Data ONTAP Discussions

SnapVault questions


We are currently looking at replacing our SAN/Backup infrastructure, potentially with a NetApp / SV solution and I'm trying to get my head around how SV/OSSV/SM(I,SQL,E) would work in a production system but am having a lot of difficulty. Could I have some answers for the below:

  • What would the general process be for doing a restore of an OSSV system. I'm coming from a traditional backup backgroud. Doing a 'single file' type restore sounds fairly straightforward (accessible by CIFS share?), but in terms of a full system restore my understanding is that there is no 'Agent' as such which would handle the client drive restores, and then System State. The solution seems very 'by seat of your pants'. Can anyone elaborate on this process and how people find it?
  • Generally, restoring from a SV seems straight forward. However if we roll long term backup data (yearly) off to tape via NDMP, can someone explain what the experiance would be like to get data back? My understanding is that you lose the ability for granular restores, and basically have to restore the whole volume just go get a single file back. What do other people do for these sorts of situations? Again I'm coming from a traditional backup solution where a long term tape backup behaves the same as a onsite (VTL stored) copy of the data. How would Protection Manager 'see' the tape backups? Is using tapes opening us for a world of hurt?
  • The proposal is just to use SV/OSSV/SM, rather than going down the SnapProtect/CommVault/SyncSort route. Although the former is obviously much cheaper, the other solutions seem to be have less rough edges in terms of management, staging off to tape, restore, etc.. but I've not really seen any of the latter to really know for sure. Can anyone speak to this? Am I being too critical of SV/OSSV/SM?

Many thanks.


SnapVault questions

Let me see if I can add my experiences and see if they are useful to you.

OSSV does not do well in a "bare metal" restore situation. You cannot easily use it to put a server exactly back to the point it was when it was backed up. However, I would recommend that you test the feasability of this before coming to your own conclusion. I have seen some articles out there (somewhere) that explain how to do a system state restore onto un-like hardware. OSSV does indeed have the equivalent of an "agent" but it is very light-weight. To do single file restores you can either access the backup volume via CIFS as you said, or via DFM/Protection Manager if you have it. If you don't have Protection Manager then managing your OSSV backups can be done but there is a lot more effort required to set it up and monitor it.

Restoring from SV is pretty much the same - if the relationship is managed via Protection Manager then restores are easy. Even if the relationship is not managed via Protection Manager you can use the Operations Manager interface to perform a single file restore. You can get as granular as you like.

Most of Netapp's data protection software has no inclusions for tape backup. In the case where your data is an offline media such as this you have to have some mechanism for manually restoring the backup to some temporary location and then making the data available via CIFS or NFS. In this case I don't know of any easy way to use PM to assist you in the restore - it comes down to whatever software you are using the write to tape. It is particularly difficult when working with the SM products since usually LUNs are involved and you have no choice but to restore the entire LUN from tape.

Here, I'm hoping that we can move entirely to a disk-based backup because having a hybrid environment doesn't work that well. We still rely upon a tape copy for DR purposes but in that case we are going to have many more challenges involved.

As far as management is concerned, each software piece seems to have some kind of quirk involved to have to work around. SME always seems to be less picky than SMSQL and SMSP. I have not used SMVI since version 1.0 so I don't know enough about that to be able to comment.

Hope this helps. Feel free to contact me directly if I can offer any other insights.



SnapVault questions

"My understanding is that you lose the ability for granular restores"

This should no longer be valid unless you are using a very old backup product.  By default the filer should come with DAR(direct access restore/recovery) enabled and the major backup players all have their software ready to use it as well.  DAR allows a single file restore from tape.  Netbackup in the 3.4 an 4.5 days did not support DAR, but starting in 5.1 it does.  I know TSM, Legato and CommVault support DAR as well, but not what version support started in.