compendius
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

VDP / VDP advanced and unsupported disks

According to best practices -

http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-51/topic/com.vmware.ICbase/PDF/vmware-data-protection-administration-...

"When planning for backups, make sure the disks are supported by VDP. Currently, VDP does not support
the following disk types:
 Independent
 RDM Independent - Virtual Compatibility Mode
 RDM Physical Compatibility Mode
"
ok understood.
BUT
VDP does not let you select individual disks (vmdk files), so this proves problematic for a VM say with a second non-system disk that you do NOT want to back up with VDP as it is so large and is therefore being backed up elsewhere.
AHA but there is a solution -
Power down the VM, flag any disk you do not want included in a VDP backup as 'Independent/Persistent' and VDP will ignore it. So you can now just backup the VM system disk and leave alone any large data disks. I have tested this and it works. I can both backup and restore with VDP with this method.
BUT
This is not as far as I can see in any VMware documentation, and is also above declared as unsupported by VMware. Is this officially supported as a workaround?
ALSO
what about RDMs (Raw Device Mappings)? This is more of an issue.
According to this

http://www.vmware.com/support/vdr/doc/vdp_510_releasenotes.html

"vSphere Data Protection does not support backing up virtual machines that use independent or physical RDM disks.

If you back up a virtual machine that uses independent or RDM disks, vSphere Data Protection will not issue an error. vSphere Data Protection will skip backing up the unsupported disks, but the virtual machine backup may appear successful.

Similarly, if you attempt to restore a virtual machine with independent or RDM disks that was backed up with vSphere Data Protection, the restore operation will not succeed."

I have tested this and indeed you can backup, but NOT restore. We have lots of VMs with RDMs so this is proving to be a major issue. We are having to stick with VDR (VMware data recovery) for these VMs.

BUT

according to this

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=201656...

"Q: Is VDP replacing VDR (VMware Data Recovery)?

Yes. VDR is not supported with vSphere 5.1 and higher. VDR is being deprecated, but will be supported as detailed in the VMware Life Cycle Policies."

So what am I do do?

The above issue(s) need clear guidance from VMware.

Any ideas/help from VMware people please...?

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3 Replies
compendius
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I submitted a support request to VMware and here are the responses -

"

In the current release of vDP there is no way to backup individual disks, you need to backup all VMs.

There are references in the communities regarding the workaround you discussed. This method is not referenced in any documentation and the official statement regarding vDP is that individual disk backup is not possible, all disks are included. Ill see if I can get some clarity on this but there is no reference to the workaround in any vmware documentation. This issue is a major criticism we are getting regarding vDP, it is going to be addressed in a future release. The next release is out in June, Ill see if this is resolved in this release."

.....

"The current release of vDP has the same limitations regarding excluding disks from a VM backup. Version 5.1.1 is now released but this only addresses bug fixes.

https://www.vmware.com/support/vdr/doc/vdp_5110_releasenotes.html

I have submitted a feature request on your behalf and emailed the global technical lead for vDP on this issue. We are working towards including this in a future release but for now a backup of VMs with RDMs or independent disks is not possible."

...

"vDR is being depreciated as such vDR is not supported on eSXi 5.1 and any future release. It is supported on ESX/ESXi 4.x and 5.0 and will continue to be supported for the foreseeable future."

HTH

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racom
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Thanks for an info.

I've just found I can't restore VM with indenpendent swap disk 😞 Successfull backups with no error messages are strange behaviour of VDP. Recovery in vSphere Replication luckily works.

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compendius
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi,

Thanks for that. I am also looking at vSphere replication to do the job instead of VDP for some VMs.

Regards

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