VMware Solutions Discussions

Very large snapshot sizes


I am using SMVI to do snapshot backups which are used by Netbackup on a weekly basis. It seems that Netbackup NDMP is backing up the entire volume 1 TB rather than just the snapshots. I am not sure if this is correct and the way it should be or if I do not have the correct path location:


When I look at NetApp OnCommand Sys Mgr, the total size for snapshot copies for any given volume (4) does not exceed 50 GB.Am i missing something here?




NetBackup has no concept of snapshot - at least not in NetApp sense. It sees snapshot (quite correctly though) as a point in time, *full* copy of a volume, so NDMP dumps the entire volume to tape.




hi Radek,

Thanks for your fast response!

It appears that I need another feature of Netbackup so that NBU can actually see those snapshots:

Overview of Replication Director

In a Replication Director environment, Symantec NetBackup uses NetApp Snapshot and replication

technologies to provide incremental and unified data protection. NetBackup enables you to create

storage lifecycle policies for unified protection of data from primary storage systems to secondary

and tertiary storage systems.

Replication Director, a NetBackup OpenStorage backup environment, consists of a media server that

accesses storage systems through the DataFabric Manager server. The NetBackup administrator

configures the DataFabric Manager server as the storage server in NetBackup. The DataFabric

Manager server hosts the NetApp Plug-in for Symantec NetBackup.

I thought this wouuld be a much simpler process. it seems that using Snapmirror and SnapVault would eliminate the need for NBU altogether.


I automatically assumed you were doing NDMP backups to tape - in this case Replication Director won't help.

If we're talking about backing up to disk, then SnapMirror & SnapVault doesn't need NBU assistance, indeed


You are correct. I am currently doing NDMP backups to tape of all of my VMware volumes assuming that they were only snapshots. If I incorporated the replication director, I would still be backing up to tape but not using NDMP. The rep director allows the replication to take place to another system`, so I am assuming that i would simply target the secondary system which snapshots were replicated and then point to vulume to backup.


You could use an alternative way to back NetApp storage to tapes which works on top of the NDMP license from Symantec. It is called SMtape and today it works only with ONTAP running in 7-mode. It has its advantages and disadvantages. Head over to http://virtualdatablocks.com/2012/12/16/an-innovative-way-to-backup-to-tapes/ for more details.


You are still dumping the entire volume with SMTape, not just snapshot deltas.


8.1.1 allows incremental SnapMirror updates to tape.


I wasn't aware of this - it is a game changer for SMT!


I am not very familiar with Replication Director, but to me it looks like an umbrella tool effectively just managing NetApp replication technologies.

So if you get rid of tape in favour of secondary storage device, then SnapVault is your friend for long-term backups.

If you want to keep tape, then  backup process will still copy the entire volume - unless you do things outside of NetApp, like mounting a share to a backup server & doing traditional, file-level differential / incremental backups (nothing to do with snapshots though).

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