How to Backup LUNs on a NetApp Filer

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How to Backup LUNs on a NetApp Filer


NetApp Filer's have the ability to present part of their Storage as an iSCSI LUN that can be attached to a server in order to provide 'direct' attached storage instead of share level storage. The LUN itself is presented on the NetApp as a single (usually large) file.

Backup Exec provides two methods for protection of the LUN as follows:

Method 1: Use the NDMP Option to backup the LUN
If the NetApp filer has a directly attached Tape Library then it is possible to use the NDMP Option to backup the volume containing the LUN directly to tape.

This method uses NetApp's own snapshot technology and should provide the best performance. However it does not allow the direct restore of individual files contained inside the LUN because the LUN is seen as a single large file. As such to restore an individual file you would have to perform a redirected restore of the LUN and then access the redirected LUN to manually recover the required files.

Note: Before attempting a redirected restore of a LUN, review the Technote entitled "Unable to redirect the restore of LUNs on a NetApp Filer" listed at the bottom of this document.

Method 2: Use a remote agent installed on to the server that is attached to the LUN
Use either the Remote Agent for Windows Systems (RAWS) or the Remote Agent For Linux or Unix Servers (RALUS) to backup the data inside the LUN to a Tape Library or Backup to Disk Folder attached to the Windows Media Server.

This method has the advantage that the direct restore of individual files is possible, but may experience slower overall performance.

Note: Even though the data is actually held on the NetApp filer, you cannot use this method to backup the data to a tape drive attached to the same (or another) filer as this will result in extremely poor performance against an unsupported configuration for the NDMP backup topology. Please review the Technote entitled "Poor Performance of 3-Way Backups using the Backup Exec for Windows Servers NDMP Option" listed at the bottom of this document for an explanation.

If the requirement is to achieve good backup performance and be able restore individual files, then it is suggested that the LUNs are not used to store the data, but instead enable share (CIFS) level access to the storage on the filer so that the data is written directly to the storage volume and not into a large file on the volume. Then backup operations can be run directly to a tape library attached to the filer (using the NDMP Option) to achieve the best performance.

Terms of use for this information are found in Legal Notices.



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