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Daneels
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Question on restoring big vRDM volumes?

Post by Daneels »

Hi members, I have a question regarding restore of previously made backups of vRDM disks.

The setup

ESXi5.5 on which a VM runs (Windows server 2012 R2) using
- 3 vmfs disks 1,5 Tb in total (the are located on a NetApp device using iSCSI)
- 9 vRDM disks 27Tb in total and these disks have deduplication enabled in within windows, so the actual contents is about 45Tb (they are located on a QNAP filer using iSCSI)

The data on these disks is different in nature
- the vmfs disk contain production data (changes frequently)
- the vRDM disks contain archive data (so from the 9 vRDM disks 7 are really read only devices, and 2 are still accumulating more data over the coming year)

My standard weekly/daily backup of this machine only backs up the vmfs disks (and a backup copy job takes this data further to secondary storage devices)

So far so good. Back to the vRDM devices.

Initially I had this data as iSCSI volumes directly mounted inside the VM (so NO vRDM or pRDM) but I quickly ran into problems when trying to make a backup of this data in an optimal way (ie without rehydrating the deduped data on these volumes)

Using the windows powershell was an option but it was not working reliable (didn’t like the primitive way of setting this up either)

So after reading up on other solutions I saw veeam was also capable of making optimal backups.

However that meant giving up on direct iSCSI mounts hence the vRDM devices.

And YES I could create 9 jobs in veeam (one for each drive) that would create a backup on a different filer in a different location. These resulting backups are really great, it doesn’t even contain the unused free space of the deduped volumes so for each of these 3Tb vRDM I get one .vbk file which is around 2Tb in size.

However to fully test my setup I need to check restoring as well and to be honoust I am stuck.

I think I will be able to do file level restore (but this is not really what is necesary in my case), if I ever need to restore, it most probably means I lost the original volume completely so a full VM disk restore would be in order on that moment.

If I select the backup job and ask for a ‘restore VM hard disks’ what will happen with the vRDM disk? (and more importantly where will veeam try to put that job) if I check the fora it seems it will create the volume on the vmfs where the pointer files are stored but that is not possible since I don’t have necessary space there (that would be on the NetApp).

So in short.

What are my options?
Is there any way where I would be able to ‘restore’ the job onto a different (or the same) iSCSI lun on the QNAP filer (or an other filer)?


Regards
Peter

PTide
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Re: Question on restoring big vRDM volumes?

Post by PTide »

Hi,
If I select the backup job and ask for a ‘restore VM hard disks’ what will happen with the vRDM disk?
If you backup a vRDM you will have VMDK files inside the backup thus the disk will be restored as VMDK.
(and more importantly where will veeam try to put that job)
If you choose to restore VM disks you'll be provided with an option to map disks to the desired datastore.

Thanks

Daneels
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Re: Question on restoring big vRDM volumes?

Post by Daneels »

If you choose to restore VM disks you'll be provided with an option to map disks to the desired datastore.
Yes but that is my problem, the QNAP where the vRDM data is stored does not show up as a datastore it does not contain a vmfs partition.

And for several reasons (stability being one) I don't want my QNAP's to have vmfs partitions :(

And on the NetApp I don't have 3Tb vmfs spare partitions.

:idea: Suppose I 'create' a new vRDM 3Tb volume can I somehow restore the content of the backup to that disk? (without rehydrating the data) because that might be a solution as well.


Peter

PTide
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Re: Question on restoring big vRDM volumes?

Post by PTide »

You can restore the content of the backup to the vRDM on a file level using FLR feature. If you feel that you'll need to restore on a block-level then you should use Veeam Endpoint to perform a backup of vRDM/iSCSI disks from the inside of VM.

Thanks

Daneels
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Re: Question on restoring big vRDM volumes?

Post by Daneels »

Hi, all valid suggestions, however.
1 I tried to use FLR and noticed that it will rehydrate so my .vbk file of +2Tb will balloon into a +5Tb volume on top of that is was slow.
2 I really had high hopes for the Veeam Endpoint product when reading the specs, it seemed like the best solution in this case. However, it turns out that the product is to limited (btw: I fully understand the reasons, the product being positioned for the home user). For example: I can only describe 'one' backup job. So in my case that would mean 1 job which would contain all 9 volumes so 27Tb in total. So the granularity is gone (in the current setup I had 9 jobs, one for each 3Tb volume.

3 My final experiment was trying to restore a backup created by the veeam B&R software (which create a .vbk file on the NAS) but unfortunately the restore module from Veeam Endpoint did not recognise these files on the NAS. I know it was a long shot.

So any other options left over that I can try ?

Peter

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