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Tips & Tricks - Why Spend Out on Expensive Snap-Clone Backup Licences

Question asked by Keith Hensby-Peck on Jul 25, 2014
Latest reply on Jan 12, 2015 by Keith Hensby-Peck

Are you running your Nimble and Backup software on a budget ?

Do you have a media agent with a tape library attached ?

Is the media agent attached to the storage delivery network ?

Dont want to spend out on individual Media Agent and Intellisnap licences just yet ?


There is a way - Were doing it today !


1. Ensure that the volume to backup has a Volume to LUN ratio is 1:1. ( Primary and secondary volumes the script cant do - yet )

2. Connect your media agent to the iSCSI network - with all the required software and patches needed.

3. Ensure that the data you want to backup is a direct attached nimble volume - ie. SQL Backups LUN ( No VM Vols - havent tested/proved that yet ) and add it to a protection group so that the Nimble controls when and how-many snaps are available.

4. Let the protection group create your snaps.

5. Prior to the backup to tape job - clone the latest snapshot of the backup volume to a writable volume and assign it to the media agent.

6. Mount the volume in a sub-folder somewhere - or give it a drive letter.. ( I prefer mount points as I have 7 servers transferring to tape this way so far )

7. Point the backup job at the LOCAL disk - not the network share as per traditional backups.. ( No Backup agent needed - No intellisnap licence needed ) and backup the job direct to tape from the mounted Nimble volume - leaving the Host network free from bottlenecks.

8. Once complete - delete the cloned volume.


All this is done using the wonderful powershell modules available for the Nimble (PowerShell Module). The script I have written does more than just the above, as it works on config files and encrypts the nimble password to the user running the script, as well as lots of other diskpart stuff to automatically mount the volume on a folder and not the next drive letter windows feels like using.. and of course deletes the clone afterwards during the post backup phase.. but basically.. it does the following :


Import-Module Nimble

Connect-NSArray -SystemName $Array -Password $Password

$NewVol=get-nsvolume -name $VolumeNameToBackup | get-nssnapshot | select -first 1 | new-nsclone -Name $NewClonedVolumeNameThatsDifferent






The script is designed to be run as a pre/post backup script.. so is called using :

%SystemRoot%\system32\WindowsPowershell\v1.0\powershell.exe -file MapDrivesForBackup.ps1 -Task Mount -File "C:\Backups\MountServer1.xml" -LogFile "C:\Backups\Server1.log"


and retuns a non-zero exit code if enything goes wrong - so the backup doesnt complete with 0bytes backed up