Configuring Image Backups (SnapMirror to Tape)

Applies To: NetApp running ONTAP 8.0 or higher

Image backup allows you to perform a backup of an entire volume to media. Restoring from an image backup provides faster volume recovery than a file-based restore.

Before You Begin

  • You can change the configuration of a backup set at any time to perform either regular backups or image backups. The configuration change takes effect when the next Full backup runs.
  • Deduplication rates might be low for image backups.
  • It is not possible to perform file level restores from an image backup. Only entire volumes can be restored from an image backup.
  • For full backups, when moving a snapshot to tape, or if a snapshot name is set in the Snapshot to Backup option, then the snapshot and all previous snapshots are included in the full backup. If these options are not selected, then all of the used blocks on the volume, including the snapshots and .snapshot folder data, are included in the full backup.
  • Image backups only impact the tape copy.

About Incremental and Differential Backups

  • In order to perform incremental backups with an image backup set, you must first run a full back up, and then perform an incremental backup. For instructions, see Incremental Backups for SnapMirror to Tape.
  • Incremental and differential backups are supported on image backup sets with file servers running ONTAP 8.1.1 or higher. If you have an ONTAP version lower than 8.1.1, then only full backups are supported. 
  • For incremental backups, only blocks that have changed with respect to the previous backup, including blocks in snapshots, are included in the incremental backup.
  • To run incremental or differential backups for NetApp image backup sets (SMTape), the first full backup and all subsequent backups must be performed from a snapshot. The snapshot used for the full backup must be available on the volume to be able to run a differential backup. Similarly, the snapshot used for the previous backup must be available on a volume to be able to run an incremental backup. Therefore, the snapshot retention must be planned accordingly to allow the image tape backups to be successful.
  • When moving a snapshot to tape (backup copy), the user is not required to select the snapshot to use for the operation. When running a traditional SMTape backup, however, the snapshot name must be provided by the user in the Snapshot to Back Up field in the backup advanced NAS options (see Backup from Snapshot).


  1. From the CommCell Browser, go to Client Computers > client.
  2. Right-click NDMP, point to All Tasks, and then click Create New Backup Set.
  3. In the New Backup Set Name box, enter the name of the backup set.
  4. Select the Image Backup Set check box.
  5. Click OK.

  6. Right-click the Backup Set and select All Tasks > New Subclient.
  7. In the Subclient Name box, type a name.
  8. On the Storage Device tab, from the Storage Policy list, select a storage policy name.
  9. On the Content tab, click Browse.
  10. Select an entire volume.
  11. Click OK.

  12. In the Subclient Properties dialog box, click OK.

Last modified: 11/4/2019 5:21:49 PM