aurimask
Contributor
Contributor

Backup and DR solution for vSphere ESXi environment

Hello,

I am trying to desing a backup solution for simple environment with 2 esxi hosts and about 20 VMs. I need solution of how to make offsite backups using Data Recovery, Symantec backup exec and Netbackup, Veeam and VizionCore products (I am choosing from these products). I know that all products can make a backup (vmdk files) to disk. My questions:

1. Are all my mentioned product make vmdk file as a backup?

2. How can i then make offsite backup to DR site? Is it simple as copying vmdk files made by backup to external disk and then just creating new virtual machine based on those vmdk's?

3. How about using VCB after vStorage API is released? Is VCB still good solution for vsphere 4 environment?

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18 Replies
dburgess
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Yes technically all you need is the VMDK file(s) and you have the basis of a DR solution. If you pick up the 'vmx' file also that will greatly assist you as it has all the control information about how the VM 'hardware' is configured. If you are using vCenter in your recovery site you will have to register the VM - you can do that manually or via a script.

You will have to check with the vendors about if they can make what we would call image based backups - AFAIK they all do.

Lastly the vStorage API's (VADP) will replace the VCB framework in time. Most of the backup vendors have already fully or partially migrated to VADP. We are making a dot release to ESX 4 in the coming months that will still have the VCB framework present. The release after that most likely will not have the VCB interface.

AntonVZhbankov
Immortal
Immortal

>1. Are all my mentioned product make vmdk file as a backup?

No. Veeam uses its own format, it combines whole backup job to one deduplicated and compressed store.

>2. How can i then make offsite backup to DR site? Is it simple as copying vmdk files made by backup to external disk and then just creating new virtual machine based on those vmdk's?

In case of Veeam you can use Replication feature.

>3. How about using VCB after vStorage API is released? Is VCB still good solution for vsphere 4 environment?

VMware officially declared end of life for VCB, so now only 3rd party solutions.

VMware Data Recovery is not really ready yet for production, too many problems, too few settings.


---

MCSA, MCTS Hyper-V, VCP 3/4, VMware vExpert '2009

http://blog.vadmin.ru

EMCCAe, MCITP: SA+VA, VCP 3/4/5, VMware vExpert http://blog.vadmin.ru
aurimask
Contributor
Contributor

As i know, VMware Data recovery does not produce vmdk files. It produces some other files understandable by Data Recovery only.

1. I can make data recovery backup files to SMB share. Correct ?

2. I can push backup files to tape from SMB. No way to push to tape from VMFS or RDM. Correct?

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AntonVZhbankov
Immortal
Immortal

>1. I can make data recovery backup files to SMB share. Correct ?

Yes.

>2. I can push backup files to tape from SMB. No way to push to tape from VMFS or RDM. Correct

VDR can not write it to tape, so you need someone else to do it. In this case SMB is your only solution.


---

MCSA, MCTS Hyper-V, VCP 3/4, VMware vExpert '2009

http://blog.vadmin.ru

EMCCAe, MCITP: SA+VA, VCP 3/4/5, VMware vExpert http://blog.vadmin.ru
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aurimask
Contributor
Contributor

Can you be more specific about VMware Data Recovery not ready for production?

If i have 3 ESXi host and about 40 VMs do you still not recommend to use VMware Data Recovery now?

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AntonVZhbankov
Immortal
Immortal

>Can you be more specific about VMware Data Recovery not ready for production?

I see too many complaints about it on forum.

>If i have 3 ESXi host and about 40 VMs do you still not recommend to use VMware Data Recovery now?

Exactly. I recommend Veeam Backup, and I use it myself.


---

MCSA, MCTS Hyper-V, VCP 3/4, VMware vExpert '2009

http://blog.vadmin.ru

EMCCAe, MCITP: SA+VA, VCP 3/4/5, VMware vExpert http://blog.vadmin.ru
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aurimask
Contributor
Contributor

If not using replication to recovery site.

Are the vbk files are put to VMFS?

What are the steps to make offsite copies of veeam vbk files?

Is it possible to put them to tape?

What is needed to restore vbk files in recovery site?

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AntonVZhbankov
Immortal
Immortal

>Are the vbk files are put to VMFS?

No.

>What are the steps to make offsite copies of veeam vbk files?

>Is it possible to put them to tape?

Any standard method. That's just usual files.

>What is needed to restore vbk files in recovery site?

Another Veeam Backup instance.


---

MCSA, MCTS Hyper-V, VCP 3/4, VMware vExpert '2009

http://blog.vadmin.ru

EMCCAe, MCITP: SA+VA, VCP 3/4/5, VMware vExpert http://blog.vadmin.ru
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RParker
Immortal
Immortal

If i have 3 ESXi host and about 40 VMs do you still not recommend to use VMware Data Recovery now?

If all you need is to make simple backups and restore at a later date, and you don't want to expect too much, then yes VDR is fine. Not great, not good, just fine.

It works, and that's about all I will say. You can't make changes to backup target (it does 8 and ONLY 8 concurrent backups, you can do less.. but you have to configure different jobs). It is limited to only 100 backups PER VDR appliance, you have 40 so you are good. You have ZERO options, no tape backup, no email notification, no configuration options such as compression type, it is missing many features that other backups do now.

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aurimask
Contributor
Contributor

Talking about veeam backup is it possible to design it this way:

I have Production Site with 2 ESXi, I have Recovery Site with 1 ESXi. Sites are connected fiber 2gbits link. I install veeam appliance on recovery site, and making backup to DAS storage in Recovery Site over the network. Will that work?

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azn2kew
Champion
Champion

All the products you've mentioned should work just fine but it comes with cost. Since you have very small ESXi environment and only need to backup 40 VMs, than using customize script to backup the job and replicate them to DR site and then script to restore them than that's all you need. There is a VISBU utility you can look at and can customize it if you can. Check out the scripting section which has a lot of good tools from LucD and William Lam.

FYI: In order to use VDR solution, you must have vSphere 4.0 Advance edition http://www.vmware.com/vmwarestore/vsphere_purchaseoptions.html


If you found this information useful, please consider awarding points for "Correct" or "Helpful". Thanks!!!

Regards,

Stefan Nguyen

VMware vExpert 2009

iGeek Systems Inc.

VMware, Citrix, Microsoft Consultant

If you found this information useful, please consider awarding points for "Correct" or "Helpful". Thanks!!! Regards, Stefan Nguyen VMware vExpert 2009 iGeek Systems Inc. VMware vExpert, VCP 3 & 4, VSP, VTSP, CCA, CCEA, CCNA, MCSA, EMCSE, EMCISA
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AntonVZhbankov
Immortal
Immortal

>I have Production Site with 2 ESXi, I have Recovery Site with 1 ESXi. Sites are connected fiber 2gbits link. I install veeam appliance on recovery site, and making backup to DAS storage in Recovery Site over the network. Will that work?

You can do replication to recovery site directly to ESXi if you have IP connectivity between sites, which I assume you have. Only first replication will be long, after that Changed Block Tracking takes place and only changes will be replicated. In case of site crash recovery from replicated VMs would be much faster than from backup. But regular backups still should be done, of course.


---

MCSA, MCTS Hyper-V, VCP 3/4, VMware vExpert '2009

http://blog.vadmin.ru

EMCCAe, MCITP: SA+VA, VCP 3/4/5, VMware vExpert http://blog.vadmin.ru
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jasoncllsystems
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I would said Veeam Backup & Replicate is the best in this situation. Please do consider about the management & administration cost if you use customization script.

By the way, Essential Plus support VDR.






Regards,

jlchannel

MALAYSIA VMware Communities

http://www.malaysiavm.com

'If you found this or any other answer useful please consider allocating points for helpful or correct answers ***

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mohsinkhan
Contributor
Contributor

hi all,

i have read about the several backup solution regarding DR site. veeam does not take the backup of esxi target host. it have the backup source host. kindly update me regarding the backup solution without vcb for the DR site.

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petedr
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

What do you mean by does not take the backup of esxi target host ? Most, if not all of the backup solutions today support ESXi.

www.thevirtualheadline.com

www.thevirtualheadline.com www.liquidwarelabs.com
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mohsinkhan
Contributor
Contributor

hi ,

i read this thing from the vmware administration guide.

Veeam Backup & Replication 4.1 offers full support of ESXi. It uses VMware APIs to access ESXi remotely and enable backup and restore of VMs running on ESXi servers over the network. You may also select to perform backup of VMs running on ESXi with the VCB proxy and using VMware vStorage API. However, at this time you cannot select ESXi as a backup target — as it is possible to do with “full” ESX servers.Veeam Backup & Replication 4.1 offers full support of ESXi. It uses VMware APIs to access ESXi remotely and enable backup and restore of VMs running on ESXi servers over the network. You may also select to perform backup of VMs running on ESXi with the VCB proxy and using VMware vStorage API. However, at this time you cannot select ESXi as a backup target — as it is possible to do with “full” ESX servers.

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petedr
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Thanks for the post from the documentation. I think that means sending the backups to directly to a ESXi host, not being able to backup an ESXi host.

www.thevirtualheadline.com

www.thevirtualheadline.com www.liquidwarelabs.com
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mohsinkhan
Contributor
Contributor

dear petedr,

this means that if you have esxi environment at both sites then you select the backup of primary site (esxi host), but you donot have the target DR esxi host. you will use esx server or any linux server to stand the server of the primary site at the DR site server i.e not esxi. and i have esxi server on both sites.

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