SnapProtect - FAQ - SQL Server iDataAgent

Table of Contents

What provisioning policies can I use?

Provisioning Policies are optional to use. During the creation of the secondary snapshot copy, the following Provisioning Policies are automatically created and available for selection in the CommCell Console:

  • SnapProtect_RAID-DP
  • SnapProtect_Dedupe
  • SnapProtect_Mirror_Destination

If you need to create your own provisioning policy, ensure it is defined with the following naming convention in the OCUM server:


where "SnapProtect_" is the prefix required for the provisioning policy to be available in the SnapProtect software.

What happens when a Vault or Mirror copy is created?

During an Auxiliary Copy job, a new dataset is created or an existing dataset is modified with new data members, as explained in the following flow of events:

  1. When the SnapProtect software assigns data to the service catalogue, a new baseline transfer may have started in the OnCommand Unified Manager (OCUM) server.
  2. The Auxiliary Copy job details display its status as the baseline transfer is in progress.
  3. Once the baseline transfer is completed, the SnapProtect software adds the snaps to the backup list, and the backup starts with the OCUM.
  4. If SnapMirror is the destination copy, then the SnapProtect software sends a command to update the mirror.

    The OCUM job is monitored and marked as completed/failed depending on the OCUM job status.

How are snapshots copied during a backup copy operation?

The snapshots are copied to media in a sequential order. If you wish to perform an inline backup copy operation and a previously selected snapshot has not been copied to media, the current SnapProtect backup job will complete without creating the backup copy and you will need to create an offline backup copy for the current backup.

What should I take into account when using retention by Number of Jobs?

Configuring a storage policy or snapshot copy with job based retention is recommended for File System and File System like Agents, and not for Database Agents.

Review the following scenarios if you are using the retention by number of jobs configuration:

  • During a browse operation, deleted files may be displayed for recovery. If the jobs containing these files are pruned by the retention criteria, the deleted files will be irrecoverable.
  • You may need to manually delete jobs from deconfigured clients. These clients will continue to retain the old jobs since new jobs will not run again on them.
  • When you associate a new storage policy to a subclient, it is important to perform a full backup operation in order to be retained by the new storage policy. The old storage policy will continue to retain the old jobs until you manually delete them.

What UTF setting should be used for Volume Language?

To successfully browse and restore files on a NetApp file server that contain Unicode characters, it is recommended to use the UTF-8 setting for volume language. Please consult with NetApp for implications of changing volume language.

How is the OnCommand Unified Manager Server affected when a snap copy is deleted?

If you delete a snapshot copy, the following components in the OnCommand Unified Manager server will be affected:

  • The storage services associated to the snapshot copy will be deleted.
  • Datasets associated with the deleted storage service will be deleted.

    Secondary volumes/datasets are not deleted as they are stored in case you need to perform a restore operation from a deleted dataset. Secondary datasets can be removed manually, if needed.

  • Any relationship associated with a dataset will be deleted within a configurable period of time defined in the OnCommand Unified Manager server.
  • Base snapshot copies remain available.

Is multi-instancing supported?

No. Multi Instancing is not supported for SnapProtect backup.

Can I use Media Explorer to restore data?

No. Restore of SnapProtect backup data using Media Explorer is not supported. However, Media Explorer can be used to restore SnapProtect backup data from the backup copy.

How does SnapProtect select target devices during clone or snap operations?

When you configure a storage device using Array Management in the CommCell Console, the Device Group text box defines the target device group where SnapProtect will move the source and target devices during SnapProtect backup operations. This option does not specify the source device group (from where a device should be found during Snap/Clone operations).

The following table explains the default behavior for selecting a Snap or Clone target device:

Scenarios Based on Array Management Options Target Device is Selected From... Source and Target Devices are Moved To...
Device Group is not specified and Use devices only from this device group is not checked Any device in the array CV_PROTECTION_GROUP device group
Device Group is not specified but Use devices only from this device group is checked CV_PROTECTION_GROUP device group CV_PROTECTION_GROUP device group
Device Group is specified but Use devices only from this device group is not checked Any device in the array The device group specified in Device Group
Device Group is specified and Use devices only from this device group is checked The device group specified in Device Group The device group specified in Device Group

Are there any considerations when restoring databases backed up by snap or VSS?

  • VSS-enabled backup jobs must be restored to the original instance.
  • For restore of databases backed up with VSS, databases can be moved to a new location on the server and can be renamed. However, data files cannot be renamed.
  • To restore any system database that was previously backed up using snap or VSS, the SQL Server services have to be stopped and restarted in single user mode.
  • If the database is installed on the system drive, non-system databases will need to be manually brought back online after the restore.

What happens to the clone after the specified reservation period expires?

For the clones on SQL 2008 and SQL 2008R2 servers, the database will be automatically dismounted from the SQL server and the mount point will be deleted after the expiration of the reservation period.

For all other SQL server versions, you can set sDBDriverName additional settings on the destination SQL server used for clone operation as described in the following steps:

  1. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to Client Computers.
  2. Right-click the <Client> and then click Properties.
  3. On the Client Computer Properties dialog box, click Advanced.
  4. Click the Additional Settings tab.
  5. Click Add.
  6. In the Name box, type sDBDriverName. The Category and Type details will be automatically populated.
  7. In the Value field, type:

    SQL Server Native Client 11.0 for SQL Server 2012

    SQL Native Client for SQL Server 2005

  8. Click OK.

While cloning, what happens if a database with the same name already exists on the server?

If cloning is being performed in-place and database selected for cloning is not renamed, then this database will be skipped from cloning to ensure production database is not overwritten.

However, if cloning is being performed to a different destination instance, and database with the same name exists, then the database on the destination instance will be detached and cloned database will be attached to the SQL Server.

Are there any considerations for an SQL database backup?

  • Transactional Log backups always use the traditional backup method. If during a Transaction Log backup, a differential or a full backup is required to run on the databases, then these backups will also run in the traditional backup method. In this case, all backups will be stored in the Primary (classic) copy.
  • The SQL Writer does not support the following:
    • Log Backups
    • File and filegroup backup
    • Page Restore

Why does SnapProtect backup job run as a Full backup on selecting Differential backup as the backup type?

During traditional SQL backup, a Differential backup contains only the data that is new or has been changed since the last full backup. As a result, Differential backup consumes less media and uses less resource than a full backup. During an SnapProtect backup, SQL VSS writer quiesces the whole database which results in the snapshot and the amount of data to be moved to media, to be almost the same or equal to the size of a full backup. To avoid unnecessary prolonged restore operations, differential SnapProtect backup is automatically submitted as a full backup in the Job Controller.