VMware Cloud Community
jarsenea
Contributor
Contributor

Anyone else having these VDR issues?

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..

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252 Replies
alexlie
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks for taking care of my post. Here are my answers:

A) The VDR destinations are on an EMC Celerra NS502, the primary datastores are on two EMC CX3 series Clariions. The LUNs are connected via Qlogic iSCSI HBAs on the ESX 4 server. All are covered by the VMware HCL.

B) Disks are thick (also on the Celerra side)

... so our storage should be fine. I agree with your concerns about "low-end" storage systems... that's why I don't use them - I do not want to have to backup my backup Smiley Wink

1) It's not typical... I ran out of storage for some machines and had to use different datastores. I ordered a new disk shelf last week which should solve this issue (after renaming the vmdk's - thanks to ehinkle for pointing this out)

2+3) The big navigation pane on the left side which is always visible. See screenshot.

4) I will look into this.

5) Found the problematic restore point. Also found that the corresponding backup quit with "Trouble writing to destination volume, error -107 (out of application memory)" - Should I try to increase the memory for the appliance?

6) If the mysterious task shows up again I will make a screenshot.

7) Yes the snapshots are hot-added. We currently upgrading our vms to HW7. I hope the performance will improve. I have two jobs with each ~15 machines scheduled. As described in the manual vdr runs 8 tasks concurrently.

Again, thanks for your reply.

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alexlie
Contributor
Contributor

I would be surprised if VMware is actually reading this.

In fact they do! I am pleasantly surprised.

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XavierE
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

VDR used: Version: 1.0.1 | 2009/07/09 | Build: 176771

I am still unhappy with VDR. I just deployed it, did a test backup (passed this point at least) now I am trying a restore to benchmark the restore time and I get this error

Trouble writing files error -3956 (operation failed)

Tried different ways, same result every time.

Destination is a CIF folder.

We may get a decent VDR by the time they release version 2.0.0 some time next year perhaps HA!

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wildcattdw
Contributor
Contributor

I'd be interested to see what other people have done for troubleshooting. Personally, I started with only CIFS destinations, but after countless issues, tried a local VMDK connected via FC, which still yielded two resotre points with errors in less than four days of operation.

Today I bumped the memory on one of my vDR appliances to 4GB, and with an uptime of only 24 minutes, 'top' is reporting 3.3 Gb used, less than 600k free memory... and this appliance is running a "reclaim" right now, no backups have occurred since booting it. That doesn't seem right to me.

T

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jarsenea
Contributor
Contributor

VDR is hosed, plain and simple.

I'm embarassed to have to go to my superiors in order to find money to buy vRanger or esXpress. VDR was touted as a solution for small environments (we only have 25 VMs) and now I'm forced to spend MORE money to buy a competing product.

Talk about false advertisements.

(And yes, I have SRs open but they all seem to come back as "confirmed as bug").. QA really blew it on this one. VDR isn't even beta quality, it's alpha quality.. hell, maybe not even alpha quality since it doesn't work most of the time.

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Mirko_Huth
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I stopped wasting my time with it. It's a fact that the system is unreliable and I can't recommend the usage in a productive environment.

I assume those people having no problems have only few machines to backup. Problems seem to get worse when the datastore grows.

Also I don't like the idea to have everything in a single datastore that can get corrupted without the option to get the vm out of it except by using VDR. And the fact that there is no reporting/alerting is disappointing.

I'll continue to use VCB. It's reliable and simple to use. If Vmware would just wrap a gui around it it would be perfect and there would be no need for something else.

Deduplication and several versions of a VM are nice features. But knowing to have a reliable and restoreable backup is more important to me.

Mirko

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ithotlinedothu
Contributor
Contributor

We are testing VDR trial version for a month.

Very, very poor performance. We tried find bottleneck problem our system, but wasnt found.

I was think problems caused our cheap iscsi, nas solutions not vmware HCL hardwares.

But reading this forum i think a same problem with HCL hardware.

Yeah yeah we are known if you plan backup solution, use other backup method, other software.

VDR is not ready for production use yet.

Just vmware why not say VDR is a beta, alpha software?

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XavierE
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I've been testing VDR since the first version was released.

Marketing and webex presentations looked great but a very different story in a production environment.

Numerous problems like many people in this post and it's have been just a waste of time/money

If VMware is actually checking this post I think they should RECALL this product from a RTM, apologize at least and either drop it from their products list or work on it until it's fully tested and decently working.

Who knows they could even pursue on buying a competing company like vizion core etc, and rebrand their products (like they've done before and other companies do nowadays)

I am sticking with VCB in the meantime.

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Mirko_Huth
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I fully agree.

To bad that VDR was the only reason for me to upgrade to vSphere.

Now I can't use it and have new problems cause by vSphere itself (iSCSI performance, connection issues with SAN storage).

Currently thinking about going back to VI3.5. ...

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KBuchanan
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I opened a SR every time I can't get the backups to run. If they (VMware) aren't aware of our issues, they can't fix them.

BTW - my destination is on (14) 72G 15k FC dedicated FC disks in an EMC 3-20 cabinet.

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KBuchanan
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

There are lots of issues, and I am running a script to backup the VMs. It works, but I would rather see VDR working reliably. I have highend storage for destination...but it seems to be a bigger problem than just the storage.

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KBuchanan
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Well said. Maybe VDR 2.0 will be a more reliable release.

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KBuchanan
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

VMware is listening and reading these forums. Believe it or not, I received a call from the VDR product mgr.

In my opinion, we may have to wait for a few more updates for it to work for the masses. I have had problems and several SRs...still getting mixed results.

I suggest everyone to test VDR, but keep another backup solution in place.

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adisarro
Contributor
Contributor

We're testing VDR while still running VCB for good measure(and as the easiest way to get to tape for offsite). I have not yet seen any of the issues above. I have only been using it for 2 days though so i'll be sure to post back here again once i have more testing done. I just felt the need to post an everythings-fine-for-me post so people reading don't think that it's 100% crap.

Backing up about 25 vms on the two vsphere 4 hosts we have(still 4 3.5s we didn't upgrade yet)

400gigs worth of data(thin provisioned, not including free space)

Destination is a home built win2k3 box over cifs with 3 1tb drives in a raid 5

so far the 400gigs has been backed up for two days while using only 86gigs Smiley Happy

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wildcattdw
Contributor
Contributor

I was extremely excited about the inclusion of a backup solution... and when I started testing with it everything was roses. I was backing up 8 machines that were VERY identical; total of ~120 GB used space backing up to something like 35 GB after a week. Once I started rolling it out to a broader range of guests, things took a very quick turn for the worse. I currently have 4 appliances in different configs, different targets, and all are displaying issues.

Makes me sad panda.

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admin
Immortal
Immortal

Worked fine for two weeks then blew up.

The destination is corrupt and all the backups are useless, nothing I tried (not that you can do much) would not get it going. I wiped the datastore and added a blank one and the appliance simply would not start backup jobs. I'm now deleting everything related to it, I wanted to try the latest release but once again the vmware store is down for maintainance (is it just me or do they take that down for 24hours every two weeks or so?)

Wish this worked, I've been extolling the benefits to clients, but there's no way I would install it in production.

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Stevester
Contributor
Contributor

Are there any open source alternatives to VDR that does data duplication?

Stevester

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KBuchanan
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Would you really trust open source sw? ...dont get me wrong, I just don't think that open source is the best option for protecting production systems - unless there is a an adequate support contract.

Use VCB. Or, if you want to have a free solution, search for vcbghetto backup script.

I am using a script I developed myself to perform backups. Until VDR is more reliable, I suggest you have a solution in place to protect your images until VDR proves itself for you.

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Stevester
Contributor
Contributor

Red Hat Linux is open source, and in fact the ESX Server, is a Red Hat implementation. I do agree with you!!!!! Open source is a double edged sword, but less us not count it out totally!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I already use ghettoVCB but i need a backup solution that has data deduplication built into it.

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KBuchanan
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Read what I said...I don't suggest open source, unless there is an adequate support agreement.

We user open source OS and software in our LIB apps. BUT we have support contracts as appropriate for the application

I'm an advocate for open source, but if there is a problem, you have to be able to contact the vendor for support.

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