If you receive errors when attempting to view this white paper, please install the latest version of
“The Dell™ EqualLogic™ PS Series arrays offer the availability features necessary to integrate into a holistic plan that is designed to protect SQL Server data
Source : Equallogic
How to Protect your SQL Server Database
Auto-Snapshot Manager is also known as :
Auto Snapshot Manage,
Innovative Bundled Data Protection,
Restore Virtual Machines,
Business Solution Directory,
Benefits Deploying Auto Snapshot,
Vmware Auto Snapshot Manager,
Equallogic Adds Auto Snapshot Manager,
Introduced Auto Snapshot Manager,
Product Sheet Auto Snapshot Manager,
Equallogic Adds Auto Snapshot Manager,
Abstract Titled Auto Snapshot Manager,
Hypervisor Aware Snapshots ,
Innovative Data Management Tool,
Deploying Auto Snapshot Manager.
Business critical applications depend on Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS) to store and manage
data that they collect, process, and report on. Since RDMBS must maintain data integrity as well as ensuring data
availability and performance, it is critical that data be well protected and stored on high-performance, highly available
Microsoft® SQL Server is the fastest growing RDBMS solution and supports a vast range of business critical
applications. EqualLogic PS Series iSCSI SANs provide the optimal storage architecture for local and remote pro-
tection and high availability of SQL Server environments, offering Smart Copy snapshot and replication capability
and automated management. EqualLogic's Auto-Snapshot Manager and integration with enabling technologies such
as Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Services (VSS) enable customers to implement comprehensive data protection
strategies, simplifying management while retaining flexibility.
EqualLogic provides highly available storage environments
to help customers maintain the highest levels of business
continuity. EqualLogic's iSCSI SAN solutions include
SQL Server protection features such as database Smart
Copy snapshots, cloning, remote replication, and quick
restore and recovery. EqualLogic's PS Series arrays com-plement and enhance SQL Server fault tolerance and
VSS SIMPLIFIES SNAPSHOT MANAGEMENT
Information availability is a major business requirement, and
SQL Server databases, as the repository of many organizations' most valuable information, are no exception.
Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) supports
SQL Server database backup and recovery to simplify data
protection and ensure high availability and data integrity.
VSS integrates and coordinates database protection and
recovery tasks among SQL Server, backup applications,
and storage arrays to provide application-aware data management. This tight integration allows for backup, recovery,
and data mining operations to take place without affecting
the performance or availability of online applications.
Shadow Copies ' commonly known as Snapshots, are
point-in-time copies of a volume or collection of volumes.
Snapshots preserve the state of a volume at a specific
instance and can be retained for future use ' particularly
for instant copy and quick recovery operations utilizing
vendor-supported snapshot technologies. Two types of
copies can be made: 1) clones, which are full copies of a
volume; and 2) differential copies, which include only the
changes made to a volume since the last copy.
VSS can be described as a broker, coordinating events
among the backup application, SQL Server database,
and storage array for smooth operation. Its primary
- The VSS Coordinator, which handles all interactions
- he Requestors, which are the storage management
applications (e.g., backup/data protection) that initi ate VSS operations such as creating, importing, or
- The Writer, which is the application being backed
up or recovered (in this case, SQL Server)
- The Provider, which is the hardware provider or
EqualLogic PS Series arrays work efficiently with VSS to
ensure the highest levels of SQL Server availability and
EQUALLOGIC AUTO-SNAPSHOT MANAGER AND
EqualLogic's Peer Integration Tools include Auto-Snapshot
Manager, an advanced snapshot management and recovery
tool. Auto-Snapshot Manager is an extension of the
Peer Integration Architecture hosted on the server and acts
as a Requestor in the VSS stack. It was developed to take
full advantage of EqualLogic's snapshot, clone, and replication functionalities while leveraging VSS's integration and
application awareness to create a full-featured SQL Server
protection solution. This integration automates operations
such as capturing database snapshots, creating local
clones or remote replicas, and performing fast recovery
to eliminate downtime or performance degradation.
Auto-Snapshot Manager eliminates hours of tedious work
that other systems require to recover a database after data
corruption or loss.
AUTO-SNAPSHOT MANGER PROVIDES DATA
PROTECTION AND RECOVERY OPTIONS
SQL Server deployments can be very large and complex.
Auto-Snapshot Manager simplifies data management
tasks and offers a comprehensive approach to SQL
Server protection by providing both local and remote data-
base protection, allowing for quick data recovery in case
of data loss or site failure.
An extension of EqualLogic's data protection features,
Auto-Snapshot Manager facilitates Smart Copy snap-
shots, clones and replicas of SQL Server databases.
It recognizes the makeup of SQL Server databases and
coordinates fully consistent point-in-time copies of
these databases. These Smart Copy snapshots are
instantaneous and can be saved locally on the same SAN
or to a remote site by leveraging the PS Series' built-in
remote replication features.
Local database backup options
Auto-Snapshot Manager provides a robust set of tools to
simplify and accelerate database copies by utilizing the
snapshot functionality built into every PS Series array.
Smart Copy allows Auto-Snapshot Manager to utilize
different data protection options that can be selected
depending on application objectives and protection
requirements. These options are:
- Differential Smart Copy snapshots ' This space
efficient method copies only the modifications to the
database volume that have occurred since the last
database snapshot was taken.
- Smart Copy clone ' This method performs a full
copy of the database volume ' because it uses
the entire size of the original volume it is not
recommended for frequent backup operations.
Smart Copy clones are generally used to create
entire temporary database environments for data
mining, development, and testing.
Using Auto-Snapshot Manager, both options take only
seconds to complete and can be executed online with no
Local database restore options
Auto-Snapshot Manager is simple to use and provides
powerful automation while maintaining the flexibility and
fault tolerance needed for database restore and recovery
operations. With multiple SQL Server restore options,
recovery can be as instantaneous and granular as
required. Restore options include:
- Restore Database ' This method restores the
original database in-place, recovering the database
volume to its state at a certain point in time. This
also allows also for rolling log file backups that can
provide a more granular restore operation if desired.
- Restore As New Database ' This method creates
a new instance of the original database as a sepa-
rate database. It is generally used for data mining,
development, and test purposes as well as file-,
table-, or object-level recovery of a database to a
specific earlier state.
With Auto-Snapshot Manager, database restore can be
done from either Smart Copy snapshots or clones. In addi-
tion, as the restore operation is launched, another database
Smart Copy snapshot is taken to preserve its state of the
database at the time of recovery. This safety net is a
valuable feature that allows for fault-tolerant recovery oper-
ations. While the priority is to restore lost data in case of a
database corruption or failure, this safety net also provides
a reference point of the corrupted state of the database to
enable more detailed analysis of the cause of the corruption.
REMOTE REPLICATION AND FAILOVER
Data replication is becoming a more common practice to
respond to network failures, power outages, and complete
site failures caused by natural or human-created disasters.
PS Series arrays include remote site replication as a built-
in feature. Regardless of distance or network bandwidth,
remote replication sites can be setup to maintain off-site
copies of SQL Server databases.
PS Series remote replication can be managed through
Auto-Snapshot Manager to create Smart Copy replicas
of SQL Server databases. EqualLogic replication is
extremely flexible, supporting replication implementations
tailored to your specific needs. For example, you can
setup a central replication site that receives data from
multiple sites or data centers. Two-way replication can
also be setup easily between two distinct sites, allowing
both sites to replicate data to each other to maintain data
availability in case either site fails.
Lengthy processes such as backup to tape can now take
place at the remote site without affecting daily operations
or consuming valuable resources of the server hosting the
SQL database. In addition, backup operations can be
consolidated and offloaded to a remote site to enhance
and streamline this traditionally complex backup process.
PS Series replication also enables IT administrators to
easily and affordably setup failover and failback between loca-
tions, providing effective disaster recovery for SQL Server
databases with minimal downtime and without data loss.
AUTOMATION KEEPS MANAGEMENT SIMPLE
All SQL Server protection features within Auto-Snapshot
Manager can be scheduled, to simplify and streamline
your data protection processes. Multiple schedules can
be created to automate Smart Copy snapshots, clones,
and replicas between sites, simplifying your backup and
data protection implementation for SQL Server. Smart
Copy snapshot and replica tasks can be automated to
take place as frequently as needed to meet business
continuity and service level agreement objectives.
EQUALLOGIC DELIVERS VALUE THROUGH
ADVANCED PROTECTION AND MANAGEMENT
EqualLogic iSCSI SAN solutions deliver best-of-breed data
protection features and all the functionality needed to build
a fully protected, high availability SQL Server environment.
Protection operations can be scheduled at regular intervals,
significantly reducing manual administrative tasks and free-
ing staff to focus on IT services and business projects.
Other administrative tasks such as validation of database
integrity, creating new database instances for data mining,
or more frequent updates to testing and development can
now be done through Auto-Snapshot Manager with as
little as a couple of mouse clicks.
Beyond data protection, PS Series arrays offer a consoli-
dated storage platform that simplifies overall storage
management. As your business grows, EqualLogic's
virtualization technology makes it easy to linearly scale up
capacity and performance with online addition of PS Series
arrays. EqualLogic's exceptional performance and automatic
load balancing ensure optimal storage operations to meet
the needs of your most demanding applications.
110 Spit Brook Road,
Tel 603.579.9762 / Fax 603.579.6910 / www.equallogic.com