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NetApp Snapshot Volume is over 100%

We received an alert from LogicMonitor.com at 5:50AM, with the below message. About 2 hours prior to that (at 3:37AM), Veeam ran a backup of our Exchange server where vCenter triggered a "VM with snapshots" alert as well (below), but the vCenter alert was cleared at 5:36AM.

I understand Veeam creates snapshots to backup a VM, but then it deletes it. I checked the Snapshot manager of our Exchange VM and it is showing there are no snapshots right now (good). So why is LogicMonitor still giving us the alert.

vCenter Alert at 3:37 AM
Target: i1whlmail01
Previous Status: Green
New Status: Red
 
Alarm Definition:
([Yellow Metric Is above 2,097,152KB; Red Metric Is above 3,145,728KB])
 
Current values for metric/state:
 Metric Overhead due to delta disk backings = 50,261,657KB
 
Description:
Alarm 'VM with snapshots' on i1whlmail01 changed from Green to Red


vCenter Alert at 5:36 AM
Target: i1whlmail01
Previous Status: Red
New Status: Green
 
Alarm Definition:
([Yellow Metric Is above 2,097,152KB; Red Metric Is above 3,145,728KB])
 
Current values for metric/state:
 Metric Overhead due to delta disk backings = 0KB
 
Description:
Alarm 'VM with snapshots' on i1whlmail01 changed from Red to Green


LogicMonitor Alert at 5:50 AM
The NetApp i1whlnetapp01, volume /vol/Napp01_vol2/.snapshot , is now at 166 percent of space capacity, putting it in a state of warn.
Thresholds are > 100.
This state has existed since 2013-06-18 05:37:09 PDT - or for 0h 12m.
When the snapshot volume is over 100%, it means that deleting a file will not free up space in the file system until any referencing snapshot is deleted. This makes managing disk space harder.
Recommendation: check to ensure that the snapshot policy in effect is appropriate for the kind of data being stored on this filer. If so, increase the snapshot reserve.
Otherwise, change the snapshot policy or delete snapshots.
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pzozulka
Asked:
pzozulka
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2 Solutions
 
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Firstly, sometimes the VMware Snapshot Alert is "faulty!".

Check my EE Article to check your VM is not on a snapshot!

HOW TO: VMware Snapshots :- Be Patient

The Snapshot Alert you have received is because of Snapshots on your SAN for the volume/LUN.

Do you use NetApp Snapshots or SnapMirror?
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pzozulkaAuthor Commented:
I've read your HOW TO article in the past and it has saved me many times before. Very well written. To answer you question, we use both snapshots and SnapMirror. This volume is snapmirrored every 3 hours at the 15 min mark.

I believe the vCenter alert about snapshots, and the storage device snapshot alert are related.

snapshotsvolume2 snapshot
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
If you use SnapMirror, it creates a SAN Snapshot.

Is your VM running on a snapshot?
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Paul SolovyovskyCommented:
The snapshots that are busy are the snapmirror snapshots and can only be deleted if/when the snapmirror is finished or you can queisce/break snapmirror, delete snapshot and review if you have a common snapshot on both sides you can continue to replicate from.

Snapshot reserve is just for accounting so that if you have space in the volume it will not do anything to your data, on the other hand if your snapshots start to encroash into your data your volume may go offline as you'll run out of space.
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pzozulkaAuthor Commented:
I'm just trying to figure out what is causing this to occur:

I was under the impression that snapshots start out at zero, and then grow based on changes in the data compared to the previous snapshot. Having said that, based on my previous post, what does 93.91GB Cumalitve Total Size mean? Does that mean that there has been 93.91GB of changes since the last snapshot?

And lastly, what's the difference between the two columns, Total Size vs. Cumalitive Total Size?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
sizes of snapshots will be based on the "delta" changes between each snapshot.
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pzozulkaAuthor Commented:
Correct, so does that mean that on 6/18/2013 03:15:03 (from above image), there was 92.65GB of changes?

I'm not sure how to read the above image and Total Size vs. Cumalitive Total Size.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
total size is the size of the snapshot, (delta change, e.g. changes between snapshots)

cumulative all the snapshots.
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Paul SolovyovskyCommented:
The Netapp snapshots work a bit different than your copy on write snapshots in that they're pointer to the data.  So let's say you've added a VM, no snapshot space is being used but if you have a snapshot with a VM in place and you delete it then the snapshot will be holding the data and the snapshot will grow.  It can also be changes inside of the VMs, let's say a database that will look as different data if it's encrypted or binary where there is no way to dedupe it on the WAFL.
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compdigit44Commented:
Have you checked your datastore or orphan snapshots? Sometime not all snapshots are removed completed and are not listed in snapshot manager.
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