Nutanix on ESXi 6.0

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Nutanix on ESXi 6.0

Veeam Logoby m.novelli » Fri Feb 26, 2016 2:38 pm

Hi guys, just installed my first Nutanix Cluster on ESXi 6.0. I'm running Veeam Backup 8 with latest patch (I'm planning the upgrade to Veeam 9 next week)

I have a couple of question if anyone can help:

- can I backup the Nutanix CVM? I'm getting the following error, I suppose is related to VMware passthrhought? "Creating VM snapshot
Error: The operation is not allowed in the current state"

- Veeam is compatible with Nutanix native deduplication? Can I safely enable this option?

Many thanks!

Cheers

Marco
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Re: Nutanix on ESXi 6.0

Veeam Logoby Vitaliy S. » Fri Feb 26, 2016 3:59 pm

Hi Marco,
m.novelli wrote:- can I backup the Nutanix CVM? I'm getting the following error, I suppose is related to VMware passthrhought? "Creating VM snapshot
Error: The operation is not allowed in the current state"

This message appears when you're trying to create a VM snapshot on ESXi free edition. This API is locked in the free version of ESXi.
m.novelli wrote:- Veeam is compatible with Nutanix native deduplication? Can I safely enable this option?

When you start backing up VMs from this cluster, we will be using vSphere API to retrieve data, so I don't think that cluster configuration will affect this process. Probably it will have an impact on performance, but other than that it should be fine.

Thanks!
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Re: Nutanix on ESXi 6.0

Veeam Logoby Gostev » Fri Feb 26, 2016 5:33 pm 1 person likes this post

Vitaliy S. wrote:This message appears when you're trying to create a VM snapshot on ESXi free edition.

I don't think you are right, Vitaly. The free ESXi message is different: "Current license or ESXi version prohibits execution of the requested operation."

Vitaliy S. wrote:When you start backing up VMs from this cluster, we will be using vSphere API to retrieve data

Or our own NFS client with v9 for Direct NFS access. But since Nutanix deduplication happens on much lower level of the stack, its presence is irrelevant for clients such as Veeam.

m.novelli wrote:- can I backup the Nutanix CVM? I'm getting the following error, I suppose is related to VMware passthrhought? "Creating VM snapshot
Error: The operation is not allowed in the current state"

Yes, most likely as pass-through disks are not supported.
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Re: Nutanix on ESXi 6.0

Veeam Logoby Vitaliy S. » Sun Feb 28, 2016 7:11 pm

Yes, sorry for misunderstanding. I have made a quick google search and found a similar topic referencing a pass through disk > Creating snapshot Error-The operation is not allowed in the current state
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Re: Nutanix on ESXi 6.0

Veeam Logoby m.novelli » Mon Feb 29, 2016 8:41 am

Thanks guys!

Marco
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Re: Nutanix on ESXi 6.0

Veeam Logoby dellock6 » Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:03 am

As the CVM is both the management platform but also the storage appliance, does it makes any sense to back it up?
Does Nutanix maybe offers an export of their configuration, so you can then ignore the backup of the CVM? As I remember, no Nutanix/Veeam customer is doing backups of the CVM.

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Re: Nutanix on ESXi 6.0

Veeam Logoby NoGoh » Thu May 12, 2016 7:04 am 3 people like this post

Hi,

I believe the recommendation from Nutanix is to not back up the CVMs. If a CVM fails for some reason and does not self repair, you should be contacting Nutanix Support and it would be redeployed. Anything that was running on the failed CVM would have been restarted on the surviving CVMs.

I have configured Veeam v9 VBRs as VMs on the Nutanix infrastructure both as an External VBR (One hosted on a separate ESXi management Host) and a VBR that was hosted on the Nutanix hosts themselves. Both VBR are configured to backup VMs using the DirectNFS feature and both scenarios used physical Repository servers. I used dedicated a couple of Windows 2012R2 Core VMs as backup proxies for the External VBR on the Nutanix Infrastructure.

For the VBR server on the Nutanix Hosts (vSphere 6.0U2), we found that the VCSA (6.0U2) was stunned for a really long time losing connectivity to all the hosts when it was backed-up using the "hot-add" backup method. This issue is documented in this VMware KB Article (https://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2010953). Their resolution is to use NBD or disable hot-add. We resolved this issue by using DirectNFS backups for the VCSA.

Performance-wise before enabling DirectNFS, we were getting through-put speed of about 200MB/s max and a processing rate of around 100MB-150MB/s and this was on a 10GigE network. Once we configured DirectNFS, processing rate jumped up to 550MB/s and about 1.1GB/s through-put and it stopped the VCSA stun issue as well.

To configure DirectNFS for Nutanix, I followed this blog post on configuring something similar for iscsi storage backups (https://www.veeam.com/blog/direct-san-access-tips-for-iscsi-vmfs-volumes-and-backup-proxies.html). Yes its for Veeam v6 but the principles still apply and all my backup are using [nfs] to backup my VMs.

Essentially what you do is provision a VM (in accordance with the backup proxy guidelines) with 2 Nics, one in the svm-iscsi-pg and one in the Server network (or dedicated backup network), default route out via the server/backup network (can be joined to a domain and run Server 2012R2 Core), add proxy to the Veeam console, configure "Preferred Networks" in the "Network Traffic --> Global Network Traffic Rules", whitelist the proxy IP in PRISM and on the next backup run the VM snapshots will use the [nfs] storage backup option. Leave the proxy transport mode as automatic selection on what to use.

For my VBR server on the Nutanix infrastructure, I configured a second VMXNET3 nic into the "svm-iscsi-pg" port group with an IP in the 192.168.5.x Subnet (not .1 or .2), whitelisted that IP in Nutanix and configured the "Preferred Backup Network (192.168.5.0/24)". Don't forget to disable the LRO on the ESXi 6.0U2 hosts (PSOD vSphere 6.0U2 https://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2144968) and resolve the active snapshot limit (https://forums.veeam.com/vmware-vsphere-f24/active-snapshots-limit-reached-for-datastore-t19711.html)

Regards,

NoGoh
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