Any Experience Backing up with VVOL's?

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Re: Any Experience Backing up with VVOL's?

Veeam Logoby Cormac » Mon Sep 14, 2015 5:44 pm

That is exactly how I understand it Luca. There is definitely metadata associated with each VVol, but one would expect this to be persisted at the storage layer by the storage array vendors. This would not/should not be persisted in vCenter in any way, and one would also hope that this would not be persisted in the VASA provider, but actually persisted down on the storage layer (again, a great question to ask the storage vendor).

So to answer your question, yes, it should only be a matter of deploying out the new vCenter, discovering the hosts/storage, and since the VMs are already bound to PEs which have not changed, you only need to worry about recovering the SPBM stuff.

HTH

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Re: Any Experience Backing up with VVOL's?

Veeam Logoby joergr » Mon Sep 14, 2015 7:46 pm 1 person likes this post

Thanks so much, Cormac, for joining the discussion.

I have a suggestion / idea:

How about I create a testlab in the next 1-2 weeks, consisting of a) one DELL-EQL array with FW 8.0.4 (fully VVOL capable up to three group members), a dell r730 acting as exi 6u1, create a virtual vcenter 6u1, create a virtual VP (dell eql VP). I will then create a VVOL store, add some VMs to it. Then i will destroy (yes DESTROY, totally delete so i myself can´t get it back) the VC VM and also the VP VM. Then i will try to recreate a fresh VP and a fresh VC VM and will try to somehow get access to the VVOL store i created before. That is gonna be an interesting task i think. What do you guys say? Would this be worth the work or was this already done somewhere in the vmware labs before? I am speaking of losing BOTH, the vc and the VP. But not the array of course. If yes, please, Cormac, let me know, then i don´t have to do it. But if you haven´t tried that scenario i would love to check that out.

Best,
Joerg
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Re: Any Experience Backing up with VVOL's?

Veeam Logoby dellock6 » Mon Sep 14, 2015 8:00 pm

I think is a nice idea indeed, and you can even use the VNX virtual appliance to do it even quicker. however, I still would prefer an official answer from VMware, and I'm sure Cormac can find it internally. I understood there are some degrees of freedom in the implmentation of the VVOLs design, but as much as VMware has pushed some strict rules on some design aspects, also the exact placement of VVOLs "pointers" (for a lack of a better term)are inside the VVOL itself. As Anton said at the beginning of the thread, VMFS has always been good cause it was self contained: every needed information (vmx and the linked files) are all in the filesystem, regardless what you connect to it.
Cormac is saying this should be the case also for VVOLs (I guess those info are in the config VVOL at this point, and with it you can trace the other VVOLS belonging to the same VM), but is this "it should" that still worries me. It means that a VVOL implementation could be potentially awesome or extremely dangerous (and I'm being polite...) depending on the storage vendor. I'd prefer VMware to force storage vendors to follow some design principles, and if not, the storage not being recognized and mounted by vCenter.

And by the way, since all the connection is done by vCenter, it means we cannot have a VVOL directly attached to a single ESXi I guess.

Anyway, this is becoming a really interesting conversation, the first in many months here in the forums.
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Re: Any Experience Backing up with VVOL's?

Veeam Logoby joergr » Tue Sep 15, 2015 6:43 am

Indeed, Luca, this discussion is one of the most intersting ;-)

So it would be very interesting to know how much freedom the storage vendors have designing their VVOL capable implementations. I could imagine if it´s possible to stuff every kind of metadata on a virtual VP and literally no metadata at all - only the blocks with no info whatsoever to the actual array, that could be a very bad one, because the data is lying there it´s just no one can read it anymore in a logical way. On the nother hand, if the design dictates to store the logical assignment at least per VVOL, maybe in the config VVOL so that the internal implementation of the array can "understand" that - that would be a good one. There may also be a scenario thinkable where indeed there is only raw data on the array and the array knows nothing about that but there is some kind of scan-tool which can re-discover the logical VVOL-contents. I also can imagine it would be easier to get hands on VVOL data in case of an emergency lying on file based SAN like NFS because at the end of the day it´s only mount points and directories. On the other hand, on block based array - i think some special tool would be needed maybe.

And for the future i am sure there has to be a way to connect an ESXi standalone to a VVOL capable storage array and somehow read the VVOL contents. That also would make data recovery sessions much more effective.
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Re: Any Experience Backing up with VVOL's?

Veeam Logoby Cormac » Tue Sep 15, 2015 10:54 am

Let me ask one of my contacts at DELL EQL to comment on this scenario. I'm pretty sure they would have tested it, or if they haven't they certainly should :-)
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Re: Any Experience Backing up with VVOL's?

Veeam Logoby joergr » Tue Sep 15, 2015 11:06 am

Thanks a lot, Cormac, highly appreciated. Netapp would also be interesting - same approach.
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Re: Any Experience Backing up with VVOL's?

Veeam Logoby dellock6 » Tue Sep 15, 2015 4:16 pm 1 person likes this post

Thanks Cormac, so it's confirmed that at least as VMware designed vvols, the complete loss of vcenter is not an issue to restore them? Then we can talk about "non optimal" implementations by storage vendors (even if I guess then what the vmware certification is checking before giving the ok), but there should be a "this is how it work" from you. After all you designed the libraries... :-)

Thanks again for the help Cormac
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Re: Any Experience Backing up with VVOL's?

Veeam Logoby deevie » Sat Sep 26, 2015 11:29 am

I had been testing vvols on vsphere beta 6.0 with a 3PAR. When GA came out, I did setup a brand new vcenter and was able to re-add the existing vm's (like I would do with a VMFS datastore). Off course, in my case all crusial data is on the 3Par itself (VP). The 3par knows which datablocks belongs to which vm.
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Re: Any Experience Backing up with VVOL's?

Veeam Logoby dellock6 » Mon Sep 28, 2015 1:26 pm

Thanks for your input.
But then the question is: what if you loose data into the VP? Is there any backup available in the 3PAR machine for the metadata stored into VP? Even if this honestly is not any different than loosing a raid conf from a raid controller and have disks that makes no sense without the controller knowing how to group them.

Luca
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Re: Any Experience Backing up with VVOL's?

Veeam Logoby deevie » Tue Sep 29, 2015 9:20 am

Shouldn't you trust your storage vendor that the don't loose data within their system? If you create a volume on a SAN storage system for a VMFS datastore, you also trust it won't loose datablocks that belong to that volume. Same for the vmware vvols.
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Re: Any Experience Backing up with VVOL's?

Veeam Logoby bmeadowcroft » Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:29 pm 1 person likes this post

dellock6 wrote:Thanks Cormac, so it's confirmed that at least as VMware designed vvols, the complete loss of vcenter is not an issue to restore them?


That is correct, confirmed (as VVol PM). You will lose the SPBM policies you have created but not the VMs or their VVols, if you spin up a new VC you will see the VMs when you restore the VVol datastore to the inventory. Recovering the policies should be possible by restoring from a backup of VC or by using the Import-SpbmStoragePolicy PowerCLI cmdlet to import a previously exported XML representation of the policy information that was generated by the Export-SpbmStoragePolicy cmdlet.

dellock6 wrote:Then we can talk about "non optimal" implementations by storage vendors (even if I guess then what the vmware certification is checking before giving the ok)


I will defer to the storage vendors concerning their best practices around VP availability and resiliency. VMware also provides a VASA HA capability that vendors can implement using multiple redundant instances of their VP (which we can certify and is listed on the VVols compatibility guide under VPHA, see https://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php?deviceCategory=vvols&productid=38580&deviceCategory=vvols&vvolFeatureCats=39). This may not be necessary if the vendor runs the VP on their array itself however so lack of a listing there does not imply that they don't have their own availability solution, as I said talk to your vendors!
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Re: Any Experience Backing up with VVOL's?

Veeam Logoby Peter Faber » Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:31 pm

is there any news on this subject in v9 ?
i understand that in 8.0 u2 backups of vVols in SAN mode is not supported, is this still the case in v9 ?

Regards Peter
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Re: Any Experience Backing up with VVOL's?

Veeam Logoby foggy » Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:23 pm

Yes, nothing has changed in this regard.
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Re: Any Experience Backing up with VVOL's?

Veeam Logoby DaveWatkins » Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:08 am

Foggy, could you expand on where the problem is? Is it just that VMWare hasn't released API's that let you talk to the VASA provider and PE to get access to the associated LUN's, or is it something more fundamental about the VVVOL architecture that doesn't allow you to access those LUN's.... or is it something else?

Thanks
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Re: Any Experience Backing up with VVOL's?

Veeam Logoby foggy » Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:59 am

VDDK just does not have support for that mode yet, only hotadd and nbd are supported for vVol.
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