NetApp VSC 4.1 for VMware: SnapVault with SMVI Backups

In the last post (here) we looked at integrating SnapMirror with the SMVI backups in NetApp’s Virtual Storage Console for VMware. With SnapMirror, you have effectively a 1-1 relationship of volume and snapshots on primary storage to disaster recovery storage (see image below.)

Image: SnapMirror-SMVI snapshots on source and destination

Q: What if we want to extend our retention capability without using more snapshot space on primary storage?
A: Use SnapVault scripts with SMVI.
And - fortunately - a very clever guy by the name of Matt has created something we can use - SV-SMVI. At the time of writing, the latest version of SnapVault for SMVI (SV-SMVI) is version 3.0.3 (which we use here) and this is available from:

SnapVault Considerations

A few important considerations about SnapVault taken from the:

Data ONTAP 8.1 Commands: Manual Page Reference For 7-Mode, Volume 1
Part number: 210-05884_A0 (Updated for Data ONTAP 8.1.2 on 22 November 2012)

1) “SnapVault replicates data in primary system paths to qtrees on a SnapVault secondary node.”
2) “When the primary system is a node, the path to be replicated can be a qtree, non-qtree data on a volume, or a volume path … the snapvault restore command on a primary node will always restore to a primary qtree regardless ….”

What does this mean?
When the VSC provisions an NFS datastore, it provisions as a volume and not as a qtree in a volume. Also, VMs are contained in folders in the NFS datastore and not in qtrees themselves. This means that with a typically provisioned VMware environment, we can SnapVault the whole NFS datastore but not do more granular backups. If more granular backups are required say to backup individual VMs, these must exist in individual qtrees on the NFS datastore. Also, the restore of a non-qtree datastore can only be done back to a qtree.

Note: For the remainder of this post we’ll assume we’re working with a typically provisioned environment (that is - no qtrees on the primary.)

Part 1: SV-SMVI Installation

Note: “SV-SMVI is not supported through NetApp’s Technical Support Center (TSC). Support is only provided through NetApp Professional Services on a services engagement basis.”

1.1 Download:

After downloading from here and unpacking the contents, we are presented with the following files:

- SV-SMVI User Guide.pdf
- sv-smvi.cmd
- sv-smvi.exe (Windows Executable)
- (Perl Script)

Here we will configure SV-SMVI using the executable (the Perl Script is available as an alternative.)

1.2 Installation of sv-smvi.cmd and sv-smvi.exe:

Note: Here we have a Windows Server 2008 R2 box with VMware vCenter Server 5.1, and the NetApp Virtual Storage Console 4.1 for VMware installed on the same box.

Side note: Check out the SnapManager 2.0 for Virtual Infrastructure Best Practices - TR-3737 which has as best practice to “Install SMVI on the vCenter server to reduce the impact of network disruptions”.

i. Place sv-smvi.exe in the folder:

C:\Program Files\NetApp\Virtual Storage Console\smvi

ii. Place sv-smvi.cmd in the folder:

C:\Program Files\NetApp\Virtual Storage Console\smvi\server\scripts

Part 2: SnapVault Configuration

2.1 License and check licenses:

PRI> license add SVONTAPPRI
SEC> license add SVONTAPSEC
PRI> license
SEC> license

2.2 Create a volume on the secondary to hold the backups (the volume will be a larger size than the primaries if many SMVI backups will be held there) and verify size and options:

*(Optional) the -s none creates a thin-provisioned volume
SEC> vol status SVSECVOL

2.3 Allow SnapVault access between primary and secondary, and ping to verify network connectivity:

PRI> options snapvault.enable on
PRI> options snapvault.access host=SEC
PRI> ping SEC
SEC> options snapvault.enable on
SEC> options snapvault.acess host=PRI
SEC> ping PRI

2.4 Create SnapVault primary to secondary relationship and baseline, and monitor the status:

SEC> snapvault start -S PRI:/vol/SVPRIVOL/- SEC:/vol/SVSECVOL/nonQtreeDataInSVPRIVOL
SEC> snapvault status

Note i: The SnapVault volume is ready for future updates when the state is Snapvaulted.
Note ii: If you SnapVault a volume with Qtrees inside, only the non Qtree data comes across!

2.5 Create a SnapVault schedule which only applies a retention policy (SV-SMVI triggers taking the SnapVault snapshot):

SEC> snapvault snap sched SVSECVOL SNAPNAME 21@-

Note i: Later on, we can use the snap list -n SVSECVOL to see the snapshots.
Note ii: Remove any default scheduled snapshots (in case this has not be done already) as below -

PRI> snap sched SVPRIVOL 0 0 0
SEC> snap sched SVSECVOL 0 0 0


3.1 Encrypt Password:

From the DOS Command Prompt, run -
sv-smvi.exe -cryptpasswd
- as in the example below.

Example: Encrypting password
C:\Program Files\NetApp\Virtual Storage Console\smvi>sv-smvi.exe -cryptpasswd
Enter password text to encrypt:
Encrypted password string to use is: 53616c7465645f5f5326c31daa2ea805ad3047ac665ce15049f431daacf69a56

3.2 Edit sv-smvi.cmd as required:

Unedited, the contents of sv-smvi.cmd are:
c:\Temp\sv-smvi.exe -svuser root -svpasswd netapp

The below lists an example working sv-smvi.cmd content - here we’re using the encrypted password from 3.1 and outputting a report:

cd "C:\Program Files\NetApp\Virtual Storage Console\smvi"
sv-smvi.exe -svuser root -svcryptpasswd 536… -report

Note: Check out the ‘SV-SMVI User Guide’ for Command Line Arguments.

Part 4: VSC - Create/Edit Backup Job

4.1 Create/Edit Job using the sv-smvi.cmd script

vSphere Client > Home > Solutions and Applications > NetApp
Backup and Recovery > Backup

Create/edit a backup job, and where prompted select the sv-smvi.cmd script.

Image: Selecting the sv-smvi.cmd script in the VSC Backup Wizard

4.2 Choose a schedule for the SnapVaulting

The SnapVault schedule is dictated via the Backup Wizard in the VSC (only the retention is dictated by the schedule created in 2.5.)

4.3 Run the Job

Check the report to see if SV-SMVI completed successfully:

Example: End of SV-SMVI log and “Command completed successfully”
[15:17:50] SnapVault secondary snapshot created successfully.
[15:17:50] A total of 1 SnapVault relationship update(s) and 1 SnapVault snapshot creation(s) successful.
[15:17:50] Command completed successfully.

Note i: The default location for the SV-SMVI log is C:\NetApp\SV-SMVI\Report (which gets auto-created)
Note ii: If seeing an “ERROR: ZAPI connection” check ‘options httpd.admin.enable’ is set to on (httpd.enable can be off).

Image: SnapVault-SMVI snapshots on source and destination

Useful tip: SnapVault uses the same engine as qtree snapmirror.

APPENDIX: SMVI Command Line Arguments

-svip STR
-svuser STR
-svpasswd STR
-reportdir STR
-config FILE
-svcryptpasswd STR
-dnslist STR:IP, STR:IP, …
-svschednames STR, STR


  1. Thank you for a nice guide.

    I can see that you snapvault snapshot on the primary is named as the rest of the snapshots how did you manage to do that? Hen i create the snapvault relationship from the secondary i get netapp standard naming for the baseline snapshot? In the guide it seems if the baseline is created when you run the script for the first time? Can you please clarify?

    Kind Regards,

  2. Solved my own problem. I used the vault ip address with -svip instead of the primary one so the script was looking for snapshot on a volume that didn't existed on the secondary filer.

  3. Is this script SnapVault for SMVI compatible with Clustered ONTAP 8.2?

    1. Apologies for the late reply. No, it won't work (this version at least) with Clustered ONTAP 8.2.

  4. How about a follow up with how to recover from the vault back to primary or from vault for DR?

  5. Hi,
    Is it possible to first have SMVI initiate a snapmirror to a secondary filer, and then create a snapvault copy from that snapmirror filer to a third filer?

    1. Hi Thierry, yes absolutely. There's a tick box in SMVI to initiate SnapMirror updates. SMVI won't be able to manage/integrate with the SnapVault of the SnapMirror destination, just set it up manually though and all's good. Cheers!


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