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VMDK backup not using VCB

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Hello,

I'm trying to figure out how to backup a VMDK file.
We're running ESX 4.0 and Data Protector 6.11, Windows Cell Manager.

The Data Protector 6.11 Integration Guide for VMware Virtual Infrastructure (B6960-90160)has four options, including VCBimage and VCBfile.

I also found another option in the DP 6.0 guide, which comes down to:
1) Install a disk agent on an ESX server.
2) Import the client in the cell manager.
3) mount –t vmfs vmfs /vmfs (or use DPvmware-mount_vmfs.sh?)
4) suspend the virtual machine
5) Run a filesystem backup for that particular VMDK.

On first glance it seems a little more straightforward option than the integration options in DP 6.11
However, there is no mention of that option in the DP 6.11 guide anymore.

Is this still a supported way of making a VMDK file backup?

Thank you.

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Joe,

Doing that last option forces you to cause downtime on the virtual machine, because you have to stop, or suspend the vm in order to make a filesystem backup that assures consistency of the data inside the vm.

Online integrations allow you to make backups of the vmdk files without powering down the vm, while assuring consistency of the applications inside the vm.

VCB is one of those online integrations... however, it is reaching end of life. HP Data Protector still supports that method, but VMWare is making all efforts to end support for VCB.

Instead, there is the new VEPA (Virtual Environment Protection Agent) that uses the new vStorage API from VMWare to perform online backups.
The patch for it can be downloaded from the HP site.
But you need online licensing for it, if you don't have it...
This new method makes a snapshot of the vm, and presents it to the backup server (either by LAN or SAN, depending on your environment). That way you can make online backups and fast (if you use SAN).

If you do not have licensing for online backups, and you do not wish to acquire them, then the method you mention will be the only choice...

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Joe,

Doing that last option forces you to cause downtime on the virtual machine, because you have to stop, or suspend the vm in order to make a filesystem backup that assures consistency of the data inside the vm.

Online integrations allow you to make backups of the vmdk files without powering down the vm, while assuring consistency of the applications inside the vm.

VCB is one of those online integrations... however, it is reaching end of life. HP Data Protector still supports that method, but VMWare is making all efforts to end support for VCB.

Instead, there is the new VEPA (Virtual Environment Protection Agent) that uses the new vStorage API from VMWare to perform online backups.
The patch for it can be downloaded from the HP site.
But you need online licensing for it, if you don't have it...
This new method makes a snapshot of the vm, and presents it to the backup server (either by LAN or SAN, depending on your environment). That way you can make online backups and fast (if you use SAN).

If you do not have licensing for online backups, and you do not wish to acquire them, then the method you mention will be the only choice...

View solution in original post

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Zigoze,

Thanks for your reply.

We have some online licenses, but those are used for online Oracle backups.

Stopping the VM and then using standard filesystem backup with a disk agent installed on the ESX server then seems to be the way to go, I just can't find that option listed in the DP 6.11 Integration manual anymore, but I guess they call this the 'Suspend Method' now (page 60).

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Suspend method is something different.

That method you mention of backing up the vmdk by installing the disk agent is not detailled on the data protector vmware guides because it is a simple filesystem backup. And filesystem backups are explained in the installation guide as a general option...
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And lets not forget that ESX4.1 is planned as the last version with a service console where you can install a disk agent. Future versions are ESXi-only.
.
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