Tape Devices in a Virtual Machine Tape Server

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Tape Devices in a Virtual Machine Tape Server

Veeam Logoby dcampregher » Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:32 pm 1 person likes this post

Hello,

Is possible to configure the FC/SAS/SCSI/iSCSI Tape Devices ( Medium Changers and Drives ) in a Virtual Machine to do a Tape Server ? Or i need to have a physical server running Windows ?

If yes, how can i configure this environment in the ESXi ( Pass Trough, Direct Path etc ... ) ?
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Re: Tape Devices in a Virtual Machine Tape Server

Veeam Logoby Mike Resseler » Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:29 pm

Hi Diogo,

Can you look at this KB to see if it fits your case? https://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/micro ... Id=1016407
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Re: Tape Devices in a Virtual Machine Tape Server

Veeam Logoby dcampregher » Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:37 pm

So, the User Guide show this on the Tape Requirements:

LTO3 or later tape libraries (including VTL) and standalone drives are supported. Tape device must be directly attached to the backup server, to a tape server via SAS, FC or iSCSI interface. Note that VMware does not support connecting tape libraries to ESX(i) for VM pass-through.

What the VMware KB do is the "pass-through" configuration and this is not supported. I don't understand if is supported or not.
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Re: Tape Devices in a Virtual Machine Tape Server

Veeam Logoby Mike Resseler » Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:41 pm

It might be something that needs to be fixed in the documentation which used to be not supported but changed. Let me check with the teams and probably Dima will come back to you asap with the final answer
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Re: Tape Devices in a Virtual Machine Tape Server

Veeam Logoby kmouline » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:05 am

Hello Diogo,

Any update about that, I need to have confirmation if this conf is supported on a production environment or not, please also advise about VEEAM link regarding supported tape/library architectures.

In my case I need to know if a library attached to an ESXi 6 hosts by SAS can be used by a Virtual VEEAM backup Server.

Thank you,
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Re: Tape Devices in a Virtual Machine Tape Server

Veeam Logoby Dhammer » Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:33 pm

We are on ESXi 5.5 and running two Dell TL1000 libraries via a virtual Veeam tape server and passthrough. It just worked. Hope it helps.
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Re: Tape Devices in a Virtual Machine Tape Server

Veeam Logoby v.Eremin » Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:37 pm

This configuration is not supported.

This does not mean the setup won't work. However, should you have issues with it, our support team or VMware one will be unlikely to help.

So, I'd recommend either attaching tape library to Windows-based physical server or exposing the device to VM via ISCSI.

Thanks.
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Re: Tape Devices in a Virtual Machine Tape Server

Veeam Logoby mike.r » Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:49 pm

Just to understand it right:
Connecting a tape library via SAS to a VMware Host and installing a Veeam tape server, as a virtual machine on the same host is not allowed by VMware ?
Where did you read that ?
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Re: Tape Devices in a Virtual Machine Tape Server

Veeam Logoby v.Eremin » Mon Feb 20, 2017 7:11 pm

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Re: Tape Devices in a Virtual Machine Tape Server

Veeam Logoby Dhammer » Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:37 pm

They are not saying it is not supported. They are saying that specifically they, VMWare, do not support it. See bullets1 & 2 and you may want to note the last one.

It's working for us using a Dell host and Dell 6Gbps SAS HBA adapter. We are also using Dell libraries.

Work with your hardware vendor and Veeam if possible.

From the KB:
•VMware does not provide support for backup tape drives and tape library devices or their functionality on ESXi/ESX hosts.
•The functionality of the tape library and the backup software in conjunction with VMware ESXi/ESX is partner-supported.
•VMware assumes that the third-party vendor has completed necessary validation to support this configuration in a production environment.
•VMware does not maintain a hardware compatibility guide that includes tested tape devices.
•Devices and configurations that worked on earlier releases of ESXi/ESX may not work with later ESXi releases.
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Re: Tape Devices in a Virtual Machine Tape Server

Veeam Logoby v.Eremin » Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:23 am

They are saying that specifically they, VMWare, do not support it.

In other words, if tape device exposed via pass-through fails, it will be a software vendor that should address this problem guaranteeing stability.

That's why we've said that such scenario is not supported, as no additional code has been implemented from our side to guarantee tape pass-through reliability.

Nevertheless, it still doesn't mean that this configuration might work perfectly well in your case.

Thanks.
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[MERGED] Here's a stupid idea, or is it?

Veeam Logoby Matt@Work » Sun Apr 16, 2017 9:08 pm

Chatting to a colleague and throwing stupid idea's around. One of which was we have an ESXi host with an FC adapter that connects to our storage network and can also see a tape drive thats connected to a separate physical server.

If we mapped the tape drive to the ESXi host, is it possible to 'present' that to a new VM which would be a Veeam management server? Would it work, would performance be rubbish, am I barking up the wrong tree?

I put my back out yesterday, so I'm sat in the house just Reddit browsing and something another user said made me wonder the above.

Cheers

Matt
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Re: Tape Devices in a Virtual Machine Tape Server

Veeam Logoby PTide » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:34 am

Hi,

It's not stupid at all and might even work fine, however it is not officially supported neither by Veeam nor by VMware, please check this thread for details.

Thank you.
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Re: Tape Devices in a Virtual Machine Tape Server

Veeam Logoby Matt@Work » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:46 am

OK thanks. I'm not risking running in an unsupported environment when its mission critical for us.
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Re: Tape Devices in a Virtual Machine Tape Server

Veeam Logoby v.Eremin » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:57 am

If I were you, I'd rather connect a device to any Windows-based physical server existing in your environment and leverage it as tape server.

Should you encounter any issue, it would much easier to investigate it with support help, rather than on your own.

Thanks.
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