Veeam (virtual appliance) SAN to SAN backups

Hi,

We have configured Veeam v5 to run as an applicance on Windows 2008R2.

We have created a LUN on a FC SAN

The LUN has been configured as a RAW LUN and it is connected to the Veeam VM server through a pointer.

The LUN has is shown as a local storage drive G: to the Veeam VM server.

The Veeam server is backing up other VMs that run on different Datastores and the backup is being left in the G: drive at the Veeam VM server.

We have choosen the option of SAN to SAN in order to perform the backup.

The backups are working however they are not executed SAN to SAN instead they run over the network.  

Here is the message we get once the backup is completed:

Backing up object "[SAN:SATA:02] sqltest/WSUS02.vmdk"
Unable to establish direct connection to the shared storage (SAN).
Please ensure that:
- HBA is properly installed in the Veeam Backup server computer, or software iSCSI initiator is configured correctly.
- SAN volume can be seen by operating system in the Windows Disk Management snap-in on the Veeam Backup server.
- Read access is allowed for the Veeam Backup server computer on the corresponding LUN (refer to your SAN documentation).
Direct SAN connection is not available, failing over to network mode...
Backing up object "[SAN:SATA:02] sqltest/WSUS.vmdk"
Direct SAN connection is not available, failing over to network mode...
 
Our goal is to perform SAN to SAN backups with Veeam configured as a virtual appliance.

Does someone know why am I getting these results? How could we acomplish our goal?

Thank you
 
   
   
llaravaAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
It looks like the Veeam Backup cannot see any VMFS Disk Signatures on the SAN LUNs, and hence doesn't recgonise them correctly as VMFS LUNs.

Install the VCB framework on your Veeam Backup server. It has a diagnostic tool called vcbSanDbg.exe. Please run this tool and investigate its output to see if this tool is able to see any LUNs containing VMFS signatures.

Post back results.
llaravaAuthor Commented:
Hi hanccocka,

I don't have access to the env right now but I will run the tool as indicated.

A couple of questions:

1.) Would the configuration that we have described above be able to fullfit our goal?
2.) I don't really understand what do you mean with the VMFS Disk signatures not recognizing the LUNs as VMFS. Can you please elaborate a little bit about this?

Thank you

 
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
The environment that you have described, can do SAN to SAN backups, but it's not uncommon to have issues with the setup.

If SAN volumes are presented correctly, they will contain a VMFS Signature. It's one of the standard Veeam checks for SAN - SAN backup not working correctly.
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llaravaAuthor Commented:

How does a SAN volume has to be corrently presented in order to contain a VMFS signature and propertly work with Veeam?

The LUN was created and presented to the ESX servers then the from the ESX server it was connected as an RDM LUN and the pointer was stored in the same datastore as the Veeam VM datastore.

From the Veeam VM the disk was started and mapped as local drive G:


 

Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  Commented:
Hi

First in my opinion, you should never user RAW disks for this type of Backup. You can create a LUN put in the host, then add into the VM as virtual disk.

Let me explain one of my environments. All are FC connections.

I have 6 Datastores(LUNs) on 3 hosts, with a vCenter.

I have one physical Server that have Veeam installed. This server have a FC connection into the SAN.

All LUNs are presenting to the ESX host, but also into this Backup Server(appear as disks but they are not online).

The backup will be into a Local Storage of this server and I am using VMware vStorage API -SAN with failover.

All backups run just fine with rates between 90/120Mb /s

You can use the same environment, but using a VM and choose the option Virtual Appliance for this.

Jail
llaravaAuthor Commented:
Hi Jail,

That is pretty much what I have done but with the virtual appliance instead of the physical server with the HBA's, etc... The difference is that the backup is not being placed into physicsal direct attached storage instead a drive is mapped to an RDM LUN that is configured in virtual compatibility mode and then shown as local attached storage to the server.

The reason I went with a RAW LUN is because I wanted to use our regular Backup solution to backup the Veeam backups once they were completed into a different type of media through our regular phyisical backup server in order to be in compliance with our backup policies.

Our regular backup server is connected to the SAN so the idea is to present this LUN (the one access by the Veeam server) to our regular backup server and grab the veeam backups through the FC instead of the network.



 
Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  Commented:
Hi

I have also connected into that server a HP Library with FC connections.

After the night Veeam Backup from SAN to Local, during the day there is a backup from local to Tape.
Since this server is only for backup, they can backup the VMs into tape during the day since this will not have any impact into the network.

In you environment I do not see any advantage using that RAW disks to hold the backups.

You can have a normal disk, and still backup using SAN in the Virtual Appliance.

I even do no know if this cannot be an issue doing backup like that. Honestly never tested put the backups into a RAW as a Virtual Appliance. Maybe you need an advice from Veeam regarding this.

Jail
llaravaAuthor Commented:

In my case the LUN is accesed by the Veeam VM server and then by a physical server which our regular backup solution.  

It it my understanding that a physical MS Windows server will not be able to access a VMFS datastore so what I have done is to use a RAW LUN which is accessible by the physical backup server and then via pointer (virtual mode) I have connected the Veeam VM server to the same LUN.

Just in case here is a little picture to explain the setup.


    Physical regular backup server----------------> RAW LUN <---------------(pointervirtualmode)-----------VeeamVM  
                                                       
Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  Commented:
Hi

Yes you are correct thats is why I have presented my hosts Datastores into the my physical server, they appear on the Windows but I did no put them online.

Jail
Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  Commented:
Hi

Sorry click on submit button before finish.

But I think you will not get this issue with Veeam accessing the LUNs, since this is a Virtual Appliance inside of the VMware environment they have access trough vCenter.

Have you tested?

Jail
llaravaAuthor Commented:
Sorry I am do not know what do you mean with "you will not get this issue with Veeam accessing the LUNs"

The Veeam VM (virtual appliance) is already accessing the LUN as I said before and the LUN is shared/presented to the physical backup server and the Veeam VM appliance.  

I have tested the scenario I have explained before and so far the FC backup seems to fails and then it defaults to run over the network as specified within the Veeam configuration.

I guess I am missing something about your last comment...sorry.

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Is this a Virtual Machine you are using with no physical FC HBA?
Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  Commented:
Hi

As a Virtual Appliance the Veeam have access to vCenter and all is Datastores(LUNs), so you should not have this issue regarding Veeam accessing the Datastore to backup.

When you choose the Virtual Appliance you are not using SAN option, but Virtual Appliance. These are 2 different options. For you case you should use Virtual Appliance.

Virtual Appliance option will use the VMware infrastructure not SAN connections

You know what I mean with Virtual Appliance? This is an option when you create a Job Backup, on the drop down list.

Take a look at this:
http://www.veeam.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1859

and

http://www.veeam.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2092

Choosing SAN option, ensure that you can see VMFS volumes in Windows Disk Management snap-in in your VM.. But since this is a VM you should not choose this option. But you can, but still need to present the LUNs into that VM. Like I do with my physical server. They will show Windows Disk Management snap-in, but never put them online.

But using Veeam as a VM, choose Virtual Appliance, not SAN.

Hope this can help you understand.

Jail
llaravaAuthor Commented:
BestWay - Thank you for the explanation I believe that I have selected the SAN option in order to run the backup and then selected the local Veeam server and the G: drive as the backup output path.  

hanccocka - I haven't configured any physical HBAs on the Veeam VM. I thought that the VM will use the physical HBAs that are configured on the physical ESX host.
Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  Commented:
Hi

No if you choose that option you need to have that VMFS volumes in Windows Disk Management snap-in

Since this is a VM, choose the Virtual Appliance and I think this will work.

For this type of configuration you dont need the HBA or any FC, since this will use VMware Environment.

Jail
llaravaAuthor Commented:

For this type of configuration you dont need the HBA or any FC, since this will use VMware Environment.

It will use the VMware Environment but the backup will happen over the FC - Correct?

If the SAN option requires the LUN to be a VMFS datastores then it will explain the results that we are getting.

 
Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  Commented:
Hi

Since the backup is inside VMware Environment the VM will never use that. Who will use this is the vCenter itself not the VM/Backup directly.

No, the SAN requires that the VMFS Datastores is available on Veeam Server(Windows) as a Disks. Not particularly that the LUN needs to be a VMFS Datastore. But yes this is the reason(not having that VMFS on the Windows Server) that you cannot create this type of backup and having this issues.

Try to create a Job Backup for testing using the Virtual Appliance and backup only on VM just to test.

Jail

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llaravaAuthor Commented:
Everything was setup correctly but the wrong option was choosen SAN instead of virtual appliance. Thank you both for you help.
llaravaAuthor Commented:
It's interesting I only get a backup transfer rate of 31 MB/s. I have disabled the option that makes the backup go through the network if FC fails just in case but I do not get any messages saying that the backups are not running fine over FC.

This tranfer rate seems really low to me...Do you guys have any suggestions?
Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  Commented:
Hi

Are you performing Fullbackup?? Or incremental backups?

Jail
llaravaAuthor Commented:
Full backup. I don't thing we are going to be able to get better performance with the virtual appliance mode.

Veeam TechSupport says that my configuration is correct.

Choosing the Virtual Appliance options I assume that it will go through the FC and if it can't execute the backup then will go through the network and I will get the message but I do not get the network message anymore.

I guess that is the best performance I can get with this configuration?
llaravaAuthor Commented:
I think the guy over Veeam said that the backup will go through FC however if you look at their documentation is says Virtual Appliance will be managed through LAN.

http://www.azlan.de/md/cms/productinfo/Veeam_Webinare/Veeam2/BackupModes.pdf

So the question is - Can you run SAN to SAN backup if you have configured Veeam Backup as a Virtual Appliance?
Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  Commented:
Hi

I do not know your environment so I cannot guess what is the best performance that you will get.

Like I said above, for SAN I get 90/120Mb /s

This is some HP 360 G5 hosts and HP StorageWorks P2000 (that is not so fast) and the Physical Backup Server is a NEC (cant remember the model) with some SAS local Storage Disks. All connected with HBA FC Emulex.

At the beginning I had also some poor performance, but after I have change some Sets on I have better performance.

But send your logs into Veeam Support they can check and see if all is ok. They always help on get a better performance.

Jail
llaravaAuthor Commented:
You are running the a physical server connected to the SAN through HBAs.

Is the data written back to the SAN (same set of disks) or are the backups being stored locally in the server?


Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  Commented:
Hi

No to local SAS Disks. Then another backup will copy this into tapes.

Jail
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