ONTAP Discussions

SnapProtect questions

peluso
18,889 Views

Hi all,

You may have seen the latest announcement for our new product, SnapProtect.  Please ask your questions - we have technical expertise ready to provide answers and point to useful information.  I will post a few questions here as well to break the ice and open up the conversation.  For more information about the product, start with our product pages. http://www.netapp.com/us/products/protection-software/snapprotect.html

Best,

Terri

Thanks so much!
Terri Peluso
Senior Community Program Manager
177 REPLIES 177

RICKYRIDZON
6,044 Views

As an SE of a NetApp reseller, I was taken aback by this announcement!  This is a CommVault product.  How long have we told customers to stay away from CommVault and to use the Netapp SM tools and now we have to circle back and say "We were wrong about CommVault, you should use it"

I don't quite understand where this fits in the sales process.  Do I encourage SnapProtect over the SM tools?  Personally it tastes very EMCish to me.  NetApp is now integrating 3rd party tools and slapping its name on them?  I get the need for the functionality but it seems that NetApp could've done it themselves by unifying all of the SM products into one suite.

Just my two cents.

martinrudjakobsen
6,842 Views

I have given up getting our snapvault/snapmirror/snapmanager for */snapdrive to work. Even with consultants on the job, we have not managed to get a proper backup of our MS-SQL server since we had it installed in January, protection manager seemed out of focus on which functionalities it wanted to do and I fail to see how it can scale for anything larger than a few servers without having to use tons of time maintaining it and we only have arount 1000 servers(80% virtual). So we have almost already decided to use commvault. Now if I can get it officially and directly from NetApp it's even better and I can't wait to take another look at it.

ajaywil2000
6,842 Views

We currently use SMO, SMVI, and SMSQL - how is this different?  Should we switch to SnapProtect?

mar
NetApp Alumni
5,087 Views

@ Ajaywill200.

SMVI, SMO and SMSQL are perfectly good products, but if you require disk-to-disk-to-tape support and full catalog, then SnapProtect would be the appropriate solution for you.

Ray

eberlein
5,086 Views

Re: SnapProtect or SnapManager, start with who owns backups within the customer org:

-Backup team: SnapProtect is designed for customers who have a group responsible for backup acorss multiple environments (applications, OSes, virtual/physical,etc). 

-App/DBA team: SnapManagers for applications like Exchange, SQL Server, Oracle, etc. are appropriate if the goal to to delegate backup/recovery to application admins / DBA.  Additional capabilities beyond backup, such as storage provisioning, are available with this model.

-Virtual infrasture team: SnapManager for Virtual Infrastructure (SMVI) or Hyper-V (SMHV), when a virtualization-centric approach is desired

datacenterdude
5,405 Views

Hey gang, @that1guynick here....

This is the way we see things eventually evolving.  Not current, but more future, going forward...

  1. SnapProtect will be positioned as our primary     tool for backing up solutions running on VMware, Citrix, and enterprise-wide backup opportunities. This includes vCloud Director.
  2. SnapManager for App X is our     primary tools for backing up solutions running on Hyper-V and remaining physical realms.  This is not to say SnapProtect cannot tackle physical as well.
  3. SnapCreator is a technology enablement tool, like the Data Ontap PowerShell Toolkit, and will be promoted as a tool that enables one when there are no solutions.

Now, how does this affect your current DFM/OM environment?  You've likely heard about OnCommand.  The future of these products are on our public website, and if you're familiar with DFM/OM, you'll recognize a lot of these names and will be able to draw your own conclusions.

http://www.netapp.com/us/products/management-software/

-Nick

ajaywil2000
5,442 Views

So use SnapProtect as a replacement for SMVI or SMO when you ahve Oracle running as VM's ?  Is that correct?

datacenterdude
5,442 Views

Oracle is a hard example due to people's acceptance of running Oracle in a virtual environment, and Oracle's support stance, but yes, in general, we're hoping that SnapProtect will be the all-in-one solution that bundles everything that SMVI + SMO/E/SQL, and includes cataloguing and other integration points, such as SnapVault and SnapMirror (or both!).

ajaywil2000
5,087 Views

Cool.  Right now we are using SMO w/(in guest iSCSI initiator) +SMVI+SRM to backup and replicate 70+ Oracle dB's in order to maintain quiesced snapshots.  Needless to say, this is not ideal and dosent scale well. 

Can't wait to put everything on the VM and do away with the iSCSI - will we still need snapdrive or will the oracle "Agent" installed on theVM be able to take the quiesced snapshots?

mar
NetApp Alumni
5,087 Views

@ajaywil2000

With SnapProtect, SnapDrive is not required. The SnapProtect IDA agent for Oracle sitting in your VM can take application consistent Snapshot copies.

Ray

radek_kubka
5,839 Views

-Nick,

Nice & neat positioning - I like it, makes a lot of sense!

However, I must say I still feel a little bit sorry for SnapCreator: it sports really nice architecture & SnapProtect deal may be a kiss of death for investing more resources in developing it further...

Regards,
Radek

datacenterdude
6,044 Views

@Radek,

I agree completely, and it has been fun to watch evolve into what it is today!

That said, I think SnapCreator is going to be the hippie of the bunch.  He was originally crafted with vCloud Director in mind, backing up VM's and vApp's (and the app's inside of them) inside of tenant Org's in a Service Provider model.  I also tend to think we're going to see a wider adoption of SnapCreator in environments that like granular control/scripting and feel more comfortable at the CLI, as well as shops that cannot afford the full-blown utilities of SMVI and SnapProtect.

But SnapCreator aside, back to the regularly scheduled program. 

SnapProtect FTW!!

datacenterdude
5,405 Views

The new SnapProtect TR-3920 has been made public.

http://media.netapp.com/documents/tr-3920.pdf

avbohemen
6,007 Views

Some more questions and doubts, I finally hope to get some usefull answers on a technical point of view... So, SnapProtect is the all-in-one solution that replaces SMVI, SMO/Exch/SQL and local snapshots for NAS volumes, in a one-pane-of-glass management solution with SnapMirror and SnapVault integration. Right? This sounds to good to be true...

Now, if I understand this thread correctly (question 1), I still need DFM/ProtMan/ProvMan? Why? Can't SnapProtect do the updates for me, after I create any mirror/vault relationships myself? DFM gives me very limited options in how to create those relationships and manages them really poorly (my humble opinion). How does SnapProtect copy a specific snapvault snapshot to tape if that snapshot is not created by itself but by PM instead? It would make SnapProtect a real one-in-all solution if it could also manage mirror and vault relations and their retentions, without the need for DFM.

Question 2: Do I still need SnapDrive (for Windows)? To create a consistent LUN snapshot, with or without a database on it, I need a VSS Hardware provider, like SnapDrive. Is it still required? If no, how is this tackeled? Does SnapProtect have its own VSS Hardware Provider? Oh, and are there any required windows hotfixes, like the immense list for windows 2003?

Question 3: Does SnapProtect still require a specific volume/qtree/lun layout for SQL, Exchange and Oracle? Is that layout comparable to the requirements of SMO/SMSQL/SMExch? Why/why not? Does SnapProtect also have the very usefull migration wizards?

Question 4: What about compatibility and interoperability? SMO on Windows does not work with SnapVault. SMVI does not work with SnapVault without scripting. SMSQL has VMDK support, but not with PM/SnapVault integration. And what if I set up a seperate mirror/vault network interface? I'm still having issues with that with current snap* solutions. Are all (and I mean really all) integrations supported by SnapProtect? Are the latest versions of Exchange, SQL, Oracle, VMware ESX, Sharepoint etc supported? I read there is currently no ONTAP 8 support?? You can't bring a product to market without it! That just makes no sense.

I'm sorry if I sound rather suspicious, but I really hope you can take away my concerns.

e_honcoop
6,008 Views

+1 on Anton's questions, im looking forward to the reply.

SnapProtect has my utmost interest atm, being both NetApp ánd CommVault engineer

vmsjaak13
6,008 Views

Hi Anton,

there is a software technical FAQ available on the fieldportal, which answers a couple of your questions.

Regards,

Niek Baakman

datacenterdude
6,008 Views

Some more questions and doubts, I finally hope to get some usefull answers on a technical point of view... So, SnapProtect is the all-in-one solution that replaces SMVI, SMO/Exch/SQL and local snapshots for NAS volumes, in a one-pane-of-glass management solution with SnapMirror and SnapVault integration. Right? This sounds to good to be true...

In a word? Yes. 

Now, if I understand this thread correctly (question 1), I still need DFM/ProtMan/ProvMan? Why? Can't SnapProtect do the updates for me, after I create any mirror/vault relationships myself? DFM gives me very limited options in how to create those relationships and manages them really poorly (my humble opinion). How does SnapProtect copy a specific snapvault snapshot to tape if that snapshot is not created by itself but by PM instead? It would make SnapProtect a real one-in-all solution if it could also manage mirror and vault relations and their retentions, without the need for DFM.

SnapProtect only requires OM/Protection Manager and mostly only uses Protection Manager as a sort of SDK for making storage provisioningand replication requests. The only time the user needs to directly interface with Protection Manager is to create and manage the resource pools that SnapProtect uses for secondary storage. SnapProtect automagically provisions secondary volumes and qtrees for SnapVault or SnapMirror when new clients are added to storage policies. This is actually pretty slick. SnapProtect creates and deletes all snapshots and directly triggers all replication. For this reason, SnapProtect has no problem going from snapshot to SnapVault to Tape.

Question 2: Do I still need SnapDrive (for Windows)? To create a consistent LUN snapshot, with or without a database on it, I need a VSS Hardware provider, like SnapDrive. Is it still required? If no, how is this tackeled? Does SnapProtect have its own VSS Hardware Provider? Oh, and are there any required windows hotfixes, like the immense list for windows 2003?

SnapDrive is not required. SnapProtect has its own VSS HW provider.

Question 3: Does SnapProtect still require a specific volume/qtree/lun layout for SQL, Exchange and Oracle? Is that layout comparable to the requirements of SMO/SMSQL/SMExch? Why/why not? Does SnapProtect also have the very usefull migration wizards?

There are no migration wizards, such as the Configuration Wizard in SME (if that's what you're referring to).  This was built into SME due to the inherent requirement of remote storage.  Maybe it's best to understand that SnapProtect doesn't care about this sort of thing, meaning we can now support backups of VM's running these applications with VMDK's running in ESX datastores.  (Hope that makes sense?)   In other words, comparing this to the SnapManager products is an apples to oranges comparison, and should not be equated that way.  As far as specific disk layouts required?  No.

Question 4: What about compatibility and interoperability? SMO on Windows does not work with SnapVault. SMVI does not work with SnapVault without scripting. SMSQL has VMDK support, but not with PM/SnapVault integration. And what if I set up a seperate mirror/vault network interface? I'm still having issues with that with current snap* solutions. Are all (and I mean really all) integrations supported by SnapProtect? Are the latest versions of Exchange, SQL, Oracle, VMware ESX, Sharepoint etc supported? I read there is currently no ONTAP 8 support?? You can't bring a product to market without it! That just makes no sense.

A lot of work went into adding SnapVault and SnapMirror support to the application snapshot capabilities that were already available from CommVault with Simpana 9.  We support BOTH replication engines as well as varying cascades and fan-out configurations.  I'm not aware of any networking configuration restrictions.  There is an interopability matrix you could use for specifics on the NOW site, but for the most part, the latest versions of the popular tier 1 apps are supported.  One that I personally know of off-hand (because I looked) that is NOT supported [yet] is Oracle on Windows.

ONTAP 8.0.1 7-mode support is right around the corner.  It is currently being qualified.

If I didn't cover all concerns, please let me know!

-Nick

avbohemen
6,008 Views

(1) So, DFM/PM is only used for provisioning policies? Not for retention policies or protection policies? All datasets only have a protection policy to create the secondary volumes and relationships? All schedules and retentions are non-existing? Snapshot creation, snapmirror and snapvault updates are all initiated by SnapProtect? That would be great, exept for the volume naming of Prov.Man...

(2) Ok, as long as it works without problems, that's fine. I've seen a lot of bugs and patch releases of SnapDrive, but I think it is still one of the better NetApp products.

(3) This one, I'm having a hard time with. The thing with volume/qtree/lun requirements is that restores and recovery/log roll-forward are as easy and fast as possible, using Volume SnapRestore or Single File SnapRestore of an entire LUN. I.e. you can't do a LUN snaprestore of a database if you want to roll forward log files and those logs are on the same LUN. You can't do a volume snaprestore if there are control files in the same volume as data-files on Oracle. Etc, etc, etc. If you use such a configuration, you would have to revert to copy-back of datafiles, which takes a lot of time and space on the storage system. Your volumes essentially need to be twice as big for a restore. SMO does that if your config is not 100% correct. Most SnapManager products (SMSQL, SMExch) prevent you from using such a configuration by enforcing a specific volume/lun layout. If SnapProtect does not enforce this, customers think "hey, migrating to snapprotect is easy", until they try to do a restore and run into problems again (and then of course blame the consultant who said that they did not need to seperate their data in various volumes )

(4) I'll probably look into it once Ontap 8.0.2 is supported... until then, I'll do some courses to find out if it's really that good

datacenterdude
4,847 Views

1. Let's make sure we don't get our wires crossed here.  For clarification, in ProtMgr the "Protection policy" applied to the dataset is what determines retention, replication, etc.  ProvMgr just provides the "Service Catalog" functionality by creating logical named pools of storage (typically aggregates) for each of these functions to dump their wares into.  SnapProtect "triggers" protection manager for replication of a dataset, or a "snapmirror update," since that is a native thing to our storage controllers.  Now, this is a good thing, as it's another sort of unmentioned hardware offload.  As I mentioned above, the only time you'll have to touch Prot/Prov Mgr directly is the initial configuration [creation] of the Secondary Storage pool.  SnapProtect takes it from there.  I'm not a fan of the naming convention myself, and it's one thing I've been fighting to get changed.  I'm a fan of the customizable naming you can do in SMO with variables, and fighting to get that incorporated.

2.  SnapDrive is a fantastic product, but at the end of the day, he's a middle-man translator....maybe mediator is a better word... between the app and the storage.  See my post here: http://blogs.netapp.com/varcade/2011/04/snap-words.html where I talk about the "conversation."

3.  We have no way of enforcing people to follow best practices.  We kinda do with the SME Configuration Wizard, but that's still a very convoluted process (to me personally), and I would much rather see people using individual volumes for each set of data (whether it's a 1GB vol for control files, a 1TB vol for data dbf's, 10GB for archlogs, etc), and have all of those snapshotted individually.  This should be the way it's done regardless of what backup software you're using.  I would even run a secondary archlog location to a different filer/array.  Point is, once we start talking virtual, people somehow think they need to shove everything into the same volume/datastore, and don't realize they can just create new datastores that are smaller, and add VMDK's to the VM within each of these.  Then, when you snapshot the VM, it includes all of these disks.  So, in one backup operation, if you have an Oracle VM with 8 different VMDK's in 8 different Datastores (which are 8 different volumes on any number of filers), it's all 1 backup operation with SnapProtect.   I get the impression you understand that though from your posts, it's just a matter of educating the masses, I believe.

4. (off topic) If you're not running at least 8.0.1, get there quick!  So much improvement, biggest ones being 64-bit aggregates, and a general 30% perf improvement based mostly on how we now handle partial writes.

thomas_glodde
6,009 Views

Nick,

will we every see a real, proper single pane of glass for ALL netapp snapmanager for *, snapdrive for *, snapcreater and snapprotect, operations/prot manager and whatever products? Will we see a complete integration of SnapVault as well as SnapMirror into all of the aforementioned products? eg. will we see what customers ask for since the dawn of the first snapmanager products?

Regards,

Thomas

datacenterdude
4,848 Views

@thomas - as someone who was a former customer, I used to wonder the same thing. I was a 1-man show, and managed SMO/SME/SMVI as well as BackupExec, SnapVault, etc.  Now that I get to see what's going on behind the curtain, I better understand what's going on.   The SnapManagers are pretty awesome in and of themselves.  I would sway people that are solely using them for backup to edge over to a SnapProtect.  Because it will do just as good a job of backing up Exchange as SME will, AND has true SM/SV integration built in.  Commvault has been doing it for years in Simpana.  This is nothing new.   Now, if you're doing other things like Configurations, cloning, etc that is above and beyond the scope of "backup," then this continues to be a great use-case for the SnapManager products, and I personally believe we will see them sort of relegated to these types of test/dev roles.

I can tell you that the idea you bring up about single console for SnapManager for * is constantly talked about, but that's all I'm at liberty to tell you at this time. 

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