Tape Libraries in ESX3, what's your config?

Hello there ESX 3 folks. I'm new to this version (evaluating while our live systems run on 2.5.3).

We have a considerable investment in HP fibre connected tape libraries, but am not happy with what VMWare offers as far as compatibility. My support request to VMWare was answered with a statement that no tape libraries are supported when connected using HBAs/fibre!

We really want all of our Win/linux infrastructure to run on VMWare due to the vmotion, DRS, clustering, etc. I don't believe VMWare's backup software can help, as my bottleneck will be getting serveral vm's 100+gbytes of data from the VM to the tape library. In the current state, we're forced to backup this data at LAN speed. For example, we have an Exchange database about that size which took about two hours to backup to an LTO2 tape library, but when P-2-V'ed, the same data took over six hours to do the same backup!

Do you know of any way around this problem? I don't think a third party could offer an acceptable solution, as we'd invalidate any support for the ESX 3.0.1 setup as far as VMWare are concerned.

Have you come across a problem anything like this one?

I can imagine someone suggesting we run these few systems with such large amounts of data on phyisical (non-virtual) servers, but again, if we did that we'd have to invest in yet another solution for load balancing, failover, etc.

Quick kudos for any and all contributions to this quandry.



0 Kudos
2 Replies
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

VMware's consolidated backup software is meant to assist you in this situation. The idea is to offload and do all the backups on a dedicated Windows server installed with the consolidated backup software.

This server has access to the datastores holding your VMs and data through fibre channel, so it is much faster than backing up across the LAN. You can also provide this server with access to the tape library / drive rather than the ESX server itself.