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back to article 3PAR plugs-in more power to VMware

3PAR is giving more power to VMware administrators to protect, copy and manage virtual server-related data on InServ arrays, with a pair of software plug-ins. 3PAR's Recovery Manager plug-in for vSphere enables VMware admins to rapidly provision new virtual machines (VMs), using VM copies. They can create hundreds of VM-aware, …

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Reworked copy of press release

Full article is here:

http://www.3par.com/news_events/20100125.html

Unfortunately this still misses out on any technical details. Are they using VMware snapshots? If so then there is a snapshot limit of 32 snapshots per VM. The "hundreds of snapshots" seems to suggest something else or do they mean over 100s of VM?

How is this achieved, using the VMware disk development kit? Have they developed their own snapshot technology?

Is this a feature like the automatic rolling snapshots you can set up in VMware workstation?

Wouldn't a simple powershell script do the same thing?

How is file recovery going to help if you nuke the base disk (or if the disk has crashed) ?

A snapshot chain is not a backup. If you need file recovery then you are most likely too late...

Oh and for normal standard VMware snapshots you don't need an agent either, nor does the VM have to go offline.

It is still unclear to me what extra this product is giving us.

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snapshots

To answer your question on snapshots they are using SAN/volume based snapshots, not VMware based snapshots, though the snapshots are integrated with VMware in that they are in a consistent state, I believe both options are available either "crash recovery"(i.e. blind snapshot) or consistent state(tells vCenter to tell the VMs to flush their I/O before the snap occurs),

If you right click on a VM there is a new menu option that allows creating a SAN-based snapshot. You probably want to be careful with doing this as it is at a volume level if you have 50 VMs running on that one volume the array will have to maintain that snapshot for all 50 VMs, same with any array-based snapshot.

Also I don't believe recovery manager provides the ability to clone VMs, the article writer may be confusing that with 3PAR's VDI stuff, which came out about a year ago, and is separate(just a set of scripts if I recall right, included with the array snapshot licensing).

I have the plugin running on my array but haven't tried the snapshot integration(not licensed yet).

NetApp(and perhaps others) have had this ability for a while. I suppose one of the benefits would be to be able to take advantage of array based replication, take a consistent snapshot and use array tools to replicate to another array, another site etc. 3PAR(and many others) also integrate with VMware's SRM which does something similar, but SRM isn't quite the same type of product I don't think.

In 3PAR terms this snapshot product is the same kind of stuff that they provide for exchange, sql server, oracle etc, application aware snapshots.

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