SeanDA
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Enthusiast

Using NetApp SnapManager inside a VM

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I have a NetApp 3000 Series and have connected 6 ESX hosts to it using QLogic iSCSI offload adapters. I have created 2 x 600 GB luns for shared VMFS-3 datastores, which contain about 10 VMs each - this all works perfect.

Now I want to add an Exchange 2003 server and a SQL 2000 server. As I see it I have a few options here:

1. Create a VMFS3 datastore and create virtual disks within it

2. Create a VMFS-3 datastore for the Windows OS and then use RDM's on the SAN for the application data volumes

3. Use a VMFS-3 datastore for the Windows OS, then install MS software iSCSI initiator inside the VM and mount the luns direct from the SAN

I currently have this set-up as option 3, which appears to work ok. The reason for this is that I wish to use NetApp SnapManager for Exchange/SQL and as I see it this is the only way I can acheive this.....

Does anyone have a configuration similar to this, who can pass on any hints or tips? or pass any information on regarding gotchas or best practice?

Thanks in advance

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server_team
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Enthusiast

Hi SeanDA,

We have a 3020, and we have tried the other options. Netapp Recomend using 3. This is the way we have it set up. We have not had any problems

Regards

Server.team

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FERC_ESX1
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Enthusiast

My impression of iSCSI is that you don't want to mix you regular network traffic and your iSCSI traffic on the same NIC. If you use setup #3 as you described below, are you dedicating a NIC on the host for iSCSI to VMs and have you created a vSwitch with just that NIC?

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RussH
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Enthusiast

Hi,

As you seemed to of found out, as it stands today the only way of using Snapmanager today from within a guest is using the MS iSCSI initiator. Even RDM doesnt work with SnapManager. I understand VMWare are working with Netapp to find a solution to this.

Cheers

SeanDA
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Yes, My VM's have two virtual nics, the first connected to the Production Network, the second connected to my iSCSI storage network.

First impressions are that the connection is VERY fast, far quicker than using RDM's or even regular VMFS-3 datastores. As this appears to be the only way forward at the moment, I will continue with Option 3.

Anyone elso out there already doing this, who could add any helpful information?

Thanks

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server_team
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Enthusiast

Hi SeanDA,

We have a 3020, and we have tried the other options. Netapp Recomend using 3. This is the way we have it set up. We have not had any problems

Regards

Server.team

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ealaqqad
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi,

I am not trying to be the bad guy, but may I ask why do you insist on using NetApp SnapManager. I mean what is wrong with VMware SnapShot capabilities?

Why could not you use VMware VCB or VMware Data Recovery if using vSphere? Both of them support VSS & do a great job for backup & restore.

There are many other software in there which can do a great snapshots for VMware Virtual Machines, which does not require hardware snapshotting on the storage side. Why do you have to fuzz with ISCSI initiator & make your life difficult to run hardware initiator in a virtual enviornment. How about continious protection with products similar to Veeam Backup & Replication which can keep as many snapshots as you desire on another host ready for you to power on at any time!!

My point is always try to avoid bringing the complexity of physical world to the virtual world.

I hope this help some one, if it does please reward points.

Enjoy,

Eiad Al-Aqqad

System X & Storage Technical Specialist

Founder of

Regards, Eiad Al-Aqqad Technology Consultant @ VMware b: http://www.VirtualizationTeam.com b: http://www.TSMGuru.com
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