed increase in immunisation from unsuccessful snapshots.

Also, Rubrik leverages snapshots in NAS backup where by it performs with NetApp OnTap snapshot and differential information and facts to know what new blocks/files to backup considering that the former career.


Veeam has a range of functionality that aims to make storage array makers’ snapshots easier to operate with. This features the ability to duplicate storage snapshots to other spots and to restore objects from it at fantastic ranges of granularity.

You can configure a backup position to sustain a snapshot chain on the storage technique in addition to common backup files.

It is also possible to build snapshot-only work opportunities to build a chain of snapshots on the major storage array and on secondary storage as an selection.

Also, you can set choices for quantities of snapshots retained and computerized deletion further than set restrictions.

Meanwhile, Veeam’s Explorer for Storage Snapshots has integrations with Dell EMC, NetApp, HPE and IBM products.

Veeam also has Snapshot Hunter, which can detect and eliminate orphaned snapshots that stay right after backup or replication task periods to help save area.


In NetBackup, Replication Director uses the Veritas OpenStorage API to manage snapshots from hardware arrays and use them as roll-again factors. Snapshots can also be replicated to other storage destinations.

Meanwhile, Veritas’s multicloud CloudPoint item integrates with NetBackup and incorporates snapshot administration and orchestration for storage array-based mostly safety and in the cloud.

CloudPoint can hook up to array-dependent snapshots in Hitachi Data Techniques G-Sequence, HP 3PAR, Pure Storage, Dell EMC Unity and NetApp FAS arrays.

By the way, NetBackup works by using its Snapshot Customer to develop an picture of a consumer quantity, then backs up knowledge from the snapshot. According to Veritas, that usually means users can accessibility main information without the need of interruption although facts on the snapshot volume is backed up.


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