Contributor
Contributor

VCB with RDM?

My company decided against using VMFS for our file server. My manager did not think it made sense to encapsulate all of our company data into one VMDK file, and thus he decided it made more sense to use RDM. So, I created a new volume on our SAN, connected to it from the file server VM, and copied our company data to it. Now, I'm trying to figure out a practical method for backing up the data on this volume to tape.

For our utility servers, I run a simple vcbmounter.exe command that takes a snapshot which I then backup to tape. This is practical for machine-level backups/restores.

For our file server with the RDM, I run the same simple vcbmounter.exe command and it seems to create VMDK files for each of my hard disks (one of which seems to correspond with the RDM). When I try running mountvm on the VMDK file it gives me the error, "Mountvm failed: Error while mounting volume 1: A mount operation failed. Details: failed to map the volume to the junction: c:\mnt\server-name\digits\1\"

Does anyone know whether VCB can support backups of RDM volumes to the extent that we could perform file-level backups? mountvm.exe works well to perform machine-level backups for our VMFS volumes, and I would like to use something similar with our RDM volume.

Thanks in advance!

Brad

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8 Replies
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I think that you have to have RDM set up in "virtual compatibility mode" when you are connecting it to VM if you would like to use snapshots on that VM (and VCB).

Contributor
Contributor

Yes, the RDM was created in Virtual compatibility mode.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Brad

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Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Have you tried vcbmounter.exe with the -file switch instead of the -fullvm switch? Only works on Windows VM's though. That should allow you to do a file level mount, and then use whatever tape software you choose to back up those files to tape.

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Contributor
Contributor

Thanks for the suggestion. It sounded great in theory. I might have done something wrong, but whatever I did caused my server to hang in the middle of the day and get 250 people all worked up! Smiley Happy

Of course, as soon as I noticed the server hanging I freaked out and closed the command prompt in which I ran the command, so I don't know what I ran VERBATIM. But, it was likely this:

vcbmounter.exe -h VirtualCenter -u administrator -p password -a ipaddr:server-name -t file -r c:\esxbackup\server-name -M 1

I tried running the command just adding -t but it didn't like that, so I thought I needed to specify "file" or "fullvm", so I entered file. I noticed the snapshot command appear in my VIC task list, but it was just pending and caused my server to freeze up until it timed out about 10 minutes later.

For reference, the command I use for machine-level backups is pasted below.

vcbmounter.exe -h VirtualCenter -u administrator -p password -a ipaddr:server-name -r c:\esxbackup\server-name -M 1

Thanks again,

Brad

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Hot Shot
Hot Shot

File level mount should be fast since it doesn't do a copy of the files to local storage, it is supposed to just take the snap and then mount the now read-only vmdk's to the mount point specified. Not sure what went wrong in your case, you may wish to create a test VM and use that to test with. I have done this many time without ever locking up a system, and have done many file level backups this way.

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Contributor
Contributor

Does my command look correct? I just added "-t file" to my regular command which is in my post below. In my regular command I do not specify "fullvm" or "file."

Thanks,

Brad

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Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Here are the commands that I run for our environment:

vcbmounter -h pcgvc.parkcitygroup.local -u administrator -p ***** -a name:"ProphetServer" -r d:\mnt1\ProphetServer-fullVM -t fullvm

vcbmounter -h pcgvc.parkcitygroup.local -u administrator -p ***** -a name:"ProphetServer" -r d:\mnt1\ProphetServer-file -t file

Obviously the first is for a fullvm mount, where the VM is actually copied to local storage, and the second is for the file level mount where it just mounts the file system locally, no copying involved. You are doing Windows VM's right? File level mounts only work with Windows VM's.

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Contributor
Contributor

You may have already found a solution but I found that using the file level backup command line the location of where I wanted to put the backup must match the location in the config.js file. In other words, for a fullvm backup I can use wherever I want with no regard to the location specified in the config.js, but a file level requires that I use c:\mnt\<machine> or whatever yours is set to (mine is e:\mnt).

Hope this helps a bit.

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