I love the fact that VMware is providing VDR as part of the vSphere package. It's definitely a step in the right direction, albeit I'm still inclined to think this software hasn't been put through the ringer in terms of proper QA. I'm just trying to put out a feeler to see how many others have experienced some of the same issues I'm having.
To start, I'm backing up my VMs via a network share on a standalone Windows 2003 server that has a NAS attached to it.
Some of the issues I've noticed:
1) Backups take an inordinate amount of time. I can understand the first backup, but my VMs don't change very much from day to day. Most of the data being manipulated is located on RDMs are these are backed up using Tivoli, not VDR (I use VDR solely for the OS partitions). Each partition is approximately 25GB, there are 15 VMs and my backup window (10pm - 6pm) isn't sufficient to complete the process.
2) Integrity checks for the backups are taking a crazy amount of time and will usually stop due to my window being closed (see point #1)
3) I'm getting inconsistent "failures" for certain VMs (the report will simply state that a VM failed to backup, not much else). It also varies per night and not always the same VMs (not exactly sure if this is related to #1 where the window is closing while VDR is executing)
4) I had the most difficult time setting up the remote share from the VDR appliance in vSphere. The username and password would never be accepted (even though if I tried the same share with the same user/pass on a Windows machine, it would work fine). I finally narrowed down the problem to the simple fact that the VDR appliance can't handle passwords that have special characters in them (this password had an "@" and a ","). Looking at the console while attempting to mount the share would spit out a CIFS error -22. Changing the password to include only numbers and letters was sufficient to work around this issue.
5) Snapshots not being created for no apparent reason and thus failing the VDR process. I'm fully able to do a manual snapshot with or without the memory state, so I'm not sure why VDR can't do it. This issue is very intermittent. I had it often when I first setup VDR, but now it only happens every so often (without any type of consistency).
I think that's all I can think about for now..
I just want to say that so far we are testing with VDR 188.8.131.52 (Build 164675) and so far (crossing my fingers) we haven't had any issues. Backups are running in the scheduled time frames. Backups are completing succesfully. My only errors occur when I try to backup a VM that is powered off (duh).
I left the defaults of the OVF template for the VM (2GB of RAM, 2 vCPU). The only thing I changed was from DHCP to Static IP. Storage is a NetApp FAS 2050. The backups go to a CIFS share on the SAN. Haven't had any issues yet. I'll keep updating this as we go along with testing, but I have to say... things are looking promising (maybe I'm just too optimistic).
And just as an aside - I am testing VEEAM Backup as well and I must say although it is much more granular in its backup and restore processes it takes almost 2 to sometimes 4 times as long to complete a backup of 8 test servers
so, in this case a file level restore is only supported for Windows VM ?
It would be great to have VDR as a working production backup solution.
I did have issues. I noticed that if you have backups already taken and you change the structure tree in the vsphere (folders, datacenters, clusters etc) you cannot restore your backups anymore.
I realize now that although VDR has improved since I originally posted this message, it still has a long way to go. I'm often getting failures backing up (even with 1.0.2). Simple fact of the matter is that (gasp) this software doesn't allow a sysadmin to do much in order to try to rectify any problems. For instance, I can't manually do a reclaim in order to delete corrupted backups - speaking of which, I get a lot of corrupted backups these days (Heck, got into the office this morning and 70% of my backups were corrupted - HOW IS THAT ACCEPTABLE?)
I guess you get what you pay for.. Wait a sec, I PAID A LOT FOR THIS.
Initially I was using vSphere Essential and just for the sake of getting a backup from this VDR Appliance, I paid nearly twice of the initial cost to get vSphere Essential 4.
Did VMware even test this product before rolling it out? I have 300 GB of data backed up everything went corrupt
10/23/200 12:58:36 PM: Executing Recatalog
10/23/200 12:58:36 PM: To Backup Set /SCSI-0:1/...
10/23/200 12:58:37 PM: Trouble reading from the destination volume, error --241 (Destination index invalid/damaged)
10/23/200 12:58:37 PM: Backup Set "/SCSI-0:1" will be locked until the restore point with errors are deleted and integrity check succeeds
10/23/200 12:58:37 PM: Task incomplete
10/23/200 12:58:37 PM: Duration 00:00:01
Is anyone from VMware reading these forum postings and hearing our grief.
I can attest that VMware is reading these posts. Not long after I "ranted" about the reliability, I received a call from the VMware VDR Product Manager to discuss the issues I was experiencing. At a minimum, it is comforting that he took time to call and speak with me - however, the consolation isn't enough. I have to see the product (VDR) is working reliably for EVERYONE.
We have a responsibility to continue posting our frustration. They are reading/watching these forums. It seems fruitless, but I faith they are working to correct the deficiencies - unfortunately, it just isn't quick enough to meet my timeline.
I agree. VMware may be reading this thread, however time is money and they already got the money from us and what do we get? just wasted time. We -customers- have no other option but wait until the product is ready, in the meantime how do we explain to upper levels that the cost for this product was not an investment but an expense since the clock keeps ticking and in time being we cannot use because it's not reliable.
I would encourage everybody that if you have paid support to file a SR as they will more likely take it seriously if there are a large number of SR's related to the product. I filled a SR for my issue but have yet to hear back and it is close to the 5 hour mark and we have Gold Support
I told my upper management I had a solution for backing up our VM's and it has gone down. No I have to go before them and tell them it has failed which reflect badly on me and I have to ask for $$$$ for one of the comercial products
I think this is fustrating b/c usually VMware puts out such great stuff and then this product breaks (and takes down all of your backup data) at the drop of a hat.
It is almost like nobody even tested it out
Yes very true, I'm stuck in this backup process testing, since all of my Server is ESXi, there is a 3rd party product that is very great but the ESXi support was taken by VMWare 😐 this is sounds monopolistic ?
I'm in the same boat...but I didn't tell my CEO we can't back up the images!!
We are using a script to backup the images to a NFS datastore hosted on Openfiler.
It is a "homegrown script" I wrote that enumerates all the guests, snaps them, and creates a backup image. Plus, it cycles the images everyday. It isn't as elegant as the ghetto script, but is works great.
I've said it before, no one should rely on a backup without FULLY testing it.
Chief Information Officer
Lexington Memorial Hospital
Lexington, NC 27293
You are right...we are left holding the bag. Maybe VMware will get their act together and get it fixed.
Chief Information Officer
Lexington Memorial Hospital
Lexington, NC 27293
Thanks for the reply Mr. Buchanan, in this case you're in the same boat as those who dissapointed with VDR appliance.
Can't wait until VDR 2.0 is released .. >_< seems so long..
My Integrity check has been going on for 2 days now and is only at 44%, it only moved 5% in the past 24 hours I can't do any back-ups or restores while this is going on. At this rate I can only do monthly back-ups.
I opened a SR and was told this is normal and to just wait. Normal??? How can this be normal? The product is basiclly useless and should not have been released instead of using us as beta testers
Can the VDR Product Manager please come on and give some answers?
I'm having lots of issues, but they're different issues to what most of you seem to be having. They are frustrating as hell, though!
We have one vSphere deployment; three clusters with a total of 13 hosts & 170 or so VMs of Windows & Linux flavors. (We have 2 VDR VMs because of the 100 VMs-per-VDR-VM limit.) All our data lives on NetApp filers; the ESX hosts run the VMs via NFS. The VDR VMs are using virtual disks that are actually VMDKs attached to the ESX hosts via NFS. (So, no CIFS involved.)
My biggest problem is simply that that backups don't run, even when they're scheduled. And, usually after a day of being up, the VDR VM is inaccessible to the VDR plugin -- that is, when I try and connect to the VDR VM with the plugin, it says that the host couldn't be contacted. I can still ping & SSH to the VM, but I have to reboot it for the VDR plugin to be able to connect to it.
I wouldn't have these concerns if this was beta software, but seeing as it's production it is pretty tough to deal with. I already have a SR open (1449882361) but we haven't identified anything yet...
When you guys got a reply back from the SR or any words about new VDR patch, can you please share it here :-o) I just couldn't believe that this product is a paid commercial not a freeware 😐 and yet still buggy as if it is in RTM / alpha version.
If still no words from VMWare, I'd better of go with 3rd party backup software with Dedupe option which can support ESXi