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Discussion: how are you protecting your data?

jliu79
Frequent Advisor

Discussion: how are you protecting your data?

I just read this blog by Sean:

The Importance of Having a Storage System as Robust as Your Data Protection Policy

and it triggered this question to me: What is the best way to protect your data? Is setting up a DR site and proper snapshot replication good enough? Do you test the snapshots periodically? Do you still use tapes fairly frequently to back up your data if you have a DR site?

Currently I have a CS260G as our production storage and a CS220 at a DR site as replication partner. My plan is to only use tapes once every year for longer data retention. Now I'm wondering: Could that type of disaster in Sean's blog happen to me? What do I do if it happened?

Not that I don't trust Nimble product, it's the best storage I've ever used. But I think this topic is worth discussing and seeing what other people are doing to protect their data may help you better protect your data as well.

Jason

35 REPLIES
david_tan2
Valued Contributor

Re: Discussion: how are you protecting your data?

The situation in the article sounds like they had backups but no DR. They were therefore always at risk of what happened.

Your setup is different because you have a replication partner for DR so you would be in a much better situation if you lost your primary, provided you can actually bring up your application services on the DR site (having storage on its own in a 2nd site would not be classified as DR). As long as your snapshots and replication is setup correctly and you are using application consistent snapshots then your data is 100% safe on the DR array. I have more confidence with Nimble snapshots than I do with stream based backups. In saying that you should regularly test at least a sample of your snaps on the DR array, especially if you require application consistency (eg SQL Server).

You can retain snaps for as long as capacity on DR allows - but if I had the choice I would integrate with Commvault so I could move backups out of the arrays to cloud for long term retention really easily. The only gap with Commvault/Nimble integration is the Commvault snaps cannot currently drive a replicated snapshot, so you'd need to setup a separate replication schedule. Hopefully this gap will be filled very soon . Commvault/Nimble would be my ideal backup solution - I am still trying to get Commvault in where I work and I have had a POC running for the last 4 months and its just beautiful!

Not applicable

Re: Discussion: how are you protecting your data?

One update to David's post above - as of Nimble OS 2.1.4.0, replication of CommVault-initiated snapshots is now supported.  One more reason to consider the CommVault/NImble combination for your data protection and disaster recovery requirements.

marktheblue45
Valued Contributor

Re: Discussion: how are you protecting your data?

Commvault replication? I was Commvault knew this because we are on Simpana 10sp7 and there is nothing there yet! Seeing is believing. I must be missing something. Nimble May have provided the hooks but it's not here right now on Commvault. 


marktheblue45
Valued Contributor

Re: Discussion: how are you protecting your data?

Commvault still does NOT replicate on Nimble

rugby0134
Esteemed Contributor

Re: Discussion: how are you protecting your data?

New feature to the 2.1.x code release as stated above.  You can download and try it!

Not applicable

Re: Discussion: how are you protecting your data?

Mark, you are correct in that Nimble 2.1.4.0 now has the hooks, Simpana itself didn't support this functionality as of version 10 SP 5b, and according to your experience, still doesn't in SP7.  I will investigate and reply back as soon as I can get more information.  Thanks for the feedback.

*****Quick Update - looking at CommVault Online Docs, list of updates included in v10 SP7, item 448 in the list below reads: 448. IntelliSnap support for Nimble Storage CS-Series snap and replicate engines

http://documentation.commvault.com/commvault/v10/article?p=service_pack/updates/sp7.htm

However, their documentation is not clear on this when reading further, perhaps due to them not being up to date? The HDS CommVault OEM online documentation makes specific reference to requiring version 2.1.x.x for replication support.  I have a query in to CommVault on this.

Not applicable

Re: Discussion: how are you protecting your data?

Hi Mark, I have been informed that you will require a hotfix, specifically SP7-HotFix-85, on top of SP7 for the new snap engines to show up in the GUI. 

Can you check to see if our plug-in is installed? - should be:  simpana install directory/Base/CVSnapNimbleRepl.dll

If you have applied this hotfix and still require assistance, our support team would be happy to work with you,  Let me know if you have any further questions on this.  thanks.

marktheblue45
Valued Contributor

Re: Discussion: how are you protecting your data?

Thanks Glenn,

                        I will check on Monday when I'm back in work. Great news. 


Kind Regards,

                       Mark.


marktheblue45
Valued Contributor

Re: Discussion: how are you protecting your data?

I stand corrected. SP7-Hotfix-85 on Simpana 10 apparently is the key to unlock this when using NOS 2.14. Excellent news.


rfenton4
Honored Contributor

Re: Discussion: how are you protecting your data?

There appears to be some confusion - so I will get a definitive statement and update this thread accordingly in due course

Thanks

marktheblue45
Valued Contributor

Re: Discussion: how are you protecting your data?

To be fair to me. I've looked on com vaults forums and I didn't find this info. 


rfenton4
Honored Contributor

Re: Discussion: how are you protecting your data?

I can confirm it's Simpana 10 SP7

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marktheblue45
Valued Contributor

Re: Discussion: how are you protecting your data?

Finding info on commvault is like finding it on NetApp. 

Not applicable

Re: Discussion: how are you protecting your data?

Here is what one of our internal labs is running with replication integration working:

Nimble OS 2.1.4.0

CommVault Simpana 10 SP7

Additional Updates:

(SP7-HotFix-85)

Fw80(SP7-HotFix-88)

HyperVRestoreKB2966407(SP7-HotFix-82)


You may not need the identical setup depending on your environment, but at a minimum you will need SP7-Hotfix-85 as mentioned in one of my earlier responses - it will likely require a call into CommVault support to get access to this hotfix, at least that was the case as of earlier this week.  Hopefully this helps clear things up since I agree, the CommVault documentation is not clear on the requirements, at least from what I could find. 

marktheblue45
Valued Contributor

Re: Discussion: how are you protecting your data?

Cheers Glenn,

                       Commvault have release the hotfix on the MA login. I have applied the fix but can't find the documentation. Logged a call with Nimble also .... Chris at Nimble in the UK. If you have and docs for this that'd be good.


Kind Regards,

                       Mark.

marktheblue45
Valued Contributor

Re: Discussion: how are you protecting your data?

Hi Glenn,

                Our primary array is NOT on NOS 2.1.4 but 2.1.2. Com vaults literature suggests 2.x but it doesn't work on 2.1.2. Basically Commvault creates the snap at the volume level but not in the associate volume collection and therefore can't replicate. 

marktheblue45
Valued Contributor

Re: Discussion: how are you protecting your data?

For this first time I'm going to be negative.  We bought Commvault because of its integration with Nimble. Can't get it to work NOs at 2.1.4. Documentation dreadful.  A little unhappy

marktheblue45
Valued Contributor

Re: Discussion: how are you protecting your data?

Correction can't get the replication piece to work.

Not applicable

Re: Discussion: how are you protecting your data?

Hi Mark, I have reached out to your specific account team, Chris in support and one of our CommVault experts to make sure everyone is aware of this issue.  I will check in here tomorrow to see how things are progressing.

Not applicable

Re: Discussion: how are you protecting your data?

It isn't clear (to me anyway) where the process is failing. We should be taking snapshots at the volume collection level.

If you look at the Simpana subclient properties and select the IntelliSnap tab please verify that the "Nimble CS-Series Snap and Replicate" snap engine is selected.

On the Nimble side of the equation please look at the volume collection "schedules" tab and verify that the "advanced" "Snapshot triggered by Commvault" option is selected.

Also verify that the "replicate to" portion of the protection schedule has been completed.

Not applicable

Re: Discussion: how are you protecting your data?

If everything is configured correctly the next thing I'd check would be the CVMA & VssSwProvider logs.

The CVMA essentially prepares to take a volume collection snapshot after identifying the tart volumes. You should see the individual volumes being called out as well as the volume collection itself:

7124  18c4 07/08 10:00:28 36 CVSnapEngineNimble::cvso_prepareDevices The snapshot name [SP_2_36_1404838827] will be used for the device [\\.\PhysicalDrive1] 

7124  18c4 07/08 10:00:28 36 CreateAndUpdateSnapMetadata: Setting Metadata [10.18.128.80|0a754fa29e4f0baf6c9ce900656b3266|SP_2_36_1404838827|iqn.2007-11.com.nimblestorage:dpl-tmsandbox-sql2008r2-dbvol-v19a495ee7f96fe8b.0000003d.66326b65|dpl-sql-collection] for device [\\.\PhysicalDrive1]

7124  18c4 07/08 10:00:28 36 CVSnapEngineNimble::cvso_prepareDevices The snapshot name [SP_2_36_1404838827] will be used for the device [\\.\PhysicalDrive2] 

7124  18c4 07/08 10:00:28 36 CreateAndUpdateSnapMetadata: Setting Metadata [10.18.128.80|39ed1ec223d3a6d56c9ce900656b3266|SP_2_36_1404838827|iqn.2007-11.com.nimblestorage:dpl-tmsandbox-sql2008r2-logvol-v19a495ee7f96fe8b.0000003e.66326b65|dpl-sql-collection] for device [\\.\PhysicalDrive2]

7124  18c4 07/08 10:00:28 36 [0:]: Success 

7124  18c4 07/08 10:00:28 36 CVMASnapHandler::prepareVolumeSnaps() - Request for prepareVolumeSnaps Succeeded. Status [0].

Subsequent VssSwProvider logs should indicate:

 

7228  1928 07/08 10:00:29 36  START Nimble Operation: SnapVolColl 

7228  1928 07/08 10:00:29 36  END Nimble Operation: SnapVolColl Status: SUCCESS

 

marktheblue45
Valued Contributor

Re: Discussion: how are you protecting your data?

Thanks Bill for your feedback. The system I'm testing with has two volumes, an SQL DB volume and an SQL Log volume. These volumes are in guest connected iSCSI. In the Nimble web GUI how do I set the synchronisation? None or Microsoft VSS (SQL). CV is creating the snaps on the volumes but the volume collection containing these volumes is blank I.e. No snaps. Currently the synchronisation is set to NONE on the Nimble GUI since I assume the CV agent on the VM needs to be left to handle this. I suspect I need to use the VSS synchronisation option within the Nimble GUI?


I do appreciate that this long awaited replication feature is new and the 2.1.4 NOS is a release candidate. I will reach out to Nimble Support again now I have confirmed everything is the same version as Glenn Stewarts scenario. I'm attempting to have our environment backed up to NAS (Coraid) then to tape using Commvault (this is already working beautifully) but want to have app consistent replication using just Commvault triggered backups\snaps to streamline the scheduling and avoid overlapping conflicting snaps as the number of protected systems grow.


Kind Regards,

                       Mark.

marktheblue45
Valued Contributor

Re: Discussion: how are you protecting your data?

it's working !!!!!!!!

Sent some screenshots to someone at Nimble who will be looking to create a KB relating to this.

When the array was added to Comserve it was entered in the correct manner for pre NOS v 2.1.x that is the array name was populated with the iSCSI discovery IP rather than management IP of the array. In the properties of the protected sub clients I wanted to replicate I changed the available snap engines from "Nimble Storage CS-Series Snap" to "Nimble CS-Series snap and Replicate"


Cheers,

             Mark.  

Happy again

rugby0134
Esteemed Contributor

Re: Discussion: how are you protecting your data?

You rock Mark!  Thanks for figuring this one out for the Community!