Redpaper N Series Snapshot, a Technical Discussion
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Overview: This paper discusses the N Series Snapshot feature which enables online backups, providing near instantaneous access to previous versions of data without requiring complete, separate copies. Snapshot is a standard feature of the Data ONTAP operating system. The primary focus of this paper is on the algorithms and data structures that WAFL uses to implement Snapshots, which are read-only clones of the active file system. The paper also describes how WAFL uses Snapshots to eliminate the need for file system consistency checking after an unclean shutdown.