Everything You Need to Know about HDS and Commvault IntelliSnap Technology: New Field Guide

Posted 02/12/2015 by Commvault

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If you read my recent blog series about Commvault IntelliSnap technology and how it works with Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) storage, you may have said to yourself: “Well that’s a good introduction, but I sure would love to know everything there is to know about that.”

I’m glad you asked! We’ve just released our IntelliSnap Field Guide for Hitachi Data Systems, a comprehensive look at everything you need to know about HDS and Commvault IntelliSnap technology. And I mean comprehensive.

The Field Guide is 184 pages of solid technical content, covering everything from hardware and software overviews, Hitachi in-system replication technology, integration requirements, array configurations, host configurations, integration with hypervisors and integration with applications such as Exchange, Oracle, SAP Oracle and DB2.

If you’re getting ready to deploy IntelliSnap technology or just want to know the details about how it works with Hitachi, this is the guide for you. I’m certainly not going to try to summarize such an extensive document, but I’ll give you a taste of what it has in store for you.

If you were configuring your IntelliSnap software to support your Hitachi array (and we support a whole bunch of them), you might come across this Array Properties screen, depending on which array you were using.

At first glance you’re probably thinking, “That’s so many options! Is IntelliSnap software that complicated?”

Well, here’s the thing. Those aren’t IntelliSnap software options per se; those are Hitachi array options. Hitachi makes enterprise class kit, and enterprise kit is flexible and full of options to handle all kinds of use cases. And since the whole point of IntelliSnap software is to help you maximize your hardware investment, we try to support all the array features that we can. So there they are!

Now, even a very experienced Hitachi storage administrator might not know what all these options are, and that’s where the Field Guide comes into play. It provides you descriptions for every one of these options, along with related Hitachi information. Let’s look at the first one as an example: SVOL LDEV nickname.

The Field Guide gives you a direct description of what that means:

The “SVOL LDEV nickname” setting allows a specific pool of SVOLs to be utilized. Both ShadowImage and Thin Image jobs will only pick SVOLs matching this exact LDEV name. This is not a regex match, but an absolute match.

Not just a definition, but helpful tips as well to prevent you from making mistakes:

  • The nickname needs to be 20 characters or less
  • Support for alphanumeric characters, including _ (underscore), and - (hyphen)
  • Do not start the nickname with IS_, that is a reserved IntelliSnap technology name.

Then, to make things crystal clear, you get an example plus what it looks like from the perspective of the Hitachi Storage Navigator management interface.

For Example, if the SVOL LDEV nickname was set to VSA_SVOL, it would only select the following SVOLs:

And we’re not done yet! Since IntelliSnap technology will make some changes to naming for retention purposes, it explains what you can expect to see, and provides another example.

Any SVOLs that are selected during this process will be renamed for the duration of the retention to an internal IntelliSnap technology naming convention so that it is known to be selected and utilized with a specific job.

Once the retention has aged these copies they will return to their original nickname.

And finally it concludes by answering that eternal IT question, the kind you almost never find in user manuals: why would I use this?

This setting is useful when creating a number of SVOLs, for multiple different hosts using ShadowImage for example, and ensuring that specific LDEVs will be utilized only for each host.

The Guide goes on to provide similar information for all those options. If you’re familiar with Hitachi storage you probably just said: “Wow, that’s really helpful!” Indeed, you could spend a lot of time tracking all this down by cross-referencing Commvault documentation and Hitachi documentation. To save you lots of time and trouble, our certified smart guys did all that for you and put it all in one place. And that’s the real value of the IntelliSnap Field Guide: knowledge and efficiency together.

I’ll stop talking now and let you download it for yourself. Enjoy!