Integration with Storage Snapshots : Tintri

Availability for the Always-On Enterprise

Re: Integration with Storage Snapshots : Vendor Roadmap

Veeam Logoby Gostev » Mon Sep 08, 2014 3:33 pm

From what I've been told previously about Tintri, I was under impression that Tintri's ability to perform snapshot on VM level, and offload the actual snapshot processing to storage, which eliminates the VM snapshot commit issue. If you say this is not the case as per your own experience, then perhaps those people did not know what they were saying.
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Re: Integration with Storage Snapshots : Vendor Roadmap

Veeam Logoby acoman » Mon Sep 08, 2014 3:47 pm

My vote goes to Tintri as I'm already using that smart storage and will help us in our VEEAM day to day replication!!

+1 for Veeam integration with Tintri VMReplication and VMSnapshots!

Cheers
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Re: Integration with Storage Snapshots : Vendor Roadmap

Veeam Logoby ggrice » Mon Sep 08, 2014 5:10 pm

mdaltoriob wrote:
I guess I am confused here. If I use Veeam to backup VMs that reside on the Tintri that have Tintri snapshots I still get long commits that can cause brief outages. This may be an issue with the secondary storage I am using, but if I were working off of a storage snapshot from the beginning wouldn't I not need to worry about commits on a running VM? When I do a Tintri snapshot that quiesces the VM it stay open for only the briefest possible time. If Veeam could backup from a Tintri snapshot that happens 15 minutes before the job starts then we would not impact production VMs at all from a VMware snapshot perspective. If I am wrong please help me understand.


Are you using the Tintri VAAI plugin? it makes a massive difference as it essentially converts your VMware snapshot to a Storage level snapshot. It's an add in that you need to install through Update Manager to each host that is accessing your Tintri filer.

The longer you leave a snapshot open the longer it takes to commit as it has to roll up more changes in to the image, but in the space of what is required for my backups I still get very fast snaps and commits.
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Re: Integration with Storage Snapshots : Vendor Roadmap

Veeam Logoby lorengordon » Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:12 pm

When the snapshot command is issued from the vSphere interface or the regular vSphere APIs, I'm fairly certain that it is a traditional VMware snapshot that is created. The snapshot is not offloaded to the array in any way. From what I can tell, the VAAI snapshot offload capability is a special command available only through the API, and it's leveraged by VMware View (VCAI) and by vCloud Director. This information comes from http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/techpap ... ration.pdf. If anyone can find anything stating otherwise, I would love to know.

Until then, again, +1 for Veeam integration with Tintri snapshots.
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Re: Integration with Storage Snapshots : Vendor Roadmap

Veeam Logoby tsightler » Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:52 pm

I think it's important to remember that with the current implementation of Veeam's Backup from Storage Snapshot feature, we still require taking a VM snapshot because it's the only way to get access to the CBT data. If the problem is that you're VM cannot deal with snapshot at all, especially during commit, then even with BfSS the problem may not go away. Certainly it can be a huge help because the snapshot is not held very long.

The simple reality is VMware should have addressed their poor approach to snapshot a LONG time ago, although based on the announcement at VMworld it looks like they are finally providing features that should address this issue in future versions. Sure, Veeam could simply not use CBT at all, take hardware snapshots and then scan the entire VMDKs each time, but that's not really very scalable.
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Re: Integration with Storage Snapshots : Vendor Roadmap

Veeam Logoby vClintWyckoff » Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:09 pm

@Loren / @Daltorio - @Geoff's correct. Yes you can offload the Snapshot from the Hypervisor through the use of the VAAI NAS Primitives - the Tintri VAAI plugin needs to be present on your ESX hosts (You download this off of your Tintri Support Portal).

In fact, Tintri is one of the only few storage vendors to support the Horizon View Composer API's for fast provisioning of VDI linked clones. Nevertheless, it's quite simple to install the VAAI. This will allow you to take VM level snapshots through the vSphere Web Client.
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Re: Integration with Storage Snapshots : Vendor Roadmap

Veeam Logoby Gostev » Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:10 pm 3 people like this post

Note to self: I wish Clint was as active on the public forums during his many years at Veeam, as he is now ;)
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Re: Integration with Storage Snapshots : Vendor Roadmap

Veeam Logoby lorengordon » Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:24 pm

vClintWyckoff wrote:@Loren / @Daltorio - @Geoff's correct. Yes you can offload the Snapshot from the Hypervisor through the use of the VAAI NAS Primitives - the Tintri VAAI plugin needs to be present on your ESX hosts (You download this off of your Tintri Support Portal).

In fact, Tintri is one of the only few storage vendors to support the Horizon View Composer API's for fast provisioning of VDI linked clones. Nevertheless, it's quite simple to install the VAAI. This will allow you to take VM level snapshots through the vSphere Web Client.


Clint, there's definitely something missing somewhere. Can you provide a reference? I can't find any documentation that says the VCAI snapshot offload is exposed via the vSphere Web Client. Do you mean the Tintri plugin for the vSphere Web Client, http://www.tintri.com/sites/default/fil ... asheet.pdf? Also, even if the capability is exposed through the web client only, that would seem to imply there is a different mechanism for triggering an offloaded snapshot. If that is correct, can we confirm that Veeam is issuing the command that triggers that capability, rather than the standard snapshot?

Here's the only information I can find on enabling and using the VCAI native snapshots, http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2061611.
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Re: Integration with Storage Snapshots : Vendor Roadmap

Veeam Logoby ggrice » Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:41 am

lorengordon wrote:When the snapshot command is issued from the vSphere interface or the regular vSphere APIs, I'm fairly certain that it is a traditional VMware snapshot that is created. The snapshot is not offloaded to the array in any way. From what I can tell, the VAAI snapshot offload capability is a special command available only through the API, and it's leveraged by VMware View (VCAI) and by vCloud Director. This information comes from http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/techpap ... ration.pdf. If anyone can find anything stating otherwise, I would love to know.

Until then, again, +1 for Veeam integration with Tintri snapshots.


Hi Loren, the VMware article you cited is very relevant . On page 3, Introduction to VAAI it states:
"VMware vSphere® Storage APIs – Array Integration (VAAI), ... enable the ESXi host to offload certain storage operations to the array, which reduces resource overhead on the ESXi hosts and can significantly improve performance for storage-intensive operations such as storage cloning, zeroing, and so on....."

Tintri's documentation also show that the snapshot is offloaded to the array:
Image

This all happens at the level of the VMware Host and it is not a special function that is only available to View, VCloud director, web client or whatever.

Full Vsphere bypass for creating/storing backups would still be neat/fun/interesting to see, IMO Tintri could be the perfect platform for this type of integration because everything is managed at the level of VM's and not whole volumes.

BTW, thanks Gostev for making me post of the week in the last Digest :)
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Re: Integration with Storage Snapshots : Vendor Roadmap

Veeam Logoby depps » Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:53 am

Am I also wrong in assuming that Veeam Storage Snapshots would also add Application Aware snapshots? That is a huge advantage.

Is anyone here backing up from/to a Nimble array? During our Nimble POC vmware snapshots continued to cause VMWare stun...
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Re: Integration with Storage Snapshots : Vendor Roadmap

Veeam Logoby depps » Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:13 am

I did just do some digging and it appears that essentials plus isn't licensed for VAAI which probably explains why I still saw vm stun.
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Re: Integration with Storage Snapshots : Vendor Roadmap

Veeam Logoby LiamGP » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:20 am

We use 2x Tintri T650's and would love to have full Veeam integration with Tintri snapshots too please!
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Re: Integration with Storage Snapshots : Vendor Roadmap

Veeam Logoby vClintWyckoff » Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:57 pm

Just wanted to close the loop so there's no confusion. Tintri snapshots taken directly through the VMstore UI don't require VAAI, since you're already making the requests through the storage infrastructure. VAAI allows the hypervisor the ability to offload those snapshot requests to the storage layer...hence the requirement of the VAAI Plugin @ the hypervisor level. Yes, THESE snapshot requests are being made through vCenter and WILL USE VAAI, regardless if you have the Tintri Web Plugin. The Tintri Web Client Plugin exposes the per VM-Statistics and end-to-end per VM Visualizations along with the ability to add Tintri VMstores very quickly to multiple ESX hosts.

Veeam uses the Data Protection API set provided by VMware, which would leverage traditional hypervisor snapshots as well as technologies like HotAdd.

Here's link a to the VAAI Plugin release notes from the Tintri site:

https://tintri-support-static-us.s3.amazonaws.com/relnotes/766-0100-0001-2-7-RevC-Tintri_VAAI_Plugin_Release_Notes_1001_2_7.pdf?Signature=TXzKCGA%2BEHoMisUI8WVcp8ZJ2Y8%3D&Expires=1410243254&AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJWLXHE6BSVHW6SZQ&versionId=null
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Re: Integration with Storage Snapshots : Vendor Roadmap

Veeam Logoby Gostev » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:27 pm 1 person likes this post

All, I am splitting this discussion into the dedicated topic, since last two pages is nothing but Tintri talk anyway.

ggrice wrote:BTW, thanks Gostev for making me post of the week in the last Digest :)

You are very welcome, although it's not me - the post of the week is selected automatically by the number of likes :D
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Re: Integration with Storage Snapshots : Vendor Roadmap

Veeam Logoby lorengordon » Wed Sep 10, 2014 11:28 am

ggrice wrote:Hi Loren, the VMware article you cited is very relevant . On page 3, Introduction to VAAI it states:
"VMware vSphere® Storage APIs – Array Integration (VAAI), ... enable the ESXi host to offload certain storage operations to the array, which reduces resource overhead on the ESXi hosts and can significantly improve performance for storage-intensive operations such as storage cloning, zeroing, and so on....."

Tintri's documentation also show that the snapshot is offloaded to the array:
Image



Geoff (and Clint), "offload certain storage operations to the array," does not necessarily mean that snapshots are offloaded to the array. The information in the Tintri release notes also does not specifically mention the offloading of VMware snapshots. I'm starting to feel like this is an emperor has no clothes moment. No amount of wishful thinking is going to help here, and the documentation is not proving all that helpful either.

So, what can we test? I wish I still had access to my old lab...how about this... Hypothesis: if VMware does offload the snapshot to the VMstore, then each VMware snapshot should create a Tintri snapshot. Test: Can someone with a Tintri VMstore go into the vSphere client and take a VMware snapshot of a VM? Validation: Go to the VMstore interface and check for a Tintri snapshot. Take a couple screenshots. Make sure your hosts have the Tintri VAAI plugin installed first, of course.
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