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VMware/NetApp Snapmirror transfer size question

Posted on 2012-03-14
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
We just stood up a new Virtual Infrastruture with a NetApp filer. We have a PROD and DR filer in place onsite. We have our snapmirror relationships setup and have started monitoring the traffic flow for these relationships to make sure we can handle the network load when the mirrors update every night. The plan is to move the DR filer offsite once this study is done.

We have a total of 36 VMs. 95% Windows 2008 R2. We place 10 VMs per datastore, with the exception of one datastore for the file server (different backup needs). Out of these servers, we have 2 SQL servers.1 small SQL server for a one off app, the other is the main SQL server, 10+ DBs, heavy I/O.


Between 5 datastores, we run one nightly backup via NetApp VSC. The total transfer size for all 5 datastores last night was 316GBs. This is a "normal" production day here meaning nothing was done out of the ordinary that would have infalted the deltas.

Does this sound "typical"?
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Question by:MMRNLA
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LVL 125
ID: 37721254
Once you have completed the first Snap Mirror, only the Snapshots should be "Snap Mirroring" to the DR site NetApp Filer.

The Delta in the Snapshots, will depend on the daily change in the VMs on the LUNs.

Do you know, by how much your VMs are changing on a daily basis?
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by:MMRNLA
ID: 37738626
Let me know if I am looking at this correctly.

My DBA just informed me of the following:

Every night SQL does a native backup. This backup job dumps the data locally. Saturday night's backup yielded 78GB's of data. NEXT it copies these files to another local drive with a 14 day retention on those files. During this process it also checks and deletes the oldest set of files. SO.. with this in mind, this is what i'm thinking happens. Please correct me if I am wrong.

SQL backup = 77GB
Copy of backup to another drive = 77GB
Removal of oldest backup = (guessing here) = 70GB

Total snapshot size for these changes = 322GB

Am I correct in thinking that when the job deletes the oldest backup that this translates into 70GBs of deltas ?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 1500 total points
ID: 37738736
That will be the issue, and we have seen this practice, because SQL dbas do not understand NetApp filer snapshots.

thats why your deltas are so large.

I would recommend the Backup to another non NetApp Source, or look at Snap Manager For SQL which is a very effecient method of leveraging SQL snapshots and NetApp filer storage, or you will have to deal with this legacy practice.
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by:MMRNLA
ID: 37738746
We are scheduled to deploy SnapManager for SQL here within 2 weeks.

Quick question, when you delete files, this translates into deltas correct? In other words, If I delete a 10GB file. The snapshot that night will pick this up as a 10GB delta correct?
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