vChr1s
Contributor
Contributor

Question about using SMVI and SM for Exchange

Hey all. I have been trying to get this to work and I am not happy with the way I got it to work. Let me explain.

We have an old 3.5 environment and a new 4.0 environment. In the new ENV, our VMs are all in an NFS volume on our new NetApp. SMVI is nice and was bundled with our purchase, so we're making use of it for backups. SM for Exchange was bundled as well and I think it would help us cut our 13 hr Exchange backup down drastically. SMVI is working perfectly. Exchange is still in our old 3.5 ENV.

I am currently testing with a test server with Snapdrive installed, utilizing esx iSCSI initiator to mount a pRDM to the server. I've also tried Microsoft's iSCSI initiator. All works well except I get a failure in my backups with SMVI. I've read the VMware kb that says it's not compatible. My question is, does anyone have a similar setup? If so, what did you do? Also, the workaround I seem to read everywhere is to turn off the VMware snapshots in SMVI. I'd rather not do this, particularly with Exchange. Is there any harm in doing this? What is the recommendation about crash consistent snapshots with Exchange?

Thanks.

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HendersonD
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

We have a very similar environment. We have our Exchange server hosted in an NFS datastore. The server has two iSCSI LUNs presented to it, one for Exchange Stores (database) and one for Exchange logs. We us SMVI to backup all of our VMS. I have two different jobs, one job where the VMware snapshot is taken before the Netapp snapshot and one where the VMWare snapshot is not taken at all. Most of my VMs are backed up using this first job but there are some VMs where you cannot take a VMWare snapshot first (or at least not quiesce the database during the snapshot).

We put Exchange in this second job so a VMWare snapshot is not taken first but we do get a Netapp snapshot. Keep in mind the SMVI will not backup the Exchange database. We run Snapmanager for Exchange to backup the database. SME and SMVI together (along with Snapmirror) is a solid backup solution for Exchange.

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