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How SnapManager Backup works

About SnapManager backup

SnapManager Backup uses Snapshot copy functionality to create online, read-only copies of databases. After the selected databases are backed up, the transaction logs that are already committed to the databases captured in the backup are deleted.

Note: Databases that cannot be backed up by SnapManager are greyed out in the Results pane.

Types of backups SnapManager can perform

SnapManager Backup performs backups at the volume level:

Volume-wide backup When a Snapshot copy is made of a LUN, SMB share, or VMDK for a SnapManager backup, the entire volume is captured in that Snapshot copy. However, that backup is valid only for that server. If data from other servers resides on the same volume, it is not restorable from that Snapshot copy.

Multiple-volume backups SnapManager performs backups in parallel on all LUNs, SMB shares, or VMDKs that belong to the same server and share a single storage system volume. When a database set spans multiple volumes, the resulting backup set contains multiple database Snapshot copies but is still restorable as a single entity.

Partial backups If the backup of some of the databases in the database set fails, the databases in the set that were backed up successfully can still be restored. Because each database constitutes its own backup, or file, it is restored discretely, independent of backups of the others in its backup set, even though the backup of all databases in the set was performed by the backup job.

What SnapManager Backup does

SnapManager performs the following tasks when creating a backup:

  1. Checks the SnapManager license
  2. Renames the most recent SnapInfo directory (if necessary)
  3. Renames the most recent Snapshot copy (if necessary)
  4. Creates a new directory in the SnapInfo directory for this backup

    Note: During the backup process, SnapManager collects backup metadata that is automatically archived to the SnapInfo directory.
  5. Creates a backup set of the storage containing the database files
  6. Backs up transaction logs (if specified)
  7. Creates a Snapshot copy of the storage that contains the SnapInfo directory
  8. Verifies the databases in the backup set (if specified)
  9. Deletes the oldest backup sets (if specified)
  10. Deletes the oldest Snapshot copy that contains the SnapInfo directory

SnapManager Backup requirements and limitations

Be aware of the requirements and limitations of SnapManager Backup:

Attention: In a Microsoft SQL Server environment, you should perform backups using only the SnapManager application. Making Snapshot copies of the storage system for the storage console directly is not supported and results in an inconsistent Snapshot copy image of online databases. However, you can use SnapDrive to make Snapshot copies of SQL Server databases, although you cannot restore these Snapshot copies using SnapManager.