Application Aware or not? Additional option

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Application Aware or not? Additional option

Veeam Logoby Cragdoo » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:35 am

There's a heated debate going on within our backup admins around application aware processing on all Windows VMs, not just those with the relevant applications (AD/SQL/Sharepoint/Exchange etc)

The thinking behind this is that it provides as a 'cleaner' backup of Windows VMs, as it uses VSS to tell the VM to quiesce the OS ("prepare to be backed up"). Unfortunately this leads to added complications as backups are set to "require success" and subsequently failing. Now the obvious work around is to set the "Try Application aware, but Ignore failures" but these jobs complete with a 'Warning' status, as opposed to a 'Failed', which leads to the counter argument "helpdesk don't care about warnings, they only care about failures"

My argument is I'd rather have some kind of backup, over no backup at all.

Interested to hear peoples thoughts on this subject ...or if Veeam would consider adding a 4th option to the application aware "Try application aware, if it fails still take the crash consistent, but report as an error"
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Re: Application Aware or not? Additional option

Veeam Logoby nmdange » Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:34 pm

With both VMWare and Hyper-V you can use the hypervisor to initiate a VSS snapshot within the guest. (VMTools quiescence in VMWare, or Hyper-V Native Quiescence in Hyper-V). You can find the relevant setting by going to Storage, then Advanced, then vSphere/Hyper-V tab.

I split my backup jobs into VMs that use app-aware processing and ones that don't and leave app-aware processing disabled on the job that doesn't use it. You could also use one job and go into each VM and manually disable app-aware processing but that's a bit of a pain.

Native quiescence will still take a VSS consistent backup. If the application within the VM does not have a VSS writer, it still may not be application consistent, but it's still better than crash consistent as the file system will quiesce at a minimum. You can also use native quiescence to get file-system consistent backups for Linux VMs.

However, if your problem is being caused by VSS failing within the guest OS, then native quiescence will probably have the same outcome as app-aware processing.
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Re: Application Aware or not? Additional option

Veeam Logoby Cragdoo » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:01 pm

thanks for that.
I split my backup jobs into VMs that use app-aware processing and ones that don't and leave app-aware processing disabled on the job that doesn't use it


So you specifically only enable app-aware on VMs that have the corresponding supported apps (AD/SQL/Exchange/Sharepoint etc) ? Any reason why you don't enable application aware on all Windows VMs?
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