What's the purpose of gatekeeper volumes in EMC Symmetrix? Do we need to have them in all the SAN attached hosts?...
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If we do, do we use BCV-based backups, BCVs being mounted to different hosts?
This is a question better asked of your EMC account rep since things change on a constant basis.
The gatekeeper is a sort of "command" device inside the storage array that accepts commands from the host to the storage array for use with automation scripting through the SYMAPI (an API is an "application programming interface"). The SYMAPI is used to control the Symmetrix so you can automate a lot of your tasks. Most of the customers I know use one per host so there is no contention for the device during script runs.
There is also a remote server agent available so you can control remote Symmetrix arrays. Your local server can act as a client to the remote server's SYMAPI over the network. Perhaps this connection can be shared to reduce the number of needed gatekeepers. Ask your EMC rep.There is a good white paper on the subject.
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