Backing up a Windows Failover Cluster with Shared Storage?

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Backing up a Windows Failover Cluster with Shared Storage?

Veeam Logoby wasc » Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:56 pm

I'm wondering if Veeam can be used to backup a Windows Failover Cluster using Shared Storage - for example a SQL Failover Cluster. I know the answer has always historically been a no, as Veeam can only backup something in vmware that you can snapshot. However, As I understand it, Veeam can backup a Virtual mode RDM, and I also believe that as of VMware 5.5, a virtual mode RDM is supported for a Windows 2012 Failover Cluster?

Therefore, would I be right in thinking I could create a Failover Cluster in my Primary Site, and back this up to my secondary site using veeam, where the backup contains ALL the data, and not just the System Drive (C drive)?
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Re: Backing up a Windows Failover Cluster with Shared Storag

Veeam Logoby Vitaliy S. » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:51 pm 1 person likes this post

Hello Alex,

According to VMware online documentation Failover Clustering and Microsoft Cluster Service is supported for vRDMs, but it doesn't tell you anything about snapshotting capability of such configuration.

As far as I remember MS Failover Cluster requires bus sharing, which in turn prevents you from doing snapshots, so VM-image backup is still not possible.

BTW, do you have a VM configured in such a way to confirm this assumption?

Thank you!
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Re: Backing up a Windows Failover Cluster with Shared Storag

Veeam Logoby wasc » Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:00 am

Hi Vitaliy,

Thanks for the response. I haven't set this up in a lab yet, so I don't know if this will work - I was hoping someone had tried it already. If I do find the time to set this up in a lab, i'll be sure to update the post with my results.
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Re: Backing up a Windows Failover Cluster with Shared Storag

Veeam Logoby Vitaliy S. » Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:58 am

Alex,

In addition to my previous post, I have just found a pretty informative blog post on MS Failover Cluster feature and its support in latest vSphere release. Its author is still missing VM-image snapshots, so I'm afraid the solution above is not going to fly:
There are a few things that would be nice to have in VMware vSphere for Windows Failover Clusters and I hope these things are included in future releases:
...
Support for vADP style backups
...

Thanks!
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Re: Backing up a Windows Failover Cluster with Shared Storag

Veeam Logoby wasc » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:46 pm

Ah, well, that pretty much finishes that possibility then :)

Shame - for a minute there I got excited. The ability to backup or replicate a clustered machine would be the best new feature that could be added to the vsphere product line.
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Re: Backing up a Windows Failover Cluster with Shared Storag

Veeam Logoby Vitaliy S. » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:59 pm

Well....they keep enhancing this feature every release... :)
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Re: Backing up a Windows Failover Cluster with Shared Storag

Veeam Logoby dellock6 » Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:40 pm

Alex, and what about instead the new non-shared clusters, like Exchange DAG or the new SQL 2012 AlwaysOn? This is something in my opinion is going to make shared MS clusters obsolete, they are much more flexible, easier to configure both in application and for the underlying storage, at the only expense of more storage; since storage prices are always reducing, this is no more such a huge problem.

no shared storage, no lock on shared vmdk or RDM, so snapshots are possible ;)

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[MERGED] 2-node SQL 2014 Standard Clusters and Backups w/ Ve

Veeam Logoby trafsta » Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:52 am

I am looking to implement a 2-node SQL Server 2014 Standard cluster (AlwaysOn FCI is what they call these days I believe). It would have been great to be able to go with AlwaysOn Availability Groups, but alas there is no way our medium sized business could afford the SQL Enterprise licenses... that said, I've searched via Google and via this forum for the best way to set this up while still supporting snapshots and backups through Veeam, but I'm still a bit confused as to which path to take despite all the reading I have done, so I thought I should post a new thread (feel free to merge this to another existing thread that I may have somehow missed...).

Here is a further rundown of our environment:

VMware ESXi 5.1 hosts
Dell EqualLogic SANs for storage
Veeam B&R 7.0.0.871 (going to 8.x as soon as it's released)
2 x SQL 2014 Standard servers looking to be clustered in a Veeam-compatible way (Windows Server 2012 R2)

I basically want to have the capability to reboot the SQL Servers one by one for monthly MS Windows and SQL updates without taking down all the servers and applications that rely on the SQL DBs running on this SQL 2014 environment. A manual failover method would be sufficient (could update the 'passive' node, reboot, manual failover active to passive, then update the active node, reboot, and manual failover back - all hopefully without affecting any of the servers/apps connected to the SQL DBs [hoping the downtime during failover is just a few seconds...]). Our existing single SQL 2008 server is pretty much 24/7 nowadays so it is always a pain to schedule downtime windows to do updates and reboots, so I'm hoping AlwaysOn FCI or some other Veeam-compatible clustering will get around this. So far my reading has pointed to using 2014's AlwaysOn FCI's w/ shared storage, but what I'm not 100% positive about is what type of shared storage to use (SAN, SMB, etc) that will still allow Veeam to properly backup the SQL DBs using snapshots. I don't like the idea of using SMB for shared storage either considering that will just be another single point of failure for update reboots... so I'm stuck with shared storage on the SAN... but what do I need to use, shared .vmdk's? Or something else?

Also I'm not sure if there will be any changes to the way B&R 8.x works with regards to AlwaysOn FCI's and if it will be able to support backing them up better than 7.x currently can.

Any input on this topic would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Backing up a Windows Failover Cluster with Shared Storag

Veeam Logoby foggy » Thu Oct 09, 2014 3:16 pm

Unfortunately, no type of shared storage (be it either in-guest iSCSI, pRDM, vRDM, SMB) supports snapshotting.

The upcoming Veeam B&R v8 though adds full support for Availability Groups, including both backup and restore.
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Re: Backing up a Windows Failover Cluster with Shared Storag

Veeam Logoby trafsta » Thu Oct 09, 2014 6:51 pm

foggy wrote:Unfortunately, no type of shared storage (be it either in-guest iSCSI, pRDM, vRDM, SMB) supports snapshotting.

The upcoming Veeam B&R v8 though adds full support for Availability Groups, including both backup and restore.


Thanks foggy. I assume that means I'd have to go with SQL 2014 Enterprise in order to do AlwaysOn Availability Groups.

Such a shame. Perhaps when the next SQL release occurs (2014 R2 or 2017, or whatever they are going to call it) they'll then make the AOAG available in the Standard edition...

I guess for now I'm just going to have to use a standalone install of SQL 2014 Standard and live with scheduling MS updates/reboots. :(

Thanks for your response.
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[MERGED] Backup a MSCS cluster

Veeam Logoby verre » Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:55 pm

Hi everybody, I have two virtual machine in MSCS cluster with a pRDM for the cluster quorum. I already know there is no chance to backup the pRDM, anyway I was wondering if is it possible to backup (and restore) the virtual machine and its vmdk bypassing the RDM disk (actually I needn't to backup the quorum)
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Re: Backup a MSCS cluster

Veeam Logoby Vitaliy S. » Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:32 pm

If you're using bus sharing, then VM backup would not be possible, see this topic for more info > Ideal way to setup windows cluster with shared storage

As to other VM configurations, then please be aware that Veeam B&R automatically excludes all unsupported disk types from backups.
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Re: Backup a MSCS cluster

Veeam Logoby verre » Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:36 am

Vitaliy S. wrote:If you're using bus sharing, then VM backup would not be possible, see this topic for more info > Ideal way to setup windows cluster with shared storage

As to other VM configurations, then please be aware that Veeam B&R automatically excludes all unsupported disk types from backups.


Thank you Vitality, sorry for insisting, but it must be clarified that if a vmdk can't be backupped it is not correct to say that the machine backup would not be possible!
I've just tried to do it: a virtual machine with 2 vmdk: the first one is "snapshot allowed" and the second is a "indipendent persistent": I excluded the second vmdk during the backup job creation!

((( I don't understand why, although I excluded the second vmdk, the job finished with the warning "Disk 'VEEAM-test_1.vmdk' has been skipped due to unsupported type (independent)" but this is only a warning, indeed the restore works correctly )))

Therefore my assumption: if I need to backup a Win machine in MSCS cluster it is possible to backup its C:\ disk but not the quorum (due to impossibility to backup a pRDM).

Is there any reasons why do I need to backup the quorum? I don't think so... but I was asking you any opinion....
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Re: Backup a MSCS cluster

Veeam Logoby Vitaliy S. » Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:48 pm

Snapshots are always taken for the entire VM, only unsupported disk types are excluded by VMware automatically. Exclusions that are available in the Veeam backup console affect the backup job, but not the snapshot creation.
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Re: Backup a MSCS cluster

Veeam Logoby verre » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:18 pm

Vitaliy S. wrote:Snapshots are always taken for the entire VM, only unsupported disk types are excluded by VMware automatically. Exclusions that are available in the Veeam backup console affect the backup job, but not the snapshot creation.


Sure! Indeed this explain the warning ... but nevertheless this does not detract that the backup works! The warning appears only for the first full backup, but not for the subsequent incremental backups... therefore it is possible to backup a vm even if that has independent disks (such as mscs cluster).
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