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Hybrid cloud database solutions with SnapCenter


Many of today’s enterprise databases still reside in private, corporate data centers due to performance, security, or other reasons. Many enterprise customers have started to experiment with running part of their database workload in cloud—and as a result, they’ve had to manage a hybrid cloud database environment.


Building and operating a homogeneous and integrated on-site and cloud database landscape instead of a silo can be challenging. The first challenge that comes to mind is security—where boundaries are stretched beyond the typical corporate firewall to encompass the public cloud as a part of an enterprise database domain. Beyond the security issue, moving an enterprise database and workload between on-premises and the cloud in a seamless manner can be a monumental effort.


To help you manage and operate your database workload in a hybrid cloud, NetApp offers solutions using automation or easy-to-use UI tools to provide fast tracks to reach your destination. In this blog post, I showcase how NetApp can help you manage your hybrid database workload and environment with NetApp® SnapCenter® tool.


NetApp hybrid cloud database solutions with SnapCenter


The NetApp hybrid cloud database solutions with SnapCenter empower enterprises to operate their primary databases on site while leveraging the public cloud for DevTest database operations, as well as for disaster recovery to reduce licensing and operational costs.


Many enterprise databases such as Oracle, SQL Server, SAP HANA, and so on carry very high licensing and operational costs. Many customers pay a perpetual one-time license fee as well as annual support costs based on the number of compute cores in their database environment—regardless, they are for development, test, production, or disaster recovery purposes. Many of these environments might not be fully utilized throughout the applications lifecycle.


The hybrid cloud database solutions provide the option for customers to potentially reduce their licensable core count by moving their database environments that are devoted to development or test or disaster recovery to the cloud. When leveraging the public cloud scale, redundancy, high availability, as well as consumption-based billing model, the cost savings in licensing and operations can be substantial, but without sacrificing any application usability or availability.


SnapCenter is a mature, proven, and user-friendly UI tool for database backup and management using NetApp snapshot. In combination with the NetApp SnapMirror® technology, the NetApp snapshot backup can be simultaneously mirrored or replicated to any public cloud of choice for development or test workloads or disaster recovery.


The hybrid cloud database solutions demonstrate that using the SnapCenter UI-based software tool and a data fabric powered by NetApp ONTAP® SnapMirror and FlexClone® technologies, the hybrid cloud database operations can be easily set up, implemented, and operated as smoothly as possible.


The hybrid cloud database solutions provide the NetApp field and customers with end-to-end direct instructions and guidance on configuring, protecting, operating, and migrating databases in a hybrid cloud environment.


Solution architecture


The following diagram demonstrates the solution architecture at high level.




In normal business operations, synchronized database volumes in the cloud can be cloned and mounted to DevTest database instances for application development or testing. In the event of a failure, the synchronized database volumes in the cloud can be cloned and rolled forward to recover the last available transaction for disaster recovery.


NetApp ONTAP storage encrypts data at rest. NetApp SnapMirror technology encrypts replication data traffic by using the TLS 1.2 AES-256 GCM encryption algorithm to ensure the data is protected in transit from the onsite data center to NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP in the public cloud data storage. The solution also supports the most recently announced Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP in Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a target replication destination in addition to Cloud Volumes ONTAP.


Using the NetApp SnapCenter in hybrid cloud


SnapCenter is a feature-rich database backup and management tool. To start, the UI is easy to navigate and is menu or wizard driven. For many tasks that normally require a skilled database administrator, it’s now matter of point and click.




What differentiates SnapCenter from other tools is its capability to operate in a hybrid cloud setting. Imagine moving databases from on-premises to cloud with ease and vice versa—it opens up a world of possibilities in terms where to optimally run your database workload in hybrid cloud.




With NetApp SnapCenter tool, on-premises databases can readily burst to any public cloud of choice for the following use cases:

  • Application development or testing
  • Disaster recovery

One can perhaps make the case that whenever you’re ready, you could migrate your on-premises database to the cloud with a simple point and click.


For a visual overview on how SnapCenter works, have a look at these short videos that demonstrate the SnapCenter capabilities: Backup of an Oracle database across a hybrid cloud using SnapCenter, SnapCenter- clone DevTest to AWS Cloud for an Oracle database.


The hybrid cloud database solutions provide detailed step-by-step processes and instructions to help you each step of way with implementing the hybrid cloud database use cases. The current solution demonstration only covers AWS as a public cloud destination. The solution for Azure and Google Cloud deployment will follow shortly.


The NetApp hybrid cloud database solutions overcome the complexities in hybrid cloud database operations and deliver the benefits of the reducing database software licensing and operational costs, enabling public cloud as a viable disaster recovery destination, migrating databases in between on-premises data center and cloud with ease while improving database administrator productivity.


How to get started


If you are intrigued and interested in trying out the NetApp hybrid cloud database solutions with SnapCenter, the NetApp Lab-on-Demand SL10680 is available to test drive the solution. To request the lab, please go to TL_AWS_004 HCoD: AWS - NW, SnapCenter (OnPrem).


For detailed instruction on implementing your hybrid cloud database solution with SnapCenter, see Hybrid Cloud Database Solutions with SnapCenter.


The NetApp hybrid cloud solutions are supported with a community support slack channel at the NetApp Community Support.