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Protecting data within SnapMirror's at DR site

Hi,

I'm currently working through a design and having read many different postings/articles etc we're kind of stuck. We will have a single NetApp SAN located in a datacentre for production systems, and a secondary SAN in the head office replicating for DR. The DR SAN will also be used for the test/dev systems.

This we know should be simple and easy to deploy, but we are looking at the backups. We would like to use snapshot's as the primary backup/restore strategy but would also like to take the data off the SAN to protect against a complete SAN failure. The backups would be performed at the DR site. Question is, are the following achievable?

  • Can the contents of the snapshot's be backed up at the DR site, rather than the snapshot itself?
  • To back up snapshots in either CommVault or Netbackup I take it NDMP is required?
  • Could a 2000 series SAN cope with replicating from production, running dev/test and also running SnapVault if required?
  • With SnapVault can we do granular recovery? e.g. restore single exchange mailbox from 6 months ago or individual restore of a file from within a VMDK file?

I have a feeling that to do some of that, backup using client agents and something like NetBackup would be required.

Thanks in advance,

B

Re: Protecting data within SnapMirror's at DR site

Hi and welcome to the forums!

Any design is a complex subject & as they say, your mileage may vary - depending on SLAs, type & amount of data, preferences, etc.

First & foremost I recommend reading this two papers:

http://now.netapp.com/NOW/knowledge/docs/ontap/rel732/pdfs/ontap/onlinebk.pdf

http://now.netapp.com/NOW/knowledge/docs/ontap/rel732/pdfs/ontap/tapebkup.pdf

Re your specific questions:

  • Can the contents of the snapshot's be backed up at the DR site, rather than the snapshot itself?

If you mean e.g. a database, not the snapshot containing database, then ideally you should FlexClone your target snapshots, mount them to a host & do a backup utilising host agent (say from NetBackup)

  • To back up snapshots in either CommVault or Netbackup I take it NDMP is required?

Yes, providing you are talking about backup to tape. If your snapshots have been created by relevant SnapManager products (say for SQL), you don't need host agents any longer, as application consistency is handled by SnapManager.

  • Could a 2000 series SAN cope with replicating from production, running dev/test and also running SnapVault if required?

That purely depends on your workload. With SnapMirror though, most of the work is done on the source filer, not the destination. What are you going to use SnapVault for? Cascading SnapMirror targets to have a tertiary set of snapshots with independent (from primary) retention policy? Doable, and actually in some cases may remove the need for tape.

  • With SnapVault can we do granular recovery? e.g. restore single exchange mailbox from 6 months ago or individual restore of a file from within a VMDK file?

Yes, if you have FlexClone licensed, you can clone any SnapVault snapshot, mount it to a host & do a granular restore.

Hope it helps.

Regards,

Radek

Re: Protecting data within SnapMirror's at DR site

Hi Radek, thanks for the quick response.

We'll have do some reading of the links, hopefully they'll give us a good background. To summarise: -

  • To do granular recovery the snapshot would need to be restored from tape (if required) and then the Snap would be mounted through FlexClone'ing it. This would allow granular recovery of the snapshot contents.
  • To do file level restores from within VM's would require the above process and logging into the VM's to retrieve the files. Otherwise an agent would need to used for a hot backup of the server from the source.

As for using CommVault/Netbackup, we want the backups to be secured on a third-party system to protect against a complete NetApp failure. It's unlikely I know, but if there was a major bug that wiped all the data/snapshots there is a big problem. We can use either disk backup (e.g. DataDomain) or tape but haven't decided which yet, need to look at the costs and benefits/restrictions of both methods.

Thanks,

B

Re: Protecting data within SnapMirror's at DR site

  • To do granular recovery the snapshot would need to be restored from tape (if required) and then the Snap would be mounted through FlexClone'ing it. This would allow granular recovery of the snapshot contents.

Well, not in every case - non-Windows OSes are happy with mounting read-only snapshots, whilst Windows needs a writeable clone. Also, this is totally irrelevant for file shares (CIFS or NFS), as you can always browse your snaps & do drag-and-drop recovery.

  • To do file level restores from within VM's would require the above process and logging into the VM's to retrieve the files. Otherwise an agent would need to used for a hot backup of the server from the source.

Again, it depends. If we are e.g. talking about non-encrypted NTFS volumes, you can mount them to any running VM & access files regardless of 'original' security settings. Also SMVI 2.0 offers simplified single-file recovery.

As for using CommVault/Netbackup, we want the backups to be secured on a third-party system to protect against a complete NetApp failure.

This makes your solution more complicated as you should not use NDMP backups - their format is proprietary in that sense they can be recovered to a NetApp filer only (with one exception in CommVault world where you can recover CIFS share to a Windows host).

Regards,
Radek

Re: Protecting data within SnapMirror's at DR site

Hi Radek

    • To do file level restores from within VM's would require the above process and logging into the VM's to retrieve the files. Otherwise an agent would need to used for a hot backup of the server from the source.

    Again, it depends. If we are e.g. talking about non-encrypted NTFS volumes, you can mount them to any running VM & access files regardless of 'original' security settings. Also SMVI 2.0 offers simplified single-file recovery.

  • Good point, didn't think about adding the VMDK's to another computer! Does add extra processes to restoring older data, but then again, backups using snapshots are more efficient, its all a trade-off.

    As for using CommVault/Netbackup, we want the backups to be secured on a third-party system to protect against a complete NetApp failure.

    This makes your solution more complicated as you should not use NDMP backups - their format is proprietary in that sense they can be recovered to a NetApp filer only (with one exception in CommVault world where you can recover CIFS share to a Windows host).

    I realise the backups/snapshots are in proprietary format so would need to be restored onto a NetApp filer. The business has a decision to take, do they want the ability to recover all data from the NetApp SAN to an alternative supplier (e.g. EMC, HP, 3PAR) or would restoring to an alternative NetApp SAN be sufficient. If they want to restore to an alternative SAN then we can't use snapshot's as the fail safe.

    Cheers,

    B

    B