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SnapManager overview

SnapManager provides an integrated data management solution for Microsoft SQL Server that dramatically boosts the availability and reliability of SQL Server databases. This chapter explains briefly what SnapManager does and does not do and describes its components.

What SnapManager does

SnapManager provides rapid online backup and near-instantaneous restoration of databases by using online Snapshot technology that is part of the Data ONTAP® software. SnapManager can also leverage the SnapMirror capabilities of storage systems to provide onsite or offsite SnapManager backup set mirroring for disaster recovery.

Data management: SnapManager supports the following data management capabilities:

You can also create and restore database from remote backups at a remote location through dataset and SnapVault integration to SnapManager.

Data replication for disaster recovery: When used with SnapMirror, SnapManager provides the ability to automatically replicate databases stored on the source volume to its mirrored target volume situated locally or remotely.

Dataset and SnapVault integration: SnapManager helps you create, restore, and manage remote backups. Dataset and SnapVault technologies together form the basis of this integration.

Data archiving for long-term or remote storage of backups: You can use SnapManager to create offline archives of Snapshot copies to unmanaged media for long-term retention. Three different archive methods are supported:

Federated full backup: You can use Snapshot based full database backup to back up databases from different instances or different servers at the same time. You can add databases from multiple servers to the same federated group. Backing up a federated group backs up all databases in that group at the same time.

Federated transaction log backup: Federated transaction log backup enables you to back up transaction logs from multiple servers at the same time, by setting marks on transaction logs of all databases in a backup group.

Restore to mark: Restore to marked transaction operations enable you to restore a database to a marked transaction. Using the marks created on a federated transaction log backup, you can restore databases to the same marked transaction across multiple databases for a synchronous restoration.

Enterprise monitoring and reporting: Enterprise monitoring and reporting enables you to report the status of backup, verification, and clone operations by sending application event log or email notifications.

Backup retention management: Configuring the amount of transaction log backups your system retains enables you to balance up-to-the-minute restore needs with storage efficiency.

Clone database lifecycles: A cloned database lifecycle comprises automatic, scheduled cloned database resynchronization and deletion.

What SnapManager does not do

SnapManager for Microsoft SQL Server does not support the following uses:

Where you install and run SnapManager

You must install and run SnapManager on all SQL Server computers executing SnapManager operations.

In virtualized SQL Server deployments using VMDK/NFS configurations, you must have an ESX/ESXi server with Virtual Storage Console for VMware vSphere.

Local administration: When you run SnapManager on the computer hosting SQL Server, it is called SnapManager local administration. System requirements for a SnapManager local administration are described in Verifying Windows host system requirements.

Remote administration: When you run SnapManager on a computer that is not hosting SQL Server, it is called SnapManager remote administration. If you install SnapManager on a computer different from the SQL Server computer, you can run SnapManager remotely to perform any task that you can perform on a locally installed SnapManager system.

System requirements for a SnapManager remote administration system are described in Remote servers.

Remote verification: From a remote administration server that is configured with SnapDrive and SQL Server, you can also perform remote database verification. Remote verification offloads the CPU-intensive database verification operations that can affect the performance of your production SQL Server computer.

System requirements for a local and remote administration system used for remote verification are described in Remote servers.

The setup and use of a remote verification server is described in Backing up databases using SnapManager.

About the SnapManager graphical user interface (GUI)

The SnapManager for SQL Server (referred to as SnapManager in the guide) user interface is a stand-alone graphical user interface based on the Microsoft Management Console 3.0 snap-in framework. The SnapManager GUI enables you to perform all the operations offered by SnapManager.

The GUI enables you to perform the following tasks:

The user interface also enables you to schedule and automate backups and verify the integrity of databases in SnapManager backup sets.

SnapManager user interface includes the following components:

Operations performed through the SnapManager command-line interface

SnapManager includes the following PowerShell cmdlets:

For more information, see SnapManager command-line reference.

How you use SnapManager

You can run SnapManager on your SQL Server or on a different computer. When you run SnapManager on a different computer, it is called "SnapManager remote administration." Using a SnapManager remote administration system, you can perform all of the tasks that you perform on a locally installed SnapManager system. When you perform database verification on a remote system, it is referred to as remote verification.

The following steps describe a typical way to use SnapManager:

Using SnapManager's backup facility to begin SnapMirror through SnapDrive, you can create mirror replications of these databases to be used for various purposes, such as disaster recovery.