In a recent blog post, Nick Triantos sneak previews NetApp’s SnapManager for Hyper-V (SMHV).  SnapManager is a popular product that automates and manages the creation, restoration and deletion of hardware based point-in-time snapshot copies provided by NetApp’s storage systems.

SMHV is backup and recovery software that enables backups of VMs as a group(s) according to protection policies set by the backup administrator as well as recover these VMs individually. It provides integration with the Microsoft Hyper-V VSS (Volume Shadow Copy Services) writer to quiesce the Hyper-V VMs before taking a consistent snapshot of the target virtual machines. SMHV also provides a VSS requestor component that coordinates the backup process and creates a consistent snapshot using NetApp’s DataONTAP VSS Hardware Provider therefore guaranteeing application and file system consistency inside the VM.

On restores there is an option to verify the start-up the VM after it has been restored. If the VM to be restored is already running, SMHV will power it off and remove it. It will then restore it from the backup, re-register with SCVMM (System Center Virtual Machine Manager) and with Hyper-V Manager. SMHV also provides Powershell cmdlets for performing these operations on individual VMs

Although NetApp is an extremely close partner with VMware and has a bevy of products, solutions and expertise for VMware environments, lately it has been accelerating its efforts in Hyper-V. In September, 2008 NetApp affirmed its intent to support Hyper-V customers by working  with Microsoft to improve the customer experience by enhancing integration with Microsoft’s suite of management tools including include SCVMM and to leverage best practices developed by NetApp to enable optimal customer deployments.

To wit, along with its hardware products, NetApp now offers the following for Microsoft environments:

and provides its best practice expertise NetApp Storage Best Practices for Microsoft Virtualization which includes an excellent four part series on Hyper-V Storage Provisioning written by Chaffie McKenna, Reference Architect – [NetApp’s] Microsoft Solutions Engineering. Indeed, NetApp has 15 experts that blog about Microsoft environments.

At its Industry Analyst day in June 2009, NetApp said its plan was to provide “Simplicity Through Integration”

NTAP VM Strategy

It is clear that NetApp has recognized the importance of Hyper-V in the market and that it intends to be a major player in Hyper-V’s ecosystem. NetApp caught the virtualization wave early and has benefited consequently. Expect more shortly.

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Nick Allen (8 Posts)

Nick is a veteran storage industry guru with more than 40 years' experience in information technology who now consults on best practices in information storage at The Tod Point Group which he founded. Previously, Nick spent 20 years with Gartner Inc. as Vice President and Research Director where he focused on information storage, storage networking and storage management. Prior to Gartner, he was a senior management consultant specializing in system planning, capacity and storage performance management. Previously, he worked in IT management, operating systems, and business and scientific applications. He also brings his storage expertise to bear at Wikibon.

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