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VMWare - Independent Disks

Posted on 2013-01-03
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Last Modified: 2013-01-04
In order to get snapshots enabled on a SQL server VM, I need to change some INDEPENDENT disks to normal disks.  These are VMDK's on a NetApp SAN formatted with VMFS.

Is there any reason why I shouldn't just shut the VM down, uncheck the INDEPENDENT checkbox, and boot the VM?  

I'm installing VEEAM, and currently I cannot get backups of these disks because they are not able to be snapshotted.

Thanks!
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Question by:jkeegan123
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FilipZahradnik earned 2000 total points
ID: 38742438
The Independent checkbox in virtual disk configuration simply means that when a VMware snapshot is taken, disks with Independent tickbox are ignored. So if you roll back to a snapshots, Independent disks are not rolled back.

From vSphere perspective, yes, you can untick the tickbox. However, take a moment to think about why the disks were made Independent in the first place to make sure the change is not going to cause any problems in your setup. Do the VMs get rolled back on a regular basis?
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LVL 123
ID: 38742443
There is no reason at all, normally virtual disks by Default, do not have any tick box set to INDEPENDENT .

Is this something you have changed in your VMs, to stop the VM being snapshotted?
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by:paulsolov
ID: 38742465
I agree with the above statements.  I would also recommend installing the Netapp VSC 4.1 and performing SMVI backups if you have purchased the license.  If you're using SnapManager for SQL be carefull in doing your backups since the different VSS agents can sometime step on each others toes.
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by:jkeegan123
ID: 38742588
Thanks for all of the tips...we inherited an environment that appears to have a SQL box that has not been backed up in ... about a  year.  4 of 8 VMDK's are INDEPENDENT, and there does not appear to be any snapshotting happening in the NetApp either....the best part is that I asked the DBA onsite if there is at least a maintenance plan on the SQL db and his pause of 10 seconds told me .... NOPE.  Amazing.

So shutdown, uncheck, start back up, and we're good?  Research shows that making a SQL disk independent is a best practice for performance, but I think that assumes a SQL maintenance plan or some other backup plan....of which there is nothing.
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LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:paulsolov
ID: 38742625
Check your Netapp licensing and see if you have Snapdrive and SnapManager for SQL, this can make your life a lot easier and your backups a lot faster.  Best way to do this is to login to your Netapp portal @ now.netapp.com
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