We're a Windows shop, but we're getting ready to bring up our first Linux box. And I'm trying to figure out how we're going to back it up...
I know that the recent versions of SnapDrive for Windows are "VMware aware", so that you can snap a drive that's really in a VMDK and SnapDrive will take care of all the bothersome details for you (as long as you have the VSC, etc). It doesn't appear that SnapDrive for Unix has learned these skills yet. Is that correct?
I've read a little bit about Linux LVM snapshots and it would be really smooth if SnapDrive could just hijack that functionality and do the right thing under the covers, but I suspect that hasn't happened.
For those of you with Linux VMs, how do you back them up? I've got a big learning curve to climb. If someone can just give me some places to start reading, that would be a big help.
I think this query would be better for the SnapDrive Community to answer, but I can give you the information I know! SnapDrive for Unix is just as aware of VMware underneath as SnapDrive for Windows is. You can review the abilities and limitations in the Installation and Administration Guide on the download page. I see a lot of customers using this in conjunction with VSC for VM level backups, and you can download it from here (the documentation is on the download page). Depending on the requirements and amount of I/O in your VM's, you can test to see if you'll get consistent-"enough" backups just using VMware snapshots, this usually works well with the VM's that aren't running any kind of databases, but for those you would use a combination of SDU and VSC to get a full and consistent backup from both.
You can also investigate the SnapCreator Framework, which can let you do end to end snapshots, and integrates with nearly every database and platform out there, you can learn more about SnapCreator from here. Unlike many other products SnapCreator provides the ability to integrate end to end for a NetApp Snapshot based backup solution, quiescing application through filesystem prior to a volume level snapshot on the controller.
Taking it another step further, you can automate your entire environment by leveraging OnCommand Workflow Automation (WFA) - this is an incredibly powerful, community supported automation framework, and can do anything your heart desires! You can learn more about WFA from the community pages here. WFA can do a lot more, like allow you the ability to consistently provision storage, integrate with VSC, Oracle, SDU, SDW, etc.