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rmacdonald
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Full Name: Rich MacDonald
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Hot Add support in vSphere 5

Post by rmacdonald »

I am a current Vranger user running Vsphere 4 standard frustrated with their new V5 product and its Hot-add backup feature. I called their support and was told that in order to use the hot-add feature (equivalent to Veeam Virtual appliance Mode) which uses vddk I would need to upgrade to Vsphere enterprise licenses. I was also told by the vranger support rep that once i upgrade to Vsphere 5 the Veeam backup product will cease to work in virtual appliance mode as well as vmware has made the vddk feature only available to Vsphere enterprise licenses and up. Any truth to this or was the vranger support tech just blowing steam up my ass so I wont switch to veeam?

Gostev
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Re: Hot Add support in vSphere 5

Post by Gostev »

Hi Rich, this is something we have been investigating with VMware for quite some time now, and did not get a solid answer as of yet. What we know for sure that as a feature, hot add does work on any vSphere 5 license level. Meaning, you can hot add SCSI hard drives to a running VM with vSphere Client just fine, so there are clearly no restrictions on this operation from host license perspective. We also know that with our current version (Backup v5) hot add works just fine on any vSphere 5 license level with VDDK version we are currently using for hot add processing.

Thus, this may as well be unintentional change in the latest VDDK (because quite frankly, it does not make any sense to block something in API that users are actually allowed to perform manually). Also, why would VMware block less efficient hot add transport mode, but yet leave much more efficient direct SAN access mode allowed on lower license levels? Again, makes totally no sense and thus looks like a bug.

It is also worth noting here that this did happen once before with the vSphere 4 release, but was promptly fixed in ESX 4.0 Update 1. Here is my soon 2 year old blog post about that story.

We will decide what to do about this depending on what we hear from VMware (and since the response is taking a long while, we can be sure it is not as simple and straightforward). Now, of course this vRanger support guy may know something that VMware Alliance team itself does not know yet, but I highly doubt it. :D

Thanks.

carfra
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Re: Hot Add support in vSphere 5

Post by carfra »

Hello,

any news from VMware about hot-add feature support on vSphere 5 Editions ??

Thanks,
Frank

Gostev
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Re: Hot Add support in vSphere 5

Post by Gostev »

Hi Frank,

That discussion ended up with VMware agreeing to fix this issue in the next vSphere 5 release. Meanwhile, because our customers wanted to upgrade to vSphere 5 immediately, and did not want to wait for the next vSphere release, we have added a workaround to B&R 6.0 to make hot add backups work on any vSphere 5 license level, just as they used to work for them in vSphere 4. Thus, the established backup processes will not be impacted with upgrade from vSphere 4 to vSphere 5 for anyone.

Moreover, it does not matter what version of B&R you are using:
- B&R 5.0.2 supports hot add on any vSphere 5 license level, because it is based on older version of VDDK that does not have this bug to start with.
- B&R 6.0 supports hot add on any vSphere 5 license level, because of workaround we have put in place for newer VDDK version.

Thanks!

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