We have had a couple of instances recently where we have tried to restore files for users using the previous version feature on a Windows client/server as well as from a CIFS file share and because of the very long folder paths and file names used the restore/copy process fails to restore all of the data back to the live environment (it doesn't actually tell you this in some cases!).
On a windows machine you need to expose the volume shadow copy via command line in order to create a persistent link which we could map to so that we reduce the path length ( more indepth article on that process can be found here) but on a NetApp CIFS share what’s the process?
Well its actually much easier than doing it the Windows method J
You need to first expose the snapshot directory of the CIFS volume. This is done by running the command options cifs.show_snapshot on on the vfiler and then connecting to the root volume share containing the data to map a network drive. Within this folder you will now see the ~snapshot folder containing all of the previous snapshots kept on disk.
Simply browse the snapshot folder for the date/time you require (you can get the correct time info from the snapshot view within the OnCommand tool for the volume) and when you are suitably along the file path, simply map a drive to the folder and another drive to the same directory on the live share and copy/restore away!
If the CIFS share you are trying to restore from is on a vfiler and not the root filer then you will need to enable the snapshot view on the vfiler and not the root filer. In that case, log into the root filer and then type: vfiler context vfilername (or whatever vfiler name yours is called) and then run the options cifs.show_snapshot on on the vfiler.
One last point - Once you have finished the restore don't forget to turn off the snapshot view on the filer/vfiler (unless you want to have this enabled)
Hope this helps anyone else who has to do this in the future…