NetApp SnapShot Storage

Just trying to get a better understanding of NetApp snapshots.  I know what they are and how they work but by default where are they stored, would it be on the same volume as the data?  As a result of this it means that they could not be used to replace a good backup solution because if the drive the data is held on fails, the snapshots would also be lost and therefore no way to recover the data.

Also, when a snapmirror relationship is broken and then a reverse resync is completed (if that is the correct terminology) would the snapshots also be part of this resync process, so source snapshots are overwritten by the destination snapshots?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, they are stored in the volume.

and you are correct as your backup exists on the same storage as your VMs, you need to mitigate that risk, by backup of the snapshots, or Snapmirror to another NetApp filter.

Not quite certain of your statement about not replacing a good backup solution, ALL Backup solutions MUST ensure that your copies of your backups are protected, and offsite, and NOT on the same storage as your original source data. But you would be surprised that MANY backup to the same location!

e.g. if using Veeam, Unitrends, Nakivo, you would need to ensure you had different storage to send the backups to!

We believe a backup is not a backup if it's not in 3 places.

We've been using snapshots on NetApp since 2004, for everything, and yes we ensure that Snapshots are snapmirrored to other filers.

Snapshots can be restored (e.g. VMs restored) from the current volume, if you had a total failure, it's quicker to failover to your DR filter, and then fallback, so technically then snapmirror the other way.
jdc1944Author Commented:
Thanks Andrew.

Just another thought.  If you had to break a snapmirror relationship (from a primary DR site to a secondary) in order to use an application at a secondary DR site for a while, could you reverse the snapmirror or change it (from secondary to Primary or Secondary to a 3rd temp location) in someway so there is still some replication until the time you complete a reverse resync back to the primary data centre?  Hopefully that makes sense!
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Once you break the snapmirror, the volume/LUN at DR site, is then available to be mounted on any ESXi server again.

This existing volume/LUN, can then be snapmirrored to any other NetApp location. The destination copy, will be read only (until you break the snapmirror relationship again).

So you could create a new volume at Site A, and snapmirror B-A, break replication, and remount again.

Lots of ways this can be done, because you can also clone LUNs/volumes etc as well.
jdc1944Author Commented:
Thanks for your help Andrew, It's helped clear a few questions.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
no problems
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