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mpozar
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Restore of Virtual Machines with Multiple Virtual Disks

Post by mpozar » Mar 27, 2009 5:03 am

Hi,
We have a collection of Virtual Machines that have multiple Virtual Disks that are located on different LUNs on our SAN for performance reasons. A couple of these Virtual Disks are quite large SQL and Domino Data Store drives.

We backup the Virtual Machines in our environment with Veeam Backup 3.0.1 via four separate Backup Jobs with 3 Jobs using VCB and SAN method and the Fourth using the Agent Backup method(we tried a single Job configuration but it would take about 48 hours to perform the backups which was just not acceptable).

Our developers then wanted to restore one of the Virtual Machines with the multiple Virtual Disks so we sat down with them and ran a Restore Job. Eventually we hoped that the developers could be provided with access to Veeam Backup so they could perform their own restores. We worked through the Restore Wizard and selected to Restore the whole Virtual Machine with Registration. During the wizard we were eventually prompted for the Datastore where the Virtual Disk were to be restored to but found that we were not provided with an option to specify the target Datastores for every one of the Virtual Disks. It seems that you can only select a single Datastore for the complete Virtual Machine. At the end we found that we could not run the restore since we dod not have a single Datastore with enough space to restore all the .VMDKs for the Virtual Machine.

Is this really the case or did we overlook something?

If we had gone ahead with the restore, would Veeam Backup have started the restore even though it would have meant that the target Datastore would have been totally filled up?

We then had a look at using the Restore an Individual file Wizard. This seemed to provide what we wanted and started restoring the individual .VMDK files to the separate target Datastores. The last Restore we ran was the restore of the .vmx and other config files. This also completed OK and then of course we had to add the Virtual machine to the Inventory manually since the individual file restore does not provide this feature.

The Virtual Machine was now restored and Inventoried and after we changed the Virtual LAN it was connecting to we started the Virtual Machine.

The Virtual Machine would not start. There were errors because with the .vmx restore Veeam modified the .vmx file so that ALL Virtual disks that were referenced in the .vmx were modified to point to the Datastore that the .vmx was located on. We then had to Remove from Virtual Machine but keep on disk the relevant Virtual Disks and then then re add the disks manually by selecting use existing Virtual Disk and then browsing for the relevant .VMDKs on the relevant Datastores.

Eventually we got the Virtual Machine up and running but to be honest I was quite disappointed in the experience due to the fact that we had been using another competitive product upto recently and that product remembered where the .VMDK files were originally located and then during the restore we could just select the original location (DEFAULT) or a NEW Datastore location and a NEW Directory for each of the .VMDK files.

Can a similar capability be provided by Veeam Backup in the future?

Have FUN!

Michael Pozar

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Re: Restore of Virtual Machines with Multiple Virtual Disks

Post by Gostev » Mar 27, 2009 11:59 am

Michael, thanks for the thorough description. I understand your use case perfectly and adding this feature was in our plans. Thanks again.

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Re: Restore of Virtual Machines with Multiple Virtual Disks

Post by chamdor » Mar 01, 2010 8:08 pm

Hi,

Is this feature slated in the next release? I also have a user that did not like the default behavior.

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Re: Restore of Virtual Machines with Multiple Virtual Disks

Post by Gostev » Mar 01, 2010 9:21 pm

Hello, this feature will not be a part of the next release unfortunately. It is tied up to number of other commonly requested restore enhancements and all these features will be implemented together. Because of these dependencies, it cannot be "squezeed" into the next release like some other minor features and enhancements we are adding. Thanks!

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Re: Restore of Virtual Machines with Multiple Virtual Disks

Post by chamdor » Mar 01, 2010 10:12 pm

Hi,

No problem thanks for the quick reply, it is easy enough to work around for now.

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Re: Restore of Virtual Machines with Multiple Virtual Disks

Post by willrodbard » Mar 18, 2010 5:15 pm

Hi Anton,
Without asking you to give away any specifcs of the upcoming new release (SureBackup), is this "restore to multiple datastores" likely to be an available feature?
Go on, give us a clue, I wont tell any one, promise :wink:

Cheers
Will

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Re: Restore of Virtual Machines with Multiple Virtual Disks

Post by Gostev » Mar 18, 2010 7:39 pm

Will, I actually answered your question in my previous post... no, this feature will not be a part of the next release.

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Re: Restore of Virtual Machines with Multiple Virtual Disks

Post by willrodbard » Mar 19, 2010 8:31 am

Anton,
Apologies, I was reading multiple posts and missed you response :oops:
Is there a VEEAM best practise guide or white paper around for handling these types of situations that you know of?

Cheers
Will

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Re: Restore of Virtual Machines with Multiple Virtual Disks

Post by Gostev » Mar 19, 2010 11:53 am

Will, basically the workaround is explained in the 1st post of this thread. This is done by restoring individual VM files (VMX, VMDK) to the correct datastores, and then editing the VM configuration. Thanks.

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Re: Restore of Virtual Machines with Multiple Virtual Disks

Post by TonioRoffo » Mar 20, 2010 11:42 am

This seems like a huge problem to me. Nearly all machines I deploy have their disks on different datastores, to make them run as effective as I can.

Sure the workaround works - but what happens in this case with VSS? Is the restore still VSS aware? If it's not, I have to rethink my entire backup strategy. :?

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Re: Restore of Virtual Machines with Multiple Virtual Disks

Post by Gostev » Mar 20, 2010 1:14 pm

VSS restore works on OS level when VM is first powered on after restore (not during VM restore process itself), so the way you restore disks does not matter.

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Re: Restore of Virtual Machines with Multiple Virtual Disks

Post by Davd » Mar 30, 2010 10:45 am

Hi Gostev,

I sent an email to Veeam support today about this issue (before i readthis thread) and their answer was different from yours. They said that this would be available in next release. So what can we expect?

My question to support was:

"Hi,

We are evaluating Veeam Backup and have performed a backup of our fileserver. This virtual server uses 2 different datastores (1 TB each) and the backup performed successfully. But when I now try to perform a restore to a LAB network I am not able to restore it to 2 different datastores. See print screen below.

Total server storage is 2 TB (1 TB per datastore) and I am trying to restore it to cen-sv-eql-01- vmfs08_lab and cen-sv-eql-01-vmfs09_lab. But in the window below, I am not able to mark both datastores.

How can I restore the server as it was in original state using 2 datastores?"

And the answer from Veeam support was:

"Hello David,

Thank you for contacting Veeam Support.

We can only restore to a selected single datastore in our current version. The files can then of course be moved within your storage as you desire.
We are going to implement this feature in our next release. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Best regards,
Ekaterina Erofeeva
Veeam Software
support@veeam.com
http://veeam.com/support/"
Ticket number #522558

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Re: Restore of Virtual Machines with Multiple Virtual Disks

Post by Vitaliy S. » Mar 30, 2010 11:38 am

Hello David,

This feature is indeed in our feature list for future releases, but as Anton has already said it is not going to be shipped with version 5, it seems like there was a small misunderstanding with a typo in a word release(s). :wink: As for now you may use a workaround described above.

Thank you!

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Re: Restore of Virtual Machines with Multiple Virtual Disks

Post by rhnb » Jul 02, 2010 12:00 pm

New customer and I've just hit this problem in my first test.
Blimey - disappointing to say the least. This problem was obviously known about in Mar 2009 (from the first post) and seems you were already aware of it, but it hasn't made it into release 5?? Lets hope I won't have to do too many restores! Call me naive but it seems such an obvious omission. Surebackup - hmmm - Sure a pain to restore if you've set your VM's up as per best practice (different data stores for multiple disks).

Allan

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Re: Restore of Virtual Machines with Multiple Virtual Disks

Post by Bunce » Jul 02, 2010 5:11 pm

I can't believe this isn't going to be in v5..

surely this type of feature (that your competitors do out of the box) is a higher priority than trying to string together this sure backup stuff which have very little chance of ever matching what native application backup processes can do..

let's get the basics right first..

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Re: Restore of Virtual Machines with Multiple Virtual Disks

Post by Gostev » Jul 02, 2010 5:24 pm

It is good that you left SureBackup that very little chance ;) anyhow, let me see what we can do about the feature in question.

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Re: Restore of Virtual Machines with Multiple Virtual Disks

Post by mdornfeld » Jul 02, 2010 7:31 pm

I tend to agree that this feature is also very important to me as well. I wouldn't say it's a glaring omission, as you can still do the restore with no problems, but it would certainly simplify things.

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Re: Restore of Virtual Machines with Multiple Virtual Disks

Post by Bunce » Jul 03, 2010 5:10 am

Gostev wrote:It is good that you left SureBackup that very little chance ;) anyhow, we'll see what we can do about the feature in question.
If you can somehow incorporate point-in-time SQL restores, item-level exchange restores and object level sharepoint restores, then I'll buy you a ticket for a holiday down here to Australia.. :wink:

Until then, we'll be sticking with native backups for these systems -> they're just too complex, and I don't really expect a VM backup solution to be able to offer 100% functionality for all applications..

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Re: Restore of Virtual Machines with Multiple Virtual Disks

Post by Gostev » Jul 03, 2010 10:04 am

Bunce wrote:If you can somehow incorporate point-in-time SQL restores, item-level exchange restores and object level sharepoint restores, then I'll buy you a ticket for a holiday down here to Australia.. :wink:
Thanks for the offer, I think I should start planning my trip then. :D
I always very much wanted to go to Australia!

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Re: Restore of Virtual Machines with Multiple Virtual Disks

Post by pharismod » Aug 10, 2010 9:52 pm

On a similar note, it would be really nice if replication worked this way as well. That is, I'd love to be able to target a specific datastore for each VMDK that is being replicated. Currently replication only allows you to choose a single target datastore.

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Re: Restore of Virtual Machines with Multiple Virtual Disks

Post by Gostev » Aug 12, 2010 1:02 pm

Gostev wrote:anyhow, let me see what we can do about the feature in question
Just to update - eventually I was able to squeeze this feature (for backups only though) into v5. Will add the same for replication in the following updates, along with the restore UI revamp I had mentioned above.

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