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Why Snapshot the storage during backup/after dump of the SnapCenter repository?

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Applies to

SnapCenter Server

Answer

NetApp in fact requires the dump location to be on a VMDK (or on and iSCSI LUN) on NetApp storage, and requires the SnapCenter Server to be added as a Host into itself, installing the Windows Plug-in, since NetApp does not consider it a backup unless the data is inside a snapshot.
 
The snapshot is created on the NFS or VMFS LUN Datastore's ONTAP Volume as part of the Backup process, if the location is on a VMDK.
Note: VMDK usage requires also the usage of the SnapCenter Plug-in for VMware on the vCenter managing the SnapCenter VM.
 
In case the Snapshot on an ONTAP VMware datastore is not wanted, then there are two options:
  1. Do not use the Powershell repository backup command. Instead, script your own dump with dump file management, losing the NetApp Storage requirement.
  2. Move the Dump location to an iSCSI LUN on its own Volume, using the Windows iSCSI Initiator, that way the SnapCenter VM's datastore will not be involved.

Additional Information

The addition of repository backups using the Powershell command "Protect-SmRepository" also creates a hidden resource group called "MYSQL_Backup_SC_Repository", and a Policy called "MYSQL_Backup_SC_Repository" with a SnapCenter based Task scheduled in Windows to run these backups (this is also why the Snapshots start with that resource group name).

Since SnapCenter tasks contain numbered resource group and policy references, finding the task for the repository backup requires extracting the XML from all these tasks and looking for these specific resource group and/or policy names.
 
Note: SnapGathers creates a task scheduler text file that contains the full XML outputs.
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