Wednesday, May 23, 2012

NetApp Single Mailbox Restore (SMR) for Exchange for Virtualised Exchange Servers

NetApp Single Mailbox Restore for Exchange 2010 is, well, a snap to use when your Exchange server is running in the “NetApp way”.  What is the NetApp way you ask?  Well, in a nutshell, it is when you have your physical Exchange box hooked up to your SAN via iSCSI or FCP.  If you are virtualised then you’ll need to present your disks via RDM (vSphere) or pass-through if you live in MS land.

What I address here is the case where you have an Exchange server virtualised with Hyper-V, with your hard drives attached as VHD’s.  Even though this example uses Hyper-V, the principles are also applicable to a vSphere environment.

Mounting the NetApp Snapshot

  1. Open NetApp SnapDrive on a host connected to your Filer via either FCP or iSCSI
  2. Navigate to the Disks node and expand the LUN containing the VHD which in turn contains your Exchange DB’s.
  3. Under Snapshot Copies, right-click point in time snapshot that you wish to restore and select Connect Disk
  4. The Connect Disk Wizard will start.  Click Next
  5. Select the appropriate snapshot and click next.
  6. Click Next on the the “Important Properties…” screen (Don’t change anything here)
  7. Set the LUN type as Dedicated and click Next
  8. Assign a Drive Letter and click Next
  9. Select your initiators and click Next
  10. Select Manual on the Initiator Group Management Screen and click Next
  11. Select the appropriate iGroup and click Next
  12. Click Finish to complete the SnapDrive Connect Disk Wizard

Your NetApp snapshot should now be mounted as a drive accessible through Windows Explorer, If you browse to it it should contain the VHD hosting your Exchange DB.  The next step is to mount the VHD so that it is accessible to SMR.

Mounting the VHD

  1. Open Server Manager.  Navigate to Storage – Disk Management.  Right-click Disk Management and click Attach VHD
  2. Browse to the VHD from the previous section and click OK

Your VHD will now be mounted with the next available drive letter and accessible via Windows Explorer.  The next and final step will be to mount our mailbox with SMR and get restoring!

Restoring with SMR

  1. Open Single Mailbox Recovery and click File – Open Source
  2. Browse to your source EDB file, ignoring any warnings about missing log files (Hooray for application-aware snapshots!) and click OK
  3. SMR will now process your database and allow you to restore a mailbox, folder or item to PST or an Exchange Server.

Awesome, but once done we have to clean up after ourselves by dismounting the VHD and disconnecting the temporary NetApp SnapShot LUN.


  1. Open Server Manager. Navigate to Storage – Disk Management. Right-click Disk Management and click Detach VHD
  2. Take care to *not* check the “Delete…” box and click OK
  3. Open SnapDrive and go to the Disks node.  Right click your temporary SnapShot LUN and click Disconnect Disk.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Configuring NetApp SnapManager for Hyper-V (Part 2) – Adding your Hyper-V Failover Cluster

Part one of our little tutorial dealt with correctly setting up and sizing the Snapinfo LUN.  Part deux will show you how to add and configure your cluster for SnapManager for Hyper-V.  Let’s dive in.

Configuring a Hyper-V Failover Cluster

  1. Open up SnapManager for Hyper-V, click the Protection node – Hosts tab and click Add Host.  Enter your host name.  NB! Only enter the NetBIOS name, not the FQDN***
  2. Click Next.  Answer Yes to the dialog box asking you to start the configuration wizard.image
  3. The configuration wizard will pop up
  4. Click Next.  Enter the report path location (or choose the default).image
  5. Enter the correct notification settings for your environmentimage
  6. Click Next. Select your Snapinfo path.
  7. Click Next. Admire the exquisitely formatted summary.image
  8. Click Finish.  The configuration wizard will now do the necessary to configure your Hyper-V failover cluster.
  9. Once you click close you can start configuring your Hyper-V protection.

***If the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) is used, SMHV will not be able to recognize the name as a cluster. This is in view of the manner in which the Windows Failover Cluster (WFC) returns the cluster name through WMI calls. Consequently, the host will not be recognized by SMHV as a cluster and will fail to use a clustered LUN as the SnapInfo Directory Location.

Configuring NetApp SnapManager for Hyper-V (Part 1) – Creating the Snapinfo LUN

Simple as this sounds I found that the process is not as simple and as well documented as it could be, especially with regards to creating the clustered SnapInfo LUN and folders.  Consequently I decided to document it with (a first for this blog) screenshots.

I am going to assume that you have already hooked up your hosts to your NetApp system, and that you’ve installed SnapDrive and SnapManager for Hyper-V.

The steps, in a nutshell, are:

  1. Create the Snapinfo LUN
  2. Make the Snapinfo LUN a highly available clustered resource
  3. Configure SnapManager for Hyper-V

Creating the SnapInfo LUN

  1. Create a volume to host your Hyper-V SnapInfo LUN
  2. Open up Snapdrive on of your Hyper-V cluster nodes, go to the Disks node, and click Create Disk.  This launches the Create Disk Wizard.image
  3. Click Next.  Now highlight the volume you created in step 1, enter a LUN name and description:image
  4. Click Next.  Very Important – select Shared (Microsoft Cluster Services Only)image
  5. Click Next. The following list should list the active nodes in your Failover Cluster.image
  6. Click Next. Select the appropriate options and size for your environment***image
  7. Click Next. Select the initiators to be mapped to the LUNimage
  8. Click Next.  Select whether you want to manually select the igroups (collection of initiators) or whether you want the filer to do it automatically.image
  9. Click Next. Choose the option to create a new Cluster Group to host the LUNimage
  10. Click Next and click Finish to exit the wizard.


To recap, the above will:

  • Create a LUN on the volume of your choosing
  • Format the LUN with the NTFS filesystem
  • Add the disk to your Failover Cluster as part of a Cluster group
  • Assign a driveletter to the disk.

***SnapInfo LUN Size Provisioning:  The NetApp filer will store about 50KB metadata per VM per snapshot.  Due to the way Hyper-V snapshots work it will store two snaps per snapshot, therefore if we backup 20 VM’s once per day our sizing will be as follows:  20 * 50KB = 1MB * 2 = 2MB per day.  NetApp allows us to store 255 snapshots per volume so we should cater for 510 MB total.  I give it 10GB just because I can.  And because thin provisioning works.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Fixing NetApp SnapDrive error code 0x800706ba

I came across this when deploying SnapDrive on cluster nodes in a Windows 2008 R2 Failover Cluster.  Only SnapDrive running on the host owning the disk resource would list the connected LUNs.  On the other cluster nodes SnapDrive did not list any connected LUNs.  Event Viewer has the following to say:

Level: Warning
Source: Snapdrive
Event ID: 317
Description:  Failed to enumerate LUN.

Devicepath: '\\\mpio#disk&ven_netapp&prod_lun&rev_810a#1&7f6ac24&0&323766314c5d417548697a49#{53f56307-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b}'

Storage path: '/vol/vol_name_001/lun-name-001'

SCSI address: (3,0,0,7)

Error code: 0x800706ba

Error description: The RPC server is unavailable.


The issue is that SnapDrive on the non-owning hosts queries FCM to see which node is the owner.  It then tries to connect to Snapdrive on the owning node to retrieve the LUN and snapshot info (as opposed to directly from the filer).


  1. Disable the windows Firewall (yeah right) –or
    Navigate to Control Panel > Windows Firewall > Allow a program through Windows
    Firewall > Exceptions.
  2. If you will be using HTTP or HTTPS, select the World Wide Web Services (HTTP) or Secure World Wide Web Services (HTTPS) checkboxes.
  3. Click Add program.
  4. Click Browse and browse to C:\Program Files\NetApp\SnapDrive\, or to wherever you
    installed SnapDrive if you did not use the default location.
  5. Select SWSvc.exe and click Open, then click OK in the Add a Program window and in the Windows Firewall Settings window.
  6. To verify that SWsvc.exe is in the list of inbound rules, in MMC, navigate to Windows Firewall > Inbound Rules.