Backing up a Windows Failover Cluster with Shared Storage?

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Re: Backup a MSCS cluster

Veeam Logoby foggy » Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:42 pm

That means that your MSCS cluster is configured using in-guest iSCSI initiators, not VMware SCSI bus sharing Vitaliy was referring to.
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Re: Backup a MSCS cluster

Veeam Logoby Dave338 » Fri Jan 30, 2015 7:47 pm

If you cannot make a snapshot at vmware level, you cannotmake a backup of the machine.

Also this can not be possible because there is a controller ser to bus sharing, requisite for mscs...so again not possible.

If you want a backup of this machines you need a operating system level backup, like acronis or symantec system recovery, like in a physical machine.

Regards
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Re: Backup a MSCS cluster

Veeam Logoby v.Eremin » Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:28 am 1 person likes this post

Or Endpoint Backup Free.
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Re: Backup a MSCS cluster

Veeam Logoby pkelly_sts » Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:00 pm

v.Eremin wrote:Or Endpoint Backup Free.

That caught my attention!

Is it really feasible to use Endpoint Backup Free for MSCS clusters? I haven't looked into Endpoint at all as I considered it a "client" thing which doesn't interest us but I might want to take a closer look at it now if it's feasible in such a config...
[New Sig: PLEASE get GFS tape support for incrementals!!!]
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Re: Backup a MSCS cluster

Veeam Logoby Vitaliy S. » Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:41 pm

Endpoint Backup is a "client thing". Do not expect full-blown protection to be available for MSCS clusters, as Endpoint target is laptops and PCs. Take a look a this topic for more info > Veeam Endpoint Backup Free
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[MERGED]: MSCS backups

Veeam Logoby ChrisGundryCEGA » Mon Jan 04, 2016 10:28 am

Firstly, happy new year to all! Hope that none of you had any horrible Christmas callouts!

Anyway, the reason for my post is to talk about MSCS and Veeam backups.

Who is using Veeam to backup GUEST MSCS servers and in what way? Are you running Hyper-V/VMware as the hypervisor? What disk configuration? What is MSCS doing for you, file servers, SQL, DHCP etc?

The research I have done (and checked with Veeam themselves) seems to say that its basically not possible to backup a GUEST MSCS node with Veeam B&R due to issues with snapshots and shared disks/bus sharing etc.

The only options as I can see them are:
1. Use Veeam Endpoint backup from within the guest OS - Is anyone using this for MSCS? I know it is more of a client thing... What is Veeam's support view on this scenario?
2. I can use Windows backup from within the guest OS
3. Use in guest iSCSI initiators to do the disk sharing and use Veeam B&R to backup the guest itself, but it won't be able to backup the guest iSCSI disks and will have to try and back them up some other way, perhaps storage snapshots...?

Many thanks for any input from people using MSCS and Veeam!

Chris
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Re: MSCS backups

Veeam Logoby kawiMTF » Mon Jan 04, 2016 10:45 am

Hi Chris,

Thanks, also to you a happy new year!

Just to clarify, what do you mean with MCSC? Microsoft Cluster Services? Because this and a Master Degree in Computer Science are the only two things which i can find... Please help us out if it's NOT Microsoft Cluster Services.

I'm backing up different servers with Veeam, from Microsoft SQL, Exchange, fileservers, Active Directory, Linux Appliances (Security, Spam Scanning etc) and had no issues. For sure, there are some trial an error procedures until everything works, but now the backups are running fine.

I think it doesn't matter what you are backing up. I think it depends how your are backing it up.

If there are Microsoft virtual machines, e.g. on Hyper-V or vSphere, you can use the VSS feature withing Veeam (Application-Aware image processing, http://helpcenter.veeam.com/backup/80/v ... on_vm.html). With that feature you will get a clean and consistent backup of your virtual machine.

Don't use the VMware Tools Quiescence feature if it's not really necessary (http://helpcenter.veeam.com/backup/80/v ... cence.html). At least in my environment it causes the VM's to freeze for about a half a minute or so. Imagine that on a fileserver serving network shares / network drives to the users, or on a terminalserver, the users get a fine disconnect, and i get fine phone support calls.
Best regards,
Karl

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Re: MSCS backups

Veeam Logoby ChrisGundryCEGA » Mon Jan 04, 2016 11:16 am

Hi Karl,

Yes, Microsoft Cluster Services.

Are you saying you have those applications running on GUEST MSCS and are backing up with Veeam B&R?

The reason I raise the question is because the method to get GUEST MSCS working in VMware (and I believe the same is true for Hyper-V) is that you enable 'bus sharing'. Once bus sharing is enabled you cannot snapshot the VM in VMware, so Veeam cannot snapshot it, so you cannot back it up...

ps. I am very experienced with Veeam already, I have been using it for many years. It's just that I have not personally set it up to backup a MSCS scenario before. The research and testing I have done seems to indicate it is not possible.

Thanks

Chris
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Re: Backup a MSCS cluster

Veeam Logoby ChrisGundryCEGA » Mon Jan 04, 2016 3:48 pm

Hi. Why has my thread been merged into this one with no explanation? This is a real problem with these forums...

I have already read this topic during my research. I asked again in a different topic because I am asking Veeam for their recommendations on backing up a MSCS setup using VEB or other method and asking users of MSCS to see what they are doing if VMware/Veeam do not allow this functionality/support VEB for MSCS etc.
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Re: Backup a MSCS cluster

Veeam Logoby kawiMTF » Mon Jan 04, 2016 4:06 pm 1 person likes this post

ChrisGundryCEGA wrote:Hi. Why has my thread been merged into this one with no explanation? This is a real problem with these forums...


Yes, i was also a little irritated as i read this post, since i can't remember that there were more posts before my answer... Anyway.

I don't have any Microsoft cluster running at my customers, so i can't really tell you more about clustering.

What operating system is the cluster running? Server 2003 or newer? Since with Server 2008 and 2008 R2 the cluster functionality became renamed to "Windows Server Failover Clustering" and the Component Load Balancing (CLB) feature has been deprecated.

What virtualization platform are you using?

At least when i have a look to VMware KB i find this article: http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/micros ... Id=1006392

Workaround

If you require bus-sharing:
Consider running backup software within your guest operating system as an alternative solution.
If your virtual machine currently has snapshots and it is preventing you from configuring bus-sharing, delete the snapshots. For more information, see the Using Snapshots section of the vSphere Basic Administration Guide for your version of VMware ESX.

Note: If snapshot consolidation fails, see Consolidating Snapshots(1007849).

If you do not require bus-sharing:

If your virtual machine is currently configured with bus-sharing, but you want to create snapshot, you must disable bus-sharing. For more information, see the Managing Mapped LUNs section of the ESX Configuration Guide for your version of VMware ESX.


For me it seems as you have the following possibilities:

- If bus-sharing is required, you have to use a backup software within the VM. For this i would recommend Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE, since you can backup in an existing Veeam repository.
- If bus-sharing is not required, you have to disable it.

Veeam create a snapshot of the VM (or tells vSphere to create a snapshot of a VM) and then retrieves the data out of this snapshot. Bus-sharing and snapshot don't work as VMware says.
Best regards,
Karl

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Re: Backup a MSCS cluster

Veeam Logoby ChrisGundryCEGA » Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:09 am

We are using VMware 5.5 U2 with Server 2008 R2/2012 R2 guest OS's

The issue is like I said, and like you have linked to is that to use MSCS/failover clustering you need bus sharing enabled on the VM's, which means snapshots cannot work with VMware/Veeam. If you have not used failover clustering then you won't have run into this issue luckily.

What I am asking is:
1. What other people are doing fro backups when using MSCS/failover clustering?
2. What backup Veeam recommend for MSCS setup? It's an enterprise MS feature and Veeam don't seem to have a function to support it unfortunately. This means we either need to use VEB (but only if its supported), use another vendors product, or not use MSCS...
3. What Veeam will/won't support in terms of VEB and MSCS. VEB is a free product which we do not have the paid support for like we do B&R, so what level of support could we expect from Veeam for VEB on MSCS.

Thanks

Chris
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Re: Backup a MSCS cluster

Veeam Logoby Vitaliy S. » Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:37 pm

Hi Chris,

1. To the best of my knowledge, some people are disabling bus sharing during backup job or reconfigure their infrastructures to be supported for VM snapshots.
2. As you correctly say snapshots for VMs with disks engaged in SCSI bus sharing are not supported by VMware, so it will not be possible to backup these VMs with any VM-image level backup solution.
3. You can try to use VEB to backup MSCS, but keep in mind that VEB doesn't bring any cluster-specific awareness logic in its backup jobs. Since VEB is not designed to backup MSCS, then will be no full support provided if something goes wrong during the restore process.

Hope this helps!
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Re: Backup a MSCS cluster

Veeam Logoby ChrisGundryCEGA » Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:16 pm

Hi Vitaliy,

Thanks for replying... I don't really feel like I am getting anywhere at the moment.

1. Ok, but how exactly? As far as I can see you can't disable bus sharing during the backup because.
a. There is no mechanism to do that automatically that I know it
b. That will break the Microsoft clustering
That is why I am looking for responses from people that have actually done this with Veeam and why I didn't want my topic lumped in with an old topic which isn't the same thing...

2. So we are agreed that bus sharing prevents snapshots and Veeam from working at all.

3. Quite annoying then that when I asked the same question via a support case (01149371) I was told I should use VEB to backup MSCS, then was told I needed to raise a feature request, then told by another person in the same case that it was not supported. I raised some more questions and kept chasing for a reply but got no answer. I finally received a reply this week saying that the people on the ticket had got confused and apologise for the delay. I reply asking for the answers then and find that the ticket is closed! Its ridiculous, I was told I would have a reply on the 30th of November!

MSCS is a standard thing for any reasonable sized IT setup, so this should not be anything new to Veeam support so why is this such a problem?

Regards
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Re: Backup a MSCS cluster

Veeam Logoby NightBird » Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:47 pm 1 person likes this post

I think because actually new generation of high available Microsoft applications like Exchange DAG setup, SQL Always on setup... don't need bus sharing anymore.
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Re: Backup a MSCS cluster

Veeam Logoby ChrisGundryCEGA » Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:59 pm

That is true in part definitely and that is meaning that people don't use MSCS as much anymore, which is fine by me, I don't have much love for MSCS but it does provide a much needed HA service...

The issue to me is that a lot of people still do use MSCS and some of this technology like SQL always on is still new, so people don't have it yet. So thats not a reason for no one commenting with their working MSCS setup, or Veeam's inability to give me a straight answer about their products support of the various options... A KB article explaining that bus sharing is not supported by VMWare, so cannot be supported by Veeam and VEB isn't supported for MSCS would have saved a lot of hassle. I can't believe I am the only one who is using MSCS and also has Veeam...

We have Exchange DAG's here, which provide is with HA for Exchange, which is great.

The areas that we need to address within our network are:
SQL HA - We can't get our massive SQL 2016 costs approved at the moment so always on isn't going to happen. This does not stop us using MSCS to provide HA, but it seems Veeam can't back it up so we need to review options, hence the post.
File server HA - There are tons of options here but MSCS is one
Intranet sites - Again MSCS would prove handy for this
DHCP - We don't need MSCS for that anymore

I know there are other options to MSCS but training staff and managing MSCS for various purposes is a lot easier than doing the same for all of the other options that provide the same thing such as: DAG's, SQL always on, scale out file server, DHCP native failover, network load balancer for IIS etc

Does that make sense?
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