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Wasisnt
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VMware Data Recovery backup destination types

Im testing out VMware Data Recovery and read that it can backup to different destinations. Here is a sentence from the admin guide.

You can store backups on network shares, in VMDKs, or on RDMs.

The only option I see is network share and it makes a folder called VMwareDataRecovery with other files and folders in it. If I backup more than 1 VM to that nextwork share it looks like it mixes everything together. I was under the impression that you can backup to a single vdmk file.

The only options I have under VMware Data Recovery for Destinations are Refresh, Add Nework Share, Format, Mount, Unmount, Extend and Integrity Check

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jamesbowling
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Did you remove them from the VM through Edit Settings? If so, did you select the option to Remove from Virtual Machine and Delete from disk? If you have removed them from the VM through Edit Settings then you can remove them from the Datastore Browser. This will get your space back. Also, the reason you see those I/O errors is because you removed the disk from the VM without unmounting it first from the vDR Configuration Console.

With that said, I would do the following:

  1. Verify that the vDR VM does not have any VMDKs attached other than the root VMDK which is 5GB in size.

  2. Open the Datastore Browser and make sure that the old VMDKs that you created are gone. If not, select them and right-click delete.

  3. Go into the vDR Configuration Console and look at Backup Destinations to make sure that there isn't anything there. There should be nothing left in the destinations list, if there is, remove them.

  4. Once you have verified the above, create a new VMDK of size 15GB.

  5. Reboot your vDR VM

  6. Go into the vDR Configuration Console and select the disk you created in the Backup Destinations, right-click and select Format.

  7. The size should report something similar to what my screenshot from earlier shows.

Let me know if that works out for you!

If you found this at all helpful please award points by using the correct or helpful buttons! Thanks!

James B. | Blog: http://www.vSential.com | Twitter: @vSential --- If you found this helpful then please awards helpful or correct points accordingly. Thanks!

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jamesbowling
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From the admin guide:

Add a Hard Disk to the Backup Appliance

You can store backups to a hard disk that has been added to the backup appliance. Hard disks provide faster backup performance compared to other destinations such as CIFS shares.

Prerequisites

If you are adding a hard disk, you must have installed the backup appliance and the Data Recovery plug-in for the vSphere Client.

Procedure

  1. Start the vSphere Client and log in to the vCenter Server that manages the backup appliance.

  2. Select Inventory > VMs and Templates.

  3. In the inventory, right-click the backup appliance virtual machine and select Edit Settings.

  4. In the Hardware tab, click Add.

  5. Select Hard Disk and click Next.

  6. Choose a type of storage.

    1. Select Create a new virtual disk and click Next.

    2. Select Use an existing virtual disk to add an existing disk such as when upgrading from older appliance and click Next.

    3. Select Raw Device Mappings to add the disk as an RDM and click Next.

  7. If creating a new virtual disk, specify the disk size and other options and click Next.

  8. If creating a new virtual disk, specify the advanced options and click Next.

  9. Click Finish.

The disk is now added to the backup appliance and can be used as a destination for backups. If the backup appliance is powered on when the hard disk is added, the hard disk is not recognized until the backup appliance is rebooted. Therefore, if the backup appliance is powered on, reboot it to complete the addition of the hard disk.

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Wasisnt
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So I was able to make a hard disk for the backup appliance. I used local storage since its a test environment and not connected to a SAN. Im assuming you can make the disk on a SAN as well.

I am getting an error that says backup incomplete " Trouble writing to destination volume, error - 101 (improper request)" so thats another issue I guess. It also doesnt seem to read the disk size in the VMware Data Recovery appliance properly when comparing it to the disk size I added to it. It reads it as 9 GB when I made a 15 GB disk.

When I get it to work, how do you go about seeing whats on the virtual disk that was made for the backup? Can you browse it? Also, is it possible to make a vmdk file on a network share?

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jamesbowling
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I tried to replicate this issue on my test lab and couldn't. To answer your other question, you can open the console and login to the cli as root and doing the following:

df -h (This will show you all of the mounted disks or shares)

You will want to get the Mounted on path, as seen here:

Then: cd /SCSI-0\:1/

Once in here you can do: ls -lhtr to actually see the contents.

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Wasisnt
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The SCSI-0: partition shows 9.8 GB when it should be 15 GB since

thats what I allocated when I made the new hard disk on the VMware Data

Recovery VM.

The SCSI-0: partition shows 2 files which are lost&found at 16k and VMwareDataRecovery at 4k and Im assuming thats because the backup failed.

Is there a way to backup vmdk files to a network share or does it have to be in that VMwareDataRecovery as slab and .dat files? How do you tell which files belong to which VM backup?

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jamesbowling
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As far as I know you can't. It groups everything in one store for

dedupe reasons. The DataRecovery you see is actually a folder and that

is why it is at 4k. Did you try adding a new drive other than the one

you are having issues with?

James Bowling

James B. | Blog: http://www.vSential.com | Twitter: @vSential --- If you found this helpful then please awards helpful or correct points accordingly. Thanks!
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Wasisnt
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When I browse the datastore where the VMware Data Recovery is installed it shows drives that I created and deleted as I was testing. I tried to make a new drive after deleting the 15 GB drive and it said no more room. Does it take time to be removed from the datastore?

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Wasisnt
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I just noticed this too when I went back to the VMware Data Recovery console.

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jamesbowling
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Did you remove them from the VM through Edit Settings? If so, did you select the option to Remove from Virtual Machine and Delete from disk? If you have removed them from the VM through Edit Settings then you can remove them from the Datastore Browser. This will get your space back. Also, the reason you see those I/O errors is because you removed the disk from the VM without unmounting it first from the vDR Configuration Console.

With that said, I would do the following:

  1. Verify that the vDR VM does not have any VMDKs attached other than the root VMDK which is 5GB in size.

  2. Open the Datastore Browser and make sure that the old VMDKs that you created are gone. If not, select them and right-click delete.

  3. Go into the vDR Configuration Console and look at Backup Destinations to make sure that there isn't anything there. There should be nothing left in the destinations list, if there is, remove them.

  4. Once you have verified the above, create a new VMDK of size 15GB.

  5. Reboot your vDR VM

  6. Go into the vDR Configuration Console and select the disk you created in the Backup Destinations, right-click and select Format.

  7. The size should report something similar to what my screenshot from earlier shows.

Let me know if that works out for you!

If you found this at all helpful please award points by using the correct or helpful buttons! Thanks!

James B. | Blog: http://www.vSential.com | Twitter: @vSential --- If you found this helpful then please awards helpful or correct points accordingly. Thanks!
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Wasisnt
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Im outta here until Tuesday so Ill check all the settings when I get back. Thanks for the help so far!

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jamesbowling
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Ok. No problem. We will get you up and running.

James Bowling

James B. | Blog: http://www.vSential.com | Twitter: @vSential --- If you found this helpful then please awards helpful or correct points accordingly. Thanks!
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Wasisnt
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It looks like I got everything cleared out and made a new virtual disk for the VMDR and was able to do a successful backup to the virtual disk on the VMDR. Now the final question is where can I go to see the backup vmdk file that was created from the backup? I looked on the datastore under the VMware Data Recovery VM and they arent there. The ls- lhtr command for the SCSI-0:1 partition only shows lost&found and VMwareDataRecovery.

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jamesbowling
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If you go into your vSphere Client, select Home->Solutions and Applications->VMware Data Recovery. From here you can expand your vDR backups on the left side to see what VMDKs are being backed up.

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jamesbowling
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Or if you want to see restore points, then you can click on the Restore tab in the VMware Data Recovery Summary screen and see your restore points available.

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Wasisnt
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I see the VMware Data Recovery.vdmk and VMware Data Recovery_1.vdmk under the VMware Data Recovery VM but Im not sure what they are since they dont reference the VM that was backed up.

I also see the restore point so that makes sense but when I check the box by the VM name as if I was going to delete it then it checks all the boxes up the tree.

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jamesbowling
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That is because that is your only backup. If you had others then it would not do that.



If you found this at all helpful please award points by using the correct or helpful buttons! Thanks!

James B. | Blog: http://www.vSential.com | Twitter: @vSential --- If you found this helpful then please awards helpful or correct points accordingly. Thanks!
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jamesbowling
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Also, those VMDKs you see under the vDR appliance are the appliance and the VMDK that you attached to the appliance to backup to.

If you found this at all helpful please award points by using the correct or helpful buttons! Thanks!

James B. | Blog: http://www.vSential.com | Twitter: @vSential --- If you found this helpful then please awards helpful or correct points accordingly. Thanks!
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Wasisnt
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Ok, I think I got a handle on it and hopefully it will go smooth when we actually start using it. We are using XenServer now so Im trying to get VMware figured out before the implemenation plus they are sending us to training as well so that should help. Thanks for all the help!

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jamesbowling
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Anytime, glad I could help out!

If you found this at all helpful please award points by using the correct or helpful buttons! Thanks!

James B. | Blog: http://www.vSential.com | Twitter: @vSential --- If you found this helpful then please awards helpful or correct points accordingly. Thanks!
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