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pjw73nh
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Backup - Snapshot issue / question.

Greetings,

I have a fairly new ESXi 5.5 update 2 (Essentials) installation. (September 2014).  Currently I only have one VM on it. It is a standalone conversion of an SBS 2011 Std. server.  The VM itself is running fine with no issues.

The only issue I am having is with my Barracuda backup system.   It fails at the end of the backup while trying to create a snapshot. I know what you're thinking.  "Why am I posting this here ?".....

I have been going back and forth with Barracuda support.  Everything they have asked me to check out, host-wise, system-wise and guest-wise I have been able to do and have come up empty handed.  See between the asterisks below for the last correspondence I had with them (they did the highlighting).

I am not well-versed in the inner workings of VMware, so I don't really know where to go from here. Given that I have come up empty before, I am not even sure that Barracuda is on the right track here.  But I need to get back to them before they will assist me any further.  I just need some guidance and assistance in determining if in fact, this is the issue, and if it is, how to remedy or further troubleshoot it.

Thank you for any insight and assistance you may be able to provide me with.


-P

***************Begin from Barracuda Support********************

"Looking into the error I see that there looks to possible another process running at the same time the backup is running or something has not completed before the backups start. This is what I see in the bbs log:"

Dec 26 11:31:27 2014 barracuda backupd[14271]: Failed to create snapshot (vim25_TaskInProgress): Another task is already in progress.
Dec 26 11:31:27 2014 barracuda backupd[14271]: Fatal: failed to create any snapshot for vmware backup of host: SFD-SRV1.Stratfire.local


***************End from Barracuda Support********************



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pjw73nh
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Hi p...

Does the file listing look ok now?  it looks a lot better from my perspective...

If so, it looks like success all around. See attached listing after the delete all.  I am going to call Barracuda back.

I can't thank you enough for all your help and patience.  You are truly an asset to the VMware forum community.  Thank you for taking all the time to work with me. I have learned quite a bit from you.

Thanks again

P.

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admin
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You could try and take a manual snapshot of the VM. If it fails with a similar error, check to see what active task is running. Open an SSH session to the host that the VM is running on and issue this command:

vim-cmd vmsvc/getallvms

Note the vmid of the VM in question and run this command to check active tasks for that VM:

vim-cmd vmsvc/get.tasklist VMID

There may be a valid operation going on (like a snapshot consolidation) or it could be a hung task.

If you can't repro the problem with a manual snapshot, it's something specific to Barracuda

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pjw73nh
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Thanks for the reply P.  I'll give this a shot when I am back at work on Monday.

I'll let you know what I find.

P....

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Dee006
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Hi,

This may have been caused by a change to user settings or permissions at the data source or it may be that the target server is offline.

I have read the failure summary from the screenshot.Do you have permission at datastore and target server is offline?Smiley Wink

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pjw73nh
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hello P_hall

Thanks for the help.  I did as you recommended and came up with nothing that I could interpret (sorry, I am not well versed in VMware, But I did manage to get SSH to run, and log in to run the commands).

See attached.

Also,

I read up on snapshots and files associated with VMs, and I am a bit confused why I have some that weren't mentioned.  Also see attached.  The last Barracuda backup I attempted was on 12/31 around 9:30 AM.  It finished with the error around 11:30 AM.     Also see attached.  I downloaded the vmware-2.log to my windows desktop and opened it in notepad, but could not read it very well. Is there a specific log viewer I should be using to read these logs?

After reading up on snapshots a little, I was reticent to take a manual one for fear of messing something up, so I didn't try that.  Is taking a manual snapshot and then deleting it  a safe procedure ?  Any ramifications in doing that?

Again thank you very much for your help and for your patience with this vmware noob. 🙂

P

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admin
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Nothing unusual with the VM files.

The task list jpeg shows there were no active tasks for that VM when the command was run.

There shouldn't be any risk with attempting a test snapshot/consolidation. If it does fail with 'another task is already in progress' you can check active tasks again. And you will know that there is a general VMware problem.

But if the issue is only seen during backups then its best investigated by Barracuda (they can contact VMware SDK support team if they need to).

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pjw73nh
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Hi P, Tnx for the reply.  All that info helps me a lot.   I am glad to know the files look normal and there are no VM tasks running that shouldn't be.

With respect to taking a manual snapshot.  Do I want to include the VM Memory and/or quiesce the machine? 

Thanks

P....

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admin
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You can leave memory unchecked.

For quiescing, you should probably match whatever Barracuda does - does the Barracuda backup quiesce the virtual machine?

If you're not sure, you can try snapshot with and without quiescing and see it throws any errors, either during the snapshot or the consolidation.

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pjw73nh
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Ok. here's what i did.

I took two snapshots.  One with no mem and no quiesce.  The other with no mem and yes quiesce. You can see the various attachments.

I guess I didn't know what to expect when doing this.  What should I have been looking for and where?

So, I ran the first one.  I then looked at the files (see attached), and I also looked at the status window which said "create virtual machine completed". (see attached).

I did NOT check for tasks at this time (not sure why, but I didn't)

I ran the second one with quiesce and looked at the same files (see attached), I also checked tasks a few times while this (these) were running, and I saw a task running, and then eventually it completed.

I did not get any errors that i know of, but then again as I mentioned above, I don't know what I am looking for.  So I am not sure if this was a success (with respect tot he original issue with the Barracuda error) or not.  But I am also concerned that I now have a lot more files taking up space on my datastore.  Will these files be taken care of, or do I manually delete them?  I guess this is part of the learning curve for me.

Thanks again.

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pjw73nh
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Sorry, A couple of additional attachments

The last one was taken after about 2.5 hours.

Thanks.

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admin
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You're really just looking for errors. I was recommending trying a manual snapshot and consolidation to see if it works ok.  That way you can probably tell whether there is some general issue in your vSphere environment, or if the problem is specific to backups.

So it looks like you can take snapshots ok, next you should try to consolidate the VM. Right Click > Snapshot > Consolidate. This merges the snapshot files with the base disk.

Assuming the consolidation runs ok, there isn't really much else we can advise. Barracuda will need to continue their investigation of why backups are failing. But if you do hit an error with the consolidation, grab a screenshot and post it up.

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pjw73nh
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Thanks P_.

I ran the consolidation.  It succeeded (according to the event log) see attached.. I am going to put this back in Barracuda's court and see what they have to say.

I am still concerned about the amount and types of files in the datastore listing. (see attached).  There are several more than when I started my testing.  I am concerned about taking up unnecessary space with them.

Will they take care of themselves?  Do I need all of them?  Should I be concerned?

Thanks so much for all your help and patience. I truly appreciate it.   I have learned a lot from your help.

P....

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admin
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All of those 0000XX.vmdk files are snapshot files and should be removed by a consolidation.

It's possible that the consolidation task is still running - I have seen cases where the task appears to complete in vCenter but is still running in the background. You can check for active tasks again at the command line.

And you can also look at 'Edit Settings' for the VM and check the Hard Disk file location and see if it's referencing the <Vm-Name>.vmdk, or if it is still looking at a snapshot file: <Vm-name>-000002.vmdk.

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pjw73nh
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No tasks running, and yes, if I checked it correctly,  it appears it is still looking at:  [datastore1] SFD-SRV1.Strathamfire.local/SFD-SRV1.Strathamfire.local-000002.vmdk

Thanks.

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admin
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Could you try again using the 'Delete All' function - right click the VM, open snapshot manager and select 'Delete All'. This works like a consolidation by merging the snapshots back into the base disk.

Let me know if this throws an error or if it fails to work. If the task completes but fails to remove the snapshot files, it would be helpful to get a look at the vmware.log file for the VM.

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pjw73nh
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Hi p...

Does the file listing look ok now?  it looks a lot better from my perspective...

If so, it looks like success all around. See attached listing after the delete all.  I am going to call Barracuda back.

I can't thank you enough for all your help and patience.  You are truly an asset to the VMware forum community.  Thank you for taking all the time to work with me. I have learned quite a bit from you.

Thanks again

P.

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admin
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Yeah - looks good again. Glad to help Smiley Happy

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pjw73nh
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Hello again p_hall,

Rather than bug you again, I thought I'd try to put to use some of the things I learned from you over the last "session/server", but I'm afraid I've gotten myself into a bind. It's the same "type" of issue, but on a different server. Let me know if you think I should start a new thread or add on to this one.

In an nutshell. I am trying to troubleshoot an issue with Barracuda (again).  Long story short, Barracuda is only supposed to back up "changed blocks".  It is backing up 124-126 GB every night. (2-3 hours). The VM is the ONLY VM on the host.  Nothing on the (guest) server adds up to 125 gb The two drives are a 60 GB OS drive (SBS Server 2012 Essentials), and a 100 GB data drive.  Both have 33 GB used on each one (total 66GB).  Nightly changed data is usually between 300 MB and 500 MB each night.  Not much at all.

I was getting a DFSR error just about every night at the same time the backup kicked off.  (The backup DOES complete).  But since Feb 25th I haven't had one of these errors.  See attached. So this may be a moot point.

Barracuda is telling me it has to do with the snapshots (again).  So I made an attempt at following your advice from the last round.   I manually created a snapshot with no memory and no quiesce. The task completed and no tasks are currently running. I then did a consolidation. That finished as well.   See attached file pics.

My question is:  Do I need all these files?  If not, which ones can I safely delete?  It seems like a lot of log files as well as other older/stale ones. I'd like to clean up as much as I can before throwing this back into Barracud's ball park.

Thanks again for any help you may be able to provide.

P....

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