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nbarsotti
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hardware v8 and EFI, VSS errors?

Post by nbarsotti » Dec 13, 2011 11:46 pm

Is anyone have problems thanking a VSS enabled backup of Windows machine when using vmware hardware v8 and EFI (not BIOS). I think my earlier post got deleted because I posted the error message. Please let me know if you are also having errors or if you have fully working hardware v8 and EFI, VSS backups working please let me know. I believe this is a bug in the vss writer deployed by veeam, something that was never fully tested by veeam before they released support.

Gostev
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Re: hardware v8 and EFI, VSS errors?

Post by Gostev » Dec 14, 2011 12:00 am

Your previous post was removed because it reported a technical issue with the product without including support case ID, as requested when you click New Topic. There are multiple reasons why this requirement is in place, and it is really easy to open a support case. Please, be sure to submit full logs to our support, and include support case ID in this topic if you'd like to pursue this issue further.
nbarsotti wrote:I believe this is a bug in the vss writer deployed by veeam, something that was never fully tested by veeam before they released support.
One thing for sure, Veeam does NOT deploy VSS writers, or any other VSS components for that matter, to guest. You are probably confusing us with other backup solutions which do deploy VSS providers. In fact, first thing you should do with VSS issues is make sure you do not have those 3rd party VSS modules installed on the system, as they are known to cause such issues to VSS framework.

With Veeam, what is pushed to guest in runtime is small coordination process that requests Microsoft VSS framework to prepare system for hot backup with generic VSS API call. VSS framework then performs applications and OS freeze, and if something does not work, reports any errors encountered back to us. The error that you see is the system error from VSS framework.

Out of curiosity, why would you use EFI in a VM. This is certainly the first time I encounter this. Does it provide certain benefits?

nbarsotti
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Re: hardware v8 and EFI, VSS errors?

Post by nbarsotti » Dec 14, 2011 2:49 pm

The biggest reason to use EFI instead of BIOS is to be able to use a larger than ~2.2 TB hard disk as a boot disk. EFI allows for booting off GPT disks. A very larger percentage of all Intel 6 seriers chipsets use EFI and I understand correctly virtually all Intel 7 series chipsets will use EFI.
You are correct that I was confusing the small runtime component that is pushed to the VM with a actual VSS writer. Regardless of what I called it I believe it is deficient in properly enumerating the boot record and partitons of a EFI based vm.

This problem I am having can be linked with the support case ID#5160270 that I opened yesterday.

Gostev
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Re: hardware v8 and EFI, VSS errors?

Post by Gostev » Dec 14, 2011 8:47 pm

nbarsotti wrote:The biggest reason to use EFI instead of BIOS is to be able to use a larger than ~2.2 TB hard disk as a boot disk.
Hmm but VMware does not support VMDK larget than 2TB in size anyway, so what is the point?

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Re: hardware v8 and EFI, VSS errors?

Post by nbarsotti » Dec 14, 2011 11:27 pm

Hi Gostev,
First from a purely informational standpoint do you know if EFI based virtual machines on hardware v8 on vSphere 5.0 have ever been tested by Veeam? The documentation says noting about BIOS vs EFI.

Second, to your answer your question in the last post; why not? EFI is future for all computers, so why not get started now. It boots faster and allows for a more robust preboot environment. As a technology software company I don't you should be discouraging customers to try new technology. Hey Veeam B&R v5 was good enough why upgrade v6?; that not what you want your customers saying. Let all encourage new and better technology.

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Re: hardware v8 and EFI, VSS errors?

Post by Gostev » Dec 15, 2011 12:10 am

nbarsotti wrote:First from a purely informational standpoint do you know if EFI based virtual machines on hardware v8 on vSphere 5.0 have ever been tested by Veeam?
Pretty sure it was not.
nbarsotti wrote:Hey Veeam B&R v5 was good enough why upgrade v6?; that not what you want your customers saying. Let all encourage new and better technology.
For me personally, the key word is "better", and not "new" ;) where it makes sense, I do certainly encourage this. For example, upgrading Veeam B&R v5 to v6 increases backup and replication performance for most customers (not to mention access to 70+ new features that you can actually use). However, to me using EFI for VM gives no tangible benefits (you may have different opinion here).

Anyway, I did not mean to start the argument - I only brought this up because what you said was "the biggest reason" for you to go with EFI for this VM cannot be leveraged due to existing VMware limitations on the virtual disk size anyway. From your comment, I was not sure that you realize that.

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Re: hardware v8 and EFI, VSS errors?

Post by tsightler » Dec 15, 2011 3:06 am

Honestly, I can't think of any significant advantage of EFI within the current limits of vSphere and current OS versions, however, Windows 8 will bring changes. The Windows 8 "secure boot" functionality requires EFI to function and it's my understanding that Windows 8 will require compliance with "secure boot" to get the "Designed for Windows 8" logo certification. Secure boot will actually verify that the drivers being loaded by the OS are signed prior to loading them into the OS, supposedly providing more resistance to tampering.

Pretty diagrams at http://www.neowin.net/news/microsoft-cl ... i-concerns

For now, I suspect that Veeam VSS does not properly handle the ASR Writer requirements for EFI. Honestly, I've never seen or heard a single user even mention EFI before this post, but I'm glad to know there are some forward looking users out there, it's certainly something that will have to be addressed sooner or later.

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Re: hardware v8 and EFI, VSS errors?

Post by Gostev » Dec 15, 2011 10:57 am

We have confirmed that EFI is causing some issue for our VSS process. I am going to include this into the release notes until this issue is addressed in the future versions of our product. Thanks for finding this one!

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Re: hardware v8 and EFI, VSS errors?

Post by lopeztaz » Jan 19, 2012 8:21 pm

Curious if there is a fix for this yet?

Vitaliy S.
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Re: hardware v8 and EFI, VSS errors?

Post by Vitaliy S. » Jan 19, 2012 9:24 pm

No, most likely it will addressed in our future releases only.

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Re: hardware v8 and EFI, VSS errors?

Post by zed » Apr 17, 2012 1:54 pm

One of our customers just happened to run into this problem, so just let me add a little grist to nbarsotti's mill.

I had already begun to type that he was given a pre-installed virtual appliance by his provider and therefore didn't have a choice of BIOS vs. EFI in the first place, but I just learned that's not the case. He did install the OS himself, specifically choosing EFI. He, too, thought it would be clever to choose new technology over something soon to be phased out.

In any case ... how long until somebody actually WILL end up with a virtual appliance that comes with EFI? That's next to impossible to change!

There doesn't seem to be a way to exclude partitions in B&R, only disks, but that's exactly what might save our customer's life. While EFI support may not be too high up on Veeam's list of things to be added, exclusion of EFI partitions could be a lot faster and easier to implement.

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Re: hardware v8 and EFI, VSS errors?

Post by Gostev » Aug 17, 2012 12:04 pm

EFI boot support was added as a part of version 6.1 patch 1 update.

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