MarkKulacz
Contributor
Contributor

Array-based Replication with VCB?

Hi all. I am curious if there are any success stories where storage array-based replication has been used with VCB (in particular with VI3). The goal would be to reduce the impact of the VCB image copy from the (SAN) storage to the VCB Proxy Holding Tank. I have read nothing mentioned in the VCB Best Practices Guide. In the VMWare SAN config guide, array-based replication is mentioned outside of the scopt of VCB. Thanks in advance for your help.

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dconvery
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Well, array based replication is meant to allow the ability to quickly bring up the environment in case of a site or equipment failure. Site Recovery Manager will help automate this part. You still need to back up to tape for archiving and for file level recoveries. If a database gets corrupted, you run the risk of array based replication corrupting the second copy, so the backup is still needed. This is where VCB comes in. I guess you could use the DR array for the VCB backups, but you would need an ESX Server to mount the VMFS LUNs and you would also need to have a clone of the LUNs that could be broken from replication. It could get complicated, but is possible.

Dave Convery

VMware vExpert 2009

Careful. We don't want to learn from this.

Bill Watterson, "Calvin and Hobbes"

Dave Convery, VCDX-DCV #20 ** http://www.tech-tap.com ** http://twitter.com/dconvery ** "Careful. We don't want to learn from this." -Bill Watterson, "Calvin and Hobbes"
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dconvery
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PS: Welcome to the Forums!

Dave Convery

VMware vExpert 2009

Careful. We don't want to learn from this.

Bill Watterson, "Calvin and Hobbes"

Dave Convery, VCDX-DCV #20 ** http://www.tech-tap.com ** http://twitter.com/dconvery ** "Careful. We don't want to learn from this." -Bill Watterson, "Calvin and Hobbes"
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MarkKulacz
Contributor
Contributor

Dave - Thanks for the response, and for the warm welcome. I am developing a training program on EMC Avamar and VMWare integration (both VI3 and VSphere). Having read about the details of VCB, I got to thinking. Was anybody using a product to make array-based snapshots of LUNs containing VMFS partitions, potentially launching this WITHIN their VCB scripts and doing this step instead of a copy/export of a VMDK image from a shared array LUN to a VCB Proxy server? Its tricky, because an array would only snapshot the entire LUN, not a single VMDK (with its vmsn file), and the Proxy Server then needs to pull the virtual disk image off the LUN. Its not a real replacement for the typical VI3 image backup methods (which include ESX console-level backup and VCB), but perhaps with some manipulation somebody was doing this. Naturally the VM must be off, or it must be somehow quiesced, which implies a lot of orchestration. Its an awful lot of work to avoid that second copy which is typically involved with VCB. I am tempted to just say "no".

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dconvery
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If you are using a DMX, you could script it to "unsync" a BCV, do the VCB backup, the resync the BCV. I am not sure how it would work with Clariion. But it can get complicated because the ESX server performing the snapshot would need to attach to the VM and the LUN cannot have a reservation.

Dave Convery

VMware vExpert 2009

Careful. We don't want to learn from this.

Bill Watterson, "Calvin and Hobbes"

Dave Convery, VCDX-DCV #20 ** http://www.tech-tap.com ** http://twitter.com/dconvery ** "Careful. We don't want to learn from this." -Bill Watterson, "Calvin and Hobbes"
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