Someone inform NetApp marketing that their naming standard is very confusing.
That said, I was wondering if someone could break down what software I need in order to meet my goals. I currently use Virtual Storage Console plug-in with VMWare to manage my VM snapshots and while it works great for the VM level it doesn't do anything, so far as I can tell, for the application level. I would like to begin doing application level snapshots of Exchange 2010, MSSQL, and Oracle DB 11g. I contacted NetApp support for advice on this and together we Google'd our way through this question without ever really arriving at an answer. In the end we decided I should give SnapManager for Virtual Infrastructure a shot- big mistake. Particularly because I installed this on my vCenter box. This of course totally fubared the VSC plugin and forced me to revert to an older snapshot (which was challenging because it was the vCenter server). So if someone could provide me with the best practice software solutions to meet my needs I would really appreciate it.
That really depends what your needs are As a matter of fact, you can do application-consistent snapshots using VSC via VSS integration - it is far from a fully blown backup / recover functionality (e.g. you need to truncate logs manually), but might be enough for some people.
'Traditional' NetApp stack though would look as follows:
- VSC for protecting OS partitions of your VMs
- SnapDrive for managing data partitions (typically RDMs) inside VMs
- relevant SnapManager products for protecting your application data - SQL, Exchange, Oracle, SharePoint & even SAP
SnapProtect is an alternative to this. Although in NetApp camp it looks a bit like a new kid on the block, it is in fact a rebadged CommVault Simpana, which is a very mature & feature-rich solution, very well suited for a virtual environment. It still leverages NetApp snapshots though for taking backups.