A few days ago I installed and configured SMVI. We have a single NFS datastore for VMWare and use Snapmirror for replication to our DR site. I created two jobs in SMVI:
1. This job includes all of my VMs except Exchange and SQL. This job has the "Perform VMware consistency snapshot" checked. Exchange and SQL both have LUNs presented to them via Microsoft's iSCSI initiator so I could not include them in this job. VMWare snapshots do not work for VMs where there are iSCSI luns present.
2. This job includes just Exchange and SQL. This job has the "Perform VMWare consistency snapshot" unchecked.
Right now these jobs run an hour apart and both initiate a Snapmirror update. Do I need two jobs? Even though Exchange and SQL are not included in the first job it seems to me that they really are. The first job will not do a VMWare snapshot of Exchange or SQL but it does do a Netapp snapshot of the datastore and then a Snapmirror. Since all of my VMs are in one datastore, it seems that my first job will capture Exchange and SQL in the Netapp snapshot and then Snapmirror replicates the entire NFS datastore to my DR site. I do want to be able to restore a single VM if need be.
I am running SMVI 2.0 and OnTap 7.3.2 on my FAS3020 filers
You are right that you are capturing the Exchange and SQL VMs in the first backup. However since they were not quieced with VMware snapshots, SMVI doesn't show them available to restore in the GUI. You can however still restore them from the first job if you had too by using the Mount button to access the backup, then doing a manual copy and paste of the VMDK files. If you are OK with that process you don't need the 2nd job which will save you some space.
If I cannot run VMWare snapshots on SQL and Exchange since they have iSCSI luns attached then which method should I use to back them up:
1. Use a Netapp snapshot and then a Snapmirror which at least gets me a crash consistent backup. The hope is if I ever need to restore from this snapshot that these servers would come up fine even though no VMWare snapshot was taken
2. We use Commvault for our backup on stand alone servers (ones that are not virtualized). I could run a Commvault agent on my Exchange and SQL servers. This would get me a good backup including system state