SMSQL supports data placed in VMDK files on a NFS datastore.
Placing the data in VMDK files has some management bennefits, yet when you add on a Snapvault destination, if becomes a different story in regards to restores.
We have a AFF8060 cDot 8.3 system where the primary data is placed, we use the above approach using NFS, and placing our SQL data in VMDK virtual disks.
Of cause we take case to create a specific datastore for DB+LOG, and one for SnapInfo.
We then create a snapvault relation on the volumes to a secondary system.
We would like to keep one weeks worth of snapshots on the primary system, and 12 months on the secondary system.
This is all setup and works just fine... SnapDrive talks to VSC and snapshots are coordinated with VMware etc.. and even the Snapvault (Archive) option is avaliable inside SnapManager.
And it works just as expected when doing backups.
It besomes a bit more complicated when we want to restore databases older than one week, where we have to access the data on the secondary system.
First of all the backups on the secondary system are not shown inside SMSQL when choosing the Restore option.
You are also unable to mount the datastore from SnapDrive... I suspect that SD tries to mount this as a LUN, and it failes.
Only option that is left is:
1. Create Flexclone on the Secondary system
2. Export the Flexclone to the VM Cluster
3. Mount the datastore in vSphere
4. Attach VMDK to the SQL server
5. Copy the database and log files to the primary volume
6. Attach database in SQL
All the above are manual operations, of cause they can be scriptet, but it becomes even more complicated if you would like to do a up to the minute restore, ie. use the logfiles to roll forward.
I would like to know if any one has found another, and smarter way to deal with this?
Are there some new feature on the way from NetApp which "solves" this ? (Snap Center maybe? Yet I doubt it)
Only other way is to move to LUNs and attach via FC or iSCSI, which then gives us the restore of snapvault snapshots back in the GUI.
Or... (which is entirely possible) have I missed something in the setup?