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Re: Snapshot Writability and Zero-copy Clones

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Occasional Advisor

Snapshot Writability and Zero-copy Clones

Maybe I missed the documentation somewhere but I need help understanding Snapshot Writability. So there are two modes, Writable and Non-writable.

I would assume a Writable snapshot would allow future writes to be store in the snapshot. Where as a non-writable snapshot is more of a point in time restore.

Assuming that, Zero-copy Clones would require a non-writable snapshot correct?

Could someone also clarify online, vs offline? That is just whether the host can see it when the volume is scanned correct?

HPE Blogger

Re: Snapshot Writability and Zero-copy Clones

Hi Jesse,

Any Nimble snapshot that taken as part of a schedule is by design non-writable. This is because your schedule is part of your backup strategy with RPO/RTO assigned. If the snapshot was writable then it may be possible to change (or even delete) data thats in your backup - thus invalidating your RPO/RTO.

The only way to write to this snapshot is to clone the snap into a writeable child volume, meaning any delta changes made to that data will not ruin your backup RPO/RTO.

A manual snapshot (ie a snapshot manually initiated) CAN be writable, as that is a user-requested item and not part of a backup policy.

Note: a non-writable snapshot will cause problems if attempted to be mounted by Windows or VMware - so the best practice here is to always clone to a new volume should a snapshot need to be accessed.

When a snapshot is offline it means it is not visible and cannot be accessed by a host. When it's online it means it's visible and can be mounted by it's associated hosts as referenced in it's ACL.

Hope that's cleared it up, please let me know if you have any further questions.

Nick Dyer
Global Storage Field CTO & Evangelist

twitter: @nick_dyer_
Occasional Advisor

Re: Snapshot Writability and Zero-copy Clones

Thank you, that validated my assumptions!