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tomhkr
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Backing up HP VSA fails

Post by tomhkr » Mar 31, 2014 9:30 am

Just got Veeam installed and it appears it's not possible to back up HP StoreVirtual VSA via vCenter since it's disks needs to be in independent mode and thus are not snapshoted by VMWare.
The VSA itself is not making any snapshots in the current configuration.

What would be the best way of backing up the VSA data disks... configure the VSA to make periodical snapshots and tell Veeam to use them for backing up?

foggy
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Re: Backing up HP VSA fails

Post by foggy » Mar 31, 2014 9:38 am

tomhkr wrote:What would be the best way of backing up the VSA data disks... configure the VSA to make periodical snapshots and tell Veeam to use them for backing up?
Correct, you can use storage snapshots to backup VMs residing on VSA.

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Re: Backing up HP VSA fails

Post by tomhkr » Mar 31, 2014 10:06 am

Thanks, I also found this explaining some of it
http://helpcenter.veeam.com/backup/70/v ... works.html

Unfortunately it doesn't mention, what I discovered, that SAN snapshots requires Enterprise Plus edition, we're running plain Enterprise. This might also explain why I can see our whole SAN in the SAN Infrastructure tab but all the volumes appear empty.
Kind of a sucky discovery.

Thinking of unchecking the Independent mode on the VSA volumes, since the SAN is not making any scheduled snapshots this might work. Have to check on the HP forums for this one..

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Re: Backing up HP VSA fails

Post by foggy » Mar 31, 2014 11:25 am

Could you please elaborate on what you're trying to achieve? In order to backup VMs residing on storage provided by VSA, you do not actually need storage snapshot functionality. While backup from storage snapshots allows to improve RPO and reduce impact on the production environment, you still can use regular backup through VMware snapshot.

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Re: Backing up HP VSA fails

Post by dellock6 » Mar 31, 2014 11:37 am

Tom, did I understand correctly you would like to backup THE VSA, and not the VMs running in it? Because you were saying it's not possible to back it up because of its independent disks.
If it like this, could you please first of all elaborate on why you need to backup the whole VSA? If it's used to run VMs, you simply go and backup the VMs via DirectSAN (plus storage snapshots if your Veeam license is Ent Plus)

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tomhkr
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Re: Backing up HP VSA fails

Post by tomhkr » Mar 31, 2014 12:35 pm

Sorry for not being clear :wink:
The HP stuff below wasn't configured by me an Veeam is brand new for us.

Here's our setup
HKCLU21, a virtual Windows 2008r2 machine serves our users their home directories. All the home directories reside at a 3.8TB volume served by iscsi from a HP VSA.
HKVSA21 is the VSA, with a 3.8TB volume named VOVSA21. Given the large size it is split with RAID0 on two VMDK's at 2TB and 1.8TB, residing on a HP LeftHand SAN volume.

Backing up HKCLU21 I only get the system disk, of course, since Veam doesn't know about the iSCSI connections.
Backing up HKVSA21 I also only get the system disk, since the main volume is on VMDK's configured to independent mode.
Graphically this would be about:
HKCLU21 (VM) --iscsi--> HKVSA21 (VSA) --> VOVSA21 (volume) --RAID0--> 2+1.8TB VMDK's --> HP LeftHand SAN

Thanks Luca for the link, maybe DirectSAN is the way to go. Have to look into this.
If you have any additional input based on our setup please let me know!
Thanks so far :lol:

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Re: Backing up HP VSA fails

Post by dellock6 » Mar 31, 2014 2:27 pm

Oh, now I see...
Forget about DirectSAN for the moment, the problem is the VSA is exporting a LUN that is then mapped directly inside another VM. Veeam does not supports in-guest iscsi, so in order to protect that volume, you need to convert it to a proper vmdk.

I can't get the reason why it was designed that way (you said you inherited this setup, so it's not your fault neither ;) ) , also a VSA that has it's VMDK files inside another LeftHand physical arrays???? This is really weird if you ask me....

Why don't simply connect those 2 VMDKs as virtual disks of the HKCLU21 vm????

My design suggestion: HKCLU21 -> striped volume in windows 2008 R2 (no raid0) -> 2+1.8TB VMDK's --> HP LeftHand SAN

The VSA in between is useless and only adds complexity... Once the VMDKs are correctly used by the win2008 vm, you can backup them with usual vSphere snapshots. I know obviously there is many steps involved to get a proper configuration, but as long as you have in-guest iscsi disk there is nothing we can do.

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Re: Backing up HP VSA fails

Post by tomhkr » Apr 01, 2014 8:22 am

Thanks Luca, this overly complicated setup was done by a consultant a few years ago.
I think the purpose was somehow related to Windows file server clustering over multiple VM hosts but this seems not to be done by best practice. Whatever the reasons, there is no cluster active.. :?: :!:

If the Windows file server were to be done as a proper cluster by VMWare and Veeam recommendations I can see I should use RDM Pass through disks with snapshot support.
Would this configuration work with all Veeam features like File Level restore?

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Re: Backing up HP VSA fails

Post by foggy » Apr 01, 2014 8:31 am

Yes, all restore capabilities are available for any of the supported disk types.

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