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Snapshotting SQL LUN?

Paul Hutchings
Super Advisor

Snapshotting SQL LUN?

Considering a VSA to hold a few TB of SQL data (low transactions just large).

I don't know if the LUN would be presented to the SQL box via MS iSCSI initiator, or as a VMDK, but I'm a bit unclear on:

a) Lefthand "Software agents" for SQL to ensure a "clean" snapshot?

b) Licensing - AIUI these are NOT included in the VSA license? Any part codes or ballpark costs?

René Loser
Frequent Advisor

Re: Snapshotting SQL LUN?

Hi Paul,

With the new release of VSS-Provider and CMC-GUI from November you can do "Application Managed Snapshots" direct from the LeftHand GUI.
This works for non-virtualized Windows Servers incl. 2008R2.
As far as i know it works with with RAW-Devices for VMware.

The provider- and GUI-Update is for free.

You can download it directly from the ftp site:

Mothership1 directory!


Respected Contributor

Re: Snapshotting SQL LUN?

Another note is that the raw devices in VMware CAN make use of MPIO if you implement iSCSI binding with vSphere 4.
Bryan McMullan
Trusted Contributor

Re: Snapshotting SQL LUN?

We snapshot a few high performing SQL databases. We present the volume to SQL through iSCSI. We've tried presenting it as a VMDK as well, but it seemed to perform worse.

We've restored many DB's without issue using just the standard LHN snapshot (no application managed version). I believe that is the same thing as what you would get with the VSA software.

If you were nervous, you could also just do a SQL Backup (.bak file) to another connected volume as well. There's quite a few options when it comes to SQL backups.