NetApp BlueXP Backup&Recovery to external S3 target

By | 17. May 2024

Hello everyone,

today I would like to show you how you can set up NetApp BlueXP Backup&Recovery to back up your on-premises data to an external S3 target such as StorageGRID.

Many customers do not have their own NetApp StorageGRID cluster in their company, but still want to back up their data externally. S3 as a Service (S3aaS) offers from various providers can be used for this purpose. The advantage for many companies can be that these providers operate the StorageGRID systems in German data centres.

For this blog post, I am using a StorageGRID Tenant that was provided to me by the company SVA.

Before we begin…

…The prerequisites:

  1. You have already set up a free BlueXP account at
  2. Your firewall must have approvals for BlueXP CloudConnector and ONTAP for the endpoints to BlueXP.
  3. Your firewall must have shares for the InterCluster LIFs of your on-premises ONTAP system to the provider’s S3 endpoints.
  4. You have already deployed a so-called BlueXP Connector.
    • Either on-premises or in the cloud. Please follow the respective article exactly. Changes to the configuration of the on-premises connector will result in the connector not working!
    • Therefore, select the exact Linux distribution with the exact kernel and the exact Docker version described in the NetApp docs! When using the cloud-based connectors, these are rolled out by BlueXP. This results in additional costs for the respective service provider.

Here are the links to the procedure for on-premises or cloud-based connectors:

On-premises ConnectorCloud-based connector

In this scenario, I have already added my on-premises ONTAP cluster to the canvas in BlueXP:

And I have already imported a Data services licence into my Digital Wallet:

Furthermore, I have received the S3 Secret & Access Keys from my service provider to access the S3 API of the StorageGRID. It is important to know that you do not need to create a bucket in S3. BlueXP will do this for you automatically!

But now let’s get started!

In the BlueXP canvas, I select the working environment that I want to back up, select Backup and Recovery and select Backup Volumes

…now I select the volume of my on-premises NetApp that I want to back up…

…In the next step, I select that I would like to make a backup (of course, that’s why we’re here)…

…and then select StorageGRID as the provider…

and under the Provider Settings you then enter the S3 credentials (Access Key, Secret Key) and the S3 endpoint that you have received from your provider.

Since BlueXP Backup and Recovery does not allow you to select a region for the bucket, it is always created with “us-east-1”.

Then I just click on “activate Backup” and off we go on a wild ride.

On the on-premises ONTAP cluster, you can now use snapmirror object-store config show -instance to display the connection to the S3.

As you can see, BlueXP has automatically created an S3 bucket with the name NetApp-backup-blablubbb.

“Great that you’re showing us this. But hey, boring”

Yes, I know, now you’re thinking that this is just another SnapMirror that we’ve known from NetApp for decades. But wait… There is one more Thing ­čśë

In the Restore section (1), you can either restore an entire volume (2), restore individual files and folders (3), or search for files to restore (4).

The cool thing is that BlueXP creates an index for you and you can easily search for files and folders.

You can also filter and select where you want to restore from. Either from the local SnapShots or from the cloud backup you have just set up.

I don’t want to suggest that this makes backup software obsolete. But this single file restore feature is very cool.

And if you took a closer look above, you will have noticed that I completely omitted Backup Applications and Backup Virtual Machines­čśë

But more on that in later blog posts ­čÖé

I hope I was able to give you a little insight into how quickly you can set up a BlueXP BaaS to an external S3 StorageGRID.

If you have any questions, please use the comment function.

See you soon

Andr├ę Unterberg aka DerSchmitz

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