Intellisnap process

Last post 12-06-2018, 11:03 AM by Boberic. 4 replies.
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  • Intellisnap process
    Posted: 05-01-2018, 2:25 PM



    CommVault v11Sp10

    vSphere 6.5

    NetApp cDOT 9


    I am looking into using Intellisnap to perform VM backups. All my VMs are backed by NFS datastores.


    - Does Intellisnap quiesce via VMware API and then take a NetApp snapshot? Or it simply just tell NetApp to take a storage side snapshot and then mount to NetApp to do the backup?


    - It seems to me one of the benefits is to bypass Vmware to perform the actual backup (data copying) thus reduce the load on vCenter/ESXi. Is it correct?


    Thank you.

  • Re: Intellisnap process
    Posted: 05-01-2018, 11:31 PM

    Hello acpp,


    Performing an intellisnap backup with VMWare, will first request that the VMs be snapshot, so that they are in a consistent state. This can either be done with quiescing, to perform an application consistent backup, or without quiescing to produce a crash consistent backup.



    Once all VMs have been snapped, we will request that your netapp take a hardware snap of every LUN that these VMs files reside on (aka, VMDKs, VMX, ect).


    Please see:


    Once the hardware snap has completed, VMWare will then request that all VM snaps be deleted.


    You are then able to leverage this snap to take a backup copy (write backups to disk)



    If you environment is v11 SP9 and higher, you can leverage a proxyless mount, which will mount the snap to your Media Agent instead of mounting to ESX. This will further offload resources from your VMWare envirnment.



    Let me know if this makes sense, or if you would like any further information.


    Kind regards




  • Re: Intellisnap process
    Posted: 05-02-2018, 7:14 AM

    Hi acpp,

    if you are doing backups of an application (and Vmware is an application in this context),
    Commvault will try to quiecse the content (here: VMs or VMs dynamically selected by rules) before creating a hardware snapshot.
    Backups are reported to the vCenter.
    FullVM and Single File (from inside vmdks) Restores are possible

    if you only want to create snapshots inside the Netapp w/o consistency of the contained VMs data, you can achieve this by using the NAS agent addressing the NFS volumes of your Vmware farm.

    You could still restore files (whole vmdks) of virtual machines, but not to Vmware / vCenter.
    these files are somehow crash consistent since all snapped at the same time.

    Granular Restore of content inside these vmdks is not possible (using Commvault)
    Full and integrated VM Restore is not possible.

    on the other hand you can still use Commvault to access/restore the VMs folder and have to register these to your vcenter manually.

    the backup process is very fast, doesn't add load to your vCenter.
    the data is not consistent
    restore only of VM Files / Images

    have fun

  • Re: Intellisnap process
    Posted: 11-12-2018, 6:52 PM

    Thanks for the info.

    My goal is to create a consistent backup at the VM's file system level. I think without Intellisnap, the backup process goes like:

    1. quiesce VM's file system

    2. create a VMware VM snapshot which creates new files in the datastore to record post-snapshot changes

    3. perform a backup

    4. delete the VMware VM snapshot which depends on the situation can cause VM stun


    Because VMware's snapshot creation/removal sometimes cause VMs being stunned (not responding), I am wondering:


    (a) If I use Intellisnap, does it still create a VMware snapshot?

    (b) Is the process like:

    1. quiesce VM's file system

    2. take a NetApp snapshot (instant and almost no impact)

    3. perform a backup from the snapshot

    4. remove the NetApp snapshot (instant and almost no impact)



  • Re: Intellisnap process
    Posted: 12-06-2018, 11:03 AM

    The answer is yes, the Intellisnap backup process does cause a VMware snapshot.  

    If the VMware snapshot is causing you grief, if you have your vm configured with an OS disk and a separate data disk, you can set the data disk as independent persistent so you get a snap of only the OS disk, then use an agent installed on that VM to get the data in a separate job.  

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