CRIHB
Contributor
Contributor

ESX 3.5 Backup Exec 11d issues with getting the backup to work.

All right here is the next newbie question of the day.

I have ESX 3.5 running on a Dell Power Edge 2950III. It is has an ISCSI software attachment to a EMC AX4-5 san. I have 9 Virtual servers running on it, with one specifically built to be the backup proxy. It has Windows 2003, Backup Exec 11d, VCI, VCB, and the Backup Exec integration module. I read the documentation included with the integration module (which after reading other posts, seems to have some issues or errors within it) and can't get it to work. Specifically:

Protecting Virtual Machines using VCB and Backup Exec

The rules, that Backup Exec follows when backing up clients, are organized into Backup Jobs. For offload backups of VM's, the actual VM names are not used as Clients names for the backup jobs. Instead VM's names are listed as arguments for the browse-start.bat script.

In order to protect virtual machines using VCB and Backup Exec, you now have to perform the following steps:

Create one or more Backup Jobs in Backup Exec to protect virtual machines.

Add the virtual machines to be protected to these Backup Jobs.

Creating Backup Jobs for VCB

There are two types of settings that have to be modified when using Backup Exec with VCB: When performing file-level incremental/differential backups, Backup Exec has to use timestamps. When performing full VM backups, you have to assure that Backup Exec does not time out while VCB exports virtual machines for backup.

The remainder of this chapter explains how to apply these two changes to your Backup Exec configuration.

To protect virtual machines, start by creating a new Backup Job:

Start the Backup Exec GUI

Click on the Job Setup tab, and then on New Job.

Point temporarily to any folder on your system (like C:\Windows).

Under Settings/General, chose one of the following Backup methods:

COPY - Back Up Files (WHAT I SELECTED)

FULL - Backup Up Files - Allow incrementals and differentials using modified time.

DIFFERENTIAL - Using modified time

INCREMENTAL - Using modified time

DAILY - files that Changed Today

WORKING SET - All files last accessed in (x) days

When picking your backup method, make sure that the option Use the Windows Change Journal if available is not set.

On the Settings/Advanced option, make sure that the option Back up files and directories by following junction points is selected.

Go to Frequency/Schedule and select the Submit job on hold to save the job and select Run Now

Go back to Source/Selections to add the target VM's folders to backup. Before you can use the browsing capabilities of Backup Exec to add files or directories to your Backup Selection List, you have to manually mount the virtual machine's disk images on the proxy (see: GUI Setup for Selection List Items ).

Go to Manually Adding Selection List Items or GUI Setup for Selection List Items to select the target folders for backup. (THIS IS WHERE THE PROBLEM STARTS)

On Settings/Pre/Post Commands:

Under Pre-job command, enter

"<vcb-path>\backupexec\pre-backup.bat" <jobname> <VMs> (DID this with the following: "C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Consolidated Backup Framework\backupexec\pre-backup.bat" VMWARE WIH-NG1)

<vcb-path> is the directory under which you installed VCB, while <jobname> is a unique identifier for this backup job. (You can use the same job name that you used under Settings/General when creating this job with Backup Exec.). <VMs> is a list of virtual machines to be backed up. This is outlined in the next section. Note: Some versions of BackupExec truncate the length of the command string to 255 characters, so this might limit the number of VMs you can back up in a single job.

Under Post-job command, enter

"<vcb-path>\backupexec\post-backup.bat" <jobname> (Did this with the following: "C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Consolidated Backup Framework\backupexec\post-backup.bat" VMWARE)

Make sure that the job name used here matches the one specified on the pre-job command.

Next, make sure that each of the following options under Settings/Pre/Post Commands is selected:

Run job only if pre-job command is successful

Run post-job command only if pre-job command is successful

Run post-job command even if job fails

Allow pre and post-job commands to be successful only if completed with a return code of zero

Since for full virtual machine backup the virtual machine's disk images have to be exported by the pre-backup script, you might have to increase the default timeout for pre/post job commands: Under Settings/Pre/Post Commands, you can set the timeout for the scripts under the option Cancel command if not completed within XX minutes.

Also, make sure that the option Run these commands is set to On each server backed up.

Adding Virtual Machines to Backup Jobs

Overview

Virtual machines to be protected by a particular Backup Job are identified by using a special convention for the entries in the Backup Selection List (under Source/Selections in the Backup Job Properties dialog). These entries also determine whether a full VM or a file-level backup is being performed.

There are three options for backing up virtual machine data. You can back up all files and directories within a virtual machine's disk(s), only specific files or directories within a virtual machine's disk(s), or perform a full VM backup of the virtual machine.

There are two ways of adding appropriate entries to a Job's Backup Selection List: You can either add the required entries manually or use Backup Exec's GUI.

VCB Format for Entries in the Backup Selection List

Overview

An entry in the Backup Selection List for use with VCB has to conform to the following convention:

<BACKUPROOT>\<VM's DNS Name><Suffix>where

BACKUPROOT

corresponds to the value specified for BACKUPROOT in VCB's config.js configuration file. (For example C:\mnt).

VM's DNS Name

Is the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) or IP address for the virtual machine to be protected.

Suffix

encodes the type (file/full VM) of backup as well as the list of files/directories to be backed up (if applicable). Possible values for Suffix are:

letters to back up all files and directories within a virtual machine's disk(s).

letters\<DRIVE>\<PATH> to specify a particular file or directory within the virtual machine's disk(s) to be backed up. (for example letters\C\Data)

-FullVM to perform a full VM backup.

Examples for Backup Selection List Entries

Note: This section assumes that your BACKUPROOT entry in config.js points to the directory C:\mnt.

Backing up all the files for virtual machine winxp-ceci.company.com:

C:\mnt\winxp-ceci.company.com\letters

Note: Verify that you have enabled the Backup file and directories by following junction points option under the Job's Settings/Advanced configuration settings.

Backing up C:\Data from buvm01.eng.vmware.com:

C:\mnt\buvm01.eng.vmware.com\letters\C\Data

Backing up C:\Documents And Settings and D:\oradata on dbserv.company.com:

Add two entries to the Selection List:

C:\mnt\dbserv.company.com\letters\C\Documents And Settings

C:\mnt\dbserv.company.com\letters\D\oradata

Performing a full VM backup of myvm.company.com:

C:\mnt\myvm.company.com-FullVM

(DID THIS with E:\VMWAREBackup\WIH-NG1.D1.NA.IHS.GOV-FullVM)

Manually Adding Selection List Items (no support for browsing for files and directories)

Backup Selection List Items for data in virtual machines can be added to your Job in the following way:

Start the Backup Exec GUI (THIS IS WHERE THE MAJOR PROBLEM LIES)

Under Job Setup, select the job you want to add selection list items to, and click on Properties

Select the Source/Selections tab in the Properties dialog. Switch the View Format to Text.

New files/directories can be added to the Selection List using the Advanced File Selection dialog. (Just click on Insert).

You also need to add all the virtual machines you have added backup jobs for in the Selection List to the argument list of your pre-backup script. To do so, go to Settings/Pre/Post Commands and add the DNS name of the new virtual machines you to the argument of the selection list. For example:

If you have added c:\mnt\myvm.company.com\letters\C to your backup selection list, you have to add myvm.company.com to the list of virtual machine arguments to the pre-backup script, if it is not already present.

If you have added c:\mnt\vm37.company.com-FullVM to your backup selection list, you have to add vm37.company.com-FullVM to the list of virtual machine arguments to the pre-backup script, if it is not already present.

Note: Some versions of BackupExec will truncate the pre-backup command line to 255 characters. This might limit the amount of VMs you can back up in a single job.

GUI Setup for Selection List Items (with browsing support for files and directories)

Before you can use the browsing capabilities of Backup Exec to add files or directories to your Backup Selection List, you have to manually mount the virtual machine's disk images on the proxy:

Open a command shell and change to the BEIM install directory:

C:

cd "\Program Files\VMware\VMware Consolidated Backup\backupexec"

Invoke the browse-start command specifying the Job name and the list of virtual machines you want to browse, for example:

browse-start.bat My_Job vm1.company.com vm2.company.com

(I GET AN ERROR WHEN I DO THIS:

C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Consolidated Backup Framework\backupexec>browse-start.bat VMWare WIH-NG1.D1.NA.IHS.GOV

PORT is not set, defaulting to 443

failed to prepare WIH-NG1.D1.NA.IHS.GOV for backup, PrepareForBackup() returned

error 16

C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Consolidated Backup Framework\backupexec\command.

wsf(181, 😎 Microsoft JScript runtime error: 'name' is null or not an object)

This will snapshot the corresponding virtual machines and mount their disk images on the VCB proxy.

You can now use the Backup Exec GUI to add folders and files to backup. You can browse the selected virtual machine mount-points for files and folders and add them to your Job's Backup Selection List.

You also need to add all the virtual machines you have added backup jobs for in the Selection List to the argument list of your pre-backup script. To do so, go to Settings/Pre/Post Commands and add the DNS name of the new virtual machines you to the argument of the selection list. For example:

If you have added c:\mnt\myvm.company.com\letters\C to your backup selection list, you have to add myvm.company.com to the list of virtual machine arguments to the pre-backup script, if it is not already present.

If you have added c:\mnt\vm37.company.com-FullVM to your backup selection list, you have to add vm37.company.com-FullVM to the list of virtual machine arguments to the pre-backup script, if it is not already present.

Basically, these are the same arguments you used to specify for browse-start in the command line.

When you are done browsing, you have to unmount and delete the virtual machine snapshots created in step (2). This is done by using thebrowse-end command. You have to specify the name of the Job you were editing:

browse-end.bat My_Job

Warning: Using the browse feature for a particular virtual machine while this virtual machine is being backed up is not supported. Doing this can result in the backup to fail.

Note: Performing a file level backup and a full VM backup of the same virtual machine in the same backup job is not supported.

Where are the argument syntax for the Pre and Post scripts?

This is the finall stumbling block to make our company fall in love with VMWare, and for the most part getting it up and running in general has not been an issue. But I am not an ESX expert and this part of the implementation has gotten me stuck. The instructions that are provided are skimpy and for a newbie like me, almost impossible to follow, and when it's missing some key explanation, I am lost. I guess this would be why they now offer "training classes" and certificates?

Any help would be appreciated. Manually shutting down the VM's to do a SNAPSHOT off the SAN is too manually intensive, and I would really like to leverage our Backup Exec to handle the jobs.

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7 Replies
beckhamk
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

You should really cut out all of your documentation BS and just post the errors you are getting... I am curious did you even configure VCB yet in the config file? Als curious if your VC is setup to use port 443 at all.

BTW: how is that new AX4 running performance wise and are you using sata?

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CRIHB
Contributor
Contributor

Hello -

I read the instructions and checked the boards before posting.

I did modify the config file:

BACKUPROOT="E:\VMWARE";

HOST="CRIHBESX35.D1.NA.IHS.GOV";

PORT="443";

USERNAME="root";

PASSWORD="xxxxxxxxxx";

TRANSPORT_MODE="san";

LOGLEVEL=6;

SNAPSHOT_POLICY="automatic";

VM_LOOKUP_METHOD="ipaddr";

PREEXISTING_MOUNTPOINT="fail";

PREEXISTING_VCB_SNAPSHOT="fail";

MAX_RETRIES=0;

BACKOFF_TIME=10;

In order to enable GUI browsing through the BackupExec program I ran the command: C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Consolidated Backup Framework\backupexec>browse-s

tart.bat VMWare cri-db1.d1.na.ihs.gov

I get the following response:

failed to prepare cri-db1.d1.na.ihs.gov for backup, PrepareForBackup() returned error 16 C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Consolidated Backup Framework\backupexec\command.wsf(181, 😎 Microsoft JScript runtime error: 'name' is null or not an object

Thanks

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beckhamk
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

you should use "-fullvm" to backup the full vm.....

browse-start.bat VMWare cri-db1.d1.na.ihs.gov-fullvm --> this will create the dummy folder in the mount directory.

Hey - let me know how the AX4 is doing for you. Smiley Happy

CRIHB
Contributor
Contributor

Hello-

I tried your suggestion and got a different result:

C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Consolidated Backup

Framework\backupexec>browse-start.bat VMWare CRI-DB1-fullvm

Unknown error:

Path not found

Exit Code: -2146828212

C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Consolidated Backup

Framework\backupexec>browse-start.bat VMWare

CRI-DB1.D1.NA.IHS.GOV-fullvm

Unknown error: Path not found

Exit Code:

-2146828212

Is there any good documentation that covers the pre/post command files? While

there was some good information in the Config.js that made it easy to

understand, the pr/post commands do not have any information on how to customize

them for our environment.

The SAN is decent. Although, they sold it as a 3 terabyte solution and in

reality, it's not. We bought the device with 4 drives (750 gig SATA) and

the first thing we noticed is that only 687 gigabytes are avaialble out of each

drive. According to EMC's documentation, they "suggest" that you don't use the

first three disks in any Disk Pools since they contain the SAN's OS. Since we

didn't buy it more than 4 drives, that made that "suggestion" irrelevant (and

made us wonder why they didn't mention that up front or sell the device with

three small drives and then fill out the rest of the appliance). So we have a 4

drive setup that once you get it up on RAID 5 with no hot spare has a total

available space of 2 terabytes. (we thought that we would get

additional drives later, but we may have to do that sooner because of this

"minor" detail)

Additionally, the Navisphere express software that comes with the device is

not as robust as I would like. I would prefer to have the majority if not all

the admin functions to be handled by the appliance, but with this device there

is software that you install on your server to control snapshots.

Thanks for the help!

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beckhamk
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

change: BACKUPROOT="E:\VMWARE"; to BACKUPROOT="E:
VMWARE";

notice the double slash.... the config file shows an exampled using
not sure why the script require it, but they do. How about some points Smiley Happy

CRIHB
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks that did resolve some of the issues, although the backup fails in backup exec.

I can at least see the VMware job modified in the Backup Exec program.

Now I think it's a matter of resolving the pre/post scripts.

Do you happen to know anything about those?

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beckhamk
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Its been along time since we installed the backup exec scripts. But I do recall when you read the docs you need to run that install script under the backup exec directory. review the docs for that.

Here are the pre / post command lines we use:

"C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Consolidated Backup Framework\backupexec\pre-backup.bat" VM123 VM123-FullVM

"C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Consolidated Backup Framework\backupexec\post-backup.bat" VM123

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