Restoring ONTAP data from backup files

Contributors netapp-tonacki

Backups are stored in an object store in your cloud account so that you can restore data from a specific point in time. You can restore an entire ONTAP volume from a backup file, or if you only need to restore a few files, you can restore individual files from a backup file.

You can restore a volume (as a new volume) to the original working environment, to a different working environment that’s using the same cloud account, or to an on-premises ONTAP system.

You can restore files to a volume in the original working environment, to a volume in a different working environment that’s using the same cloud account, or to a volume on an on-premises ONTAP system.

A valid Cloud Backup license is required to restore data from backup files to a production system.

The Restore Dashboard

You use the Restore Dashboard to perform volume and file restore operations. You access the Restore Dashboard by clicking Backup & Restore from the top of Cloud Manager, and then clicking the Restore tab. You can also click More button > View Restore Dashboard from the Backup & Restore service from the Services panel.

Note Cloud Backup must already be activated for at least one working environment and initial backup files must exist.

The Restore Dashboard showing the options to use the Browse & Restore or Search & Restore functionality.

As you can see, the Restore Dashboard provides 2 different ways to restore data from backup files: Browse & Restore and Search & Restore.

Comparing Browse & Restore and Search & Restore

In broad terms, Browse & Restore is typically better when you need to restore a specific volume or file from the last week or month — and you know the name and location of the file, and the date when it was last in good shape. Search & Restore is typically better when you need to restore a volume or file, but you don’t remember the exact name, or the volume in which it resides, or the date when it was last in good shape.

This table provides a comparison of the 2 methods.

Browse & Restore Search & Restore

Browse through a folder-style structure to find the volume or file within a single backup file

Search for a volume or file across all backup files by partial or full volume name, partial or full file name, size range, and additional search filters

Volume restore works with backup files stored in Amazon S3, Azure Blob, Google Cloud, and NetApp StorageGRID. File restore works with backup files stored in Amazon S3 and Azure Blob

Volume and file restore works with backup files stored in Amazon S3 and Google Cloud

Does not handle files that have been renamed or deleted

Handles newly created/deleted/renamed directories and newly created/deleted/renamed files

Browse for results across public and private clouds

Browse for results across public clouds and local Snapshots copies

Separate Cloud Restore instance is required for file restore

No Cloud Restore instance required

No additional cloud provider resources required

Additional bucket and AWS or Google resources required per account

Cost associated with Cloud Restore instance when browsing backups for individual files

Cost associated with AWS or Google resources when scanning your backups and volumes for search results

Before you can use either restore method, make sure you have configured your environment for the unique resource requirements. Those requirements are described in the sections below.

See the requirements and restore steps for the type of restore operation you want to use:

Restoring ONTAP data using Browse & Restore

Before you start restoring a volume or file, you should know the name of the volume or file you want to restore, the name of the working environment where the volume resides, and the approximate date of the backup file that you want to restore from.

Note: If the backup file for the volume that you want to restore resides in archival storage (available for AWS and Azure starting with ONTAP 9.10.1), the restore operation will take a longer amount of time and will incur a cost. Additionally, the destination cluster must also be running ONTAP 9.10.1 or greater.

Browse & Restore supported working environments and object storage providers

You can restore a volume, or individual files, from an ONTAP backup file to the following working environments:

Backup File Location Destination Working Environment

Volume Restore

File Restore

Amazon S3

Cloud Volumes ONTAP in AWS
On-premises ONTAP system

Cloud Volumes ONTAP in AWS
On-premises ONTAP system

Azure Blob

Cloud Volumes ONTAP in Azure
On-premises ONTAP system

Cloud Volumes ONTAP in Azure
On-premises ONTAP system

Google Cloud Storage

Cloud Volumes ONTAP in Google
On-premises ONTAP system

NetApp StorageGRID

On-premises ONTAP system

Note that references to "on-premises ONTAP systems" includes FAS, AFF, and ONTAP Select systems.

Note If the backup file resides in archival storage, only volume restore is supported. File restore is not currently supported from archival storage when using Browse & Restore.

Restoring volumes using Browse & Restore

When you restore a volume from a backup file, Cloud Backup creates a new volume using the data from the backup. You can restore the data to a volume in the original working environment or to a different working environment that’s located in the same cloud account as the source working environment. You can also restore volumes to an on-premises ONTAP system.

A diagram that shows the flow to perform a volume restore operation using Browse & Restore.

As you can see, you need to know the working environment name, volume name, and backup file date to perform a volume restore.

The following video shows a quick walkthrough of restoring a volume:

Steps
  1. Select the Backup & Restore service.

  2. Click the Restore tab and the Restore Dashboard is displayed.

  3. From the Browse & Restore section, click Restore Volume.

    A screenshot of selecting the Restore Volumes button from the Restore Dashboard.

  4. In the Select Source page, navigate to the backup file for the volume you want to restore. Select the Working Environment, the Volume, and the Backup file that has the date/time stamp from which you want to restore.

    A screenshot of selecting the working environment, volume, and volume backup file that you want to restore.

  5. Click Continue.

  6. In the Select Destination page, select the Working Environment where you want to restore the volume.

    A screenshot of selecting the destination working environment for the volume you want to restore.

  7. If you select an on-premises ONTAP system and you haven’t already configured the cluster connection to the object storage, you are prompted for additional information:

    • When restoring from Amazon S3, select the IPspace in the ONTAP cluster where the destination volume will reside, enter the access key and secret key for the user you created to give the ONTAP cluster access to the S3 bucket, and optionally choose a private VPC endpoint for secure data transfer.

    • When restoring from Azure Blob, select the IPspace in the ONTAP cluster where the destination volume will reside, select the Azure Subscription to access the object storage, and optionally choose a private endpoint for secure data transfer by selecting the VNet and Subnet.

    • When restoring from Google Cloud Storage, select the Google Cloud Project and the Access Key and Secret Key to access the object storage, the region where the backups are stored, and the IPspace in the ONTAP cluster where the destination volume will reside.

    • When restoring from StorageGRID, select the Access Key and Secret Key needed to access the object storage, and the IPspace in the ONTAP cluster where the destination volume will reside.

  8. Enter the name you want to use for the restored volume, and select the Storage VM where the volume will reside. By default, <source_volume_name>_restore is used as the volume name.

    A screenshot of entering the name of the new volume that you want to restore.

    You can select the Aggregate that the volume will use for its' capacity only when restoring a volume to an on-premises ONTAP system.

    And if you are restoring the volume from a backup file that resides in an archival storage tier (available starting with ONTAP 9.10.1), then you can select the Restore Priority.

  9. Click Restore and you are returned to the Restore Dashboard so you can review the progress of the restore operation.

Result

Cloud Backup creates a new volume based on the backup you selected. You can manage the backup settings for this new volume as required.

Note that restoring a volume from a backup file that resides in archival storage can take many minutes or hours depending on the archive tier and the restore priority. You can click the Job Monitor tab to see the restore progress.

Restoring ONTAP files using Browse & Restore

If you only need to restore a few files from an ONTAP volume backup, you can choose to restore individual files instead of restoring the entire volume. You can restore files to an existing volume in the original working environment, or to a different working environment that’s using the same cloud account. You can also restore files to a volume on an on-premises ONTAP system.

If you select multiple files, all the files are restored to the same destination volume that you choose. So if you want to restore files to different volumes, you’ll need to run the restore process multiple times.

Tip You can’t restore individual files if the backup file resides in archival storage. In this case, you can restore files from a newer backup file that has not been archived, or you can restore the entire volume from the archived backup and then access the files you need, or you can restore files using Search & Restore.

Prerequisites

File Restore process

The process goes like this:

  1. When you want to restore one or more files from a volume backup, click the Restore tab, click Restore Files under Browse & Restore, and select the backup file in which the file (or files) reside.

  2. The Restore instance starts up and displays the folders and files that exist within the selected backup file.

    Note: The Restore instance is deployed in your cloud providers' environment the first time you restore a file.

  3. Choose the file (or files) that you want to restore from that backup.

  4. Select the location where you want the file(s) to be restored (the working environment, volume, and folder), and click Restore.

  5. The file(s) are restored, and then the Restore instance is shut down after a period of inactivity to save costs.

A diagram that shows the flow to perform a file restore operation using Browse & Restore.

As you can see, you need to know the working environment name, volume name, backup file date, and file name to perform a file restore.

Restoring files using Browse & Restore

Follow these steps to restore files to a volume from an ONTAP volume backup. You should know the name of the volume and the date of the backup file that you want to use to restore the file, or files. This functionality uses Live Browsing so that you can view the list of directories and files within each backup file.

The following video shows a quick walkthrough of restoring a single file:

Steps
  1. Select the Backup & Restore service.

  2. Click the Restore tab and the Restore Dashboard is displayed.

  3. From the Browse & Restore section, click Restore Files.

    A screenshot of selecting the Restore Files button from the Restore Dashboard.

  4. In the Select Source page, navigate to the backup file for the volume that contains the files you want to restore. Select the Working Environment, the Volume, and the Backup that has the date/time stamp from which you want to restore files.

    A screenshot of selecting the volume and backup for the files you want to restore.

  5. Click Continue and the Restore instance is started. After a few minutes, the list of folders and files from the volume backup are displayed.

    Note: The Restore instance is deployed in your cloud providers' environment the first time you restore a file, so this step could take a few minutes longer the first time.

    A screenshot of the Select Files page so you can navigate to the files you want to restore.

  6. In the Select Files page, select the file or files that you want to restore and click Continue. To assist you in finding the file:

    • You can click the file name if you see it.

    • You can click the search icon and enter the name of the file to navigate directly to the file.

    • You can navigate down levels in folders using the button subfolder button at the end of the row to find the file.

      As you select files they are added to the left side of the page so you can see the files that you have already chosen. You can remove a file from this list if needed by clicking the x next to the file name.

  7. In the Select Destination page, select the Working Environment where you want to restore the files.

    A screenshot of selecting the destination working environment for the files you want to restore.

    If you select an on-premises cluster and you haven’t already configured the cluster connection to the object storage, you are prompted for additional information:

    • When restoring from Amazon S3, enter the IPspace in the ONTAP cluster where the destination volume resides, and the AWS Access Key and Secret Key needed to access the object storage.

    • When restoring from Azure Blob, enter the IPspace in the ONTAP cluster where the destination volume resides.

  8. Then select the Volume and the Folder where you want to restore the files.

    A screenshot of selecting the volume and folder for the files you want to restore.

    You have a few options for the location when restoring files.

    • When you have chosen Select Target Folder, as shown above:

      • You can select any folder.

      • You can hover over a folder and click button subfolder at the end of the row to drill down into subfolders, and then select a folder.

    • If you have selected the same destination Working Environment and Volume as where the source file was located, you can select Maintain Source Folder Path to restore the file, or all files, to the same folder where they existed in the source structure. All the same folders and sub-folders must already exist; folders are not created.

  9. Click Restore and you are returned to the Restore Dashboard so you can review the progress of the restore operation. You can also click the Job Monitor tab to see the restore progress.

The Restore instance is shut down after a certain period of inactivity to save you money so that you incur costs only when it is active.

Restoring ONTAP data using Search & Restore

You can restore a volume or individual files from an ONTAP backup file using Search & Restore. Search & Restore enables you to search for a specific volume or file from all backups stored on cloud storage for a particular provider, and then perform a restore. You don’t need to know the exact working environment name or volume name - the search looks through all volume backup files.

The search operation also looks across all local Snapshot copies that exist for your ONTAP volumes too. Since restoring data from a local Snapshot copy can be faster and less costly than restoring from a backup file, you may want to restore data from the Snapshot. You can restore the Snapshot as a new volume from the Volume Details page on the Canvas.

When you restore a volume from a backup file, Cloud Backup creates a new volume using the data from the backup. You can restore the data as a volume in the original working environment, or to a different working environment that’s located in the same cloud account as the source working environment. You can also restore volumes to an on-premises ONTAP system.

You can restore files to the original volume location, to a different volume in the same working environment, or to a different working environment that’s using the same cloud account. You can also restore files to a volume on an on-premises ONTAP system.

If the backup file for the volume that you want to restore resides in archival storage (available for AWS starting with ONTAP 9.10.1), the restore operation will take a longer amount of time and will incur additional cost. Note that the destination cluster must also be running ONTAP 9.10.1 or greater, and that file restore from archival storage is not currently supported.

Before you start, you should have some idea of the name or location of the volume or file you want to restore.

The following video shows a quick walkthrough of restoring a single file:

Search & Restore supported working environments and object storage providers

You can restore a volume, or individual files, from an ONTAP backup file to the following working environments:

Backup File Location Destination Working Environment

Volume Restore

File Restore

Amazon S3

Cloud Volumes ONTAP in AWS
On-premises ONTAP system

Cloud Volumes ONTAP in AWS
On-premises ONTAP system

Google Cloud Storage

Cloud Volumes ONTAP in Google
On-premises ONTAP system

Cloud Volumes ONTAP in Google
On-premises ONTAP system

Note that references to "on-premises ONTAP systems" includes FAS, AFF, and ONTAP Select systems.

Prerequisites

  • Cluster requirements:

    • The ONTAP version must be 9.8 or greater.

    • The storage VM (SVM) on which the volume resides must have a configured data LIF.

    • NFS must be enabled on the volume.

    • The SnapDiff RPC Server must be activated on the SVM. Cloud Manager does this automatically when you enable Indexing on the working environment.

  • AWS requirements:

    • Specific Amazon Athena, AWS Glue, and AWS S3 permissions must be added to the user role that provides Cloud Manager with permissions. Make sure all the permissions are configured correctly.

      Note that if you were already using Cloud Backup with a Connector you configured in the past, you’ll need to add the Athena and Glue permissions to the Cloud Manager user role now. These are new, and they are required for Search & Restore.

  • Google Cloud requirements:

    • Specific Google BigQuery permissions must be added to the user role that provides Cloud Manager with permissions. Make sure all the permissions are configured correctly.

      Note that if you were already using Cloud Backup with a Connector you configured in the past, you’ll need to add the BigQuery permissions to the Cloud Manager user role now. These are new, and they are required for Search & Restore.

Search & Restore process

The process goes like this:

  1. Before you can use Search & Restore, you need to enable "Indexing" on each source working environment from which you’ll want to restore volumes or files. This allows the Indexed Catalog to track the backup files for every volume.

  2. When you want to restore a volume or files from a volume backup, under Search & Restore, click Search & Restore.

  3. Enter the search criteria for a volume or file by partial or full volume name, partial or full file name, size range, creation date range, other search filters, and click Search.

    The Search Results page displays all the locations that have a file or volume that matches your search criteria.

  4. Click View All Backups for the location you want to use to restore the volume or file, and then click Restore on the actual backup file you want to use.

  5. Select the location where you want the volume or file(s) to be restored and click Restore.

  6. The volume or file(s) are restored.

A diagram that shows the flow to perform a volume or file restore operation using Search & Restore.

As you can see, you really only need to know a partial volume or file name and Cloud Backup searches through all backup files that match your search.

Enabling the Indexed Catalog for each working environment

Before you can use Search & Restore, you need to enable "Indexing" on each source working environment from which you’re planning to restore volumes or files. This allows the Indexed Catalog to track every volume and every backup file - making your searches very quick and efficient.

When you enable this functionality, Cloud Backup enables SnapDiff v3 on the SVM for your volumes, and it performs the following actions:

To enable Indexing for a working environment:

  • If no working environments have been indexed, on the Restore Dashboard under Search & Restore, click Enable Indexing for Working Environments, and click Enable Indexing for the working environment.

  • If at least one working environment has already been indexed, on the Restore Dashboard under Search & Restore, click Indexing Settings, and click Enable Indexing for the working environment.

After all the services are provisioned and the Indexed Catalog has been activated, the working environment is shown as "Active".

A screenshot showing the working environments that have activated the Indexed Catalog.

Depending on the size of the volumes in the working environment, and the number of backup files in the cloud, the initial indexing process could take up to an hour. After that it is transparently updated hourly with incremental changes to stay current.

Restoring volumes and files using Search & Restore

After you have enabled Indexing for your working environment, you can restore volumes or files using Search & Restore. This allows you to use a broad range of filters to find the exact file or volume that you want to restore from all backup files.

Steps
  1. Select the Backup & Restore service.

  2. Click the Restore tab and the Restore Dashboard is displayed.

  3. From the Search & Restore section, click Search & Restore.

    A screenshot of selecting the Search & Restore button from the Restore Dashboard.

  4. From the Search & Restore page:

    1. In the Search bar, enter a full or partial volume name or file name.

    2. In the Filter area, select the filter criteria. For example, you can select the working environment where the data resides and the file type, for example a .doc file.

  5. Click Search and the Search Results area displays all the locations that have a file or volume that matches your search.

    A screenshot showing the search criteria and search results on the Search & Restore page.

  6. Click View All Backups for the location that has the data you want to restore to display all the backup files that contain the volume or file.

    A screenshot showing how to view all the backups that match your search criteria.

  7. Click Restore for the backup file you want to use to restore the volume or file from the cloud.

    Note that the results also identify local volume Snapshot copies that contain the file in your search. The Restore button is not functional for Snapshots at this time, but if you want to restore the data from the Snapshot copy instead of from the Backup file, write down the name and location of the volume, open the Volume Details page on the Canvas, and use the Restore from Snapshot copy option.

  8. Select the location where you want the volume or file(s) to be restored and click Restore.

    • For files, you can restore to the original location or you can select an alternate location

    • For volumes you can select the location.

Results

The volume or file(s) are restored and you are returned to the Restore Dashboard so you can review the progress of the restore operation. You can also click the Job Monitor tab to see the restore progress.

For restored volumes, you can manage the backup settings for this new volume as required.