VMware vSphere Data Protection (VDP) is a backup and recovery solution that was introduced with vSphere 5.1. VDP leverages mature, proven technology from EMC Avamar to provide reliable, space-efficient, disk-based data protection for VMware virtual machines (VMs). VDP is fully integrated with VMware vCenter Server and the vSphere Web Client. One of the real beauties of VDP is its ease of deployment and management which explains why thousands of VMware customers have already downloaded VDP since it was introduced just a little over six months ago. Today, VMware released VDP 5.1.10 which enhances the capabilities of VDP. Here are the highlights of the new functionality found in the latest version:
Configure tab in the VDP UI now includes a Log tab, which provides more detailed log information. This information can also be exported to a file.
Integration with vCenter alarms and alerts notification system
Ability to clone backup jobs
New filters for Restore tab
Added more post-restore options (automatically power on, NIC reconnect)
Restore rehearsal can be started by right-clicking a virtual machine > All VDP Actions > Restore Rehearsal
There are also multiple resolved issues including the Windows Server 2008 R2 error requiring the disk.EnableUUID=false .vmx configuration parameter. The complete list of resolved issues and known issues can be found in the VDP 5.1.10 Release Notes.
As of this evening, both Site Recovery Manager and vSphere Replication have been updated and the 5.1.1 release is now available. I strongly recommend this build as even though there is little in the way of new functionality, it is almost completely filled with things that make SRM and VR work better.
VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5.1.1 | Build 1082082
VMware vSphere Replication 5.1.1 | Build 1079383
Some of the fixed issues, for example, are things like:
All sorts of timeout problems ranging from multiple operation timeouts to reprotect timeouts to HBA rescan timeouts
Custom vCenter https ports now work better with vSphere Replication
Pairing SRM servers using custom certificates and VCVA now works
Re-protect using vSphere Replication is more resilient
Two things in particular that I want to highlight though are really nice to see are listed below.
While installing the SQL Server agent for VDP Advanced, I ran into an error: RegisterAgent: Unable to register the Backup Agent service.
My first thought was permissions, but I am logged in with an account that has administrative permissions so that was not the issue. My second thought was name resolution. Bingo! As with nearly all VMware solutions (and many other solutions), this particular task is dependent on name resolution. One of the first steps in the agent installation wizard is entering the name of the VDP Advanced appliance. I was entering the “short” name. I tried the installation again using the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the VDP Advanced appliance and it worked. Now on to backing up some databases…
I came across a few discussions lately around using folders with vSphere Data Protection (VDP). If you have used VDP, I imagine you know that it is possible to select “container” objects such as a cluster or resource pool when creating a backup job. The question that continues to come up is “Can I select a folder when creating a backup job?” Well, the answer is a bit more complicated than yes or no…
A new whitepaper has just been published on the VMware website, this paper was written by Aidan Dalgleish, Consulting Architect who’s personal blog can be viewed here and Alan Renouf, Sr Technical Marketing Architect.
VMware vCloud Director® enables enterprise organizations to build secure private clouds that dramatically increase datacenter efficiency and business agility. Coupled with VMware vSphere®, vCloud Director delivers cloud computing for existing datacenters by pooling vSphere virtual resources and delivering them to users as catalog-based services. It helps users build agile infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud environments that greatly accelerate the time to market for applications and the responsiveness of IT organizations.
Resiliency is a key aspect of any infrastructure, it is even more important in IaaS solutions. This technical paper was developed to provide additional insight and information regarding the use of VMware vSphere PowerCLI™ to automate the recovery of a vCloud Director–based infrastructure. In particular, it focuses on automation of the recovery steps for vCloud Director 1.5–managed VMware vSphere vApp™ workloads. The recovery of management components can be achieved using VMware® vCenter™ Site Recovery Manager™ and will not be discussed. It is already available in the original VMware vCloud Director Infrastructure Resiliency Case Study.
vSphere PowerCLI is a powerful command-line tool that enables users to automate all aspects of vSphere management, including network, storage, virtual machine, guest operating system (OS) and more. Included since the release of version 5.0.1, vSphere PowerCLI introduced support for vCloud Director. vSphere PowerCLI is distributed as a Microsoft Windows PowerShell snap-in and includes more than 300 PowerShell cmdlets, along with documentation and examples.
This technical paper discusses the use of PowerShell and PowerCLI to automate the recovery of vCloud Director resource clusters.
VMware vSphere Data Protection Advanced (VDPA) was announced in February and the bits just became generally available last week. One of the issues corrected with the release of VDPA was quiescing with Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) on Windows Server 2008 R2 – see this VMware KB article for details.
Recent versions of Oracle Database running on Windows can be quiesced by VSS for backup. This had me thinking about the possibility of backing up Oracle Database on Windows with VDPA using VSS to quiesce the database. I realize the majority of organizations run Oracle Database on operating systems other than Windows, but for those that do, I encourage you to continue reading. The results of my testing indicated VSS in VMware Tools can quiesce an Oracle database in a Windows virtual machine for backup.
I ran into an interesting vSphere Data Protection (VDP) error: Error Code 30931: Failed to initiate a backup or restore for a virtual machine. Probable cause is the datastore for the virtual machine is not accessible. Naturally, I search the VMware Knowledge Base (KB) and located this article: VMware vSphere Data Protection 5.1.x fails to start backup jobs (2037003). The KB article got me started, but I thought it would be worth a blog post to elaborate a bit and share the resolution I found.
Hopefully, you have heard about it by now: VMware vSphere Data Protection (VDP) – the backup and recovery solution introduced with VMware vSphere 5.1. It is based on EMC Avamar to provide reliable, space-efficient, disk-based data protection for VMware virtual machines (VMs).
More recently, VMware announced VMware vSphere Data Protection Advanced. I am happy to report it is now generally available! vSphere Data Protection Advanced features additional scale – up to 8TB of de-duplicated backup data capacity. It also includes agents for Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Exchange to enable granular, application-consistent backups and restores. For more details, check out these links:
In my last post I gave a quick overview of how stateless caching works. In this post I want to begin looking at the role stateless caching plays in protecting against various outage scenarios.
When evaluating the benefits of stateless caching it’s good to understand the possible failure scenarios that may limit a host’s ability to PXE boot. For example, there could be an outage with the underlying network infrastructure, one of the PXE boot components, the Auto Deploy server, or even the vCenter server, and the benefit of using stateless caching is different for each. Let’s start by looking at the case of a problem with the underlying network infrastructure that causes an auto-deployed host to become isolated from the network and therefore renders the host unable to boot.