Volume Groups

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Volume Groups Node

Volume Groups or consistency groups are groups of volumes that you associate with each other to form the basis of a backup or restore job. For example, you could combine all of your SharePoint volumes into a single volume group in a scenario where you would like to take a backup of or restore the entire SharePoint application and not just its individual volumes.

 

A left click on the volume group node, will enumerate all the existing volume groups in the result pane and details of each including the number of assigned applications and number of volumes per volume group as shown below.

 

VolumeGroups1.png

 

The 'Results' pane displays the list of volume groups with the following attributes for each of the groups:

  • Applications - this field when set to '0' indicates that there is no application that is associated with the volumes comprising this volume group and vice-versa.
  • Explicit Volumes - this field indicates the number of volumes that are contained in this volume group.
  • Deleted - this field when set to 'False' indicates that this volume has not been deleted from the Web UI.
  • Imported - this field when set to 'True' indicates that this volume group was imported from the Web UI as opposed to created on the MMC UI.

The 'Actions' Pane will display the option to create a new Volume Group.

The following sections explain the common tasks associated with 'Volume Groups' node such as creating, editing, deleting volume groups comprising of different types of volumes.

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Creating a Volume Group

You can create a new volume group by clicking on 'Create Volume Group' in the action pane or you can also display this option by right clicking on the Volume Groups node.

 

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A Volume Group pop-up window is displayed with:

  • Name - You will need to assign a unique name to the new Volume Group.
  • Applications - lists all the supported VSS writers currently installed and running on the host. Currently, StorSimple Data Protection MMC Snap-in supports the SQL Server.  Choose the writer associated with the application that is using the volumes you are intending to select.

  

Note.png Note: A specific writer will be enabled if and only if all the volumes that the writer is aware of are appliance volumes. If you select this writer all volumes associated with it will automatically be selected. The opposite holds true as well; that is, when you select volumes associated with a specific writer, the writer is auto selected in the applications column.

The user may not see any entry under applications. To see an entry, you must have one installed (i.e. SQL Server). Once an application has been installed, you should then see it in the dialog. The user would be allowed to select an application only if the application is actually utilizing one of the StorSimple volumes for its own purposes.

 

  • Volumes - You can choose any of the StorSimple Volumes to be part of a volume group.

 

Note.png Note: Volume groups should not be empty and should always contain StorSimple volume.

 

Click on Accept button to save the newly created volume group or Cancel the operation.  Once saved, the Volume Group will be displayed in the list of existing Volume Groups.

 

VolumeGroups3.png

 

A right-click on any volume group enlisted in the result pane will display a context menu with the following actions:

 

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Each of the options displayed in the context menu is discussed in detail in the following section.

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Take Backup

Selecting this action allows you to start a backup interactively. A pop-up dialog will give you an option to choose between starting a Snapshot, Cloud Snapshot or a Cloud Clone.

 

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Choose the type of backup operation you’d like to perform, and click Accept to immediately start the backup operation. Clicking Cancel will ignore the operation.  Backup jobs that are started interactively will appear in Jobs > Running for the duration of the operation.

Taking Backup of a Mirror Volume

The user is able to create backups of the mirror volume using the 'Take Backup' functionality described for a normal volume. A mirror volume has one of the plexes identified as a backup plex. When a backup is created of the backup plex volume, only the indicated StorSimple volume will be included in the backup. The non-backup plex will not be included in the backup, even if the non-backup plex is backed by a StorSimple volume. Refer to the section on Mirror Volumes to learn more about these volumes.

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Creating a Policy

This option allows the user to create a policy. See this document under ‘Policies’ for details on how to create a policy. 

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Editing a Volume Group

In order to edit a Volume Group, select the desired volume group and choose the Edit option from the action pane or the context-menu. This will allow you to make changes to the volume group such as adding or removing volumes, changing the volume group name, and changing the associated application writer. Once edited, the Volume Group will exhibit the changes made.

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Deleting a Volume Group

You can delete a volume group that does not have a policy assigned to it by selecting 'Delete’ from the context menu or the action pane.

 

Note.png Note: Right clicking a Volume Group that has a Data Protection Policy assigned to it will present a context menu with the 'Delete' option missing. In order to see the option to delete this Volume Group, you will need to first delete the policy assigned to it and then right-click on the Volume Group to see the Delete action in the context menu.

 

On selecting the delete action you will be presented with the following confirmation dialog box:

 

VolumeGroups6.png

 

Note.png Note: Deleting a Volume Group will result in deleting all the Snapshots and Cloud Clones associated with it. A Volume Group will NOT be deleted if it has any of its associated Snapshots, Cloud Snapshots, or Cloud Clones mounted. You will first need to unmount the mounted Snapshots, Cloud Snapshots, and Cloud Clones, and then retry the delete operation.

Note.png Note: When deleting an imported Volume Group or associated Backup Set or Run, it will also be deleted in any other DPC UI that is managing it.           

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Volume Groups with Multi-partition Volumes

Muti-partition volumes are supported and can be included into volume groups. As shown below, we can have dynamic disks (Disk 2) or basic disks (Disk 6) with multiple partitions. In either case, for all the volume group operations, the multi-partition volumes are treated as a single unit.

DiskManageMultiPVolS.png

 

Creating a Volume Group with Mult-partition Volume

A volume containing multiple partitions is treated as a single unit for creating a volume group. When one of the partitions is selected to be added to a volume group, all the other partitions will also be added to that volume group automatically.

Selecting one of the partitions of Disk 2 or Disk 6  (partitions as shown above) will automatically select all the partitions as shown below.

 

VGMultiPV_1S.png VGMultiPV_2S.png

 

Deleting a Volume Group with Multi-partition Volume

If a partition from a volume group is removed, then all the partitions belonging to that volume are removed from that volume group automatically.

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Volume Groups with Mirror Volumes

A mirror volume has two plexes backed up by two disks. Refer to the section on Mirror Volumes to learn more about these volumes. For each mirror volume, one of the plexes is designated as the 'backup plex'. The backup plex is treated as a normal volume. Hence, a volume group can be created by using the backup plex. This volume group can then be used to create backups like any other volume group.

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