Backing up VMs using VCB and a ProxyHost iData Agent

Last post 07-30-2010, 9:06 AM by Vincenzo_Basolino. 20 replies.
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  • Backing up VMs using VCB and a ProxyHost iData Agent
    Posted: 07-07-2010, 1:09 PM

    Hello everyone.

    Another job on my plate is to begin backing up my company's VMs  to Commvault. I've been digging through BOL and believe to have a general idea as to the setup. I wanted to just run it by the forum and make sure I'm not missing anything.

    I'll install VCB on the SAN that hosts our VM's. Then I'll install the ProxyHost iData Agent on a Windows Server 2003 or 2008 box that can acces the SAN. The ProxyHost will then be able to grab the file backups of the Windows VMs and image backups of the others.

    Here is where I begin to get confused.

    Is a Filesystem iData Agent also required on the ProxyHost in order for Commvault to backup the data? Or is the ProxyHost enough for me?

    Also, I'm having a hard time finding documentaion on the pre-scan and post-backup scripts that need to be configured. If anyone can lead me in the right direction, I would be much appreciative.

    Thanks!


  • Re: Backing up VMs using VCB and a ProxyHost iData Agent
    Posted: 07-07-2010, 1:14 PM

    Using proxyhost or file system agent to backup VMs is the legacy method (if you running 7.0).  If you are running 8.0 I would suggest using the virtual server agent:

     

    http://documentation.commvault.com/commvault/release_8_0_0/books_online_1/english_us/prod_overview/virtual_server.htm

  • Re: Backing up VMs using VCB and a ProxyHost iData Agent
    Posted: 07-07-2010, 1:19 PM

    That does seem much easier than configuring a proxy. Is there a limitation to the number of VMs that can be backed up per Virtual server license?


  • Re: Backing up VMs using VCB and a ProxyHost iData Agent
    Posted: 07-07-2010, 1:26 PM

    When you purchase the license key, your sales engineer will supply you with the recommended ESX server/VMs per proxy.

  • Re: Backing up VMs using VCB and a ProxyHost iData Agent
    Posted: 07-21-2010, 4:29 PM

    I had made an attempt at using VCB for backup some months ago, but I ran into a "gotcha" that you should be aware of. THis gotcha made it impractical for me to implement in our environment.

    WHen using VCB to make backup copies of a VMware system,  that system will appear to 'pause' at the end of the backup as VCB removes the snapshot that it takes of the live system. Dpending on the amount of activity that has accumulated on the VM during the backup, the pause will be anywhere from several seconds to several minutes. This can play havoc with applications that are timing sensitive.

    It took contacting both commserve's support and VMware to confirm this behavior and to verify that there is no real workaround for it- it's a function of how VCB and VM snapshotting in general operates.

  • Re: Backing up VMs using VCB and a ProxyHost iData Agent
    Posted: 07-21-2010, 5:34 PM

    Jeremy,

    I have not heard of such instances but i could potentially see this occuring during the quiescing/unquiescing if at all. 

    Did VMware specify if their API has the same issues, as CV's VSA agent can leverage either backup method (VCB or VADP)

  • Re: Backing up VMs using VCB and a ProxyHost iData Agent
    Posted: 07-21-2010, 6:00 PM

    VMware specified that it was with the VCB method, and it was with the snapshot merger/quiescing process specifically in our case. Other then that, it worked quite nicely and utterly seamless to the machine itself.

  • Re: Backing up VMs using VCB and a ProxyHost iData Agent
    Posted: 07-22-2010, 9:10 AM

    Hi JeremyC,

    I am curious if this issue is occurring across all of your virtual machines or just specific ones. Typically this only occurs in guests that have extremely high I/O or have been in a snapshot state for an extended period of time (which results is a very large delta file that needs to be written back). Should this be happening on every machine I would investigate if there are possibly any HW or disk utilization issues occurring.

     John

  • Re: Backing up VMs using VCB and a ProxyHost iData Agent
    Posted: 07-27-2010, 11:27 AM

    If your ESX is 4.0 and your CV is 8.0 then get SP4 and the latest fixes and use the VADP backups to prevent the snapshots form being copied to your VCB Proxy. If you do use native VCB proxy be aware that the snaps are copied to the local VCB Proxy system MA in the Job Results directory so you want to locate that path on a dirve that has enough space to handle the max amount of snap space that might be copied to your proxy concurrently. We had 8 concurrent VCB streams running and need several hundred GB od space. We now use VADP and saved the space and the throughput is more than doubled.

  • Re: Backing up VMs using VCB and a ProxyHost iData Agent
    Posted: 07-28-2010, 2:54 PM

    Do get VADP ... it is SOOOO much better, easier, faster...!Laughing  Even for the restores...

  • Re: Backing up VMs using VCB and a ProxyHost iData Agent
    Posted: 07-29-2010, 10:26 AM

    What do you mean by 'use the VADP backups'.  I'm not familiar with this.  Is this a different agent?

  • Re: Backing up VMs using VCB and a ProxyHost iData Agent
    Posted: 07-29-2010, 10:32 AM

    VADP, is the VMware API for backup which replaced VCBmounter.  Our agent is capable of using either VCBmounter of VADP (leveraging the VDDK) . 

    If you want to enable VADP which has many advantages over VCBmounter, use the attached guide.

     

  • Re: Backing up VMs using VCB and a ProxyHost iData Agent
    Posted: 07-29-2010, 10:37 AM

    Typical VCB Proxy what happens is a snapshot is taken then that is copied to the VCB PRoxy server and it is backed up from there.  With VADP backup a snapshot is taken and it is backed up directly without needing to be copied to the VCB Proxy. This reduces load on the backup/VCB server and allows for faster more efficient backups. our throughput has more than doubled.

  • Re: Backing up VMs using VCB and a ProxyHost iData Agent
    Posted: 07-29-2010, 10:45 AM

    Are any of you using dedup?  Is there any advantage for VCB or VADP from a dedup POV?

  • Re: Backing up VMs using VCB and a ProxyHost iData Agent
    Posted: 07-29-2010, 10:47 AM

    sanman:

    Typical VCB Proxy what happens is a snapshot is taken then that is copied to the VCB PRoxy server and it is backed up from there.  With VADP backup a snapshot is taken and it is backed up directly without needing to be copied to the VCB Proxy. This reduces load on the backup/VCB server and allows for faster more efficient backups. our throughput has more than doubled.

    Correct, assuming "Disk" level backup

    VADP also allows CV to leverage CBT (Change block Tracking) during incremental backups to quickly backup just the changed blocks from the prior full (assuming the VM is HW 7)

  • Re: Backing up VMs using VCB and a ProxyHost iData Agent
    Posted: 07-29-2010, 10:55 AM

    deX:

    Are any of you using dedup?  Is there any advantage for VCB or VADP from a dedup POV?

     

    Not really other than performance. We ran Dedup for over a year now and switched to VADP about 4-5 weeks ago. Dedupe is about the same. What VADP does thought is allow more data to be processed faster so that adds load to the MA and Dedupe as you will have to process more data faster. We have seen issues when stressing the MA with VADP and other backups concurrently.

  • Re: Backing up VMs using VCB and a ProxyHost iData Agent
    Posted: 07-29-2010, 11:30 AM

    Hey People!!!

    VADP ROCKS!!!!

    I have been able to backup and RESTORE a Netware server in my lab!  And I do get excellent throughput!!!

     

  • Re: Backing up VMs using VCB and a ProxyHost iData Agent
    Posted: 07-29-2010, 12:03 PM
  • Re: Backing up VMs using VCB and a ProxyHost iData Agent
    Posted: 07-29-2010, 1:53 PM

    Claudette Dumont:

    Hey People!!!

    VADP ROCKS!!!!

    I have been able to backup and RESTORE a Netware server in my lab!  And I do get excellent throughput!!!

     

     

    Wow what version of netware was recovered?

  • Re: Backing up VMs using VCB and a ProxyHost iData Agent
    Posted: 07-30-2010, 8:15 AM

    Hi!

    It is a netware 6.5 sp5

    Neat huh?

  • Re: Backing up VMs using VCB and a ProxyHost iData Agent
    Posted: 07-30-2010, 9:06 AM

    Impressive!

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