Large virtual file servers - spanned disks vs. large vmdk

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Large virtual file servers - spanned disks vs. large vmdk

Veeam Logoby bdoe » Wed Oct 07, 2015 10:10 pm

At the moment, I have three large file servers (each about 20TB). Two pre-date ESXi 5.5 and used spanned volumes. The third was setup under 5.5 and uses 4 x 5TB or similar. What is the recommended approach under 5.5+ with regards to Veeam? I've heard that parallel processing made spans better, but assuming each job is one at a time, can it throw all of its power behind a single 20TB .vmdk instead?
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Re: Large virtual file servers - spanned disks vs. large vmd

Veeam Logoby v.Eremin » Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:59 am

One virtual disk cannot be processed by multiple proxy servers at the same time, if that's what you're asking. In contrast, multiple virtual disks can be spread among available proxy servers and be processed simultaneously. Thanks.
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Re: Large virtual file servers - spanned disks vs. large vmd

Veeam Logoby bdoe » Thu Oct 08, 2015 1:29 pm

I was in a rush yesterday, sorry, should have said more. There is only one Veeam server, no proxies. It is connected via 10GbE and has 16 cores (32 threads), 32GB RAM, and fast storage. With just that single powerful server, is there any difference between a single large .vmdk or smaller ones used as a Windows span? The span approach works great, and Veeam handles it well, but I know most people aren't fond of it.
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Re: Large virtual file servers - spanned disks vs. large vmd

Veeam Logoby PTide » Thu Oct 08, 2015 2:07 pm

There is only one Veeam server, no proxies
If there are no proxies configured then veeam server takes the role of a proxy. The number of disks that can be processed concurently is defined by "max concurrent tasks" variable in proxy settings (1 disk = 1 task). So you can have multiple disks processed by a single proxy, but you should keep in mind that your proxy has to have enough resources (CPU, RAM) in order to successfully process disks in parallel. Also there is a possibility that your production storage might become a bottleneck due to inability to server that much reads.
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Re: Large virtual file servers - spanned disks vs. large vmd

Veeam Logoby bdoe » Thu Oct 08, 2015 2:12 pm

Yes, the Veeam server is the only proxy (sorry, I meant no other proxies), it's set to handle 14 tasks. It has been able to back up each 20TB file server in about 14 hours each, and I only run them one at a time. According to PRTG, a core or two will get to around 50% during a job but it's never been anywhere near full load.
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Re: Large virtual file servers - spanned disks vs. large vmd

Veeam Logoby PTide » Thu Oct 08, 2015 2:20 pm

For backup server itself you need 2GB + 4GB for embedded proxy server. Assume you have 4 x 5 TB jobs. That would require 200MB x 4 + 500MB x 4 ~ 3 GB extra RAM. Add extra GBs for Windows. So in total you'll need around 12 GB RAM to keep your VBR + proxy machine with 4 x 5 TB jobs afloat. Parallel processing of 4 vmdks should happen faster than processing of a single large vmdk. Unfortunately you cannot speed up processing of a single virtual disk by adding cores.
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Re: Large virtual file servers - spanned disks vs. large vmd

Veeam Logoby bdoe » Thu Oct 08, 2015 2:40 pm

No worries there, it well exceeds those requirements. I'm mostly wondering what the recommendation from Veeam and others users is anymore. If Veeam will happily handle a single 20TB .vmdk, and can do it as fast as parallel jobs, then I'll go with that. If a spanned volume is better, then I can keep doing that.
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Re: Large virtual file servers - spanned disks vs. large vmd

Veeam Logoby foggy » Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:13 pm

Spanned disks will add more parallelism into the picture, so if your proxy is ok with more tasks, you will get the jobs done faster.
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Re: Large virtual file servers - spanned disks vs. large vmd

Veeam Logoby readie » Tue Feb 09, 2016 3:07 pm

I've discovered this to our cost, in that I've replaced a large 4TB Fileserver which was 8 x 500GB VMDKs spanned in Windows to a single volume, to a new server with a single 4TB volume. Backup is now much slower - as you say it is not benefitting from the multiple Proxies we have.
So my question is, does anyone know of a method of splitting a large 4TB vmdk=single disk in Windows, into multiple smaller vmdks= spanned disk in Windows?? Do I have to use some magic partitioning software in Windows, as well as gradually providing more small vmdks via VSphere?
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Re: Large virtual file servers - spanned disks vs. large vmd

Veeam Logoby PTide » Tue Feb 09, 2016 3:47 pm

Hi,

does anyone know of a method of splitting a large 4TB vmdk=single disk in Windows, into multiple smaller vmdks= spanned disk in Windows??
Unfortunately, the only way to do that is to create another spanned 4Tb drive and copy all data from a single 4Tb drive.

Thank you.
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Re: Large virtual file servers - spanned disks vs. large vmd

Veeam Logoby Vitaliy S. » Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:00 pm

readie wrote:Backup is now much slower - as you say it is not benefitting from the multiple Proxies we have.

Do you see the same bottleneck stats as before?
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Re: Large virtual file servers - spanned disks vs. large vmd

Veeam Logoby readie » Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:58 pm

Not sure - but I have two jobs (one backup, and one replicate from that backup) of our two large fileservers. They both are getting from the same source and same target. The one that is still multiple vmdks takes considerably less time, as I can see two or three proxies working on its 8 vmdks at the same time. Replica I'm waiting for now - multiple vmdks (which is actually slightly more TB) took 1Hr 29min and the other single vmdk has been going for 4Hr 29 mins and is just 53% through. Approx one is 8 x 512GB the other 1 x 3.5TB (plus some smaller bits like the system drive).
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Re: Large virtual file servers - spanned disks vs. large vmd

Veeam Logoby PTide » Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:38 pm

The one that is still multiple vmdks takes considerably less time
As you've correctly pointed before - that can be explained by inability of multiple proxies to perform parallel processing on a single .vmdk. Please post you bottleneck statistics so we can make sure that it's proxy what makes the backup process slower.

Thank you.
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Re: Large virtual file servers - spanned disks vs. large vmd

Veeam Logoby readie » Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:36 pm

I think I'll wait a day or two for things to settle, as I've just moved to Scale-Out Repository . . . and I have one job (not a full backup!) which has now been going on for over 24 hours. I have opened a support ticket, as I cannot see what has slowed this down so much. Case 01694415 . . . will reply to this thread once I've sorted out the current problem.
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[MERGED] Large VM design considerations

Veeam Logoby gingerdazza » Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:28 am

Would appreciate people's thoughts on considerations for large multi-TB VMs. (~5TB each). Is it worth spanning volumes across VMDKs for Veeam throughput? Or does this create other challenges? (higher chance of file data corruption on the spanned NTFS volume? FLR issues? and alike?)

Thanks
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