Video Screencast Help

NetBackup for VMware

Created: 11 Sep 2012 • Updated: 11 Sep 2012 | 6 comments
Yajith's picture

Hello Everyone,

I'm needing some advice on above topic inorder to fulfill a customer's VM backup requirement.

vSphere cluster contains 10 hosts with VMs on SAN storage(FC) and for this backup implementation, there is a physical media running on Windows which I'm planning to setup as the backup host. Master server is on Solaris platform. I'm hoping to have a direct SAN restores configured.

Primary requirement is to have tape backups of virtual machines in daily, weekly etc. schedules for protection. I have gone through the NetBackup admin guide but still in doubt of few things.

1. Is there any limitation in backing up VMs to tape storage units ?

2. What limitations are there in direct SAN restores ?

3. How does a SAN based restore is work ? Will it directly write the data to the VMFS volumes via the backup host? (backup host is allowed to see the LUN as part of backup requirements)

Also, in general please share your thoughts on setting up NetBackup for VMware as experienced. I have already gone through some best practices on the admin guide.

Your feedback is highly appreciated.


Comments 6 CommentsJump to latest comment

V4's picture

Limitations are outlined under Admin guide

So far we have had great experience except for RDM, which is not yet supported and is also one of limitation to look at.

More over NBU works with vStorage API and snapshot with the help of VMware. So VM guest backup are many times left over with snapshots (orphaned) but with NBU 75 it is improved and snapshots are removed during next stun cycle (refer Abdul's Blog series , it is amazing)

Hope this helps

Yajith's picture

Thanks for your feedback speedfreak. Appreciate it.

There was no limitation that i could find that applies for tape backups. I'm just wondering if anyone has had any problems with VM to tape backups.

Are you using SAN based restores by any chance? If so, can you please let me know how the backup data transfer happens to the VMFS in a restore scenario?

V4's picture

SAN restore ?. Could you pls elaborate futher to this.

With NBU from granular file to entire VM is possible to restore, which one you want?

Yajith's picture

I was referring to making use of the SAN (FC paths) to the LUNs to directly put the restore data to the datastore. Sorry for the confusion.

According to the admin guide there is a "san" transport type for recovery, I'm interested in finding out the exact steps taken by NB in a virtual machine restore scenario..

V4's picture

Ok for that I strongly recommend going through Abdul's series. It would give you more deep dive in to it.

Just summing up in short

Backup Host must have LUNs VISIBLE (only visibility by OS, no access)

assigning those Data Stores to Backup host, we strictly rely on zoning , we do not want those LUNs to be initialized , or mounted

Below are the steps that we need to follow

Run Following syntax from Backup Host . Run CMD with administrative privileges

·         Diskpart automount disabled

o    Disabling automount would prevent Windows from automatically mounting any new basic volumes that are added to the system.

·         Diskpart automount scrub

o    Scrub would Removes volume mount point directories and registry settings for volumes that are no longer in the system. This prevents volumes that were previously in the system from being automatically mounted and given their former volume mount point(s) when they are added back to the system.

Above syntax must be executed prior to zoning is done. Also make note that above service are by default enabled in Windows 2k8 family, and they are restored back to default state after patch is applied. So we need to disabled them manually

·         Disable Virtual Disk Service

o    After zoning is done and LUNs are visible in Disk management as Basic Online with Healthy status , Disable Virtual Disk Service from Services console. This would prevent this LUNs being visible to others accessing Backup host

In case of direct restore , you should add up dedicated ESX server which NBU would use for restore, add up credentials for same. Direct restores are faster then routed one by vCenter

ref. pg 41 from NBU 75 Vmware admin guide

Hope this helps