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Joined: Sep 10, 2010 4:07 am
Full Name: Andy Roberts

SAN Only - Does my server need to see VMFS volumes?

Post by AndyR »

Hi all,

New user here trying to evaluate Veeam Backup. My company originally purchased PHD esXpress, but we are using ESXi 4.1 which this doesn't support, so I'm looking at other options and Veeam caught my eye.

We currently have the following setup.

3x ESXi 4.1 Hosts (proliant dl380)
2x HP Lefthand P4300 iSCSI SAN
All connected via 3 dedicated switches (2x for the SAN, 1x for the hosts etc)
1x Physical Management server connected into the SAN switch.

Now, I have the Phsycial management server (2003 R2) installed with the Microsoft iSCSI Software Initiator and it can see the LUN I have created for backups. I've done the diskpart automount disable, and aligned the partition etc and its all formatted ready to go. When I try and do a backup of a test VM, if I do it in SAN with Failover, it works but fails over to the LAN connection so I get about 12mb/s. When I set it to SAN only it fails saying it cant read the LUN where the VM is.

I've always thought you never ever connect your VMFS volumes to your a Windows host directly, but this seems to be what it needs. Is this the case? I have to connect my management server so it can see all my VMFS LUNs I want to backup VMs from? I can set the LUN access to Read Only from my SAN but is it still a good idea? Really don't want to corrupt my VMFS volumes as they have production VMs on them.

If I do have to connect them to disk management, I take it they won't need drive mapping assigning, they'll just need connecting so it has a path to them so it knows where to look? Correct?

Thanks for your help,


PS. Does anyone know how long the trial key last for out of interest?
Alexey D.

Re: SAN Only - Does my server need to see VMFS volumes?

Post by Alexey D. »

Hello Andy,

Yes, you should set a read only access and LUNs should be visible in disk management snap-in (no need to assign drive letters though).
Here is the instruction, it might be helpful for you: vStorage API SAN Mode

As far as I know, the trial period is 30 days long, but can be prolonged, please contact your sales rep for more information.

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