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massimiliano.rizzi
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Guidance for backing up a critical Windows 2000 VM

Post by massimiliano.rizzi » Dec 12, 2012 3:42 pm

Hello,

we are currently building a new backup job from scratch as part of a new Veeam Backup & Replication 6.5 deployment for a new customer.

The new job will include a VM running SBS 2011 Standard, a couple of Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition VMs running terminal services and a LOB application, a couple of virtual desktops running Windows 7 Professional and a Windows 2000 VM running the most critical LOB application.

The LOB application running on the Windows 2000 VM relies on an old version of MySQL database. With regard to backing up this VM, we don’t actually need to backup particular data inside the VM, however we must be able to recover the VM itself and put it back on track as soon as possible should a problem occur.

I fully understand that Windows 2000 does not have a shadow copy writer service and that as a result application-aware image processing utilizing Windows VSS cannot be used to back up this VM (unlike the other VMs). Furthermore, I have seen some posts about Microsoft SQL Server getting corrupted when VMware Tools quiescence is enabled.

Here come the questions:

===============================================
1) Is it recommended to also include the Windows 2000 VM above within the same job together with the other VMs or is it preferable to back ip up separately ?
2) Since our unique business requirement with regard to backing up this VM is being able to recover the VM itself should a problem occur, what is the safest way to accomplish this task ?
===============================================

Thank you in advance for your support.

Regards,
Massimiliano

veremin
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Re: Guidance for backing up a critical Windows 2000 VM

Post by veremin » Dec 12, 2012 4:21 pm

I would suggest using one of these methods:

1)First one: Just create new job, disable application-aware image processing, as well as, VMware quiescence functionality. In principle, even with having both of the options disabled VB&R server can make a crash-consistent backup of your SQL VM. This means that data in the backup is “crash-consistent” , it is the same as it would be after a system failure or power outage. However, your SQL-base can be recovered from such backup in 99% of cases.

2)Second one: Inside a Windows virtual machine use pre-freeze and post-thaw scripts, responsible for stopping SQL services before snapshot is taken. It will guarantee consistency of your backup. In order to trigger these scripts you need to enable VMware quiescence option in the backup job settings.

I would think that the preferable way is to backup Windows 2000 machine within separate job. Thus, you can enable application-aware image processing for all VMs in the first job, and implement one of the aforesaid methods for Windows 2000.

Thanks.

Vitaliy S.
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Re: Guidance for backing up a critical Windows 2000 VM

Post by Vitaliy S. » Dec 12, 2012 9:04 pm

If you need further details on the second backup option, please check out these links:
Confusion regarding linux/mysql replication and quiescen
Hot backup of MySQL on a Linux VM
massimiliano.rizzi wrote:Is it recommended to also include the Windows 2000 VM above within the same job together with the other VMs or is it preferable to back ip up separately ?

It doesn't matter, as you can enable both "application-aware image processing" and VMware Tools quiescence at the same time within the same backup job.

massimiliano.rizzi
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Re: Guidance for backing up a critical Windows 2000 VM

Post by massimiliano.rizzi » Dec 14, 2012 11:12 am

Thank you very much for your replies.

The first backup option seems preferable. It does not add additional complexity to the backup job since it does not require the use of pre-freeze and post-thaw scripts inside the Windows 2000 virtual machine. What we could do to stick with the first backup option while ensuring that the MySQL database can be recovered in 100% of cases from a VM backup is:

===============================================
1) Ask the MySQL DBA to schedule a consistent dump of the MySQL database and save it in a location inside the Windows 2000 virtual machine before the actual Veeam backup job starts, just in case
2) Create a new backup job from scratch including all VMs and disable both "application-aware image processing" and VMware Tools quiescence at the same time only for the Windows 2000 virtual machine.
===============================================

Should we ever need to recover the MySQL database from the crash-consistent backup being performed as part of the Veeam backup job and should it ever be unusable for some reason, we can then recover it from the consistent dump previously saved to disk after recovering the Windows 2000 virtual machine itself.

Does it make sense to you ?

Thanks again.

Massimiliano

veremin
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Re: Guidance for backing up a critical Windows 2000 VM

Post by veremin » Dec 14, 2012 12:51 pm

In fact, your scenario has been mentioned along with the usage ot the scripts as the best practices for backing up MySQL running on platform without VSS mechanism.

This is the article, in which both methods are described. So, please take a look at it and make a final decision.

Hope this helps.

Thanks.

massimiliano.rizzi
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Re: Guidance for backing up a critical Windows 2000 VM

Post by massimiliano.rizzi » Dec 14, 2012 1:12 pm 1 person likes this post

Thanks again.

The document mentioned will definitely help me getting to the final decision.

Have a great day !

Massimiliano

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