TonyJK
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Do we need more sapce in VMFS for VCB implemenation ?

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Currently, we are using ESX 3.5 Hosts at HQ. We are going to set up a DR Site at Remote Office.

At the present moment, we are using vRanger to backup VM weekly.

A consultant suggests using VCB to export the VM and copy across to the Remote Site.

We would like to know

1) Do we need more space in the SAN for implementing VCB ?

2) What is the common practice to copy the VCB backup across (Like copy across the TCP/IP link between HQ and Remote Site or via other media) ?

Regards

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taits
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Yes you can use whichever server you like as long as it meets the requirements as listed in the doco. The server can provide other services as well as VCB. There are several posts in the forum on the resource impact of VCB... see this one - http://communities.vmware.com/message/522413#522413 - just something to take note of...

Regards

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taits
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Hi. VCB works by being installed on a physical Windows Server which can be the current backup server if it meets the VCB requirements. The VCB proxy server needs to be in the same SAN zone that the LUNs presented to the ESX servers are in. The same LUNs that are presented to the ESX servers (that contain the VMs you want to backup) need to be presented to the VCB proxy server. VCB in its process takes a snapshot of the VM and stores the snapshot on a volume on the VCB proxy server i.e. local disk, SAN LUN of some sort etc. There is no need to increase the size of your VMFS volume to use VCB.

In the case where you want to use VCB to "copy" the VM to another site, you would need to have the SAN replicated at the other site adn then have a VCB proxy at that site that could connect to both a VC server and the SAN LUNs containng the VMFS volumes. If you are replicating your SAN to the other site, do you have a VI there as well? VCB could be useful at the DR site if you want to take a backup of the VMs at the DR site.

Hope that helps

TonyJK
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Thank you for your advice.

From your message, my understanding is that we need another server for VCB Proxy Server.

1) Can it be a VM ? Is it necessary to be a dedicated server - Can we install the VCB Proxy component in one of physical server that is connected to the SAN ?

2) Is it possible for us to backup the VCB copy to tape, bring across to remote site (In case of need) ? Otherwise, we have to purchase SAN Replication Software.

Thanks again

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taits
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I think it best if you read this guide - http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vi3_35/esx_3/r35/vi3_35_25_vm_backup.pdf to fully understand the requirements of VCB including zoning, OS requirements, how VCB works with backup software, compatable backup software list etc... You will need more than just a VCB proxy server at the DR site to provide a DR solution.

VCB is best suited for backing up (at a file and image level dependant upon Guest OS) VM's whether at a prod or DR site. I don't see it as a method for replicating VM's across sites. It is integrated with your existing backup solution (i.e. netbackup, backupexec etc) and the snapshots created on the VCB server are there in order that your backup software can then initiate its process etc.

Regards

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TonyJK
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Many thanks for your advice.

I have read the document and get much better understanding of the requirement of VCB Proxy Server. In that document, it says that a dedicated server is required if we run FC SAN. However, due to limited buget, my boss would like to know whether it is possible to use an existing server that is connected to the FC SAN as VCB Proxy Server ? Currently, that server is running our Intranet.

Thanks again

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taits
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Yes you can use whichever server you like as long as it meets the requirements as listed in the doco. The server can provide other services as well as VCB. There are several posts in the forum on the resource impact of VCB... see this one - http://communities.vmware.com/message/522413#522413 - just something to take note of...

Regards

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TonyJK
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Dear Tatis,

Many thanks for your advice. My boss is pretty happy to learn that we can use an existing server connected to the SAN for VCB Proxy Server (Don't need to purchase a new server + FC HBAs).

Best Regards

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depping
Leadership
Leadership

1) you can keep using vRanger and hook it up to VCB this should increase the speed. and you don't need extra space for VCB directly but you will need additional space for the snapshots that are being created, but vRanger already needs that anyway so I my guess is that you've already sorted this out.

2) Normally people tend to dump the full images via VCB to local storage on the VCB host, could be simple IDE/SATA drives. From there on the Backup Agent kicks in and copies the stuff to tape or... Than you can bring this to your Remote Site in anyway you would like.

But VCB normally isn't used for Disaster Recovery in terms of Remote Sites. I would recommend SAN-SAN replication and SRM for that purpose. Any way, you can copy the data in any form or way you would like, and it shouldn't be hard to import it again via VMware Converter for instance on your Remote Site if anything occurs. But you will definitely need to have a good procedure in place.

Duncan

My virtualisation blog:

TonyJK
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Dear Duncan,

Thank you for your advice.

Since our CX3-20 SAN is already full, a consultant suggests us to purchase another DAE with SATA HD. He says that we can

1) Create VMFS volume and migrate templates & some testing VMs across. This will free up space in the SCSI HD.

2) We can export the VCB image there. I just wonder the path VCB Proxy Server works - Is data retrieved from the SAN to VCB Proxy Server and dump into the SATA OR directly from SCSI HD to SATA HD ?

Thanks

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depping
Leadership
Leadership

1) this is possible, hard to give a good advice based on the information we have here. But buying a DAE for just VCB images seems expensive. You could also create an NFS share on the Windows VCB Proxy host and thus copy your templates there. I wouldn't run vm's on it by the way... Anyway, If you desperately need more space in your FC section than buying a DAE seems valid.

2) Yes it will pass through the VCB proxy. VCB doesn't issue a SAN copy.

Duncan

My virtualisation blog:

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bobst_martin
Contributor
Contributor

Just a simple advice, to answer to the title : YES you need more space on VMFS (but just a little)

as VCB use SNAPSHOT, you will need a little bit more space on your VMFS partition to store LOG

during the copy of the VM to the proxy server, your backup VM is running a snapshot

according to your VM activity (I/O on disk) you will need extra file to store these I/O.

it's not so big, but if you plan to backup multiple VM at he same time, and if your VMFS partition is nearly full, pay attention to that !

just for information, I agree with Duncan

I have CX380 and cx340 and I use Mirror View for SAN replication between them

I use vcb for disaster Recovery and for simple files restore

the big difference

with SAN replication is that you would start at the same state as you were before crash (time0)

with vcb you will start at the same state as you at last backup (time0 minus several hours !!)

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