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Choodee
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Backuping up Dynamic Disks

Post by Choodee »

My setup:

- vSphere 5
- File Server VM running Windows 2008 R2
- (D: Data Drive) GPT formatted 2TB vmdk disks x8 configured as spanned dynamic disks inside windows.
- (C: OS Drive) MBR formatted 100GB vmdk disk

I understand FLR is not supported on dynamic disks but I can live with that.

Question: My plan is to run veeam 6 and replicate this VM to another vsphere ESXi box in the same network. Will I have any problems restoring and/or booting this VM? My main concern is this article but this person maybe running Veeam 5.

http://www.itgeeks.info/2011/05/veeam-a ... -gpt-ones/

Question: Will i have problems if I run Veeam backups with this setup as opposed to a replication?

Question: Will i have problems if i run Veeam replications with this setup as opposed to backups?

Question: Does anyone have any experience running this kind of setup in their environment? Any advice?

I did call Veeam support and the support technician said that other than FLR issues, there are no problems backing up and restoring dynamically spanned disks using Veeam 6. But I wanted a second opinion just in case there are things I should be made aware of with this setup.

Thanks
Sandee

Vitaliy S.
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Re: Backuping up Dynamic Disks

Post by Vitaliy S. »

Hi Sandee,

This article mainly describes FLR limitations, while full VM restore/Instant Recovery/VM replica shouldn't have any issues.

Thanks!

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Re: Backuping up Dynamic Disks

Post by Gostev »

The article is a bit outdated, we have added support for GPT disks in v6. However, dynamic disks are still not supported by FLR wizards. Thanks!

Choodee
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Re: Backuping up Dynamic Disks

Post by Choodee »

Awesome. That's great to hear that I shouldn't have any problems restoring a backed up or replicated vm. So are FLR wizard support for dynamic disks part of the roadmap?

Thanks
Sandee

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Re: Backuping up Dynamic Disks

Post by Vitaliy S. »

Yes, it is.

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Re: Backuping up Dynamic Disks

Post by benorado »

I have searched the forum for Dynamic Disk FLR support, and have not found an answer to my question. My question is this: Does Veeam plan on adding support for FLR dynamic disks via the Windows FLR? I distinctly remember in version 5 having the ability to use Windows FLR and see my Dynamic disk on my Exchange server, since upgrading to 6 I can no longer use FLR.

Gostev
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Re: Backuping up Dynamic Disks

Post by Gostev »

Veeam never supported FLR for dynamic disks with native Windows FLR. Adding Dynamic Disk FLR support to our current instant FLR engine is extremely complex task from the technical standpoint, so it's hard to predict when this happens... probably, not soon.

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Re: Backuping up Dynamic Disks

Post by tsightler » 1 person likes this post

But it is pretty easy to setup a vLab to boot your servers with Dynamic Disk, or to instant restore them to a vLab and copy the files out.

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[MERGED] GPT Support Large disk volumes

Post by beovax »

I have a customer with 10TB of data on a server that is Virtual if this is using GPT volume spanned across multiple VMDK files is this supported by Veeam?

If we use a virtual Backup & Replication console and keep the backup proxy as physical and the backup proxy has GPT repoistory volume is this supported or is the issue the fact the VM machines are spanned across multiple disks?

With taking a snapshot of the machine at point of backup will it snapshot the spanned disks as a whole or each disk that makes up the VM?

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Re: Backuping up Dynamic Disks

Post by Vitaliy S. »

beovax wrote:With taking a snapshot of the machine at point of backup will it snapshot the spanned disks as a whole or each disk that makes up the VM?
When you create a snapshot, all VMs virtual disks will be snapshotted at the same time.

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Re: Backuping up Dynamic Disks

Post by jeremyh8 »

any update on support for dynamic disks? we use mostly dymanic disks so this is a huge problem for us. Please confirm that this is only file level impacting. i need to know that my full vm restores adn replication will work. We also use paravirtual adapters.

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Re: Backuping up Dynamic Disks

Post by Vitaliy S. »

Hi Jeremy,

There is no change in dynamic disk support.
jeremyh8 wrote:Please confirm that this is only file level impacting. i need to know that my full vm restores adn replication will work.
Only FLR operations are affected by dynamic disks, full VM restores and replication jobs will work just fine.
jeremyh8 wrote:We also use paravirtual adapters.
Here you go some information on these adapters, please take a look: How to use paravirtual driver on Veeam server

Thanks!

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Re: Backuping up Dynamic Disks

Post by tsightler »

Not only that, but you can use U-AIR to restore files from systems with dynamic disks. Not as easy as the normal FLR or IFLR process, but workable once it's setup.

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Re: Backuping up Dynamic Disks

Post by mmonroe »

Veeam needs to support (actually must support!) File Level Restores (FLR) on Windows systems that use Dynamic Disk. I just ran into this thread and didnt actually know that it wasnt supported. I am sure glad I found out now since we are about to move some critical file servers into the farm.

This is a product for backup up VMware server farms and Windows servers are going to commonly use Dynamic Disks. Dynmaic Disks lend a *lot* of flexibilty to the Windows environment on the server.

On a side note - Windows Server 2012 is going to have some greatly enhanced disk and volume capabilities. Veeam will also need to support those and to be able to do FLR on those.

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Re: Backuping up Dynamic Disks

Post by tsightler »

Simple dynamic disk with MBR patitions can generally be restored using the "Other OS" FLR wizard. Spanned/striped dynamic disk are not supported, but can be restored using U-AIR. Honestly, the best suggestion is to leverage the OS level capabilities to protect files for the majority of restores (i.e. Shadow Copies), and let Veeam protect the VM, and use U-AIR for the 1% of cases that need to go to actual backup.

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Re: Backuping up Dynamic Disks

Post by dellock6 »

Also, there are some considerations against the use nowadays of dynamic disks:
- in a virtualized world, the underlying SAN makes pretty useless software raids
- the move from microsoft to GPT has removed many limitations MBR has in the past with MBR
- if it's only for expanding partitions, both Windows 2003 and 2008 has different ways of doing it online, without service interruptions

Personally, I try to avoid dynamic disks...

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Re: Backuping up Dynamic Disks

Post by averylarry »

Until VMware allows virtual disks greater than 2Tb, you will not see spanned volumes go away.

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Re: Backuping up Dynamic Disks

Post by Gostev » 1 person likes this post

Not sure we will be seeing this in vSphere 5.1 either... meaning, 1 more year of waiting, at least? Too bad, because Microsoft is there already with VHDX virtual disks which can be as large as 64TB! That's 4 times the max size of NTFS volume! Luckily, they have also added ReFS which can leverage such virtual disk sizes.

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Re: Backuping up Dynamic Disks

Post by tsightler » 1 person likes this post

Gostev wrote:That's 4 times the max size of NTFS volume!
While I'm excited about 64TB support in HyperV this specific statement isn't accurate. NTFS has supported greater that 16TB for quite some time, at least since Windows 2003 SP1 actual NTFS maximum file size is 256TB. Perhaps you are confusing the maximum file size supported by NTFS with the maximum volume size as NTFS does have a 16TB maximum file size.

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Re: Backuping up Dynamic Disks

Post by Gostev »

16TB is the maximum volume size for fully featured NTFS (default 4KB cluster). Larger volumes require larger cluster size, which in turn disables some NTFS functionality...

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Re: Backuping up Dynamic Disks

Post by tsightler »

Interesting, I know many clients that format larger the 4KB cluster by default, especially for things like database volumes. What features do you loose? Many of the clients I work with have filesystems larger than 16TB on NTFS, the largest I've personally seen was ~60TB.

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Re: Backuping up Dynamic Disks

Post by tsightler »

Oh wait, I think I remember that NTFS compression was limited to 4K clusters. Not really a differentiator since ReFS doesn't even have compression and most people with 16+TB filesystems are probably not interested in enabling NTFS compression anyway, but that is a limitation of >4K clusters. Are there others?

I actually love the concepts of ReFS as it finally brings Windows filesystems to a more modern standard, more like ZFS on Solaris/BSD or btrfs on Linux, but as with those filesystems, I'd be a little scared to immediately start storing all of my data in this new format. NTFS is a well understood filesystem with many low-level recovery options when things go wrong (whether at an OS or storage level). ReFS will be brand new and will take some time to become field proven and have the robust recovery options available, but it's a great stride forward for scalable, 64-bit filesystems on Windows.

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Re: Backuping up Dynamic Disks

Post by jeremyh8 »

Even if you can have disks over 2 tb you may still want to span across multiple disks and use dynamic disks. The purpose for this would be to put the disks across multiple virtual scsi controllers. You may also want to split the disks up across multiple datastores in vmware.

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Re: Backuping up Dynamic Disks

Post by jeremyh8 »

Will the oneclick file restore in enterprise manager work with dynamic disks? spanned dynamic disks?

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Re: Backuping up Dynamic Disks

Post by Gostev »

1-Click FLR uses the same engine as regular FLR.

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Re: Backuping up Dynamic Disks

Post by vDuck »

Hi

Can U4b support FLR and Direct restore to Azure with Dynamicdisk?

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Re: Backuping up Dynamic Disks

Post by Gostev »

Yes.

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Re: Backuping up Dynamic Disks

Post by jayscarff »

Vitaliy S. wrote: Mar 05, 2012 7:15 am Yes, it is.
Hi Vitaliy, is this supported now and included?
Jason
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Re: Backuping up Dynamic Disks

Post by foggy »

Yes.

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Re: Backuping up Dynamic Disks

Post by jayscarff »

Thanks Foggy,

Just to confirm, the system in a spanned dynamic disk and i'm trying to do FLR, when i get to browse the volume there is no data in the drive...strange i thought. Just making sure i can use the normal FLR and not have to use U-AIR?
Jason
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