NetApp SnapManager for Microsoft SQL Server
Streamline data management, reduce costs, and increase availability

SnapManager for Microsoft SQL Server

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NetApp SnapManager for Microsoft SQL Server
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The Challenge

Increase availability of Microsoft SQL Server databases while reducing costs Microsoft® SQL Server is the data-base of choice for many enterprise applications. Microsoft SQL Server 2012 builds on this innovation and momentum. Typically, numerous SQL Server applications are deployed to serve different departments in an enterprise. This often leads to complex deployment scenarios since applications tend to have different availability and data protection requirements. As the number of Windows® servers storing SQL Server databases on direct-attached storage subsystems increases, so does the complexity. Backing up databases stored on multiple devices and, as needed, restoring full backups and multiple incremental backups are time-consuming processes. Copying and managing copies of databases for application development and testing are additional time-consuming activities that typically require significant additional amounts of storage. Incrementally scaling storage to address growing demand can result in SQL Server downtime that:

  • Jeopardizes the availability of SQL Server applications
  • Reduces administrator and end- user productivity
  • Affects the ability to make quick and effective business decisions

The key to solving this issue is to upgrade your SQL Server environment to a flexible, enterprise-class storage solution that serves your data efficiently and reliably while reducing management costs and leveraging as much of your current infrastructure as possible.

The Solution

Deploy NetApp SnapManager for Microsoft SQL Server NetApp® SnapManager® for Microsoft SQL Server is tightly integrated with Microsoft technology to help you streamline database storage management while simplifying storage layout planning, backup, and restore operations. Our data management solutions can save you time, help you consolidate storage, and simplify management across a SQL Server data farm. With SnapManager, you can dramatically reduce SQL Server data recovery times from hours to minutes.

You can also use SnapManager to automate critical processes such as data backup, restore, and cloning, thus freeing your IT staff to focus on other value-added activities. With SnapManager, you get an industry-leading combination of availability, scalability, and reliability for SQL Server environments.

Automate and simplify backup, recovery, and database cloning with NetApp SnapManager for Microsoft SQL Server.

NetApp® SnapManager® for Microsoft® SQL Server® (SMSQL) reduces costs and simplifies data management by automating complex and time-consuming processes. Integrated with Microsoft technologies, SMSQL streamlines database storage management. It simplifies storage layout planning and automates backup, restore, and cloning operations for SQL Server databases.

SnapManager software reduces SQL Server data-recovery times to minutes. It simplifies data protection for SQL Server applications by providing federated database backup of multiple SQL Server instances and databases.

Clone lifecycle management creates space-efficient SQL data copies for development, testing, reporting, and disaster recovery, in seconds. SMSQL enables fast and accurate on-demand, periodic, customized staging and user-acceptance testing services.

NetApp SMSQL 6.0 supports AlwaysOn Availability Groups (AGs) in SQL Server 2012, to accelerate AG setup, backup, and restore.

Key Points

  • Reduce storage costs using space-efficient backup capabilities.
  • Streamline data management and routine tasks to increase DBA productivity.
  • Increase backup frequency for optimal data protection and performance.
  • Restore a failed database of any size to full production in minutes.
  • Create complete database clones in seconds; no additional storage is needed.


NetApp SnapManager for Microsoft SQL Server

Reduce storage costs SnapManager can help you significantly reduce storage costs. By consolidating SQL Server data onto NetApp storage, you have the flexibility of an iSCSI, Fibre Channel, or FCoE SAN as well as SMB/NAS infrastructure. You can use flexible volumes to eliminate pools of unused storage and increase storage utilization, simplify data management, and reduce administrative overhead. SnapManager can automatically move online backups to secondary storage and then deduplicate the archived backups to further reduce storage costs. These technologies can also be applied to data archiving. With NetApp FlexClone® software, database administrators (DBAs) can create database clones with virtually no incremental storage footprint. SnapManager also supports virtualized IT environments, including Microsoft Hyper-V™ and VMware®.

Deploy federated backups With NetApp solutions, you get quick, space-efficient backups through a graphical user interface as well as a comprehensive set of Windows PowerShell™ cmdlets for easy scripting of backup/restore workflows. You can add multiple SQL Server instances and databases to the same federated group and create a Snapshot™ copy to back up all databases in that group at the same time. SnapManager provides the capability to restore to a marker so you can tie recovery to a business event, which is particularly useful for applications that span multiple databases across multiple SQL Server instances.

Increase data protection You can minimize exposure to data loss by performing frequent backups with our fast, nondisruptive Snapshot technology. SnapManager takes only minutes to do a full backup and requires only minimal disk space. Since our backups are transactionally consistent, that is, they are not Volume Snapshot Service backups; SQL Server recognizes them as full backups. Backup verification needs no additional disk space and is integrated into the backup workflow. As a result, you can make more frequent and complete backups. Up to 255 active Snapshot copies can be kept at any one time, with negligible performance impact. SnapManager provides federated backup, which eliminates the need for complex scripting when backing up data across interrelated database groups. Because SnapManager is integrated with NetApp OnCommand™ Core Package for Windows and NetApp SnapVault® backup software, you can increase your level of data protection by archiving your backups as well as being able to restore them on lower cost secondary storage.

Simplify data management SnapManager provides you with data protection, backup management, and database clone lifecycle management. A rich set of Windows PowerShell™ 2.0 cmdlets enable DBAs to script repetitive tasks as well as include SnapManager functions in custom data management workflows. In addition, the combination of Data ONTAP® and Windows PowerShell scripting enables DBAs to automate management of LUNs and volumes. NetApp SAN storage appears as local storage to SQL Server, while SMB/NAS appears as Windows file shares; the management of both storage types is accomplished through native Windows environments. Since SnapManager creates backup jobs that are executed through the SQL Server agent, they resemble a normal maintenance plan to which most DBAs are already accustomed; there is no need to open the GUI for normal day-to-day operations. You can proactively manage your SQL Server environment with automatic e-mail alerts. And, to help you determine the optimal configuration for peak SQL Server performance, SnapManager automatically tracks database configuration changes, which you can access online in an easy-to-read format.

Maximize data availability SnapManager helps you meet stringent service-level agreements by significantly reducing planned and unplanned downtime. With Data ONTAP operating in Cluster-Mode, you never experience a data outage during storage system maintenance or upgrades. Through tight integration with SQL Server applications, SnapManager helps you make sure that each backup is valid and available for restoration by automating the process of verifying the consistency of database backups. When there is a need to quickly recover lost or deleted production data, a clone can be created off of a backup without having to restore the entire production database. In addition, SnapManager supports both up-to-the-minute recovery as well as point-in-time recovery options through the automated replaying of transaction log dumps. By reducing restore times to minutes, you can further minimize downtime and enhance application availability.

Meet your high-availability and disaster recovery objectives through our support for AlwaysOn Availability Groups (AGs) in SQL Server 2012. With SnapManager you can accelerate AG setup, rapidly back up and restore all databases in AGs, create space-efficient clones of databases in AGs, and quickly resynchronize databases within the AG. In addition, AGs can be mirrored to remote locations using NetApp SnapMirror® technology.

Clone lifecycle management SnapManager for SQL Server leverages FlexClone technology to make zero-storage-footprint clones that can accelerate the release and improve the quality of new applications based on SQL Server. Using an intuitive wizard-based tool, in seconds you can create space-efficient copies of SQL Server data with end-to-end clone lifecycle management, including policy-based clone deletion and refresh. Empower your enterprise DBAs to offer on-demand, periodic, and customized staging and user-acceptance testing services quickly and without errors to other DBAs and end users (application engineers) using policy-based clone lifecycle management. In addition, you can leverage a rich set of Windows PowerShell 2.0 cmdlets that support integration of cloning in test automation scripts and decision support system reporting applications. With SnapManager, you can create clones quickly whenever you need them, with minimal impact in terms of space and wasted time.

Data lifecycle management With SQL Server 2012 your DBAs can place archived data in table partitions that are backed by secondary data files and can be easily moved to secondary storage through the SnapManager database migration wizard. Alternatively, DBAs can back up a database, archive the backup to secondary storage using NetApp SnapVault, and then purge old data from the database. In addition, NetApp deduplication can significantly reduce the storage footprint of the archived backups.

Partner for success NetApp Professional Services for Microsoft Applications offer a wide range of services, including SQL Server implementation on the NetApp storage platform, disaster recovery, and high availability, as well as custom services to help customers successfully deploy SQL Server. To meet your interoperability and performance needs, we collaborate closely with Microsoft on key product integration efforts, including performance testing, product validation, and joint development. Service engagements are delivered through NetApp Professional Services in combination with a global partner ecosystem.

System Requirements

NetApp SnapManager for Microsoft SQL Server supports:

  • Windows Server® 2003 SP1 or SP2, 2003 R2, 2003 R2 with SP2, 2008 or 2008 R2, Standard Edition or Enterprise Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2 Data Center Edition
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 with SP1 or SP2 or 2008 R2 or 2012 Standard Edition or Enterprise Edition
  • iSCSI, FC, or FCoE SAN, or SMB/SAN protocol
  • NetApp SnapDrive® for Windows 6.3.1 R1 or later
  • NetApp SnapDrive for Windows 6.4 or later for Cluster-Mode support
  • Data ONTAP 7.2.7 or later
  • Data ONTAP 8.1 or later for Cluster-Mode support
  • x86, x64, and IA64 platforms
  • Windows Guest OS on Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware ESX® 3.0.2 (Update 1)

Key Benefits

  • Reduced Costs Reduce storage costs significantly with our space-efficient SQL Server® backup capabilities.
  • Increased Productivity Streamline data management and automate routine tasks so administrators can spend more time on value-added tasks.
  • Greater Data Protection Increase your backup frequency to protect more data automatically without affecting system performance.
  • Fast Recovery Restore a failed database of any size to full production in minutes.
  • Clone Lifecycle Management Create complete database clones in seconds without the need for additional storage space.


PDF File
Download the NetApp SnapManager for Microsoft SQL Server Datasheet (PDF).