NetApp, as a long time consumer of virtualization, understands the importance of tightly integrating storage and servers, especially for highly virtualized environments. This experience, coupled with customer feedback and our VMware integration, allows NetApp to continue to release new features for the Virtual Storage Console (VSC) management plug-in, which has been designed to integrate tightly with VMware vSphere. VSC provides end-to-end lifecycle management for virtual machines (VMs) and provides visibility into the NetApp storage environment from within the vCenter console.
In the newest release, VSC 6.1, NetApp has focused on delivering higher levels of data protection by integrating VSC with NetApp SnapCenter 1.0, making back-up and restore, well a…snap. In this new release you can more effectively manage your backups by leveraging the SnapCenter integrated engine to create policies that are independent of the object you are applying them to. In other words, you can create “standalone” backup policies, each with a specified schedule and retention, and one or more backup policies can be associated with a backup job for maximum flexibility.
Image 1. With Virtual Storage Console 6.1 you can create policies then apply them to back-up jobs.
It also provides support for critical functions such as job monitoring, event notification, logging, dashboard, and reporting. Also new and exciting is the ability to use SnapCenter to trigger a SnapVault restore from both local and remote backup copies. You can specify the number of copies to keep, how long to keep them and if you need to restore data, you can pick the version of the copy you need.
Image 2. Virtual Storage Console 6.1 allows you to easily restore files from SnapVault.
Other new enhancements include the ability to attach or detach VMs from a virtual disk to perform a single file restore from a backup. This makes it quick and easy to recover files from inside a virtual machine, without having to use a full backup software suite. Additionally, SnapCenter supports REST APIs for backup and recovery tasks, enabling you to develop software that leverages VSC backup and recovery functionality outside of the GUI.
But wait…there is more than just data protection. VSC 6.1 offers enhanced visibility into NetApp MetroCluster to give you insight into which cluster is hosting your datastore. Since MetroCluster failures are typically transparent, your system may have failed over from your primary cluster to your secondary one, impacting the IO path. With VSC, you now have visibility into which cluster is hosting your datastore, allowing you to ensure your data is being routed through the best path and giving the most optimized performance.
Be sure to give VSC 6.1 and SnapCenter a try! Both of these plug-ins are offered by NetApp at no cost to enhance your storage experience in a virtualized environment.
To download VSC 6.1, visit: http://mysupport.netapp.com/NOW/download/software/vsc_win/6.1/
To download SnapCenter 1.0, visit: http://mysupport.netapp.com/NOW/download/software/snapcenter/1.0/