Hyper-V Off-Host Proxy using IBM Storewize v7000

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Hyper-V Off-Host Proxy using IBM Storewize v7000

Veeam Logoby frowiers » Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:37 pm

Hi

We are trying to configure our Veeam backup off-host proxy, but have encountered some challenges.

Scenario:
  • Hyper-V Cluster, using CSV stored on v7000 presented via FC
  • Veeam off-host Proxy, connected to v7000 via FC, with all CSVs mapped

On the v7000 we have created two Volumes which is mapped to the fictive VSS_FREE host (which essentially are all the VSS Writers installed on the Hyper-V hosts and off-host Proxy).
The names of these volumes are "VSS_Snapshot_001" and "VSS_Snapshot_002"

Demo Backup Scenario:
We have a backup job with several VMs, which are spead out on multiple CSVs.

Challenge:
When we initiate the backup, the hardware VSS starts creating flashcopy mappings, and the first backup is successful. If the second VM is on the same CSV, it uses the current flashcopy mapping, and that too is successful. When it starts the third job which is on a different CSV, it creates a new flashcopy mapping, and that too is successful.

At this stage, both of the pools are now in a flashcopy state, and therefore, the subsequent backups fail, because there are no free pools.

It seems that the VSS Hardare provider is not stopping or unmapping the flashcopy job after the backup job is "Closing Snapshot". It almost seems like the VSS Hardware Provider has initiated the wrong kind of FlashCopy Job.

This is how it looks like in the FlashCopy Window inside the v7000 console:

Image

Does anybody know how we can tell the VSS Hardware Provider to initiate the FlashCopy with correct options, or at least make it remove the mapping after Veeam states "Closing Snapshot"?
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Re: Hyper-V Off-Host Proxy using IBM Storewize v7000

Veeam Logoby Vitaliy S. » Fri Feb 12, 2016 11:12 am

Hi Frode,

Generally, backup job should remove VSS snapshot after processing all VMS from that volume in the backup job. Queuing can only be possible if you process multiple VMs at the same time.

Can you please do the following to confirm the behavior of VSS snapshot on the off-host proxy server?

1. Create a backup job with VMs residing on the a single volume only and run the job. While the job is running check if VSS snapshot is removed at the end of the job or not?
2. Create a backup job with VMs residing on DIFFERENT volumes, but before triggering the backup job limit the concurrent tasks limit in the proxy server (for example, set it to 2 tasks at the same time). Run the job and see whether VSS snapshot is released after processing group of VMs from the first volume or not.

Let us know the results for each scenario.

Thanks!
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Re: Hyper-V Off-Host Proxy using IBM Storewize v7000

Veeam Logoby frowiers » Sun Feb 14, 2016 11:14 pm

Hi, and thanks for the quick reply! :)

When preparing for the tests you asked me to do, I noticed that the FlashCopy jobs from the last test I did were still running (in a copy state).

Image

I think this perhaps is the issue I am facing? That the VSS writer (either off-host proxy or hyper-v host - It's the same writer) is initiating the wrong kind of FlashCopy. I am happy to retry the tests you asked of me, but I want to wait for my current jobs to finish.
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Re: Hyper-V Off-Host Proxy using IBM Storewize v7000

Veeam Logoby frowiers » Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:45 pm

Hi

I have now been able to perform the first test you wanted me to do. As you can see, the backup job succeeded:
Image

This is how the FlashCopy status looks like now (30 minutes after the job completion):
Image

Again, it seems like the FlashCopy mapping isn't removed after the job finishes.
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Re: Hyper-V Off-Host Proxy using IBM Storewize v7000

Veeam Logoby Vitaliy S. » Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:15 pm

Frode, can you please run this command "vssadmin list shadows" on the proxy server and on the host itself? After that please post the results in this thread. This will allow us to understand whether VSS snapshots are not removed from the storage only or from Windows volume and the storage device.
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Re: Hyper-V Off-Host Proxy using IBM Storewize v7000

Veeam Logoby frowiers » Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:57 pm

Hi

It looks like I have found the solution.

Got this from IBM, and that got me thinking:
IBM FlashCopy uses a unique method of copy on write with background copy.
This provides both an immediate copy of the data, and a full clone or copy after the background
copy is complete. The time it takes for the background copy to finish depends on the copy rate, and what other
loads are occurring on the storage system.


I then changed the background copy rate to 0 (which essentially means no background copy). This made the Flashcopy mappings unmap after the snapshot operation.

After I have created the Flashcopy relationship between my two v7000, I will try this in a bigger scale. Will update this post as I go on :)

Thanks!
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Re: Hyper-V Off-Host Proxy using IBM Storewize v7000

Veeam Logoby Vitaliy S. » Tue Feb 16, 2016 3:00 pm

Yes, it might be a solution, thanks for sharing. Just wonder what is the default setting for this copy rate and when VSS/full clone is supposed to be deleted.
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Re: Hyper-V Off-Host Proxy using IBM Storewize v7000

Veeam Logoby phernand » Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:01 am

Hi, I need to make this configuration, i have Windows Failover Cluster configured with two servers and a V7000 storage connected via FC, i have a third server not a member of a cluster connected via FC to the V7000 storage to be the proxy server, in this moment the proxy server can view the volumes in the administration disk option, is offline and i hace offline shared configured, but i dont understand how to create the free and reserved volumes and how to configure the virtual host to make the proxy server can act as a Off Host proxy.

If somebody can help me whit the instructions to make this i will be grateful.

Best Regards
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Re: Hyper-V Off-Host Proxy using IBM Storewize v7000

Veeam Logoby Vitaliy S. » Fri Jul 08, 2016 4:11 pm

Hi phernand,

Cannot comment on the free and reserved volumes questions, but for the off-host proxy server you should have a Hyper-V role enabled. Once this is done, VSS provider is installed and volumes are presented to that server, you should be able to run backups via off-host proxy.

Thanks!
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Re: Hyper-V Off-Host Proxy using IBM Storewize v7000

Veeam Logoby skrause » Fri Jul 08, 2016 6:33 pm

To those of you using the Storwize with an off-host proxy, do you have the storage snapshot license from IBM or are you able to use the hardware VSS writer successfully without that feature licensed?

We are potentially looking at moving from VMware to Hyper-V and knowing if it will work without the licenses (which we are not going to buy) will be helpful for designing out architecture.

Thanks!
Steve Krause
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Re: Hyper-V Off-Host Proxy using IBM Storewize v7000

Veeam Logoby phernand » Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:21 pm

Thanks Vitaly, i have the HyperV Role installed, even i have virtual machines running in that server, i have configured OHBP but when i run the backup, i receive the message "there is no hardware provider" and the bakcup fails, i was read tons of articles and several of them talk about the free and reserved pools.
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Re: Hyper-V Off-Host Proxy using IBM Storewize v7000

Veeam Logoby Vitaliy S. » Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:59 pm

Ok, I was under impression that you need to configure off-host proxy server in the same way as a production host, maybe there are some specifics to IBM Storewize storage.
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Re: Hyper-V Off-Host Proxy using IBM Storewize v7000

Veeam Logoby phernand » Wed Jul 20, 2016 3:14 am

Thanks Vitaly, my question is what to do this, the specific steps if you know.

On the v7000 we have created two Volumes which is mapped to the fictive VSS_FREE host (which essentially are all the VSS Writers installed on the Hyper-V hosts and off-host Proxy).

And how can i validate that is configured correctly.

Thanks.
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Re: Hyper-V Off-Host Proxy using IBM Storewize v7000

Veeam Logoby Vitaliy S. » Wed Jul 20, 2016 10:54 am

I would ask for assistance from IBM engineers, as they should know the specifics of storage configuration. BTW, does your job use this off-host proxy after re-configuration?
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Re: Hyper-V Off-Host Proxy using IBM Storewize v7000

Veeam Logoby phernand » Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:49 pm

It will be great if you can have assistance from IBM, they told me that cannot help me because is not an error is a configuration issue :(
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