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VMware "exclude data disks"

Created: 26 Sep 2013 • Updated: 23 Oct 2013 | 11 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.

**** Moved to new discussion from https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/forums/exclude-list-not-working-1 ****

I am experiencing a similar issue to Mothi, but not exactly. I have a policy set as a VMware policy, and I have used the "exclude data disks" under the advanced option, which should work in this case, since this is a VM, and the boot disk is not an independent disk (i.e, it can be snapshot). I am running three other VM's like this for testing, and they worked properly. I have drives C,L,S,T,U,X, and all I want to back up up is C, but all drives are captured in the backup and at full size.

I did notice then I set up the VMWare policy that it stated that the client needed to be running agent version 7.5 or newer, but my four test clients are running 7.0 (yes, I'll have to evenually update them anyway). All but the one did backup up just the boot drive as I wanted, and I have performed a test restore which worked. Has anyone had any issues using a client older than 7.0 with this option?  

Operating Systems:

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Marianne's picture

......  it stated that the client needed to be running agent version 7.5 or newer ...

I am not aware of this requirement?

'Normal' VMware backup does not need any agent to be installed in the VMs.

Only when you need to combine VM backup with application backup (e.g. SQL and Exchange) does the client software need to be installed in the VM, and also when you want to restore individual files to a VM.

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Mark_Solutions's picture

Double check that the policy type is VMWare and that you have not selected SQL, Exchange or SharePoint on the last tab

There are a lot of conditions that apply to the disk selections - see the "About the Exclude disk options for Virtual disk selection" for full details on how it works

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Toddman214's picture

Marianne, below is what I was referring to with the 7.5 requirement, but it does not seem to be affecting what I'm doing.

I should have clarified that these are virtual servers running sql, so I am trying to back up only the C drive through the vm backup, and there are seperate policies covering the backup of the sql databases themselves.

VMwareBackup.PNG

 

Mark,

None of those options are checked. It's a standard VMware backup, and the other clients in the same policy are excluding all but the c drive as they should. Its just the one thats giving me the headache. It must be some setting or condition on that particular VM perhaps?

Mark_Solutions's picture

Ah! That message is fine - just a default warning when you change a Flashbackup-Windows Policy to a VMware one.

Perhaps that one has one disk but multiple volumes on it - or the boot partition is not on the C drive?

As per the manual: (so lots of possible issues)

 

The VMware - Advanced Attributes dialog has an option called Virtual disk
selection. The default setting is Include all disks. You should use this setting in
most cases.
The other options are Exclude boot disk and Exclude data disks. These options
are intended for the virtual machines that have multiple virtual disks. You should
use these options with care.
To exclude a boot disk or data disk, note the following requirements:
■ The virtual machine must have more than one disk.
■ NetBackup must be able to identify the boot disk.
■ The boot disk must not be part of a managed volume (Windows LDM or Linux
LVM). The boot disk must be fully contained on a single disk.
The boot disk must include the following:
■ The boot partition.
■ The system directory (Windows system directory or Linux boot directory).
■ The full swap file (Windows pagefile.sys or Linux swap partition).
Important! The exclude disk options are meant only for the following cases:
■ Excludebootdisk: Consider this option if you have another means of recreating
the boot disk, such as a virtual machine template for boot drives. If Exclude
boot disk is enabled, the policy does not back up the boot disk.
Note: When the virtual machine is restored from the backup, the virtual
machine data for the boot disk may be missing or incomplete.
Note the following about Exclude boot disk:
■ If the virtual machine has a boot disk but has no other disks, the boot disk
is backed up. It is not excluded.
■ If the virtual machine's boot disk is an independent disk, but the virtual
machine has no other disks, the boot drive is backed up. The restored boot
drive however contains no data, because NetBackup cannot back up the
data in an independent disk.
■ If the virtual machine has a boot drive and an independent drive, the boot
drive is not backed up. Only the independent drive is included in the backup.
Since NetBackup cannot back up the data in an independent disk, the
restored independent disk contains no data. Refer to the explanation on
independent disks in the following topic:
See “NetBackup for VMware terminology” on page 22.
■ Adding a virtual disk and changing this option before the next backup can
have unexpected results.
See “Virtual disk selection options: examples to avoid” on page 61.
■ Excludedatadisks: Consider this option if you have a different policy or other
backup program that backs up the data disks. If Exclude data disks is enabled
in a policy, that policy does not back up the data disks.
Note the following about Exclude data disks:
■ If the virtual machine has only one disk, such as C, the C drive is backed
up. It is not excluded.
■ If the virtual machine's boot disk is an independent disk, and the virtual
machine has a separate data disk, the boot disk is backed up. The restored
boot disk however contains no data, because NetBackup cannot back up
the data in an independent disk.
Caution: Use of the exclude disk options can have unintended consequences if
these rules are not followed.
The following topic contains important guidance on the exclude disk options:
See “Virtual disk selection options: examples to avoid” on page 61.
Virtual disk selection options: examples to avoid
You should use the Virtual disk selection option with care. For example, if you
add a disk to the virtual machine and change the Virtual disk selection setting,
note: The next backup may not capture the virtual machine in the state that you
intended. You should back up the entire virtual machine (Includealldisks) before
using Virtual disk selection to exclude a disk from future backups.
Note:Whenyou change an exclude disk option to disabled, do a full backup (Virtual
disk selection set to Include all disks) before the next incremental or differential
backup.

 

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Don't forget to "Mark as Solution" if someones advice has solved your issue - and please bring back the Thumbs Up!!.

Toddman214's picture

Actually, it looks as though for this client (for some reason), it may have needed to run a full backup first. I just looked at the daily incremental for the one client, and its size is dramatically lower. So, I opened the client in the BAR, to see what is available for restore, and I can only expend and view data for the C drive. The other drives show up, but are not expandable, and show no data available for restore. Is this because I use the All_local_drives option, and it grabs the drive letters? But, I'll hold off saying its working for sure, until i see the next full backup run.

Mark_Solutions's picture

Sounds about right - a bit like when you exclude directories and sometimes it shows the directory itself but no files inside

Don't change the ALL_LOCAL_DRIVES selection though!

Authorised Symantec Consultant

Don't forget to "Mark as Solution" if someones advice has solved your issue - and please bring back the Thumbs Up!!.

vksingh's picture

Any one knows what will happen to a Volume shadow copy disk on a VM during full and incremental backups? VM is W2K8 R2 with a boot disk + data disk + Vol Shadow Copy disk which keeps snapshots for data disk. A new VSS snapshot is created each day and oldest snapshot deleted when Vol shadow copy disk needs more space.

Toddman214's picture

Im going to close this out. It does work fine with clients running an agent older then 7.5.

SOLUTION
Marianne's picture

I am surprised that you marked your own post as solution.

There is no requirement for NBU agent to be installed on VMs in order to exclude data disks.

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Toddman214's picture

Maryanne, these VM's are SQL database servers, and I needed to have the data disks not captured along with the OS backup. I wanst sure how to actually "close" the discussion, without marking something as a solution. Did I miss that?  

Marianne's picture

Fact is, there is no need for NBU to be installed in the client in order to exclude data disks.

You wanted to know in your opening post if NBU 7.5 on client was needed for 'exclude data disk' was needed. 

My answer was no, NBU installation is not needed.
The fact that you need NBU client installation for SQL backups is not related to 'Exclude data disks'.
It makes no difference that 7.0 is installed in the client.

Your post marked as solution looks like a NBU client should be installed for the exclude to work. 

Supporting Storage Foundation and VCS on Unix and Windows as well as NetBackup on Unix and Windows
Handy NBU Links