Native backup for Nutanix Cloud Clusters (NC2) comes to AWS

By Dwayne Lessner, Principal Technical Marketing Engineer, Nutanix

August 31, 2023 | min

Migrating your application to the public cloud is only one piece of the puzzle. You still must provide all of the same Day 2 operations as you would if the application was on-premises. With the joy of moving the application into the cloud, arranging for backup sometimes is overlooked -  until it’s too late. The Nutanix Cluster Protect™ solution provides a native option for backing up the Nutanix Cloud Clusters™ (NC2) platform running on AWS to S3 buckets, including user data as well as the Nutanix Prism Central™ (PC)controller and its configuration data. Nutanix Cluster Protec backs up all user-created virtual machines (VMs) and volume groups on the cluster. 

As customers migrate from on-premises to the cloud they can rest assured there is another copy of their applications and data in the event of an AWS Availability Zone (AZ) failure. Nutanix already provides native protection for localized failures at the node and rack level, so Cluster Protect extends that protection to the cluster’s AZ. Since this service is integrated, high-performance applications are barely impacted by the backup process as native AOS snapshots are being used to send the backup directly to S3.   

AWS Cloud

Two Nutanix services are used to help deliver Cluster Protect: 

  1. Prism Central Disaster Recovery is responsible for backing up the Prism Central data. Instead of backing up to an AOS™ container, you can now supply a new S3 bucket to point the backup to.  
  2. A new service, Nutanix Multicloud Snapshot Technology™ (NMST), replicates native Nutanix AOS snapshots to object storage. In the Cluster Protect design, the customer supplies a second new S3 bucket in AWS to send all the protected clusters snapshots to the same S3 bucket. The Cloud Snapshot Engine runs on the Prism Central instance in AWS. 

A high-level overview of the process for protecting your cluster(s) and PC in AWS is: 

  1. Deploy a one or three node PC in AWS. 
  2. Create two S3 Buckets, one for PC and one for your cloud clusters. 
  3. Enable PC Protection. 
  4. Deploy NMST.  
  5. Protect your AWS cloud clusters. 

Both the PC and AOS snapshots are taken every hour and we retain up to two snapshots in S3. All of the user-created VMs and volume groups on the clusters are protected using a category with Nutanix disaster recovery (DR). A service watches for create/delete events and assigns them to a Cluster Protect category. 

A high overview of PC and a cluster(s) recovery on AWS is: 

  1. An NC2 console automatically deploys a new NC2 Cluster during the recovery process. 
  2. Add back your PC subnet and any user VM networks to your recreated cloud cluster. 
  3. Recover PC configuration from the S3 bucket. 
  4. Register PC with the recovered cluster. 
  5. Recover Cloud Snapshot Engine. 
  6. Create a recovery plan. 
  7. Execute the recovery plan from PC. 

Once the NMST is recovered, the recovery plans can be restored to Prism Central. The recovery plan will have all your VMs that need to be restored. Simply run the recovery plan and you're back in business. Using Nutanix DR with this new service allows administrators to easily recover when disaster strikes.  

Start your 30-day free trial of Nutanix Cloud Clusters (NC2) and test out this new feature for yourself.  

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