Getting Started

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Thank you for choosing StorSimple! This document serves as product documentation for the StorSimple Data Protection Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Snap-In and outlines how to use it. StorSimple Data Protection allows you to manage StorSimple backups in the form of point-in-time snapshots, Cloud Snaps, and Cloud Clones. Please refer to the StorSimple Data Protection Quick Start Guide should you require instructions on how to install and configure the StorSimple Data Protection MMC Snap-in. 
You can also refer to the following link that outlines the basics of using the Microsoft Management Console (MMC):
This page describes the following topics:

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StorSimple Data Protection Overview

StorSimple provides a powerful solution comprised of a data center storage appliance and software that enables I/T organizations to leverage cloud storage as though it were data center storage and simplify data protection and data management while reducing costs.  The StorSimple Data Protection MMC Snap-In is software that installs on Windows Server 2008 (including R2) that allows administrators to manage snapshots, Cloud Snaps, and Cloud Clones, for the purposes of creating consistent point-in-time backup copies of volume data.  
It is important to understand the differences between snapshots, Cloud Snaps, and Cloud Clones before using the StorSimple Data Protection Console.  These are described below:
  • Snapshots – like volumes, snapshots are automatically tiered by the StorSimple appliance across the integrated storage (including SSD and SAS) and cloud storage based on usage patterns.  Snapshots are taken using Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Services (VSS) to ensure a crash-consistent and application-consistent backup copy
  • Cloud Snaps – like snapshots, but Cloud Snaps are immediately written to the cloud account associated with the volumes contained within the volume group.  Cloud Snaps are written to the same repository as the volumes themselves in the cloud, and are useful when taking a backup copy of a volume or volumes that are used as secondary storage where an independent copy is not required
  • Cloud Clones – like Cloud Snaps, but Cloud Clones are written to a separate bucket from the bucket used to store the primary volume data.  Cloud Clones ensure a truly-independent copy of data is created, and are useful when taking a backup copy of a volume or volumes that are used as primary storage where an off-site backup equivalent is required

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Accessing StorSimple Data Protection

After the installation steps specified in the StorSimple Data Protection Quick Start Guide (QSG) have been completed, the StorSimple Data Protection Console can be found in the ‘Start’ menu of your server under ‘All Programs’, ‘StorSimple Data Protection’.  Click the ‘StorSimple Data Protection Console’ entry in the ‘Start’ menu to access the console.

Introducing the StorSimple Data Protection MMC Snap-in

The StorSimple Data Protection MMC Snap-In provides an intuitive interface allowing you to manage backup copies of volume groups, including snapshots, Cloud Snaps, and Cloud Clones.  After clicking the ‘Data Protection Console’ icon found in the start menu, the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) is opened with the StorSimple Data Protection snap-in loaded as shown below.


StorSimple Data Protection includes three panes as described below: the scope pane, the results pane, and the actions pane.

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The Scope Pane 

This is the primary navigation mechanism for the StorSimple Data Protection MMC Snap-in. It consists of a series of groups of clickable objects (nodes) organized in a branching scope structure. The top-level objects in the scope are referred to as master nodes. You can click on the   plus icon to expand a branch and the  minus icon to collapse the branch.  For each node you can: 
  • Right click and display a context menu of available actions for that node
  • Select the node to see the available operations in the Actions Pane. Depending on the status of the node selected in this pane you are presented with a menu of actions in the Actions pane

The screenshot above displays the following master nodes in the Scope Pane:

  • Volumes – presented in form of drives corresponding to the volumes mounted by the host, including those discovered through use of iSCSI and a StorSimple appliance 
  • Volume Groups – also referred to as consistency groups.  Volume groups are pools of application-related volumes, which are used as part of scheduling.  Backup jobs (snapshots, Cloud Snaps, Cloud Clones) are taken interactively or as part of a schedule against volume groups 
  • Policies – definition of the job schedules, including snapshots, Cloud Snaps, and Cloud Clones.  Policies match a schedule to volume group and apply the appropriate retention policy 
  • Snapshots, Cloud Clones, and Cloud Snaps – is a list of onsite and offsite backups of the StorSimple volume groups.  This section is organized by volume group, each containing separate structures for snapshots, Cloud Clones, and Cloud Snaps.  Each volume group container, when expanded, enumerates all of the successfully completed backup jobs that were taken either interactively or by a configured schedule
  • Jobs – contains three subfolders to enumerate jobs scheduled in the future, completed jobs, running jobs, and status information for each

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The Result Pane

This pane displays detailed status information about the selected scope node in the scope pane. 
For example, in the following screenshot, the result pane displays the list of scheduled jobs and their next run. 


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The Actions Pane 

This pane provides you with a menu of operations that may be performed for the selected scope node, for its selected view and for the selected data in the view. It contains the same commands as the context menus that can be invoked by right clicking on nodes that are available in the Scope and the Result Pane. 
For example - in the screenshot below, the Actions Pane displays the allowed actions for the Cloud Snap selected in the Scope Pane, including ‘Restore…’.
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