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m0ps
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VMFS, RDM or iSCSI as backup repository

Post by m0ps »

Hi All!
I'm trying to figure out the best way to present Nexenta's iSCSI lun as backup repository for Veeam B&R.
We have 10Tb NexentaStor iSCSI lun, on which we want to store backup's. If I'm correct understand, there is 3 ways to do that:
1) Mount iSCSI lun in ESXi, format is as VMFS. Add vmdk located on this VMFS to VM. In guest OS format it as NTFS and create backup repository on it;
2) Mount iSCSI lun in ESXi and add it to VM as RDM disk. In GuestOS format it as NTFS and create backup repository on it;
3) Mount iSCSI lun directly to GuestOS and format it as NTFS and create backup repository on it.
Which is the best one?

Thanks in advance,
Maxim

veremin
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Re: VMFS, RDM or iSCSI as backup repository

Post by veremin »

The third one, as the restoration process in this case would be easier in comparison with first two options. Thanks.

Vitaliy S.
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Re: VMFS, RDM or iSCSI as backup repository

Post by Vitaliy S. »

Here is an existing topic that is worth looking through > Don't Store Backups on VMFS...But why not?

Thernlund
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Re: VMFS, RDM or iSCSI as backup repository

Post by Thernlund »

v.Eremin wrote:The third one, as the restoration process in this case would be easier in comparison with first two options. Thanks.
I'm going to resurrect this to ask a question here...

If that's the best option, how do you backup the Veeam server itself? A per my understanding, you can't snapshot/backup a VM that has in-guest iSCSI going. Mine is giving me all kinds of headaches for this very reason.

Soooo...?


-T.

foggy
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Re: VMFS, RDM or iSCSI as backup repository

Post by foggy »

You can snapshot/backup the VM that has in-guest iSCSI connected disks, those are automatically skipped during processing.

Thernlund
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Re: VMFS, RDM or iSCSI as backup repository

Post by Thernlund »

Oh?

https://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/micro ... Id=1009073
If you are using Microsoft's iSCSI initiator within the virtual machine, you cannot perform snapshot operations on the virtual machine because it is not supported.
^^ That's the exact headache I'm having, and I've extended the wait to to unreasonable lengths.


-T.

foggy
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Re: VMFS, RDM or iSCSI as backup repository

Post by foggy »

This KB is somewhat contradictory:
Using the snapshot manager through VMware Infrastructure (VI) Client to take a VMware snapshot of the virtual machine works without error.
Anyway, it does work as I've mentioned: disks are just skipped from processing, the rest of the VM can be backed up fine.

Thernlund
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Re: VMFS, RDM or iSCSI as backup repository

Post by Thernlund »

That's not how I read the article. The part I quoted and the part you quoted are in two different contexts. The context of your quoted line speaks to a troubleshooting step. Mine speaks to a result.

As a whole I read it to be saying that taking a snapshot in the VI Client works, but any other way doesn't and it is not supported. I don't know why that would be, but that appears to be it.

In any case, I get that exact error message when trying to backup a VM with in-guest iSCSI connections. I guess I should open a ticket?

foggy
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Re: VMFS, RDM or iSCSI as backup repository

Post by foggy »

Actually, Veeam B&R calls VMware API to take a snapshot so this shouldn't be any different from taking it via vSphere client. Btw, is application-aware processing enabled in the job settings? And yes, opening a case is also appreciated.

Thernlund
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Re: VMFS, RDM or iSCSI as backup repository

Post by Thernlund »

Yes. App aware processing is enabled, and does in fact process my Exchange and SQL logs.

I'll open a ticket when I get a chance.

Thernlund
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Re: VMFS, RDM or iSCSI as backup repository

Post by Thernlund »

I just now stumbled upon what might be the issue... On this same server I have GFI Mail Archiver. Apparently there are some issues with that, and I'm not the only one to have them.

http://feedback.gfi.com/forums/267750-g ... -veeam-b-r
http://forums.gfi.com/Veeam-Backup-for- ... 20342.aspx
vmware-vsphere-f24/gfi-mail-archiver-t26246.html

Sounds like I'm going to have to work out some kind of script solution to shut down GFI-MA before the backup and bring it up after.

I honestly don't know how I didn't figure this out sooner. Looking in the wrong places I guess. <facepalm> I guess I'll pile on to the complaints over at GFI and hope they concoct some solution eventually. :-/

DRUMDUDESAN
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[MERGED] Windows 2012 VM as Repo

Post by DRUMDUDESAN »

Hi,
I've created the iSCSI setup on VMware. The LUN is presented as 7TB and shows as 7TB to VMware:
-rw------- 1 root root 7.1T Dec 1 17:40 naa.6e843b6f2f25e63df426d4e61dbb19d7

When I look at the Windows 2012 server disk manager diskmgmt.msc, it is broken down in two: 2 and 5 TB approx. Is this normal; I know it is not a Veeam question per say but should I go ahead and create an NTFS volume and merge those twp partitions/simple volumes in Windows 2012 and then proceed adding that server as a data mover?

Thanks
Jeff

MichaelCade
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Re: Windows 2012 VM as Repo

Post by MichaelCade »

This to me sounds like its showing as an MBR disk rather than GPT?

The disk in disk manager should be showing with no partitions (black)

You should then be able to right click the disk and convert to GPT this is i believe scalable to 256TB
Regards,

Michael Cade
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DRUMDUDESAN
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Re: Windows 2012 VM as Repo

Post by DRUMDUDESAN »

Hi,
I went to Windows command line and it did not even show the other 5TB partition like it showed in Windows....hmmm
DISKPART> list disk

Disk ### Status Size Free Dyn Gpt
-------- ------------- ------- ------- --- ---
Disk 0 Online 60 GB 0 B
Disk 1 Online 7292 GB 2047 GB

I went to VMware ESXi command line and saw the partition was msdos....from there I set the partition table to GPT

Now I am good to go.

DISKPART> list disk

Disk ### Status Size Free Dyn Gpt
-------- ------------- ------- ------- --- ---
Disk 0 Online 60 GB 0 B
Disk 1 Online 7292 GB 7292 GB *


Thanks
Jeff

PTide
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Re: VMFS, RDM or iSCSI as backup repository

Post by PTide »

Hi,

You really don't want to keep your backups on NTFS that is built atop of VMFS volume, it'd be better to present the LUN directly to the Guest OS instead. Please check the thread above for details.

Thanks

DRUMDUDESAN
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Re: VMFS, RDM or iSCSI as backup repository

Post by DRUMDUDESAN »

Hi,
OK Correct me if I am wrong.
- It is not a VMFS datastore.
- It is just a LUN presented to the ESXi hosts through SAN. NO VMFS datastore
- Then the VM is attached the iSCSI SAN vSWitch in VMware.
- The VM is given rights on the private SAN switches 10.x.x.x
- Then I enabled iSCSI on WIndows 2012 Server.
- I see the 7TB LUN in Wind2012
- I then format the LUN to NTFS

Please let me know if I did this properly.
Thanks
Jeff

DRUMDUDESAN
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Re: VMFS, RDM or iSCSI as backup repository

Post by DRUMDUDESAN »

Hi,
Correct me if I am mistaken.
It is not built on top of VMFS. vSphere is just the iSCSI portal.
- Dedicated SAN and switches on 10.x.x.x
- Dedicated pNICs on ESXi hosts on iSCSI vSwitch on 10.x.x.x
- No VMFS datastore created
- VM NIC attached to iSCSI vSwitch
- SAN LUN presented to 10.x.x.x
- Windows 2012 iSCSI see the 7TB LUN
- Format the LUN as NTFS 7TB logical volume V:drive
- Attach repository via Veeam B&R GUI Console.
- I ran a backup and was getting 167MB/Sec on SATA mirrored disks.
Does this sound OK, did I make a mistake?
P.S. I know it is best to use physical but we use a VM. It's a small IT management cluster.
Thanks
Jeff

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Re: VMFS, RDM or iSCSI as backup repository

Post by MichaelCade »

This is true... what would you do if your virtual estate was no longer available? you have no access to those backup files? consider as Pavel says a direct attached, RDM, Passthrough iSCSI solution rather than VMDK.
Regards,

Michael Cade
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PTide
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Re: VMFS, RDM or iSCSI as backup repository

Post by PTide »

Does this sound OK, did I make a mistake?
It looks OK, I just was confused with the part where you said that you presented the LUN to VMware via iSCSI. I assumed that you created VMDK of it. Also I'm not sure why would you need to do this:

Code: Select all

-rw------- 1 root root 7.1T Dec 1 17:40 naa.6e843b6f2f25e63df426d4e61dbb19d7
Why not to simply connect the guest directly to the LUN? ESXi host host does not have to see the LUN for that.

Thanks

ftristao
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Re: VMFS, RDM or iSCSI as backup repository

Post by ftristao »

Just to understand: Even a VMFS being a very good filesystem, if the inside repository formated as NtFS or NeFS crash, what difference it makes if it is on a LUN or a VMDK file?

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Re: VMFS, RDM or iSCSI as backup repository

Post by Gostev »

How do you read a VMDK file, if your ESXi host crashes?
LUN, you can just mount to your laptop even (via iSCSI initiator).

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