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An exact copy of a ZFS file system can be made with snapshots using zfs send/receive.

Can something similar be done with NetApp's WAFL, where you make a snapshot and export it to a file?

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I don't understand your question, WAFL snaps are block level, how do you mean an export of it? What are you trying to achieve? How would you use this list of changed blocks? – Chopper3 Jan 6 '12 at 22:58
Replication on ZFS is done with the zfs send command, where you just pipe the ouput to netcat or ssh. So instead I would pipe the output to a file and save it as an incremental backup. The same would I very much like to do with WAFL. – Sandra Jan 6 '12 at 23:13
With WAFL you'd need a whole chain of these backups just to get a coherent filesystem, and restore them in order. – Chopper3 Jan 7 '12 at 0:18
read up on copy-nahostfile this may give you a hint as to what you need to do. copy-nahostfile is only a powershell commandlet for now but. – tony roth Jan 7 '12 at 2:17
what version of ontap do you have? – tony roth Jan 10 '12 at 15:54
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The only approach from a NetApp perspective is to run SnapVault between your primary and secondary (in NA lingo).

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"Export" is the wrong word. You can clone it onto disk, replicate it onto another filer, or copy it (like any other file) onto another non-WAFL server. You could also create a read/write copy that initially only takes the space already taken by the original data.

That said, assuming you're trying to back up a snapshot, your best choice would to be to use backup software that supports NDMP.

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That very interesting! Do you have links on how to copy a snapshot to another non-WAFL server? Or perhaps the commands involved? – Sandra Jan 9 '12 at 18:08
Assuming it's not a disk volume (block IO), you would simply mount the snapshot on the target server and use an operating system command to copy it. – Basil Jan 10 '12 at 16:49

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