We have Windows Server 2003 Enterprise edition. This server will act as the following:
VCB Proxy - connection to both our iSCSI SAN and FC SAN
Symantec BackupExec12.5 software with connection to the Dell TL2000 dual head SAS controller tape library.
I was reading the VCB documentation from VMware. I have to connect this VCB Proxy to the same FC SAN fabric/host group where all our esx servers are mapped. If I add the Windows VCB Proxy to the same fabric will it not corrupt the LUNs where VMs reside? Will all the disk arrays on the FC SAN get detected on this Windows box? Any danger of LUN corruption?
Another question is that if VCB Proxy needs to be installed first and configured before I install the Backupexec software?
Some of the VMs have RDM disks attached and some of them are in physical mode. In order to snapshot RDMs via VCB these disks need to be changed to virtual mode. Can I change this mode at any time without loosing the data on the RDMs?
I assume the Integration Module will come with BackupExec12.5 which will be installed as part of the Backupexec installation. We are using VMware agent license for backupexec12.5 which will allow us to take snapshots of unlimited number of VMs via Virtual centre. This will also allow us to do File Level restores. My main concern is snapshotting huge RDM attached to to VMs using VCB Proxy. Will compression of snapshots done at Backupexec level or VCB Proxy Level?
If anyone already done this implementation then can you recommend a good document for it.
In order to prevent your Windows VCB Proxy corrupting your VMFS partitions you need to run the diskpart commands:
THat should stop WIndows writing a signature to new drives, but always test it with a test VMFS LUN - My heart always speeds up when doing this!
Then make sure you dont initialize disks or format from within disk manager - there is a risk of people doing this who are unaware of teh setup.
You can't perform a VM SNapshot on RDMs, so I dont think VCB can back up these volumes and it doesnt integrate with your SAN vendor to take a SAN level snapshot.
You will need to purchase the VCB integration agent for use with BackupExec
But, I read somewhere that on Windows Server 2003 Enterprise do not assign drive letter to newly seen volumes. This means that the diskpart step is not needed? I like your idea of attaching a test LUN with a test VM on it to see if it doesn't resignature your VMFS volumes.
We already bought an agent for VMware Infrastructure for Backupexec12.5. I am hoping this will allow us to take snapshot of a VM which have RDMs.
Is it possible to change RAW disk compatibility mode from Physical to Virtual without loosing any data on the RAW disk?
Yes that's right, you can't let WIndows write a signature to the disk. THe process windows uses to add disks is:
Write signature to disk (automatically)
Assign a drive letter
So the diskpart commands MUST be done so that the automounter is disabled and none of this process will kick off automatically. Its the signature writing that will break the VMFS partition though.
I'm not sure on the VCB backing up RDMs - I think its possible to backup, and I think it has to be in virtual mode.
Check out my VCB Proven Practice Guide on VI:OPS -> http://viops.vmware.com/home/docs/DOC-1392
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>Is it possible to change RAW disk compatibility mode from Physical to Virtual without loosing any data on the RAW disk?
Turn off the VM.
Remove the RDM disk (you can also delete from disk, but it doesn't use much disk space).
Add a new RDM disk, and put in virtual mode.
You have a MSCS you have to leave in physical mode.
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Mapping the LUN to the server involves operating in "SAN" mode.
There are three other modes available in Backup Exec. We found using NDB to offer slightly less performance, but with absolutely no hassles along the lines of which you've referred to, it was worth it. Install BE, install VCB proxy on that server. Run the backup wizard and set some up.