vCenter recovery - using Veeam "NOT recommended"

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vCenter recovery - using Veeam "NOT recommended"

Veeam Logoby orangep7 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 2:17 pm 1 person likes this post

I had issues recovering 2 vCenter VMs across two different sites and opened ticket # 01920319 to investigate why the Restores failed (one failure was an Instant Recovery during 'migrate to production' and the other was a Entire VM restore)

I now understand why IR would fail during 'migrate to production' (although others have apparently managed to restore vCenter using IR successfully). The second restore is still under investigation.

However, Veeam have now advised to follow this VMware KB instead of using Veeam !!

https://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/micro ... Id=1023985

My understanding was Veeam could be used to back up and restore vCenter directly via the Host and as far as I'm aware this was fully supported - so what changed and when did this change occur?

Any insight appreciated.
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Re: vCenter recovery - using Veeam "NOT recommended"

Veeam Logoby foggy » Tue Oct 04, 2016 4:09 pm

Some kind of misunderstanding could take place here. Generally, Veeam B&R can be used to back up/restore vCenter Server and it is fully supported. However, in case vCenter uses vPostgres database, the recommended way of getting its consistent backup and restore is described in this VMware article.
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Re: vCenter recovery - using Veeam "NOT recommended"

Veeam Logoby DaveWatkins » Wed Oct 05, 2016 12:38 am 1 person likes this post

This is my primary reason for still having vSphere on Windows. To properly backup the appliance you have to shutdown vsphere to get a consistent DB backup, and if you script that to happen automatically when Veeam runs the job, well you're shutting down vsphere, which Veeam needs, while it's doing a backup.... I can only imagine that would fail for every job currently in progress
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Re: vCenter recovery - using Veeam "NOT recommended"

Veeam Logoby orangep7 » Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:10 am

We use SQL, not vPostgres and the KB article provided by Veeam is for SQL and not foggy's vPostgres KB.

Now I'm even more confused.. should we use Veeam to protect vCenter or not?
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Re: vCenter recovery - using Veeam "NOT recommended"

Veeam Logoby skrause » Wed Oct 05, 2016 1:21 pm

Interesting, I have been backing up my 5.5 VCSAs (postgres) for a couple years and have done a couple of restores in that time and did not have issues. I guess I will have to look into this more.

I think I would rather rebuild the VCSAs from scratch than go back to using Windows for my vCenter though.
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Re: vCenter recovery - using Veeam "NOT recommended"

Veeam Logoby rreed » Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:01 pm

So for v6 VCSA (w/ external PSC's) do we need to be using VMware's solution or Veeam B&R? What happens when we come in tomorrow morning and our vCenters are trashed?
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Re: vCenter recovery - using Veeam "NOT recommended"

Veeam Logoby foggy » Mon Oct 10, 2016 3:54 pm

The support case correspondence caused some sort of confusion regarding the ability to backup vCenter server using Veeam B&R. Basically, you can feel safe with backing up SQL-based vCenter, since it's database is automatically excluded from VSS processing (i.e. backed up crash-consistent, which is generally ok for a transactional database). In case of vCSA bundled with PostgreSQL database, stopping its services prior making the VM snapshot should guarantee you application-consistent backups and there's also a backup procedure provided by VMware that can be triggered as a pre-job script. I believe that James should also get some follow-up from his engineer soon.
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Re: vCenter recovery - using Veeam "NOT recommended"

Veeam Logoby lando_uk » Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:43 am 2 people like this post

Hi, I would like an official statement and guide regarding the backup and restore of VCSA v6 with Postgres, as that's what many people will be using going forward.

We could all do testing in our labs, but in reality a production vcenter would have much more going on that we can produce in labs and we need to know for sure. Those of us using DVS will be particularly interested as having a solid vcenter recovery plan is essential.

According to v6 Documentation, Veeam should work without any scripts or stopping services on vcsa.

As an alternative to vSphere Data Protection, you can also use third-party products that are integrated with VMware vSphere Storage APIs - Data Protection to back up and restore a virtual machine that contains vCenter Server, a vCenter Server Appliance, or a Platform Services Controller.

http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-60/index ... 27ECA.html

Thanks
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Re: vCenter recovery - using Veeam "NOT recommended"

Veeam Logoby rreed » Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:47 pm

FWIW, I did a test restore of our PSC and vCenter (to an isolated test network) and both came up working fine w/ only the exception of their IP configs were wiped. They kept DNS though. Re-entered their IP info and came up normally on their test network. Having said that, haven't done a real live test of downing our live PSC/vCenter and restoring one to see if it fully works, but will put that on list of restore testing. Doing straight forward Veeam backup job.
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Re: vCenter recovery - using Veeam "NOT recommended"

Veeam Logoby rreed » Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:03 pm

I take that way back. They restored fine, each appears fine at their respective consoles, but my vCenter won't authenticate (not even local admin) and my PSC throws a 503 when I try to browse its web interface. So clearly, something's broken. :D
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Re: vCenter recovery - using Veeam "NOT recommended"

Veeam Logoby foggy » Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:43 pm

lando_uk wrote:According to v6 Documentation, Veeam should work without any scripts or stopping services on vcsa.

As an alternative to vSphere Data Protection, you can also use third-party products that are integrated with VMware vSphere Storage APIs - Data Protection to back up and restore a virtual machine that contains vCenter Server, a vCenter Server Appliance, or a Platform Services Controller.

This statement is too general and doesn't mention the database at all. Our recommendation for any application that doesn't support VSS is using pre-freeze/post-thaw scripts for consistent backups, otherwise you get them crash-consistent.
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Re: vCenter recovery - using Veeam "NOT recommended"

Veeam Logoby lando_uk » Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:26 am

foggy wrote: This statement is too general and doesn't mention the database at all. Our recommendation for any application that doesn't support VSS is using pre-freeze/post-thaw scripts for consistent backups, otherwise you get them crash-consistent.


Trying to interpret the docs, I get the impression that VCSA v6 does use VSS on backup and that no scripts are necessary.
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Re: vCenter recovery - using Veeam "NOT recommended"

Veeam Logoby lando_uk » Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:29 am

rreed wrote:I take that way back. They restored fine, each appears fine at their respective consoles, but my vCenter won't authenticate (not even local admin) and my PSC throws a 503 when I try to browse its web interface. So clearly, something's broken. :D


I was told previously by VMware support that you cant change the IP of VCSA v6. A restore/replication has to be on the same network as the original, no IP config change is supported.
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Re: vCenter recovery - using Veeam "NOT recommended"

Veeam Logoby rreed » Mon Oct 17, 2016 1:12 pm

I didn't change anything about the VM. Same IP. A different vswitch but everything else unchanged. I haven't had time to go and fight w/ it any, I'll report back when I do.
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Re: vCenter recovery - using Veeam "NOT recommended"

Veeam Logoby foggy » Mon Oct 17, 2016 5:01 pm 1 person likes this post

lando_uk wrote:Trying to interpret the docs, I get the impression that VCSA v6 does use VSS on backup and that no scripts are necessary.

That confuses me, since vCSA is a Linux appliance and doesn't support VSS.
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