NetApp has a great suite of products for managing some of the most common enterprise applications and/or databases. NetApp SnapManagers have deep application integration for managing Microsoft, Oracle or SAP for example, while Snap Creator offers a variety of plugins for managing even more applications and databases. But what do you do where there isn’t a SnapManager or a Snap Creator plugin for an application that you depend on for your business?
If the application or database has commands to place it into a consistent state, then you can use Snap Creator to call those commands and build a customized workflow that meets your needs.
Here’s How We Did It
To illustrate how this can be completed, I’ll take you through a recent example:
We performed a proof of concept (POC) for a customer that was using Siemens Teamcenter. This was based on the NetApp Tech Report, TR-4167: Backup and Recovery of Siemens PLM Teamcenter on NetApp Clustered Storage Solutions.
The TR covers Teamcenter using Oracle on the backend and running on UNIX. The POC was done per the customer’s environment, which ran Teamcenter on Windows and used Microsoft SQL (MSSQL) as the backend database.
The Steps Taken
In order to create an application consistent backup of Teamcenter we needed to do the following:
- Place Teamcenter into a consistent state
- Place MSSQL into a consistent state
- Take Snapshot copies
- Return MSSQL to normal mode
- Return Teamcenter to normal mode
To meet this requirement we used two Snap Creator configurations:
- One for MSSQL
- A second one for Teamcenter.
Then we called the MSSQL config from the Teamcenter config to create a workflow that resulted in a consistent backup of the entire Teamcenter environment.
We created a SMSQL configuration in Snap Creator, which leverages SnapManager for SQL (SMSQL) for deep application integration. By using Snap Creator, you can now schedule and monitor SMSQL operations centrally from the Snap Creator interface.
Let’s See This in Action
Watch this video that walks you through the creation of the configuration file for MSSQL.
Once the SMSQL config was tested and working we then setup a configuration for Teamcenter. Since there is no plugin for Teamcenter we used Snap Creator’s APP_QUIESCE and APP_UNQUIESCE commands.
The APP_QUIESCE command opened a shell for Teamcenter then executed the backup_modes command to place Teamcenter into read only mode.
The APP_UNQUIESCE command also opened a Teamcenter shell and executed the backup_modes command to return Teamcenter to normal mode.
We also supplied a PRE_EXIT command that was the same as the APP_UNQUIESCE command. This means that in case of a failure Snap Creator will return Teamcenter to normal mode before exiting.
Finally we configured Snap Creator to utilize SnapDrive for Windows to take Snapshot copies. For security purposes, we also had to edit the Snap Creator agent to tell Snap Creator that it is ok for it to execute these additional commands since they are not part of Snap Creator.
I want to show you another video that walks you through the creation of the configuration file for Teamcenter. While the example we used is Teamcenter, the concept is the same regardless of the application or database in use.
In part two, I’ll cover how to combine these two configuration files to create a single job, backing up the application as well as the database. In the meantime I welcome your comments on this first part of how to backup an application or database without a plugin.