In my previous blog post, I looked at how NetApp® OnCommand® System Manager software can simplify NetApp ONTAP® system setup and expansion. For an enterprise, data backup and availability after a disaster are key considerations for business continuance. NetApp SnapCenter® software gives you the ability to protect your application workloads running on NetApp storage systems. With System Manager, you can set up NetApp SnapMirror®, SnapVault®, and mirror-vault relationships for NAS workloads and for workloads with crash-consistency requirements.

Data Protection with System Manager

Simplicity in data management is a driving factor for NetApp storage systems. We have a dedicated user experience team that works with end users and constantly tries to innovate and improve on the existing workflows and designs.


System Manager provides a simplified page and workflow for creating and managing data protection relationships. A simplified data protection workflow was available as early as System Manager 8.3, which shipped with the ONTAP 8.3 release, and we’ve added substantial enhancements in later releases. With System Manager 8.3, you could set up a SnapMirror or SnapVault relationship for a single volume from one page, in fewer steps, and without running commands on both source and destination ONTAP systems. You could initiate this data protection workflow in System Manager 8.3 from the source or destination ONTAP system.


Although this ability was appreciated, end users needed a workflow that could protect multiple volumes at one time and simplify the ONTAP systems peering process. System Manager 9.3 addresses these needs.

Simplified ONTAP Systems Peering Using System Manager 9.3

The first step before setting up a data protection relationship is to configure peering between the source and destination ONTAP systems. Peering establishes a trust relationship between ONTAP systems for sharing resources and replicating data. In System Manager 9.3, we’ve enhanced the guided ONTAP system setup workflow to include peering. You can also configure peering from the Configure Peers page in System Manager.

To learn more about peering in System Manager 9.3, watch the OnCommand System Manager 9.3 Simplified Peering demo.

Unprotected Volumes Displayed in the System Manager Dashboard

Now that peering is set up, the next step is to learn about unprotected volumes in your ONTAP system. The System Manager 9.3 dashboard identifies unprotected volumes, grouping them according to the storage virtual machines (SVMs) associated with the volumes. Hyperlinks provide a filtered view of unprotected volumes. 

Protecting Multiple Volumes with a Few Clicks

Armed with the list of unprotected volumes, you can now use the enhanced data protection workflow in System Manager 9.3 to select multiple source volumes with similar protection requirements and protect them at one time. The next step is to select your destination NetApp storage system to meet your disaster recovery or backup needs. You’ll find advanced options like protection policy, schedule, and NetApp SnapLock® and FabricPool features for the destination volumes grouped under a toolset icon. You can also select multiple volumes from the destination ONTAP system. To learn more about protecting multiple volumes in System Manager, watch the OnCommand System Manager 9.3 Unified Data Protection demo.

It’s not just the data protection setup and initialization that we’ve simplified; you can intuitively manage your protection relationships from the Protection window in System Manager. You can use the Protection window to create and manage mirror, vault, and mirror-vault relationships and to display details about these relationships.


With System Manager, you can set up protection relationships for NAS workloads and for workloads with crash-consistency requirements. If you are looking at automating this process, NetApp OnCommand Workflow Automation will help you automate your protection tasks.

More Information

For more information, see the Storage Management and Data Protection documentation center, where you’ll find documentation and video playlists. For additional details about System Manager capabilities, you can also contact YuvarajuMahalakshmi, or Sudhindra.

Yuvaraju Balaraman

Yuvaraju Balaraman is a Senior Technical Marketing Engineer for the manageability products and solutions group at NetApp. He has good understanding of Management and Data Protection Solutions. Prior to NetApp, Yuvaraju has worked at Hewlett Packard and a partner as a backup and storage solutions consultant.

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