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StorageBeast
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Request: VVol integration with Nimble Storage awareness

Post by StorageBeast » Dec 15, 2016 11:46 am

Hello,

This year we have been through a major technology refresh addressing all systems that make up our infrastructure. Going forward we want to make sure we maximise our investment by using all the latest technologies available to us. Our storage system from Nimble was chosen for its vast array, no pun intended, of features including support for VVols. With the latest updates to VVols from VMWare the time has come to implement this. Veeam is our central backup and recovery tool so we need it to support VVol integration with Nimble Storage awareness.

Kind Regards,

James

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Re: Request: VVol integration with Nimble Storage awareness

Post by nielsengelen » Dec 15, 2016 12:35 pm

We already support vVols for a while now so you should be able to leverage it without an issue.
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Re: Request: VVol integration with Nimble Storage awareness

Post by dyernj » Dec 15, 2016 12:46 pm

Hey Niels,

I believe this is related specifically to integration with Nimble snapshots - which only works when the VM is stored on VMFS rather than VVols.

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Re: Request: VVol integration with Nimble Storage awareness

Post by jimhurst » Dec 15, 2016 12:51 pm

Yes, but at the moment VEEAM Explorer doesn't support direct access to Nimble storage snapshots if taken from a VVOL. This means we can't leverage native storage snapshots for restores, or utilise Nimble replication capabilities by having VEEAM accessing and backing up from replicated snapshots, rather than pulling from source. This would be very useful when considering a WAN or multisite environment. Until such time as VEEAM fully support Nimble VVOL snapshots, we have to fall back on VMFS datastores which is a step backwards.

So please consider fully supporting Nimble VVOL asap. I would very much like to see this functionality and it would help me persuade our business to invest further in VEEAM.

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Re: Request: VVol integration with Nimble Storage awareness

Post by saintdle » Dec 15, 2016 1:13 pm

I wasn't aware this was a particular issue, or rather unable to take advantage of the Nimble/VVOls features. At the moment I have a number of customers loving the Veeam/Nimble integration, especially with the fact they can schedule snapshot creation and leverage backups from snapshots. This also means we can look at using Veeam as the whole protection solution instead of introducing something like VMware SRM.

I think VVOLs support with the Nimble features would be a great addition going forward, I am getting more customers looking at using VVOLs now the technology has started to mature, add to the fact that many vendors have a decent VVOls offering going forward, I'm seeing more customers interested or picking up on VVOLs as a feature they are interested in.
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Re: Request: VVol integration with Nimble Storage awareness

Post by jimhurst » Dec 15, 2016 1:40 pm

Don't get me wrong, as a long term Nimble customer we are thrilled to now be able to leverage integration with VEEAM, it's a game changer for us. It's just disappointing that having adopted VVOLs and developed accompanying VMware stroage policies we now need to look at taking a step backwards from that to traditional VFMS datastores in order to fully utilise all of the available features in VEEAM 9.5.

be nice to have Nimble VVOL support from VEEAM soon #justsayin

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Re: Request: VVol integration with Nimble Storage awareness

Post by dellock6 » Dec 15, 2016 8:17 pm

I'm trying to figure out which specific support you are talking about, because if it's backups from storage snapshots, to be honest you do not need them when VVOLs technology is properly implemented like in Nimble, snapshot commit even on highly transactional vms take just a few seconds without any stun at all. I did a test comparing vmfs and vvol and it was 27 minutes against 5 seconds commit:

http://www.virtualtothecore.com/en/back ... are-vvols/

If the need on the other hand is the snapshot explore, that I see the point, but I was looking first to confirm which part of the integration was mostly needed.
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Re: Request: VVol integration with Nimble Storage awareness

Post by Gostev » Dec 16, 2016 12:04 am

Fast snapshot commit is basically the ONLY thing VVOLs deliver. Exploring snapshots is by far not the only thing you're losing - you lose everything else our storage integration delivers and even more!

From the top of my head:
• Direct SAN access for backup and restore
• Backup from secondary array
• Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots
• Snapshot-only "backup" jobs
• Nimble replicatied copies orchestration
• Replication from storage snapshots

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Re: Request: VVol integration with Nimble Storage awareness

Post by Noblesoft » Dec 20, 2016 6:53 pm

I'll throw my hat in the ring on this one too... having the ability to restore files, application items, or entire VMs from VVOL storage snapshots would be a game-changer for us.


The major detractor from VVOLs for us is that recovery options are very limited at present... you cannot simply mount a snapshot of a vvol as a new datastore and attach it to a VM like you can with traditional VMFS datastores/volumes. This is largely a weakness in the vSphere web interface I expect, and maybe they will address it, but as it stands the only recovery option we have for a VVOL snapshot is to shut the VM down and roll the entire VMDK back to a prior snapshot. We can take storage-integrated backups of course, and restore files from that, but we cannot make those as frequently as we can make snapshots.

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Re: Request: VVol integration with Nimble Storage awareness

Post by joatmon » Dec 30, 2016 7:46 pm

We recently purchased Veeam as a replacement for our current backup solution and loved the fact that it supported Nimble integration and used the nimble SAN snapshots for backup. Then we find out from our Nimble engineer that if we choose to use VVols, that we will lose the ability to utilize the SAN snapshots for backup. Please add this functionality ASAP.

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Re: Request: VVol integration with Nimble Storage awareness

Post by snowman386 » Jan 05, 2017 10:00 pm

We have delayed our veeam purchase because of this. Hopefully it is not a major enhancement because it sees the VMs on the VVols and sees the VMFS snapshots.

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Re: Request: VVol integration with Nimble Storage awareness

Post by DaveWatkins » Jan 06, 2017 10:35 pm 1 person likes this post

I'd be interested to hear if some of these things are actually possible. The VVOL architecture makes some things impossible (DirectSAN backups being one of them) so it may be that these are VMWare imposed limitations rather than Veeam imposed limitations. No idea if that's the case but it'd be interesting to know one way or the other

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Re: Request: VVol integration with Nimble Storage awareness

Post by snowman386 » Jan 09, 2017 3:26 pm

I put in a ticket with Nimble about this and they indicated that VMware does not actually have the API support to edit the metadata of VMs on VVols. It does seem it is not a Veeam limitation at this point.

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Re: Request: VVol integration with Nimble Storage awareness

Post by Gostev » Jan 19, 2017 8:47 pm

Recalled one more thing: you cannot replicate to a VVol datastore because writing to a non-leaf disk (such as a snapshot backing file of a replica restore point) is not supported with VVols. So many limitations, so few benefits...

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Re: Request: VVol integration with Nimble Storage awareness

Post by WimVD » Jan 19, 2017 10:54 pm

If you look at it from a Veeam standpoint (and backup in general) I agree vvol's currently have few benefits.
But the idea behind vvol's is great: Expose the native storage array capabilities to the hypervisor.
With vvol's you can create a VM and automatically have your storage array protect it with storage snapshots, encryption, QoS limits and replicated to a secondary array with failover orchestration.
All without ever touching your storage management console and not having to create, manage and monitor LUN's/datastores.

Correct me if I'm wrong but the issue at the moment is there is no VDDK alternative for vvol's.
If VMware provides the ability to mount and read vvol's on a Windows machine Veeam can implement the same features like direct san backup/restore, snapshot explorer,... just like with VMFS.
When that happens count me in on the vvol bandwagon, at the moment however the backup limitations are holding us off.

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Re: Request: VVol integration with Nimble Storage awareness

Post by Gostev » Jan 20, 2017 1:33 am

@WimVD you are absolutely correct. Since VVols were released 2 years ago, I have yet to meet anyone who does not think the concept is beautiful. And just like 2 years ago, it is still all about maturity - both for VVols itself, as well as surrounding technologies like VDDK. Tons of limitations and no sign of VMware working on removing any of them (but at least one example of adding new limitation)!

Or look at it at the other angle, would VMware keep investing in VMFS (which resulted in its new major release, VMFS6 in vSphere 6.5) if VVols were ready for prime time any time soon?

My own conspiracy theory is that making VVols too good makes no sense to VMware, as this helps storage vendors to compete with their beloved VSAN. And I can't really blame them for this since I too think VSAN is the future, at least for mid-market down. I am sure they want the whole market, but I am also positive that enterprise part is not going to happen any time soon, so realistically for the next 3 years I place my bets on VMFS6 and VSAN - with VVols remaining "poor relative" and no more than a neat toy for VMware enthusiasts.

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Re: Request: VVol integration with Nimble Storage awareness

Post by snowman386 » Jan 20, 2017 4:16 pm

Not sure I see the real competition with VSAN. VVols really enable SPBM to be used effectively with external arrays. If anything, it offers an easy migration path to VSAN because SPBM can also be used with VSAN. It is much more efficient for us to create a policy in VMware that contains our array performance and snapshot policies and then assign it to a VM or VMDK. Like WimVD said, we no longer need to even touch our array to ensure those policies are adhered to. It is also more space efficient for us as we move things from dev to production. We can simply change the storage policy instead of moving VMs between data stores and having to worry about running an unmap to regain that wasted thin provisioned space back. The only downside it has for us is the inability to mount previous snapshots. Hopefully the array vendors or veeam can come up with a way to deal with this because I assume vvols is only going to be updated with each release of vSphere. Seeing that 6.5 just came out, 7.0 is probably going to be released in 2018!

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Re: Request: VVol integration with Nimble Storage awareness

Post by coopsam » Feb 14, 2017 9:33 am

We have Nimble storage through out and have been moving over to vvols across our estate, in fact we are already getting close to the limit of 1024 on one of our groups (AF9000/CS5000/CS5000/CS500).

We would like to see the integration sorted out so that Veeam will at least leverage storage snapshots during the backups of vvols. We assumed that vvol integration would be supported given how long its been around now and all the Nimble customers I know are using them, feels like we are stuck in limbo with this as we have 2 choices; 1 We stay on normal data stores and get integration with the benefits that offers, 2 We move to vvols and get all the amazing features from Nimble that offers.

Please can Veeam tell us when we can expect full integration with vvols, to be honest I was amazed that it wasn't there already, so much so we only learned it wasn't when we opened a support ticket.

I am in Berlin next week for Cisco live so will pop by and catch up.

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Re: Request: VVol integration with Nimble Storage awareness

Post by Gostev » Feb 14, 2017 9:53 pm

Not in v10 for sure, and we didn't do much planning beyond that yet.

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Re: Request: VVol integration with Nimble Storage awareness

Post by pfcbkb » Feb 23, 2017 10:04 pm

I, too, would like to request support for Veeam VVol integration with Nimble Storage Snapshots. We are currently evaluating Nimble as a possible replacement for our end-of-life SAN, and Veeam integration is a requirement. However, so too is support for VVols. We were initially excited to see both supported, only to discover we couldn't utilize Nimble Snapshots as a repository (like with VMFS volumes). Nor can we use Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots, or Instant Recovery, on VVol volumes.

It's still unclear to me if this is due to Veeam's lack of support, or a limitation of VVols, but since the support ticket I submitted pointed to https://helpcenter.veeam.com/docs/backu ... tml?ver=95 and suggested I submit a feature request, that's what I'm doing.

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Re: Request: VVol integration with Nimble Storage awareness

Post by coopsam » Mar 02, 2017 9:44 am

I just don't understand the blocker here, Veeam have done all the hard work already with the 9.5 integration with Nimble, surely to support the vvols element (with Nimbles) its not a big job, excuse my lack of coding knowledge here perhaps it is a bigger job than I understand.

I also note that in Veeam 1, now we have moved VM's to vvols, it doesn't see these as virtual disks just as datastores, this isn't a big issue but has cause a number of people to come to me and ask about where information about their VM's performance has gone. I guess I just see this as proof that Veeam's lack of support for vvols is pervasive across their products presently.

I just feel touch disappointed that while I know what is coming down the line with great products like VAO coming on that non-revenue generating development on features which customers are already using has fallen by the way side, I know talking to other Nimble customers there are quite a few feeling the same. Add to this that another back up vendor has confirmed their support for vvols is coming Q2/3.

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Re: Request: VVol integration with Nimble Storage awareness

Post by phillbl » May 05, 2017 7:15 am

hi,
we are also wanting to use VVOLS but since the integration does not exist we cant really commit to using them. The feature would be very welcome.

Along with NDMP & O365 online backups :-)

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Re: Request: VVol integration with Nimble Storage awareness

Post by kb1ibt » May 06, 2017 4:39 pm

I can 100% see the limitation. VVOLs completely seperate the vmx files from the actual volume, and right now there is a limitation with the storage snapshots where if there is a vmdk file on a different volume from the vmx file then it isn't even able to be seen. So in situations like VVOLs where each volume is a different from the vmx file it would make sense that it couldn't be seen. Take for example on of our exchange servers, we tried to have the logs on a different volume from the mailboxes, and both on a different volume from the OS; when we tried to use the storage snapshot integration since the vmx was on the same volume as the OS, it only saw that one volume not the other 2.

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[MERGED] Nimble + VVOLS

Post by lukejf » Jun 05, 2017 4:43 am

Hey Guys
We are about to move our new Nimble Storage into productions and trying to work out if we should use VVOls or not. I read on a feature request that VVOLS's and veeam using native storage snapshots does not work / is not supported. Could someone please elaborate on this one
Thanks

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Re: Nimble + VVOLS

Post by lukejf » Jun 05, 2017 5:57 am

Gostev wrote: From the architecture perspective, I don't like that VVols are not transportable. Basically, all metadata is stored inside vCenter Server, in the VASA 2.0 provider database. This means that if you lose vCenter, or get some unrecoverable database corruption - you will also lose access to all of your data. Forever! Because you can't just plug your VVols storage into another host to get to your data, such as the case with VMFS. Most people probably don't even realize this limitation, they take it for granted that their storage will be readable by any vSphere host (because this is the case with VMFS, and basically any other file system).
If this is still the case, I'm out!

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Re: Request: VVol integration with Nimble Storage awareness

Post by daviderickson » Jul 14, 2017 2:02 am

I'd also like to weigh in, I was really excited to take advantage of the Nimble integration with Veeam, only to discover the fine print after installing the trial that when you use VVOLs you basically can't use any of the integration features, which is HIGHLY disappointing. PLEASE add full support for this asap.. dealing with LUNS is a nightmare, and for end users setting up and consuming VMs in Vsphere - VVOLs is infinitely better. This integration was the one feature that was going to drive me to buy the Enterprise Plus edition, without it all I need is standard.

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Re: [MERGED] Nimble + VVOLS

Post by MichaelCade » Jul 28, 2017 9:46 am

lukejf wrote:Hey Guys
We are about to move our new Nimble Storage into productions and trying to work out if we should use VVOls or not. I read on a feature request that VVOLS's and veeam using native storage snapshots does not work / is not supported. Could someone please elaborate on this one
Thanks
You can absolutely still use Veeam + Nimble VVols but it is not with the same level of storage integration that we have when using Nimble VMFS. The whole snapshot process and methodology is different with VVol i.e it is offloading everything down to the storage array for a storage snapshot, however its also different in the way vSphere deals with the commit or consolidation process in that with VVols the dreaded VM stun is not there. You are basically only ever writing to the live disk where as VMFS you have the snap delta etc which then has to be consolidated in at the end of the backup.

The image below shows that process.

Image

When it comes to Transport Modes available to use here its either Network (NBD) (NBDSSL - vSphere 6.5) or its HOT-ADD (Appliance Mode)

VVol backup is fully supported and has been since Veeam Availability Suite v8

From a recovery point of view you get the same fuctionality as you do with the Virtual Machine backup on VMFS, IVMR, Application Explorers, Full Restore.

Hope that helps,
Regards,

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Re: Request: VVol integration with Nimble Storage awareness

Post by jensenjk » Sep 19, 2017 11:52 am

we are going to migrate to new datacenters with Nimble Storage. Then plan was to go for vVol's in order to get out of the vmware "lun-hell" with vmfs volumens. As we now discovered that Veeam suffers a lot in contex of handling vVol's we are set many steps back.
Is there any roadmap to full vVol support - like storage snapshot offload - direct SAN backup?

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Re: Request: VVol integration with Nimble Storage awareness

Post by Gostev » Sep 19, 2017 4:47 pm

Storage snapshot offload is native with VVols. Can you name the reasons why direct SAN backup is mandatory for you - I need some ammo for VMware VVols team to push for this feature. Thanks!

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Re: Request: VVol integration with Nimble Storage awareness

Post by the_mentor » Sep 21, 2017 12:12 am

I would like to +1 this feature.
VVOL Integration is very important for us.

Gostev,
Direct SAN Backup is mandatory for speed purposes and it allows us to use our storage network (10G) and a physical Veeam backup Repository/Proxy to do the heavy lifting.
If we switched to NDB or HotAdd we would lose a lot of speed for our Multi TB VMs.

I hope it makes sense.

Thanks.
-DeMentor

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