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Backup to Tape

I have a VMware Environment using NetApp iSCSI LUNs with some VMs having iSCSI LUNs also on the NetApp.

All the Snapmanager Products are setup and working but I have a requirement to send data to Tape Weekly and Monthly. Currently I have BackupExec 12.5 with agents.

Whilst this can still be used, what alternatives do I have to offload backups off the LAN if possible BUT still allowing for granular restores? I have SQL and Exchange in particular.

I'm aware of NDMP but this isn't granular for LUNs and I would have to restore tape to a NetApp to get at the underlying data etc. I want to avoid this if possible.

Any suggestions on how best to achieve this end goal?

Re: Backup to Tape

In short, you can't. The Snap Manager products were not (well) designed to cope with any offline backups. I believe, however, that the Snap Protect products have some integration with tape backups.

With Exchange you can restore the entire LUN from tape, mount up the LUN using snapdrive and then either use SMBR to read the EDB file or possibly mount it as a recovery/restore database.

I don't know much about MSSQL but I'm guessing you can do something similar to that.

We use NDMP to send LUNs to tape here, but generally only for DR purposes, not for granular restores.

Richard

Re: Backup to Tape

It's a little bit of scripting work, but some of our customers who want granular restores setup SME/SMSQL to use the __recent naming convention of snapshots, then they use the SnapDrive Command Line Interface (sdcli) to mount and unmount the snapshots from a host with a backup agent...then the backup job has a pre and post script to mount and unmount and the snapshot is backed up but from the host file level view (no open file agent needed since a snapshot clone).  It adds some moving parts but can get what you need to tape with granular single file restore.

Re: Backup to Tape

what alternatives do I have to offload backups off the LAN if possible BUT still allowing for granular restores?

In case of iSCSI "LAN free" is a bit ambiguous. What SnapProtect can, is create snapshot and mount it on another server (called proxy) which will then backup on directly attached tape library. While truly LAN free in case of FCP, you still need to mount LUN over LAN in case of iSCSI.

SnapProtect does not support backing up LUN directly to tape, attached to filer.

Benefits of SnapProtect are true tape integration and single pane of glass for all copies (snapshots, replicas, tape backups, ...) and ability to restore from any available copy.

Re: Backup to Tape

Good point... I continue to find it difficult to see a use case for SnapProtect.  No one can really explain it well nor give any real references yet (although I hear there are, but no follow up on it).  All of my customers have storage on other devices (local C: drive, competitor array, etc.) and if they want to back those up then they need to go with Commvault for the full product instead of SnapProtect since it only backs up data on NetApp.  If a customer is all NetApp including boot luns, that is one use case I can see.. the closest customer I have to that also wants the Commvault cloud connector though and that is not available in SnapProtect so they had to rule it out as an option.  I think it is a great product, but the limited use case (keep other backup software for non-netapp disk even local disk on a server) gets it ruled out as an option.  If a customer can be convinced to keep two solutions it may have a use case as well...

Anyone have any use cases where they have sold or implemented it (the SnapProtect offering, not the full Commvault...same product but different support/licensing, etc.)?  Maybe we are missing something.

Re: Backup to Tape

Regarding drive C: - I believe SnapProtect supports OSSV that may cover non-NetApp storage. Also for pure virtual shop you have all your data on NetApp already.

I guess you need to compare with SnapManager family, not with generic backup software. Then it is definitely step forward.

mar Former NetApp Employee

Re: Backup to Tape

A few clarifications to some of the comments above:

Comment: In case of iSCSI "LAN free" is a bit ambiguous. What SnapProtect can, is create snapshot and mount it on another server (called proxy) which will then backup on directly attached tape library. While truly LAN free in case of FCP, you still need to mount LUN over LAN in case of iSCSI.

Reply: SnapProtect has 3 backup to tape options: (1) streaming backup to tape (2) NDMP and (3) SnapMirror-to-Tape. With the streaming backup to tape (agent managed) you get cataloging and the capability to perform granular restores from tape. The others offer cataloging but the granularity varies based on the method (e.g. SnapMirror-to-Tape is volume based).

Comment: SnapProtect does not support backup up LUN directly to tpae, attached to filer.

Reply: A bit of clarification is needed here. SnapProtect DOES support and manage backing up a LUN directly to tape via NDMP (just like you would do with any other backup application) or SnapMirror-to-Tape.

Comment: Anyone have any use cases where they have sold or implemented it (the SnapProtect offering, not the full CommVault...same product but different support/licensing, etc)? Maybe we are missing something.

Reply: For named references, we're in the process of developing success stories. We need to make sure the product has been up and running for awhile so customers can talk about the benefits they are able to see from deploying SnapProtect. There are a number of different industries and geographies where SnapProtect has been sold and deployed. 

Like what was said, there is a lot of interest in SnapProtect for virtual server environments where business applications are running in VMs. Another example is in financial services. We had a customer doing traditional backups (weekly fulls, daily incrementals) over the LAN and it was crushing network performance which caused a ripple effect for the business applications, affecting application performance. The customer's use of SnapProtect allowed their backup operations that were taking 8-10 hours each to be reduced to minutes.

SnapProtect can help reduce cost. It's licensing is simple and unique in that it is only licensed on the primary controller meaning no additional cost if capacity changes. The license includes the management console, media agents, tape and all application and virtualization agents so you don't have to purchase all these separately.

With SnapProtect you can backup windows System State via streaming backups. And for heterogeneous environments, while OSSV is currently not integrated with SnapProtect, OSSV can be used alongside SnapProtect when the use case requires it.

Re: Backup to Tape

Great information… Thank you.

Re: Backup to Tape

We often don’t like ndmp of luns though since it is all or nothing backup and restore… and all white space is also backed up. But still an option (edge case option) for some customers.

Re: Backup to Tape

Nice information,

I'm implementing snapprotect at one of our clients,I have actually been puzzled on how to do daily incremental backups to take. I understand ndmpd and snapmirror-to-tape backs up entire lun and not only the changed blocks,where can I get detailed information on implementations? Right now I'm more like doing labs on client site. I have done most of the tests,but tape backups are eluding me most. We are using the sun sl500 tape library,and I have used ndmpd to connect to the seconday fas2040 via FC