With the release of NetApp® SolidFire® Element® OS 10.1, the NetApp Data Fabric becomes increasingly more powerful. This release introduces SnapMirror® integration to Element OS platforms, supporting disparate system data movement from Element OS systems to ONTAP® 9.3 systems, expanding the potential of data across all NetApp environments.


This integration allows data to be moved from a SolidFire system to a remote FAS or All Flash FAS system for data protection, disaster recovery (DR), and other use cases such as development, analytics, or centralized backup.


The Data Fabric is at the core of NetApp’s vision for data management, creating an opportunity for accessing data in various forms with numerous unique requirements so that it can be easily managed or migrated. This flexibility allows our customers to remain agile as their companies evolve, while keeping their data protected.


Ideally, customers who want to benefit from SnapMirror across the Data Fabric already have an ONTAP platform that can be leveraged or reutilized. This enables existing ONTAP customers to add Element OS enabled platforms, specifically NetApp HCI and SolidFire, into their existing data protection infrastructure. It is also possible to expand data protection options for SolidFire customers by enabling FAS systems (including hybrid and disk based) to serve as a cost-effective data protection target for SolidFire environments. This additional use case lowers the TCO of the NetApp storage and backup, reduce the need to learn new software and interfaces, and increase flexibility. I’d say that’s a win-win-win.


SnapMirror is a mature technology, offering block level data replication and a rich feature set. The disaster recovery and data transfer technology enable data protection between primary and secondary storage, typically at a geographically remote site. As its name implies, SnapMirror creates a replica, or mirror, of your working data in secondary storage, from which you can continue to serve data in the event of a catastrophe at the primary site. Data transported from system to system is stored in native format, allowing secondary data to be used as primary data for other business uses.

So, How Does It Work?

Today, SnapMirror supports replication of snapshots between Element OS and ONTAP at volume granularity to address requirements for disaster recovery. The relationship between the source volume in primary storage and the destination volume in secondary storage is called a data protection relationship. The clusters (referred to as endpoints) in which the volumes reside and the volumes that contain the replicated data must be in a peer relationship. (A peer relationship enables clusters and volumes to exchange data securely.) This capability provides support for applications to fail over to a secondary volume on a different storage system and continue operating, as well as the capability to fail back to the primary location when the primary storage is back online (disaster recovery). Data is mirrored at the volume level.


With ease of use always at the forefront of SolidFire technology, replication and restoration of a volumes can be accomplished in four steps. Follow the in-depth how to’s in the NetApp SolidFire SnapMirror Architecture and Configuration Technical Report.

  1. First, establish the link and replicate. This feature is currently managed through the Element OS UI.
  2. If the SolidFire system fails, promote the FAS volumes to the primary.
  3. Once the SolidFire system is back up, replicate the primary FAS volume back to SolidFire.
  4. Finally, fail back to the SolidFire volumes

This SnapMirror integration is just the beginning of a growing data protection opportunity for Element OS. To learn more about the native data protection features in Element OS and our partner integrations, check out the Data Protection Solution Brief. For a better understanding of how the relationship works from the ONTAP side, browse the resources in the ONTAP 9 Document Center.

Ashley Hemmen

Ashley is a Product Marketing Manager at NetApp, leading go-to-market activities for StorageGRID. She previously spent over two years marketing products enabled by Element software, namely SolidFire and NetApp HCI, giving her a well-rounded understanding of NetApp’s Cloud Infrastructure product portfolio. When she is not behind her computer, Ashley loves the Colorado outdoors, beaches, adventures, and chocolate chip cookies.

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