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Best Practices for SnapManager for SQL and SnapDrive 6.3 with VMDKs

Hi all,

With the introduction of SnapDrive 6.3 and VMDK support, how does this affect the way Ideploy SQL in virtual environments?

I am familiar with SQL data layout using RDMs and LUNs through the Microsoft ISCSI initiator in the VM but how does this affect SQL data layout using VMDKs? Do I just substitute LUNs for VMDKs on NFS volumes using the same logs/database separation? Is the sizing process the same? Is throughout on a VMDK in a NFS volume the same as a LUN?

Any help in this area would be useful, as we will be deploying more and more of these environments using SnapDrive 6.3 and this would really simplify things.

Thanks,

David Brown Senior Virtualisation and Storage Consultant for EACS Limited - NCDA, NCIE

Re: Best Practices for SnapManager for SQL and SnapDrive 6.3 with VMDKs

Hi David,

I know you did not expect a question here, but I am interested if you have succesfully deployed SD6.3?

I have tried installing it in my lab, one windows 2008r2 virtual machine in a vSphere 4.0 environment. The datastore is an NFS shared volume on a fas270 (Data ONTAP 7.3.4). SnapDrive installs and runs fine, but the list of disks is empty. The VirtualCenter server is also a VM and it is a standalone server (not part of an Active Directory domain). VSC 2.0 is installed and running on defaul port.

I would very much appretiate it if you can give me a hint of what could be wrong/where to check for details, or describe your config.

Regarding your questions, I guess that the performance of NFS should be better than iSCSI from within a VM. As far as disk layout is concerned I would keep it the same e.g. LUN=VMDK. Since snapshots are volume based it is probably good to separate data and log disks into different volumes.

thanks,

Mladen

Re: Best Practices for SnapManager for SQL and SnapDrive 6.3 with VMDKs

SDW 6.3 requires VSC 2.0.1 for integration to work and  is scheduled to release soon.

Re: Best Practices for SnapManager for SQL and SnapDrive 6.3 with VMDKs

David,

This is a question that is being looked at internally  and our SQL experts should address this in a TR or BPG soon.   I will see if we can get some info posted on this thread.

Re: Best Practices for SnapManager for SQL and SnapDrive 6.3 with VMDKs

Thanks 

Re: Best Practices for SnapManager for SQL and SnapDrive 6.3 with VMDKs

At the end of this week we are installing SQL 2008 on a new Server 2008 R2 VM. This server, besides a C: drive has 4 other drives; System Databases, User Databases, Logs, and Snapinfo. These 4 other drives are NFS shares from my FAS3020. My current SQL server uses iSCSI LUNS from my filer which uses OnTap 7.3.2.

On this VM I will be installing Snapdrive 6.3 and Snapmanger for SQL 5.1. My understanding is this combination should allow me to backup my SQL databases when they are stored on NFS shares.

We are also installing vCenter Server 4.1 on a new VM running Server 2008 R2. On this VM I will also be installing Snapdrive 6.3, SMVI, and VSC 2.0.1 (when it is released). My understanding is this will allow SMVI to work properly.

I am bit confused now. Since VSC 2.0.1 is a plugin to the vCenter, is it needed to make Snapshots work properly on my new SQL server I described above?

Re: Best Practices for SnapManager for SQL and SnapDrive 6.3 with VMDKs

Hi

IF you need VMDK support you need the VSC 2.0.1 along with SMSQL and SDW. VSC 2.0.1 is not yet released. So the idea is that you would install VSC 2.0.1 (unified plug-in consisting of VSC, RCU and SMVI) and VSC 2.0.1 will push the vdisk apis which will enable VMDK support for SMSQL.

Regards

Amrita

Re: Best Practices for SnapManager for SQL and SnapDrive 6.3 with VMDKs

Now this is making a bit more sense. Is this what gets installed then on each server:

vCenter Server - VSC 2.0.1

SQL Server - Snapdrive and SMSQL

SMVI and RCU is incorporated into VSC 2.0.1 and not a separate install.

Is VSC 2.0.1 still on schedule to be released before months end? I am going to move forward with my project and install SQL on my new server. It sounds like the databases and log files can be stored on NFS fine, the only thing I can't do until VSC 2.0.1 is released is take snapshots. Is this correct?

Re: Best Practices for SnapManager for SQL and SnapDrive 6.3 with VMDKs

Yes you are correct about installations. So you need VSC 2.0.1 in order to backup and restore SQL databases that are available on VMDK. And you need to the VSC 2.0.1 to make use of all our cool VSC, RCU and SMVI functionality (in case you are not using VSC 2.0 ). It’s still month end. I’ll let you now once it’s posted.

Regards

Amrita

Re: Best Practices for SnapManager for SQL and SnapDrive 6.3 with VMDKs

I am using SMVI 2.0 installed directly on my current vCenter Server to backup all of my VMs and it works great. I also have VSC 1.0 installed as a plugin but have not used VSC 2.0 yet. Three questions:

1. If I want to backup my VMs once I am on my new setup (vSphere 4.1) can I just install VSC 2.0? From your post is sounds like this would work for using the SMVI functionality built into VSC 2.0. The only thing I could not do is backup my SQL databases until VSC 2.0.1 is released.

2. I will be upgrading to Exchange 2010 in the next few months. Right now I have Exchange 2007 running under VMWare with two iSCSI luns and SME for backup. With my new Exchange server can I store the database and log files on an NFS share and use VSC 2.0.1 along with Snapdrive 6.3 and SME to do the backup?

3. Will Netapp get to a point where SMVI will backup Exchange and SQL databases and log files directly? In other words, the functionality built into SME and SMSQL such as queuescing databases and truncating log files can be handled by SMVI?