Snapshots to the Rescue 

Build a bulletproof data protection plan powered by Nutanix snapshots and industry-leading backup vendors

By Sneha Chaturvedula (PMM BCDR) 

September 28, 2022 | min

Storms, tornadoes, human error, and ransomware. While these disruptions have different root causes, the potential aftermath is the same: downtime and data loss. 

On average, downtime costs organizations $540,000 per hour. Every minute of downtime is a direct hit on revenue, reliability, and reputation. This is one of the most dreaded situations an IT department can face, which is why it’s crucial to have a strong data protection plan in place. 

Nutanix’s Cloud Platform’s data protection capabilities are robust and trusted by organizations who may have a need to build a solution for their highly sensitive and mission-critical data. The Nutanix® snapshot technology is natively built into the Nutanix Cloud Platform and offers a backup and disaster recovery plan that can be customized for your data protection needs in concert with a powerful ecosystem of Nutanix-certified backup vendor partners

Snapshots vs. Backups

Within Nutanix’s data protection capabilities, there are two ways to save your data for recovery purposes: snapshots and backups. Snapshots are a point-in-time capture of your data that can revert to a recent version of your server. Backups, on the other hand, are meant for longer-term retention and are stored ideally with copies in both offsite and onsite locations. Backups take longer to process and are done less frequently than snapshots, which provide significantly faster restore times.

It is an industry best practice to follow the 3-2-1 backup rule: 3 copies of your data in 2 locations, where at least 1 is offsite. Many organizations’ data protection strategy uses a combination of snapshots and backups to follow this best practice. Snapshots are typically provided by infrastructure, but backup solutions are most often licensed, managed, and monitored separately. 

Nutanix’s data protection capabilities can significantly streamline a solution of snapshots and backup by easily providing interoperability within a seamless experience when working closely with Nutanix backup partners. 

What makes Nutanix snapshot technology special?

Most snapshot technology works at the virtualization layer, whereas Nutanix snapshot technology is built into the core of the Nutanix storage architecture and is driven by metadata. Even as the number of snapshots on VMs increases, snapshots are taken at the storage layer so that performance remains consistent over time, leading to lower latency and increased predictability. With improved predictability comes greater confidence that disaster recovery plans will work as anticipated if a disruption occurs. 

How do Nutanix snapshots reduce downtime and data loss?

You can reduce downtime by eliminating computational overhead from data placement, and simply recover from the snapshot of your choice, ultimately allowing you to set up a reduction in RTO (Recovery Time Objective). 

Furthermore, the Nutanix Cloud Platform is highly available and resilient, ensuring that updates to the controller VM are non-disruptive to the live environment. This helps allow organizations to function smoothly without downtime. With Nutanix, customers have the ability to utilize incremental snapshots to further minimize data loss and downtime. Finally, Nutanix does not restrict the number of snapshots that can be taken, giving you the freedom to take as many snapshots as needed to meet backup SLAs. 

How does Nutanix snapshot technology speed up the recovery process?

When a disruption occurs, recovery must be optimized to ensure the business is up and running as soon as possible. By prioritizing VM orchestration during recovery and restoration, administrators can decide which VMs are critical to get their businesses up and running to maximize efficiency.   

Does having unlimited snapshots require unlimited storage capacity?

Nutanix snapshots are incremental in nature. That means only new data is stored on disk. When snapshots are configured to expire, older blocks of data are deleted based on this configuration to further minimize storage consumption. 

Can I leverage my current preferred data protection solution with Nutanix snapshot technology?

Yes. Nutanix has a vast ecosystem of ISV (Independent Software Vendor) partners that can help to extend snapshot technologies through Nutanix APIs and validated interoperability. These partners can validate their solution to incorporate the use of the Nutanix Change Region Tracking (CRT) APIs to support an incremental backup solution to power your backup plans. 

Nutanix snapshots combined with our rich partner ecosystem, gives you the freedom to choose a solution that is optimal for your data protection needs and business.  

Check out all the data protection partners who support Nutanix Snapshot Technology at  

Hear from some of our partners who are currently integrated with the Nutanix Snapshot Technology:

  “As a trusted leader of modern data protection, Veeam® leverages Nutanix Snapshot and Change Block Tracking technologies to optimize RPO and RTO processing for our respective customers. Customers love the simplicity and reliability of the combined Nutanix and Veeam offering, including the extended Veeam capabilities of Instant Restore, offloaded backups and Nutanix NAS backups. The integration of Veeam Backup & Replication™ with Nutanix MINE enables users to leverage Nutanix Clusters as backup targets,” 

Andreas Neufert, Vice President of Product Management at Veeam Software

“HYCU has always been a big believer in delivering purpose-built solutions that natively integrate with the platform that needs to be protected. We were the first data protection solution that was purpose-built for Nutanix and we leverage the power of Nutanix Snapshot Technology and the ability to integrate via the Nutanix data protection APIs to deliver an agentless, application aware, impact-free solution for our respective  joint customers. The power of our solutions, working together, is reflected in the thousands of happy customers we have in common.” 

Kim King, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HYCU

"Cohesity's integration with Nutanix AHV is designed to enable uninterrupted data recovery leading to reduced downtime from crippling ransomware attacks. Fully hydrated Cohesity snapshots offer rapid recovery that simplifies and automates enterprise backup and data management."  

Swami Ramany, Senior Director of Product Management, Data Protection and Cloud Services at Cohesity

"The Nutanix Ready program made it easy to develop and integrate the Nutanix Snapshot Technology API into the Druva data resiliency and protection service. As a result, within just a few weeks of its release, we've seen significant adoption of our secure, simple, and scalable SaaS-based solution by our joint customers for hybrid cloud deployments." 

Russell Bailey, Senior Director of ISV-GTM Alliances at Druva

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