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NAS Cloud Backup: How It's Done

Basic steps for setting up NAS cloud backup (and recoveries)

Author: Nick Mueller,

Having Network Attached Storage (NAS) can be a lot simpler than backing up a large number of individual user machines, however, the rules for NAS cloud backup may be different then you're used to. Each NAS vendor has its own particular steps to follow. Here is how to back up NetApp devices with Zetta DataProtect. If you need to back up another type of NAS, contact

NetApp Backup Basics
Zetta's NetApp backup works by reading a user generated configuration file which defines the data sources to back up and the appropriate login credentials to gain access to these data sources.

When the config file is read by Zetta, network mounts will be created to the defined data sources and the ZettaMirror agent triggers a snapshot on the NetApp appliance which is used to capture a consistent state of the NetApp file system and replicate the targeted data to the Zetta cloud. The ZettaMirror agent walks the directory tree, finds files that have changed and transmits the delta to Zetta. Once the transfer of data is complete, Zetta creates a snapshot of the file system on the Zetta storage end, deletes the NetApp snapshot and disconnects.

Install the ZettaMirror agent on a system running one of the many versions of Windows, Linux or OSX that the agents run on. This ZettaMirror Host will act as the gateway to the NetApp box and should have connectivity to both the NetApp filer and the Internet.

# Zetta Mirror NetApp Server configuration
# Server: The name or the IP address of the server in IPv4 or IPv6 format server:
# HTTPS: set to 1 if HTTPS is to be used, 0 otherwise use_https: 1
# Port: Port Number, leave in blank if default value is to be used
# User and Password for NetApp API authentication: leave in blank if Hosts Equiv auth style is to be used
# Note: netapp filer should be configured to use hosts equiv auth style if username and password are omitted
# NetApp sources to backup.
# Configure excludes using exclude_files, exclude_paths, exclude_directories, exclude_errors.
# Value must be enclosed by double-quote. Separate multiple entries by comma or semi-colon. For example: exclude_files: "*.tmp, *.log"
# Configure minimum/maximum file age excludes using min_age, max_age. Value should be in format of YYYYMMDD for date or between 0 and 1899 for a number of days
# Configure minimun/maximum file size excludes using min_size, max_size
# For Linux only, target directory which netapp source is to be mounted, please make sure this is an existing directory

If the ZettaMirror host is a Windows system, the agent will create a network mount using an available drive letter.

After creating and saving the config file, be sure to edit the file security settings to lock file permissions. In Windows, set the ZettaMirror service to run as a specific user by right clicking on the ZettaMirror GUI in the system tray>Local Settings>This Account or the backup will not function.

The local system must be setup to interact with the cloud backup systems. Log into the ZettaMirror Service Management Portal (, select Advanced>NetApp Settings, enter the path to the configuration file and click Save. The final step is to add a data source to the sync, even a temp folder, or the plug-in will not run.

The NetApp GUI or the NetApp Command Line Interface must be used to create a CIFS share so ZettaMirror can access the data.

Recovering the Data
Different protocols are used for recovering the data depending on if it is traditional file data or LUN data using SAN protocols. Files are recovered by logging into the ZettaMirror Service Management Portal, navigating to the host system's recovery page, clicking on the recovery tab and then the URL for the data set. One can then navigate to the directory and right-click on the item to recover or download it.

Block-level LUN recovery is performed by downloading the backup, creating a duplicate LUN on the NetApp, mounting the LUN with iSCSI and using dd to copy the contents from the backup into the new LUN.

Want More Information?
Above are the basic steps for setting up NAS cloud backup (and recoveries). Further information, including details on how to fill out the configuration text, setting up security, enabling NFS and backing up on Linux, and backing up block-based LUNs, see the NetApp cloud backup page.

Nick is Zetta's Chief Content Officer, and has been working with writing and social media teams to create digital content since the days when the BBS reigned.

More Stories By Derek Kol

Derek Kol is a technology specialist focused on SMB and enterprise IT innovations.