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FAQ: SnapDiff Support in ONTAP

Last Updated:

Applies to



What changes in ONTAP 9.10.1?

SnapDiff v1 and v2 are deprecated and will not function in ONTAP 9.10.1 and later. Only SnapDiff v3 is supported in ONTAP 9.10.1 and later. SnapDiff v1 and v2 will continue to function and be supported in all ONTAP 9.9.1 and earlier versions that have not reached end-of-support status.

For more details see NetApp Customer Product Communiqué CPC-00352.

  • Contact your backup application vendor to get details on whether they support or plan to support SnapDiff v3.
  • For more details on SnapDiff v3, see this NetApp blog post.
What are the different versions of SnapDiff?

There are three versions of SnapDiff:

  • SnapDiff v1 is the legacy SnapDiff engine using ZAPI which can be used for FlexVols only.
  • SnapDiff v2 is a later version of SnapDiff using RPC and is available in clustered Data ONTAP 9.0 and later.
    • SnapDiff v2 supports FlexVols and is required for FlexGroup volume support in ONTAP 9.4 and later.
  • SnapDiff v3 refers to a set of REST APIs which include SnapDiff functionality as well as SnapMirror Cloud (SM-C) available to select, licensed partners. SnapDiff v3 is also known as NetApp Backup Framework and is available in ONTAP 9.8 and later.
How do I enable SnapDiff in ONTAP?

SnapDiff v1 is enabled in ONTAP by default and does not require running any commands to enable.

SnapDiff v2 and v3 are enabled by running the following command:

::> set adv
::*> vserver snapdiff-rpc-server on -vserver <svm_name>

Confirm SnapDiff v2/v3 has been enabled with the following command:

::> set adv
::*> vserver snapdiff-rpc-server show

Example output:

::*> vserver snapdiff-rpc-server show
Vserver                SnapDiff RPC Server State
-----------            --------------------------
svm1                   on

What type of volumes are supported for SnapDiff?
  • SnapDiff v1 and v2 are supported for FlexVols in ONTAP 9.9.1 and earlier.
  • SnapDiff v2 is required for FlexGroup volumes in ONTAP 9.4 through ONTAP 9.9.1, inclusive.
  • SnapDiff v3 supports FlexVols and FlexGroups in ONTAP 9.8 and later and is the only supported version of SnapDiff in ONTAP 9.10.1 and later.

Attempts to use SnapDiff v1 against FlexGroup volumes will fail. For more information, see When performing a SnapDiff incremental backup of a FlexGroup volume, Spectrum Protect fails with "SnapDiff version 1 is not supported for Flexgroup". Check with your backup application vendor if you are unsure about what SnapDiff version they support.

How do I configure SnapDiff?

Your backup application may require specific Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) authentication and NAS access configurations. Check with your backup application vendor's documentation on configuration requirements for SnapDiff.

How do I use SnapDiff?

SnapDiff v1 and v2 is are invoked through ZAPI calls from third-party backup applications. SnapDiff v3 is only available to select licensed partners through REST API. SnapDiff cannot be invoked through the Command-Line Interface of ONTAP except to enable/disable the feature as described above.

Additional Information