Backup of independent disks

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Backup of independent disks

Veeam Logoby cloudgrid » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:26 pm

I recently had an issue where a customer deleted a vm because he thought that he had a valid backup of the vm. In fact Veeam did report successful backups. However restores did not work. Upon further investigation I found that the vm was inadvertently configured with independent disks. Veeam of course skipped those disk leaving the administrator with an invalid backup.
I would like to see backups of vm's that have independent disk complete with a "warning" instead of "successful". It is misleading to any administrator that is relying on those backups. Granted there are best practices to use to identify this as an issue but generally the administrator won't find out until it's too late.
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Re: Backup of independent disks

Veeam Logoby Gostev » Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:16 pm 1 person likes this post

Most people specifically use the ability to mark disk as independent to easily exclude them from backup, so I know for sure that as soon as we make this a warning, we will have hundreds of annoyed customers come to the forum demanding to change this back :)

I am pretty sure though that Veeam ONE infrastructure assessment report already points out all VMs with independent disks. And this report is included in the Free Edition since we want our partners to use it before implementing Veeam Backup & Replication.
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Re: Backup of independent disks

Veeam Logoby cloudgrid » Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:20 pm

Backups are critical wouldn't you agree? Based on that, I don't know anyone that would call it a bug when you are "warned" that your data is not being protected. Backups receive a warning when cbt is not available, I think this is at least as important.
Please re-assess your position and review it with your other engineers.
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Re: Backup of independent disks

Veeam Logoby Gostev » Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:35 pm

Just trust me on that. We've spent last few years removing warnings from the product and reclassifying them into info events based on huge amounts of feedback, because people did not want to see the warning for irrelevant issues and known limitations. There was one event that we accidentally moved back into the warning, and we had a 3 pages long topic in a matter of a few week with demands to fix this. This is true! I can even try and find this topic ;)

Now you are suggesting to change the current product behavior for based on single (sic!) request in 6 years that was caused by "inadvertent configuration" as you yourself put it. Imagine the impact this will cause on 90000+ customer base who do these configurations on purpose.

I do agree the backups are critical. And if your customer don't test their backups, they won't find out about another hundreds of possible recovery issues until it's too late... healing one symptom is okay (as long as this does not impact the user base), but this is still largely useless because instead, what you need to heal is the cause. And the root cause for this issue is that this particular customer has never ever tested the backups, which is totally against standard data protection practices.

Again, I am not saying I disagree that some customer with certain approaches to managing their backups will benefit from this feature. I am just trying to show you the bigger picture, and what other things I need to consider. We are working on v8 product with the largest customer install base in the world as it comes to VMware backup, not some v1 version with a few beta users... this severely limits us in what we can change without getting 10000 support cases the next morning.
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Re: Backup of independent disks

Veeam Logoby cloudgrid » Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:08 am 1 person likes this post

I fully realize the scope of the impact which only strengthens my point. Any time a customer's data is potentially not being protected they should be warned. It is just that simple. All the rest is just not relevant. Please review this request with your managers.
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Re: Backup of independent disks

Veeam Logoby Gostev » Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:20 pm

Consider the last part done, as I am the Vice President of Product Management, ultimately responsible for the feature set and behavior :D

I did some digging, and found that we have specifically converted warnings on skipping unsupported disk types (such as physical RDM disks) into the informational events a few years ago based on the multiple requests from our users. The reason was that they realize we do not back those up as per System Requirements, so they take care of them differently, and do not want Veeam jobs throwing the warnings every day when all supported disks are backed successfully. So obviously, we cannot enable warnings back based on the single request for the opposite behavior.

I am still open for any other ideas on how we can address your request without introducing the behavior that major part of our user base specifically requested to be removed.

Perhaps we can find some middle ground, for example the warning is only displayed when the VM is backed up for the very first time (first full backup). This way, the change will not affect any existing jobs.

Thank you.
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Re: Backup of independent disks

Veeam Logoby tsightler » Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:55 am

I remember back when this was a warning and I think the reason it was an issue is that there was no method to disable the warning, so for VMs that had disks configured this way intentionally (for example perhaps with databases that are backed up via other methods) then you'd get the warning forever which was not good.

If it were up to me I'd probably make it a warning until the administrator explicitly excludes that disk from the job. This forces an administrative decision to get rid of the warning and thus hopefully make the correct choice of whether the disk should actually be excluded or not, but then will still catch new VMs that are added later that were perhaps configured this way my mistake. I understand users might not like that, but they also don't like it when they unexpectedly don't have a backup, and that second scenario is far worse because at that point you can't do anything about it. Then again, I'm exceptionally conservative when it comes to this because I used to be an admin.
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Re: Backup of independent disks

Veeam Logoby dellock6 » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:58 am 2 people like this post

As a data protection admin with more than 1000 VMs, I was happy when the warning was converted into an info message. There is no way inside Veeam to workaround the limitations of VADP about backing up independent or pRDM disks, so imho there is no point in getting a warning about it.

To, me there are two things we could do: first, obviously is reading the manuals, and understand the limits of any product we use :)

In addition, I remember there was a small discussion sometime ago about a possible feature, that is DRY RUN. When a user creates a new backup, it would be nice to have a way to simulate the backup operation without moving any data. In this way we could have a nice report of the expected result of a backup job, with informations like number of VMs, used space, and another info in the report could be the disks that cannot be saved. A good place to insert this report execution would be at the end of the creation wizard, alongside with the "run now" option.

I already know there is a flaw here: if the job uses dynamic containers (like datastores, resource pools or the like) a new VM added at a second time would not be included in the report...

Oh, and obviously there are the Veeam ONE reports...

Luca.
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Re: Backup of independent disks

Veeam Logoby Gostev » Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:45 pm

My proposed solution will solve the dynamic container issue. Each time the new VM falls into the job's scope, we will warn ONCE (during the very first full backup) that it has some unsupported disk types. And you will never see this warning again for that particular VM, at least until it has a change in virtual disks configuration.

This also means you will not get any warnings on your existing jobs after upgrade, because all those VMs already have full backups created at least once.
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Re: Backup of independent disks

Veeam Logoby dellock6 » Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:48 pm

What about users not enabling email reports? It will appear as a warning inside the console on the first run, and then it will switch to an information event, correct? Well, it could be fair. If you are the backup admin, you are supposed to check your backups, either via email reporting or by opening the console every morning.
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Re: Backup of independent disks

Veeam Logoby Gostev » Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:17 am

Correct.
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Re: Backup of independent disks

Veeam Logoby v.Eremin » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:57 am

Additionally, I've written previously a script that gets list of VMs included in the job and check in vCenter whether or not these VMs have independent disks; might be useful. Currently, it works only if the VMs are added as individual objects, though, it can be modified easily, if need be.

Thanks.
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Re: Backup of independent disks

Veeam Logoby vMO » Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:22 am

got the same request recently. what about adding a RegKey for enabling that warning?
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Re: Backup of independent disks

Veeam Logoby Vitaliy S. » Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:54 pm

Just to re-iterate what Anton has said above - why not to use VM configuration assessment report in Veeam ONE that would give this info even now and out-of-the-box? I believe it should address this issue.
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[MERGED] : Skipped due to unsupported type (independant)

Veeam Logoby masonit » Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:02 am 1 person likes this post

Hi!

Just tried to backup a vm where i got this error. Veeam skipped backup of the entire drive. I understand why it doesn't work but I don't understand why Veeam says that the backup is successful! This can potentially be a really big issue where you think that the backup is fine when it really isen't. Is this expected behaivour?

\Masonit
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