What is a storage snapshot?

A storage snapshot captures the state of a system at a particular point in time.  It is easy to revert the system to a snapshot.  A snapshot, however, does not protect against media failure. A storage snapshot is stored in the same place as the data.   So when a media failure occur, the snapshot and the data would be lost together.

What is a HANA storage snapshot?

HANA snapshot, of course, is the snapshot image provided in HANA.  When a snapshot is created in HANA studio or HANA cockpit, a small text file would be created in the HANA Data folder. The duration of taking snapshot is, in contrary to backup, not related to the size of the database.

How to use HANA storage snapshot to perform backup and recovery?

The complete steps are illustrated in the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AeHECEbqdE

Basically a third party backup software like data protector could help to backup the snapshot file and the entire HANA data directory to external media, like SAN or tape.  Without a third party backup software, you could also directly copy the entire HANA data folder to another backup location.

Should I use HANA storage snapshot?

It depends. The only advantage of HANA storage snapshot is that the backup time would be much faster.  However, on the other side, the traditional HANA backup does a decent job to backup the entire HANA data folder without affecting the production operation of HANA. The storage snapshot requires more administration and configuration work to interface HANA with the third party backup software.

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