ekisner
Contributor
Contributor

VCB Questions - Existing snapshots

I've done a bit of research, but I figured I'd come to the community for some feedback.

We're using vReplicator in our environment, however when our primary SAN suffered data corruption, and then vReplicator replicated the corrupted data across to the secondary SAN, it became apparent that we needed a different solution.

My first change is that we're no longer using a 15 minute sliding schedule.. twice a day - once at lunch and once at the end of the working day. That way if there is data corruption, I can stop the replication before it causes the replicated VMs to be useless.

However.. there's no guarentees that even that will protect me. So my second level of protection is going to be to use a traditional backup method. However, even tape backups I've found to be unreliable.. at times the drive gets dirty, or the tapes don't get swapped.. or more often than not, the backup window is just too big and I'd have to use more than one drive to get it all done in one night!

And that's where the community comes in. I would like some feedback on the following process:

1) I present storage to my Backup Exec server, from my old (un-used) SAN (in the area of 3TB)

2) I use the vcbExport program on the Windows Backup Exec server to export all of the VMDKs to the backup proxy (would likely be a script), around 9pm when the evening replication pass finishes.

3) At around 9AM, I start a tape backup of the VMDKs currently exported to the backup proxy.

Questions:

1) Will vcbExport overwrite existing VMDKs at the destination, or will I need to ensure they are manually deleted before the next vcbExport?

2) Will vcbExport automatically create snapshots of the VMs, so that I can access their VMDKs, or will I have to create a snapshot first?

3) Will vcbExport fail if there is already a snapshot open (vReplicator hybrid replication)?

4) If I use vcbExport, telling it to create a monolithic OPTIMIZED file, how would I restore both the VMDK or a file inside it? vcbMounter? I'm referring to both bare metal restores, and "oops, can you please restore that file for me" situations.

That's about all I can think of, I know that's not everything that I need to think about - which is why I'm here asking for your help!

Thank you.

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ekisner
Contributor
Contributor

More on that procedure:

The idea is that I'll have "last night's" backup in a very readily accessable place.. it'll be there and ready for me to SCP back onto my VMFS datastore. After one night, it goes to tape, so that I can have my week-long archive of everything. If I need something from say.. 3 days ago, I restore the VMDK that it would be on, and restore the file. If I need to restore a server from 3 days ago, I restore all of its VMDKs and then just replace the existing VMDKs with the restored ones.

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