SPO3049: Advanced SAN Functionality for Data Protection and Disaster Recovery

Contrary to the title of this session, I didn’t think the content was too “advanced.” The speaker covered typical SAN features such as snapshots and clones, and how you can leverage them for a virtual environment. Highlights include:

  • Snapshots are an on-line and point-in-time. It could be of a datastore (LUN-level) or VM level.
  • If you mount an array-based LUN snapshot you need to select the resignature option.
  • Clones are a point-in-time copy, usually a full copy, that is used for data mining, quality assurance, test/dev environments, or patch testing. Basically you could clone dozens or hundreds of VMs, bring them up in a fenced environment and perform testing on a copy of your production data but in a controlled environment. This gives you high assurance of what will happen in production.
  • Many arrays support thin clones which uses copy-on-write technology to save back-end storage space.
  • Sometimes it may make sense to separate the OS VMDK from the data VMDKs. Why? Maybe you have different protection measures for the OS vs. the application data. You could do this by using several VMFS volumes, RDM, or iSCSI/NFS within in the guest. 

The meat of the session only took 30 minutes, and I thought was very high level and pretty common sense.

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