With ONTAP 8.3 NetApp introduced two new types of extended data protection policies.
Version flexible SnapMirror:
The version flexible SnapMirror type means that from now on it will be possible to mirror data between different releases of Data ONTAP. You might say that was possible all the time but no, that’s wrong. Usually it is supported to mirror an older Data ONTAP release to a newer one e.g. ONTAP 7.x to ONTAP 8.x but it was not possible to mirror ONTAP 8.x to ONTAP 7.x. With the new options that becomes available for all versions > 8.3. So if there will be a release 8.4 you can mirror in both directions.
Since years NetApp had two different types of data protection features. SnapMirror and SnapVault. SnapMirror is used to mirror the state of the volume to a secondary volume including all SnapShots and can be used to be a disaster recovery solution. SnapVault is used to build up a data protection (backup) solution based on SnapShots. With SnapVault you can define different numbers of SnapShots for primary and secondary volume. You can e.g. save 10 SnapShots on your production for instant recovery, primary volume and keep 200 SnapShots on you secondary volume for long-term retention. The disadvantage so far was, that you could not use one relation for backup and disaster recovery (I know there are ways but it is not possible by design). With 8.3 NetApp added a policy calles MirrorAndVault which means you are configuring a SnapMirror relation with different numbers of SnapShots on the source and destination volume.
Both are integrated into the extended data protection (XDP) type of Data ONTAP.
Let’s have a look how you can configure these new features in ONTAP.
How to configure a flexible SnapMirror relationship:
Before you configure the relationship you have to create a new SnapMirror policy to be used for the data transfer. In the policy you have to specify that the type is a async-mirror policy.
Sample: snapmirror policy create -vserver RLPNFS02 -policy VeeamFlexMirror -type async-mirror -tries 8
To configure a flexible SnapMirror relationship simply initialize a new relationship and select XDP as type of the relation to indicate that it is going to be an extended data protection relation.
Sample: snapmirror initialize -destination-path RLPNFS02:RLPNFS01_NFSVAULT_mirror -source-cluster RLPEDGE01 -source-vserver RLPNFS01 -source-volume NFSVAULT -policy VeeamFlexMirror -type XDP
In the OnCommand System Manager you create a flexible version SnapMirror relationship by enabling the checkbox while creating a new SnapMirror relation.
How to configure a MirrorAndVault policy:
To configure a MirrorAndVault policy you simply have to choose the type “mirror-vault” when creating a new SnapMirror policy.
Sample: snapmirror policy create -vserver RLPNFS02 -policy VeeamMirrorVault -type mirror-vault -tries 8
You can now assign the policy to an existing or new XDP SnapMirror relation.