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Full Name: Jim Turner
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Best way to handle MS Cluster backup with RDM

Post by Vejete » Nov 07, 2018 5:34 pm

I have a customer with MS failover clusters with cluster nodes across ESXi servers, thus the use of physical RDM for cluster shared storage. Since the shared storage is not a VMDK, vSphere cannot snap it for inclusion in a normal VBR backup.

What are people doing to get a complete, consistent backup of all VM cluster node storage (VMDK and RDM combined) in the usage case above?
Jim Turner, VMCE
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Hewlett Packard Enterprise

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Re: Best way to handle MS Cluster backup with RDM

Post by mkaaden » Nov 08, 2018 4:25 pm

My experience is: you can't
Because both vm's need a scsi adapter in virtual bus sharing mode, and that kills the ability to snapshot the vm.
These RDM's for MSC's are also quite annoying, since you need to set the perennially reserved flag on these disks on every esx host which can serve the cluster nodes.

However, if you have iscsi at your disposal, you would probably want to setup an iscsi initator in both vm's and ditch RDM's at all.
Now you can make snapshots of the cluster node and backup the nodes only (!)
To backup the data from the cluster shared disks you can make use of the veeam agent for windows.

IMHO: ditch MSFC's where you can.
Why have a MSFC when you have VMware HA ?
If it is for SQL, upgrade to SQL 2014 or higher and implement DAG.
If it is for files, why not make use of DFS ?


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Full Name: Synthos Kralupy

Re: Best way to handle MS Cluster backup with RDM

Post by SynthosKralupy » Nov 09, 2018 10:15 am


as mkaaden wrote, you can't use VBR. You have to use guest-like agent for backup. I am using Veeam agent for Windows on all members of MS cluster, it works perfectly.


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