Snapshots are Cool, but Can SnapCreator do SnapVault and SnapMirror for Me?

After an application backup is done, SnapCreator can perform SnapVault or SnapMirror update for you, so that you get an extra layer of protection.

 

 

 

SnapVault Explained

 

A quick overview of SnapVault is given below.

  • SnapVault is used when you may want to keep minimum retention of snapshots in your Primary Storage, but want to keep longer retention of snapshots in your low-priced (SATA) Secondary Storage.
  • Example, you may want to keep 7 daily snapshots on the Primary Data and 90 daily snapshots on your SnapVault secondary storage.

 

 

* As of SnapCreator 4.0 SnapVault is supported only with 7-mode.

 

 

 

 

SnapCreator can take care of the retentions for you in both Primary and Secondary.

In an example configuration below,  (snapvault source1/qt1 and source2/qt1 to svdest)

                   

If you keep the below options in your SnapCreator config file (example mydatabase.conf)

NTAP_SNAPVAULT_UPDATE=Y

NTAP_SNAPSHOT_RETENTIONS=daily:7

NTAP_SNAPVAULT_RETENTION_AGE=daily:90

SNAPVAULT_VOLUMES=system_A:source1,source2

 

This is how your backup workflow will be with the above config values

1) snapshot (quiesce database and then snapshot)

2) snapvault transfer of primary snapshot to secondary

3) wait for snapvault transfer

4) create snapshot on secondary

5) remove snapshots on the secondary as per your retention policy

6) remove snapshots on the primary as per your retention policy

 

 

SnapCreator by default, performs SnapVault update of ALL the qtrees mentioned in the SNAPVAULT_VOLUMES

 

If you have a volume with multiple qtrees  (qt1, qt2 etc) and want to include only qt1 for the snapvault update you may achieve it by using SNAPVAULT_QTREE_INCLUDE=system_a:/vol/source1/qt1,/vol/source2/qt1

 

 

 

SnapMirror Explained

 

SnapMirror is used when you want to have like to like replica between your Primary and Secondary Storage volumes.

The Source Volume is Read-Writable whereas the SnapMirror Destination (Mirrored) Volume is Read-Only.

After breaking the SnapMirror relationship, you will be able to use the destination volume in Read-Write mode. (example: in case of disaster).

You can also spin flexclones (Read-Writable) off of your snapmirror snapshot.

This is heavily used in Production Site to DR and then spinning clones for DEV/QA from snapmirror snapshots.

 

                   

 

 

 

 

SnapCreator can take care of the SnapMirror update for you in the below given example,

                   

 

 

NTAP_SNAPMIRROR_UPDATE=Y

SNAPMIRROR_VOLUMES=system_A:sourcevol

 

 

 

How do I clone from a snapshot available from my snapmirror destination?

                    NTAP_CLONE_SECONDARY=Y

If you have the above value set in your config file,

SnapCreator performs a backup->snapmirror update

          and then creates a clone from your secondary (snapmirror destination).

 

This feature is heavily used where you want to refresh your “Report Database” on nightly or weekly basis.

If you don’t want to spin flexclones on the primary, but want to run flexclones out of your DR location (SnapMirror), then this is a great feature to make use of.

 

 

 

 

 

How do I protect my SnapVault Backups?

(primary->snapvault->snapmirror)

Although  SnapVault is incredibly effective in protecting the data stored on primary storage systems, some sites might also want to take measures to protect against disasters that affect the SnapVault secondary itself.

One of the best options is to protect the SnapVault secondary with SnapMirror technology.

If the original SnapVault secondary fails, the extra SnapVault secondary can continue to backup the SnapVault primaries.

 

               /vol/source1/qt1          (snapvault)              /vol/svdest/source1qt1    (SnapMirror)  svdest->cascademirror

               /vol/source2/qt1          (snapvault)              /vol/svdest/source2qt1

    

# Snapshot Options #

NTAP_SNAPSHOT_RETENTIONS=daily:7

# SnapVault Options #

NTAP_SNAPVAULT_UPDATE=Y

NTAP_SNAPVAULT_NODELETE=N

NTAP_SNAPVAULT_RETENTION_AGE=daily:90

NTAP_SNAPVAULT_RETENTIONS=daily:90

NTAP_SNAPVAULT_WAIT=30

SNAPVAULT_VOLUMES=system_A:source1,source2

# SnapMirror Options #

NTAP_SNAPMIRROR_WAIT=60

NTAP_SNAPMIRROR_USE_SNAPSHOT=Y

NTAP_SNAPMIRROR_UPDATE=Y

SNAPMIRROR_CASCADING_VOLUMES=system_B:svdest

NTAP_SNAPMIRROR_CASCADING_UPDATE=Y

 

This is how your backup workflow will be with the above config values

1) snapshot (quiesce database and then snapshot)

2) snapvault transfer of primary snapshot to secondary

3) wait for snapvault transfer

4) create snapshot on secondary

5) snapmirror transfer of secondary snapshot to tertiary (svdest to cascademirror)

5) remove snapshots on the secondary as per your retention policy

6) remove snapshots on the primary as per your retention policy

 

Can SnapCreator throttle the transfer speed for me?

SnapCreator can also throttle the transfer speed with these parameters.

(Maximum bandwidth SnapVault is allowed to use in kbps, if not set SnapVault will use maximum available bandwidth.)

                    NTAP_SNAPVAULT_MAX_TRANSFER=

(Maximum bandwidth SnapMirror is allowed to use in kbps, if not set SnapMirror will use maximum available bandwidth.)

                    NTAP_SNAPMIRROR_MAX_TRANSFER=

 

 

How about Restore Procedure?

SnapCreator restore workflows (and backupList workflows) are aware of your primary and secondary snapshots and give you an option to choose to restore from.

In an example screenshot below, a config (c2sv) is shown with all available backups (Primary / SnapVault / SnapMirror)


 

How about clustered ONTAP?

 

SnapCreator 4.0 is qualified to work only with cDOT 8.1 and hence SnapCreator only supports volume snapmirror relationships between clustered ONTAP controllers.

 

SnapCreator 4.1 will support cDOT 8.2 and hence can support both volume SnapMirror and storage-efficient SnapVault (a cDOT only new feature).

 

General Notes:

  • SnapCreator does NOT create, manage SnapVault or SnapMirror relationships. The SnapVault and SnapMirror relationships need to be created ahead of the time to use it in the backup workflow.
  • For SnapMirror and SnapVault relationships, you MUST provide the storage system Name, not the IP address
  • All credentials to the SnapMirror or SnapVault Destination controller credentials MUST be known to the config that is using it.
  • Vfiler Units are supported but ensure that the vfilers are resolvable from snapcreator server and ZAPIs can be executed from the SnapCreator server to the vfiler directly.
  • 7-Mode to cDOT Volume SnapMirror is not a valid methodology for DR or Backup.
  • On cDOT 8.1, cDOT 8.1.1, and cDOT 8.1.2, SnapCreator 4.0.0 does not support SnapVault, Operations Manager console, the NetApp Management Console data protection capability, and Open Systems SnapVault.
  • For SnapMirror and SnapVault, the storage system name must be resolved either through the Domain Name System (DNS) or in /etc/hosts.
  • For clustered Data ONTAP, the cluster and Vserver must be resolved either though the DNS or in /etc/hosts
  • SnapCreator 4.0 does not support the below Cascading Relationship. 
    (Primary->SnapMirror->SnapVault)

 

In a nutshell,

Both SnapCreator 3.6 and 4.0 versions support below features along with SnapMirror

     NGS support

     SnapMirror update

     Manage backup retentions on primary storage

     Management interfaces

     Secondary interfaces


Both SnapCreator 3.6 and 4.0 versions support below along with SnapVault

     NGS Support

     SnapVault update

     Manage retentions on primary storage

     Manage retentions on secondary storage

     SnapVault Exclude (Include) qtrees

     Management interfaces

     Secondary interfaces

     Primary->SnapVault->SnapMirror  (cascaded update)

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

Are there plans to support P -> VSM -> SV cascade in the future?

Frequent Contributor

told me earlier that Snap Creator won't be supporting this in the near future.

Please submit an enhancement request here http://nt-ap.com/1bePlWU and as a community moderator I can take it to the core team.

Thanks.