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Best practices question... how do you address accessing your snapshots?

Bobby Gillette
Occasional Advisor

Best practices question... how do you address accessing your snapshots?

A little background... upon accepting my new position with a government agency I inherited their legacy LeftHand-SAN/iQ SAN environment. I've been documenting feverishly these last few weeks, which has taught me a great deal about the product.

As part of our backup strategy, we rely pretty heavily on snapshots (to a lesser extent remote copies) as the preferred source for restores. At present we keep 21-28 snapshots per volume of our mission-critical volumes (user drives, departmental shares). When a user requests a restore we will typically add the snapshot to the default volume group, log into a server and refresh the initiator, log on to the target volume, assign a drive letter in Disk Management, then copy the requested files/directories.

Have you come across any methods that would improve upon the above? NetApp's implementation of snapshots integrates with Microsoft's VSS and allows an administrator to open previous versions of the file or directory, and is extremely useful. Does LeftHand have similar functionality I've just not been able to discover?

Thanks in advance (and apologies for the long post!)
3 REPLIES
Gauche
Trusted Contributor

Re: Best practices question... how do you address accessing your snapshots?

The LeftHand SANs support VSS also. That can facilitate mounting snapshots via VSS "import".
If you are not using VSS to drive the snapshots in the first place then I think you'd be best off using the CLI command "connectvolume".
That command both assigns the volume, or snapshot, and connects it via the iSCSI initiator at the same time.

One caveat though, because you used the term "volume group" is sounds like you might be on SAN/iQ 7. I think this command was added to the new command line in SAN/iQ 8.

Your life would be much simpler doing any scripting if you upgraded to SAN/iQ 8, or actually 8.1 is the latest as of May 1st.
Adam C, LeftHand Product Manger
Bobby Gillette
Occasional Advisor

Re: Best practices question... how do you address accessing your snapshots?

Yes, we're still running on v7, although we are planning on upgrading to v8.1 very soon, just trying to get some space issues addressed in the short-term.

If I read your post correctly, we'll have access to snapshots via Explorer's Previous Versions tab once we get on v8? Is that something that has to be enabled via the initiator or does it work out of the box?
Gauche
Trusted Contributor

Re: Best practices question... how do you address accessing your snapshots?

That previous versions think in explorer is totally different. That only works when the snapshots were taken by Microsoft VSS on the file system. Which you can do on any storage.
Adam C, LeftHand Product Manger