I'm new to netapp and trying to get my head wrapped around which tool to use for backing up my VM's.   I like simple, I like to have one way to do things but need some direction.  I've got a two controller FAS2020 system with a shelf of SAS drives, the controller has SATA drives.

I have the license for SMVI and have had that setup for a little over a month creating backups of my roughly 10 servers onto the snapshot space on the SAS shelf.  Over the last couple of days I've starting using OSSV and SnapVault to create backups of my physical machines onto a volume on my SATA drives and this seems to work well.

I have the NDMP option with Backup Exec and both volumes (SMVI snaps and SnapVaults) are going to tape.

The real question is:  Should I just install OSSV on the virtual machines and back them up to the SATA volume, which would treat them just a s physical machine?  What is the advantages in using SMVI over SnapVault?  I see that I can restore the whole VM with SMVI, but for file level the OSSV feature seems to be a little more user friendly.  Needless to say easier on my department to know where to get the backups as well.



Slade Hornick

Texas Farm Bureau


SMVI will be able to restore your VMs from a full VM failure faster than OSSV.  The SnapVault going to the SATA is an efficient way to leverage the SATA disk for long-term online backup retention.  Most of the time when you need to restore a full server from backup, it is within a few days of the issue, not from a backup three weeks ago.

Why not use both?

SMVI with local snapshots with short retention for fast full VM restores

OSSV to SATA for longer-term single file restore

Edit - I see you want to pick only one tool, which makes sense to me.  Thus the solution will depend on which type of restore you perform more often, which I would guess is file level restore.  Either way - test a full VM restore using both tools so you know what the process is before making your choice, and so you can communicate the Recovery Time Objective to your business (or let them dictate it, either way 


Hope this helps,

- Hadrian


Thanks - that seems like a good solution and makes better usage of my SAS vs SATA drive space.


It the priority is to have one solution, then OSSV would be best.

If the priority is to have the quickest restores, I'd use SMVI for the VMs and OSSV

If the priority is file level restores (like our colleague has already replied) I'd use OSSV

I like the way SMVI allows you to mount an ESX VMFS, right from the GUI to the NetApp storage on the ESX hosts.  Then you can browse the VMs on that VMFS and copy the VMDK's needed.  That feature makes it my favourite.

I'm reading about limitations on OSSV for bare metal recovery and restoring the registry.   Seems you are expected to reinstall the OS and even reinstall the software before doing the restore.  Found that in the FAQ and it seems crazy.  What's the point of restoring the system state (registry) and files if you still have to reinstall your software?

Unfortunately SMVI can't do physical so either virtualise everything of have two solutions--in my view