Two steps backup practice using NBD and SAN method ?

Hi All,

At the moment I'm implementing two stage backup process using the software and technique as per the attached diagram,

Note: The network between iSCSI SAN andthe 2x ESXi servers are different subnet (see the color coding)
Blue cylinder indicates NTFS partition while the Black cylinder indicates the VMFS

 First backup process is to grab all of the VMs inside the MD3000i VMFS (green cylinder partition 1) initiated by the Windows XP backup VM which canl grow to be more than 1 TB hard disk drive to contains the backup VM (day 1 - since the backup took more than 20 hrs). --> should i choose -m SAN mode ?

Second step is to copy the big Windows XP machine which contains the day before backup of VM from the iSCSI SAN into the Backup server for tape archival (day 2) --> perhaps i should use -m NBD mode for this time ?

Any other suggestion please from this two steps backup scheme would be greatly appreciated.


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bhanukir7Connect With a Mentor Commented:
hi ijoz,

in case of VCB proxy installed on a VM you can use the hotadd method which would reduce the load and overheads associated without using the hotadd mode.

The other new feature that you can use is the VDDK framework with vsphere (esxi4) if you use VDDK then you dont even need to dump the VMDKs to a mount point you can rather pull the data straight to your backup server.

nappy_dConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Actually, that is the best methodolgy, VCB backup to your hard drive then off to tape for off-site storage.
jjozAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the reply nappy_d,

by doing this the VM is backed up in two steps, so the most recent backup will be in the ESXi Host 1 scheduled with Windows XP task scheduler.

I'm wondering if by placing a switch in the middle between the iSCSI SAN and ESXi Servers will be a good idea to have a secondary NIC for the Backup server to have access directly to the SAN ?
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nappy_dConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Actually don't backup to your vmdk. It will only grow and it is not space that is recoverable.
You should always keep your iscsi traffic on a separate lan segment from your production environment.

Not sure why it is taking nearly 20 hours to backup...are you using 100 or gigabit ethernet?
jjozAuthor Commented:
Hi nappy,

I use Gigabit ethernet on all my LAN cablings.

at the moment I believe that by using hotadd method can actually improve the backup time as the traffic involve is only between the iSCSI SAN and the ESXi. cmiiw
jjozAuthor Commented:
Hi All,

Thanks for the suggestion, I think that I'm heading the right way by using blank VM (no OS) acting as the hot add mode backup, this is why i have a backup VM inside my ESXi local SATA datastore.

At the moment it's a bit overkill for me as I've setup a Windows XP VM and configuring 4x256 GB SCSI VMDK to contain the whole VM in the iSCSI SAN datastore.
jjozAuthor Commented:
thanks man !
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