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SQL databases stored on NFS share with the release of Snapdrive 6.3?

We have all of our server, including SQL, running under VSphere using an NFS datastore from our FAS3020. We present to our SQL server 4 iSCSI luns carved out from the filer using Snapdrive and Microsoft's iSCSI initiator. We use Snapmanage for SQL server to manage backup of the SQL databases and logs.

I have been reading the release notes and admin guide for Snapdrive 6.3 which just got released. Can I now place my SQL databases and log files on an NFS share instead of a LUN? Can Snapmanager for SQL be used to take and manage snapshots in this configuration?

Re: SQL databases stored on NFS share with the release of Snapdrive 6.3?

Yes. 1 of the notable key features in SDW 6.3 was the  integration of SMSQL, VSC - Virtual Storage Console (aka SMVI) , and SDW which allows for creation of VMDKs in NFS & VMFS datastores. 

SMSQL - for SQL application snapshot management

VSC  - for VMware integration

SDW - for LUN management

Unfortunately, VSC 2.0.1is still in beta and not available yet but should expect a release soon.

Partial support list - Please check IMT for full details.

SMSQL 5.1

SDW 6.3

VSC 2.0.1
ONTAP version - 7.2.7, 7.3.1 or later,8.0 and 8.0.1

ESX version : ESX 3.5U5, ESX 4.0U1 and ESX 4.1

VC version : vSphere 4.0 and vSphere 4.1

VMware Guest OSes : Windows 2003, Windows 2008 and Windows 2008R2

Re: SQL databases stored on NFS share with the release of Snapdrive 6.3?

I have been told that VSC 2.0.1 should be out next week so my SQL project can move forward. This is what I have done so far:

1. Carved out 4 volumes on my filer, one each for SystemDB, UserDB, Logs, and SnapInfo

2. Created 4 NFS exports corresponding to each of these volumes

3. Add the 4 shares to each of my VSphere hosts using the Configuration tab of the Virtual Center client

4. Shutdown what will be my new SQL 2008 server.

5. Edited its settings using the Virtual Center client and added 4 hard disks corresponding to the 4 datastores created in step 3

6. Brought the SQL server back up and using the Manage MMC, added the 4 volumes to my server giving them the proper names and drive letters. Now I have a SQL 2008 server with of course a C drive and 4 other drives labeled SystemDB, UserDB, Logs and SnapInfo

From here it should be straightforward to install SQL 2008, Snapdrive 6.3, and Snapmanager for SQL 5.1. My understanding is when using NFS, Snapdrive does not create or manage the NFS share it strictly is there to help assist with making snapshots via Snapmanager for SQL. This is in contrast to iSCSI and FCP where Snapdrive is actually used to create and manage the LUNs on the filer along with assisting in the snapshot process.

From here I can bring up what will be a new Virtual Center (vSphere 4.1). On that machine I will install VSC 2.0.1 and SMVI

Do all these steps sound about right?

Re: SQL databases stored on NFS share with the release of Snapdrive 6.3?

This sounds right.  I followed these steps and have it running successfully.

Re: SQL databases stored on NFS share with the release of Snapdrive 6.3?

Just a note. Amrita posted on a seperate thread that VSC 2.0.1 would be shipped around the end of the month so may need to wait just a bit longer.

http://communities.netapp.com/message/40797#40797