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VMware Data Recovery

adjaddy
adjaddy asked
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Last Modified: 2012-05-09
Hi
I'm a bit new to VMware so kindly forgive me. I'm using VMware Data Recovery to backup VM on a SAN platform connected to ESXi4.0. I have noticed that the backups run successfully but excludes all Virtual disks checked as independent.
this is particularly evident when i go to Restore under VMware Data Recovery. I see that i can only restore vmdk files that were not checked as independent.
here are my questions
1. how do i get those independent disks backed up in VMware Data Recovery
2. in case i have to restore the backed up VMs, am i going to get a VM minus those disks marked as independent?

Much appreciated
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VMware Data Recovery uses VMware's snapshot technology. Independent disks are excluded from snapshots.

VMware Data Recovery
[quote]
Backup process:
The intuitive VMware vCenter Server interface allows quick selection of virtual machines to be protected, backup job scheduling, data retention policies and selection of destination
disks. The job is then dispatched to the VMware Data Recovery virtual appliance to initiate snapshots of the protected virtual machines and start the backup process. VMware Data Recovery is able to ensure that its entire state is captured at the point in time the snapshot is created. [/quote]

From the VMware manuals:
[quote]
Independent Disks
Independent disks add a  layer of control and complexity to your virtual disks. You configure  virtual disks in independent mode for certain special purpose  configurations.        For example, you might want  to run a virtual machine that uses a virtual disk stored on DVD or  CD-ROM.

For more information, see Running Virtual Machines from  DVDs or CD-ROM Discs.      

Or, you might want to  exclude one or more virtual disks from a virtual machine’s snapshot.  

For more information about snapshots, see Taking Snapshots.      

To configure a disk as an  independent disk, choose VM > Settings, select the virtual disk, and click Advanced. On the advanced settings screen,  select Independent, then the mode for the  disk.

You have the following options for an independent disk:                                                      
•                                                          Persistent  — changes are immediately and permanently written to the disk. All  changes to an independent disk in persistent mode remain, even when you  revert to the snapshot.                                                                                              

•                                                          Nonpersistent  — changes to the disk are discarded when you power off or revert to the  snapshot. Choose this option to run a virtual machine where the virtual  disk is stored on a DVD or CD-ROM, or to lose any changes made to the  virtual disk since the snapshot was taken when you revert to the  snapshot.
[/quote]
As such: You cannot backup independent disks with VDR. To back up those disks turn off Independent mode to make them snapshot-able & thus backup-able.

Author

Commented:
Thanks a lot, Michelkeus
But you didn't address any of the issues I have raised. Is there any other way of getting these Independent mode disk backed up via VDR or any other software?  
Do i do a file backup of these disks using something like Veeam backup and replication
In the event of a restore of a VM with independent Mode disks, is it the practise to re-create those disks that were left out of the backup done by VDR?
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Author

Commented:
Excellent Stuff Michelkeus
I really don't know why those disks were made Independent but i'd find out from the previous Administrator. Those drives hold SAP databases and trans logs and so they need to be fast. They have been RDM'ed as well. Do you know if performance will be impacted if the independent mode is taken off???

I'd look into turning them off and then running the backups again. I'd much rather have a restore job put the entire VM together than to restore from Filelevel backup.
Raw Device Mappings are something different then normal Virtual Disks.

The Snapshot functionality should work with RDM's if they are set to Virtual Compatibility Mode and Independent Disks are turned off.
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Author

Commented:
showed me the way...thx

Commented:
I have same problem with interdependent/persistet disks. They are linked clone disks that contains a user data. I know(based of the documentation) that VDR should be able to backup linked clone machines (I really need only these userdata disks). when I use VDR it is show that back is successful but in the detailed report these disks are skipped.
Can you tell me or recommend how to backup those disks with VDR?
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