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In our environment we have a 3 node SQL 2005 Cluster which is on NetApp storage. We are currently using SMSQL (NetApp SnapManager for SQL) to take Snapshot backups of the data. This works great, but due to some audit requirements we are also forced to maintain some copies on tape.

We have used NDMP in other places across the enterprise but we do not want to use it in this specific instance.

Basically what I need to do is, get the most recent snapshot copy of the databases on tape, via Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM).

What I have done is, obtained a basic Windows Server 2003 VM with SnapDrive installed, which is SAN attached and zoned to the NetApp, and I have written a batch file to do the following:

  • Mount the latest __RECENT snapshot lun to the host, using a specific drive letter
  • Perform a TSM based incremental backup
  • Dis-mount the LUN

This seems to work fine, except sometimes the LUN's do not mount due to some sort of timeout. Also, due to my limited knowledge of windows batch scripting, I have no way to monitor the success or failure of these backups since I do not know how to send a valid return code back to the TSM scheduling service.

Is there a more efficient/elegant way to accomplish this without NDMP?

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My understanding of SnapManager for SQL is that even if you were to offload these snapshots to tape, you could not use SnapManager to restore them in the future. While this may not answer your question, this may affect the validity of what you are trying to accomplish. My understanding is that tape dumped snapshosts from SnapManager are not restorable.

I personally would use a SQL agent on TSM to perform backups of SQL for tape storage purposes. This is what I'm doing for my BackupExec/Netapp system.

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We have used SQL agents in the past. Backing up Snapshots to Tape is 100% valid. When you mount a snapshot, what you are seeing is a cold/consistent form of the database and all of its files. The troublesome part is having a smooth process to mount the snapshots, back them up, then unmount them. –  WerkkreW May 28 '09 at 15:10
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