How to Configure CommVault IntelliSnap with Tegile Flash Arrays

As part of our on-going “how-to” series on IntelliFlash OS, I’d like to dive into how Tegile integrates with CommVault and the ease in configuring CommVault IntelliSnap with our flash arrays. If you are used to legacy arrays that require a Ph.D. in array-ology (that’s a thing, yes?) to operate and manage storage arrays, you’ll be pleasantly amazed by how easily you can operate IntelliFlash.

Starting from IntelliFlash OS 3.7.x and CommVault v11 SP9, IntelliSnap can be enabled for all Tegile flash arrays (we use a single flash platform across all of our all-flash, hybrid, and high-density arrays). Note: You won’t need any additional license from Tegile, but you will need a snapshot license from CommVault to enable IntelliSnap.

Let’s break it down and first understand what is CommVault IntelliSnap:

IntelliSnap technology is at the heart of CommVault’s integrated snapshot management solution providing a layer of intelligence between storage and applications. It ensures snapshot data integrity, executes policies and schedules, automates array discovery, and indexes and catalogs snapshot data – bringing simplicity, integration and control to the way you handle snapshots.

What does that mean? How does it work with Tegile IntelliFlash arrays?

When a backup agent has IntelliSnap enabled, the backup process is as follows:

  1. Depending on agent settings, the CommVault agent prepares the volume(s) for backup.
  2. A CommVault snapshot is created and used to track the backup operation.
  3. An IntelliFlash array based snapshot is created. (Note that the Tegile IntelliFlash snapshot and the CommVault snapshots are linked in the CommVault DB.)
  4. An IntelliFlash clone is created from the array snapshot.
  5. The IntelliFlash clone is mapped and mounted on the backup media agent/server.
  6. The data is not transferred from the clone. The data in the clone is inventoried and added to the CommVault database/metadata.
  7. After the CommVault DB is updated, the clone us unmounted, unmapped and destroyed.

When a restore is requested, the snapshot is cloned, mounted and mapped for data recovery. The data aging mechanism in CommVault will destroy snapshots based on the schedule created.

How does one get started?

Once you have the recommended IntelliFlash OS version running on your Tegile array, the first step is to enable IntelliSnap.

  1. Use the CommCell console.CommVault IntelliSnap - Add Storage Array to Commcell
  2. In the CommCell Console, find the Storage tab and select Array Management.CommVault IntelliSnap - CommCell Browser
  3. Click Add.CommVault IntelliSnap - Add Storage Array
  4. Select Tegile as SnapVendor and enter the Array Management IP Address for the Name of the Array.CommVault IntelliSnap - Select Tegile as SnapVendor
  5. Set the Array credentials.CommVault IntelliSnap - Set Array Credentials
  6. Define the Array Controllers. Array Controllers are the servers that issue the API commands to the array. Array Controllers must have IP access to the Array Management IP on TCP port 443. If Pruning is enabled, it will allow an array controller to delete snapshots.CommVault IntelliSnap - Define the Array Controllers
  7. Once the Array Controllers are defined in Array Properties, click on Snap Configuration. Enter the Target Group name of the IntelliFlash array target group where the backup media agents/servers will need to be mapped to have access to the Clones.CommVault IntelliSnap - Target Group NameBefore moving on to the next step, please review the following:
    • IntelliFlash SAN Targets are only accessible by SAN hosts when those SAN hosts have active LUN mappings.
    • Be sure that all backup media agents have an “Access” LUN created and mapped from the array where the IntelliSnap snapshots/clones will be created and mapped.
    • If this is iSCSI, also be sure to setup persistent iSCSI paths from the backup media agent to the target.
    • If this is FC, all zoning must be in place.
  8. On the Activity tab, typically customers will not want to disable cleanup. Please select or deselect accordingly.CommVault IntelliSnap - Disable Automatic Cleanup
  9. As a last step to validate the settings are configured properly, go back into the array settings and check the “Array Host Aliases” under Snap configuration. You should see an auto-discovered Array Host Alias.CommVault IntelliSnap - Snap Configuration Validate Settings

The array is now attached and ready for backup!

For further reading on the topic, visit the “Getting Started with the Tegile Storage Array” on CommVault’s website: Commvault Getting Started Page

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