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Backup and Restore CIFS

Hello,

I have a WMware virtual NT 4.0 CIFS file server (vSphere). The OS and CIFS data are sitting on VMDK files within NFS datastores on a FAS3140c.

As I understand it I can't present iSCSI to the NT 4.0 VM. How can I effectivly backup the CIFS file data and provide a single file restore when required?

Thanks

Re: Backup and Restore CIFS

Use your netapp filer as a file server is probably not the answer that you want :-)

You can just make netapp snapshots of your netapp volume and then use the disk mount utility from VMWare to mount the VMDK in a specific snapshot. Than you can copy one file from the snapshot to the current cifs share. This is not a nice solution but it should be working.

Maybe someone else has a beter solution?

Other solution is that you use the filer as your fileserver :-)

Reinoud

Re: Backup and Restore CIFS

Seriously, why not putt all your CIFS file data directly onto the filer instead of a LUN? You get flexible volume sizes and snapshots as free bonus, and you can finally retire that NT4 server ;-)

-Michael

Re: Backup and Restore CIFS

I appreciate what you are saying, but CIFS has to come off the NetApps. I need the Ethernet ports to dedicate to NFS and iSCSI.

Re: Backup and Restore CIFS

Hmm, I can only second to what other guys already said - creating file shares directly on the filer makes perfect sense, this is what NetApp boxes have been built for (amongst other things).

I appreciate you want to separate iSCSI & NFS from CIFS though. How many ports do you have to play with? Just four? If that's the case, then I'd consider adding NICs. If you have eight, then I'd run all IP storage (i.e. iSCSI + NFS if used for provisioning storage to ESX or Oracle) on half of them & use the other four for file sharing (i.e. CIFS & NFS if not used for ESX / Oracle).

Regards,

Radek

Re: Backup and Restore CIFS

Returning to your original question - SMVI (Snap Manager for Virtual Infrastucture) does offer efficient backup of VM data files and offers single filer restore as well. One gotcha in your case - NT is not on the list of support guest operating systems ... with all implications. Any chance to update NT to something more up to date that is supported?

You could also manually create snapshots of NFS datastore; this will capture VMDKs in crash-consistent state. For single file restore present (Flex-)clone of VMDK in snapshot to the same or another VM as additional disk. This is effectivelly what SMVI does anyway, just that it automates it for you.

Re: Backup and Restore CIFS

The thing is you can run iscsi/nfs and CIFS all over the same NIC's if you wanted to split up your traffic the you could use vlans?

The traffic is going to be coming across the NIC's no matter if its native cifs or iSCSI, the benefits you'll get from native CIFS are going to far outweigh the problems.

Re: Backup and Restore CIFS

aborzenkov wrote:

Returning to your original question - SMVI (Snap Manager for Virtual Infrastucture) does offer efficient backup of VM data files and offers single filer restore as well.

When you say 'data files', what type of data do you mean exactly (SQL, Oracle, Word, Excel, etc)? Upgrading NT 4 is an option on the table, however not for the moment.

aborzenkov wrote:

You could also manually create snapshots of NFS datastore; this will capture VMDKs in crash-consistent state.

     What do you mean by 'manually create snapshost' and 'crash-consistent state'?

aborzenkov wrote

For single file restore present (Flex-)clone of VMDK in snapshot to the same or another VM as additional disk. This is effectivelly what SMVI does anyway, just that it automates it for you.

     I don't have a flexclone license to manage the single file restore through SMVI

I agree, the simplest thing would be to put CIFS on the NetApps but, for reasons I won't go in to, this isn't going to happen. Good point about running more than one protocol over interfaces

Thanks

Re: Backup and Restore CIFS

Looks like ther's going to be some cash splashed and NT4 is going.

Instead, the shared data is going to be placed on iSCSI LUNs and mounted to Windows 2008. What's the best way for me to treat backup restore? Just use filer scheduled snapshots or use a SnapDrive script? Can I still use Windows prvious versions?

Any caveats?

Thanks

Re: Backup and Restore CIFS

You can’t use Windows Previous Versions (I really wish we could; I do not know whether this is Windows or NetApp limitation).

You can use snapshots but keep in mind that recovery is rather awkward. To recover individual files you need manually map snapshot containing needed file. As there is not catalog to list available file versions, you are left with trial and error. It is possible that there is backup software that integrates and supports use of LUN snapshots on NetApp; those I am aware of (NetWorker, NetBackup, BackupExec) do not.

So I would use snapshots more or less for disaster protection and rely on standard operating system level file backup for daily use.