VMware Solutions Discussions

SMVI snapshot naming


Playing around with SMVI I noticed that NetApp snapshots get named with what looks like a timestamp and some other unique numbers. Does anyone know of a way to get it to produce consistent names (per flexvol) like the other SnapManager products? It's very useful to have a known predictable name for the most recent snapshot to be able to dump it to tape, for example.VIBE works well this way.


I guess I could set up something to go through the snapshot list and programmatically rename the snapshots to something useful but that seems like a fair amount of work and I'm sure would break the restoration process.


How well does SMVI work with SnapVault? What are others doing about backing up VMs on mass?





SMVI 2.0 will use a consistent naming convention similar to SME (the last Snapshot has “_recent” appended at the end).  The current FCS date is Sept/Oct.


I've run into the same issue wit NDMP to tape as well - and the current workaround for some customers is to still use VIBE scripting for consistent backups that you want to NDMP to tape, and utilize SMVI for the remaining online backup/restore operations (mirror, etc). It's not pretty, but it works, and you don't have to wait and see if SMVI 2 will fix this issue. If you have SnapMirror, you could also NDMP to tape from the destination system and your images will still be consistent.

There are also some scripts out there to find the latest snapshot and rename it (from a unix host), and if I come across any that fit the bill I will post them here.



I am interested in the statement in the last post stating that  "If you have SnapMirror, you could also NDMP to tape from the destination system and your images will still be consistent."

Are you saying that using a NDMP backup tool (we use legato now but will move to netbackup later this year) you can overcome the issue of the Snapshot name? I would assume that do achieve this you would point the backup job at the Volume itself as opposed to a Snapshot thereby overcoming the Snapshot name issue. However you could surely do this at a source volume also and have a consistent snapshot so I am a little bit confused!




I can't speak for SnapMirror, but since I started this thread some months ago we're now using Snapvault on our VMware volumes. I still use VIBE to take consistent snapshots on the primary and now the backup to tape on the secondary just uses NDMP to pull the volume to tape. This works because contents of the secondary volume are always consistent. You can't get a consistent NDMP dump from the primary since that uses a non-consistent snapshot of the live date.



Richard has said this beautifully. Since no operations are occurring at the destination system, you can point NDMP at the volume itself, rather than a snapshot, and the contents remain consistent (with no snapshot naming issues). Doing this at the source volume will leave you with a dirty snapshot, so it's best you point the NDMP backup to a consistent snapshot, which VIBE will allow you to do with a little scripting. Hopefully SMVI will overcome this limitation soon



I am trying to see if there is a tool that will just give me the name of the most recent SMVI snapshot in a given volume.  That way I can customize a backup script to put that particular snapshot off to tape.

Specifically, I have SMVI v 1.2.  I'm running SyncSort BackupExpress 3.1.1.

Any and all help would be appreciated.

Roland Stolfa

Network/Systems Administrator

The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation

580-224-6274 (office)


There is a CLI option to get that information in SMVI 2.0 . If you are looking for a tool , do check out SV-SMVI posted by Matt Robinson above.

-- Parag


Hi Richard.

Redoing the snapshot naming convention for SMVI is on our roadmap. Most likely, it will be in the next release of SMVI. The current feature list for the next release is still being worked on.

The only way to integrate SMVI with SnapVault at this time is to perform a custom scripting solution to wrap SMVI commands and then vault the snapshot. Of course, since the snapshot name contains a generated GUID at this time, that solution may be a bit more complex than needed.




Thanks for the update. Are there any publically available details of the product roadmap for SMVI yet? What is the expected release schedule?

Much appreciated,



If you are looking for a program/script near-term to address this specific requirement, Richard, I'm looking for a few testers for a small application. Let me know, thanks,



I have a customer who I'm pretty sure will be looking for exactly this (they're planning to dump SMVI-generated snapshots to tape via NDMP).

Would you mind getting in touch as to the wrapper script for saner naming?




Im interested in the wrapper script too, can I get a copy plse?

Does anyone know when the release of smvi will be released that will allow the naming convention to make ndmp backup easier....?



I am facing this same dilemma myself - if I could see the scripting/application solution mentioned here - I would be more than happy to give it a shot....please?



I've submitted the first version of SV-SMVI (with a -list option -- please read the documentattion) which can provide information about the most recent snapshot(s) created with SMVI backups. It is not recommended to change the NetApp snapshot name associated to the SMVI backup, as that can impact restore capabilities, but this will give you the snapshot name for implementing SnapVault or other third party backups (TSM, NetBackup, etc.)

The URL is http://communities.netapp.com/docs/DOC-1868. Thanks,



Is the "next release" you are referring to here the 1.1 release which is out now and does not seem to have a "saner naming" scheme?

I am currently using vibe and doing NDMP dumps to tape so I need a consistent name.

As I am currently evaluating SMVI, and like that ease in which it brings together the NetApp/VMware technologies, this lack of a standard naming scheme is a definate deal-breaker. I can't see purchasing it until it has this capability. Actually, I am suprised it doesn't have something that VIBE has.



I couldnt agree more Doug. I'm really looking forward to the new version of SMVI which hopefully will support generic naming.

On a different topic, I'm very impressed with the System Manager 1.0 release.  I already have 2-3 customers using this almost exclusively for general administration.  SnapMirror/SnapVault integration into this tool will be killer!



From a recent presentation, my understanding is that he's referring to 1.1 (not yet out...1.0.1R1 is current....rather confusing I agree).


As far as snapshot creation goes VIBE seems to do an adequate job. There is more of a manual process involved in doing a recovery but it's not so bad to make it annoying.

Having said that, I would be willing to help you out with your application/utility if you wish.




Hi Richard.

I am sorry for the delay in responding.

The requirements for our next release are still being nailed down right now so anything I would say would be subject to the condition that it might change 😉

As for the schedule, we are targetting the first half of 2009 (calendar year, not fiscal).

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