What is Transparent Snapshot?

Updated: Oct 28, 2021



Hey! It's Sevan and thanks for reading. If this is your first time reading a blog written by me, check out my previous blog on data protection security, the link to the blog will be listed below. Have you been working with Virtual Machines (VM) farm and attempting to do a backup of your VMs on your farm? You’ve problem ran into issues with latency and performance issues on VMs related to the in-progress backup(s). Dell EMC PowerProtect Data Manager (PPDM) 19.9 update, Transparent Snapshot, may hold the answers to correct the issues and improve work performance. If this is your first time hearing or reading about Dell EMC PowerProtect Data Manager or transparent snapshot, stay with me and enjoy the knowledge journey.


PowerProtect Data Manager?


What exactly is PPDM? In technical terms, PPDM will provide software-defined data protection, automated discovery, deduplication, self-service, operational agility, and IT governance for virtual, physical, and cloud environments. In a little simpler term, it is software that will provide either a virtual, physical, or cloud environment with data protection, automated discovery, deduplication, self-service, operational agility, and IT governance. Imagine it as a one-stop shop for your IT network. PPMD gives network administrators valuable insight to protect both on-premises and in-cloud workloads, file systems, applications, and VMs. PPDM is designed with simplicity and speed in operational use in mind. The software enables the protection of traditional workloads, including file systems, SQL, Oracle, Exchange, and SAP HANA, as well as Kubernetes containers and VMs.

Check out this short video about Dell’s PowerProtect Data Manager.



Transparent Snapshot and Why You Need It


What is a transparent snapshot? Transparent Snapshots is a new feature within the PowerProtect Data Manager 19.9 update. This feature is designed to change the way you protect VMware VMs to ensure that VM service(s) availability is operational without any major business disruption. Transparent Snapshots will simplify and automate VM image-level backups and allows backing up VMs without any need to pause your VM during the backup process. The results from the new backup feature will significantly reduce the impact on VMs, especially large with high-change-rate VMs. The impact of the VM or VM environment is near-zero when Transparent Snapshot is working. Transparent Snapshots will also reduce VM latency and faster backups by up to 5x the environment's normal performance. This feature will show a lot of improvements in VM environments that are limited in their existing resources. An additional benefit of Transparent Snapshot is that it will reduce infrastructure needs by removing the reliance on proxies for data movement.




Transparent Snapshots simplicity and efficiency to backup VMs and brings other significant advantages to your environment production. Some advantages that Transparent Snapshots bring are auto-scaling, continuous in memory deltas, storage agnostic, and direct data movement to PowerProtect appliances.


Transparent Snapshots Advantages

  • Auto-scaling: An ESX-based plugin which is a VMware certified VMware Installation Bundle (VIB). It gets deployed in real-time or as needed. This eliminates the need for proxies and allows for scaling by leveraging additional ESXi hosts where the data mover resides, vice needing manual intervention.

  • Continuous in-memory deltas: Monitors the deltas of full VMs, resulting in no impact to VM or ESX host instead of full real-time continuous data protection with traditional methods that requires extensive resources and does not scale for hundreds of VMs.

  • Storage agnostic: Deploys seamlessly into existing storage environment(s). It doesn’t require hardware-specific snapshots to be used to perform a single VM backup. Transparent Snapshots eliminates the need for expensive and specialized storage which means no new storage arrays or upgrades are required.

  • Direct data movement to PowerProtect appliances: Direct access to data eliminates the need for working copies. Traditional options require intermediary copies that use additional compute and storage resources and impact backup processes.


Food for Thought


If you’re running a small or large business, for-profit or non-profit organization, and are utilizing VM environments. Take a few moments to do some additional research on Dell’s PowerProtect Data Manager (PPDM) with Transparent Snapshots. Dell’s PowerProtect Data Manager is one of their top products to help simplify and increase the efficiency of your current environment(s). PPDM is more than just software, it is also one of Dell’s top data protection suite packages that they offer as well. If you didn’t check out the links and videos provided while you were reading, take the time now and considering reaching out to Dell for more information about this solution and other solutions that they have available.


Useful Links

PowerProtect Data Manager – Data Protection | Dell Technologies US

Dell EMC PowerProtect 19.9, Part1 - Dynamic NAS Protection - Itzik Reich's Blog (volumes.blog)

Dell EMC PowerProtect 19.9, Part 2, Protecting VMware Virtual Machines, Using Transparent Snapshots - Itzik Reich's Blog (volumes.blog)

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