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KiwiJJ
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SAN Backup and USB removable disk and disabling automount

Post by KiwiJJ »

Hi,
I have a Windows 2008 R2 server and setup an iSCSI connection to the SAN to be able to use the vSphere API (direct SAN) method of backing up.

A previous post advised using diskpart to disable automount so that the SAN volumes would not be mounted automatically by Windows.

As I use removable USB drives on a daily basis for the backups when I put in the new drive it obviously does not assign a drive letter to the inserted
USB drive as automount is disabled and this must be done manually through Disk Manager.

What are your thoughts on having automount disabled ?

regards,

John

ebernard
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Re: SAN Backup and USB removable disk and disabling automoun

Post by ebernard »

John

It's obviously an insane problem!
When you type these diskpart commands, you avoid to assign drive letter to new volumes (automount) and you flush all the old and unused volumes (scrub).
You can see that it doesn't remove your actual HD drives, so, by using in a certain way, you can get a chance to still assign letters to your USB drives.

If you don't run automount commands, Windows will assign a letter to VMFS volumes, there's still a chance to correct this by running FD commands on ESX.
Insert and manually assign, one by one, your USB drives, and don't run automount scrub, it will erase all parameters for your USB sticks. Normally when you'll plug one of this USB stick it will be recognized and mounted.

If you experience too many issues with this, you should use something like "USB everywhere" which permits you to see a USB device as a network drive. Normally I won't recommend you to add a network path to reach your repository, but since you're running USB and it's a slow storage type to back up, from my personal opinion.

Finally, if you don't want to get issues with automount, you can use the "virtual appliance" mode, means Veeam into VM, which doesn't need to present LUNs, because it uses the ESX VMFS connection. But now, it will complicate the USB mount into VM!

Vitaliy S.
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Re: SAN Backup and USB removable disk and disabling automoun

Post by Vitaliy S. »

John,

If you happen to use Virtual Appliance mode, then you may leverage all the benefits of new 4.1 passthough capability by presenting USB device directly to a VM, as it is described in the topic below:
http://www.veeam.com/forums/viewtopic.p ... assthrough

KiwiJJ
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Re: SAN Backup and USB removable disk and disabling automoun

Post by KiwiJJ »

Hi Vitaliy,
I had a look at the post you mentioned and it seems backup speeds are quite slow doing it that way. I am currently getting between 20-40MB/s on the physical server using SAN mode.
That being said, the Network mode is not that much slower and I can use automount with that mode.
What happens if I use automount enable with SAN drives, does it mean that Windows just assigns a drive letter or do other things happen ?

regards,

John

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Re: SAN Backup and USB removable disk and disabling automoun

Post by Gostev »

John, what will happen is Windows will signature your VMFS LUN and VMware will not recognize them anymore. That is unless of course your SAN provides ability to mount LUN as "read-only".

KiwiJJ
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Re: SAN Backup and USB removable disk and disabling automoun

Post by KiwiJJ »

Hi Gostev,
Thanks for that. I have posted a question on the Dell site to see if the MD3000i SAN that we have can be set to Read Only.

regards,

John

KiwiJJ
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Re: SAN Backup and USB removable disk and disabling automoun

Post by KiwiJJ »

Another question on this is that the Windows server that Veeam runs on keeps failing over the controllers on the SAN and putting it into degraded mode, do you have any ideas on how to resolve this ? maybe I should just run Veeam in Network mode and forget about SAN mode as it seems to cause a few issues.

thanks,

John

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Re: SAN Backup and USB removable disk and disabling automoun

Post by Vitaliy S. »

Hi John,

Since you keep struggling with SAN mode to work, I would suggest switching to Virtual Appliance more rather than to Network. In VA mode, VM data is retrieved directly from storage through the ESX I/O stack, instead of going through the network stack for better performance.

But to troubleshoot the SAN connection further, I would try looking through this topic, might be useful:
http://www.veeam.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4093

Thank you.

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