Veeam Replicas of Exchange 2007

Posted on 2011-02-15
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
We have been using Veeam version 5 standard to replicate our Exchange 2007 server.  Many users are reporting problems with Outlook when the replicas are starting or stopping. They get messages saying "Exchange retrieving data", Outlook will lockup for a few seconds, emails take much longer to open than normal....
Anyone else having issues replicating Exchange with Veeam?

We are using ESX 4 Server on HP DL 360/380 servers connected to EMC AX-5i SAN using SAS drives.  

The replicas are going to another AX4-5 SAN using SATA drives at an off site data center.

Question by:MrLandShark
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 6
  • 6
  • 2

Expert Comment

ID: 34897975
This is the nature of processing.
When the job starts the guest is put into snapshot, this process is therefore going to quiesce the disk as the snapshot is established. During this process your server is going to pause momentarily.
When the guest is taken out of snapshot it will perform the reverse of this process and again pause the server for a new milliseconds.
If this is taking longer than is acceptable there are a few things to look at.
How busy is your storage, more IO means a longer pause.
Are your virtual disks aligned (have a look at vOptimiser) Missaligned disk would be doubling your IO.
I Assume your connecting to your storage via iSCSI. how busy are the NIC's and network.
Is your host server over utilised?
Is your guest server over utilised?
LVL 122
ID: 34898178
Try and re-schedule the backup job, to a quieter time, so clients do not detect the Snapshot generated by Veeam Backup.

Are the Snapshots being created and deleted correctly?

Author Comment

ID: 34898623
We run replicas every hour for DR purposes.  We run a backup at night.
I have noticed that at least once a week when I run the "VSSADMIN list writers" command the Microsoft Exchange Writer is in a failed state.  I have to reboot Exchange to corect this or at times it will correct itself.  The server is on the latest SP for Windows and Exchange.
The snapshots are being created and deleted correctly.

During the replicas neither the Exchange Server or the server running Veeam show high performance levels or processes using too much CPU.

I will look into vOptimiser, I have never used it.  
Ransomware: The New Cyber Threat & How to Stop It

This infographic explains ransomware, type of malware that blocks access to your files or your systems and holds them hostage until a ransom is paid. It also examines the different types of ransomware and explains what you can do to thwart this sinister online threat.  

LVL 122
ID: 34899301
Don't jump to conclusions here with disk alignment.

This can be normal behaviour, for BUSY servers.

Can you check the following, when a backup/snapshot is being created or deleted, can you ping the server and see if you any any timeouts.

we worked with many EE folk, that are having similiar issues, with Snapshotting, causing "gaps" in service for a few seconds.

Look at this solution (I warn you it's long)


But the end result, was a SLOW datastore resulting in slow snapshots. This problem was quite severe, but similar.

Author Comment

ID: 34930083
Sorry for the delay, just getting back to this.  I looked at the solution and I think my data stores are in good condition. They are on a SAN with 10K SAS drives in RAID5 configuration.  

I did a manual snap shot of Exchange and some users reported their Outlook locked up and others had no problems at all.  I ran a ping to the server during the snapshot and it never timed out but the responce times went from 4000ms at the begining to between 20 and 100ms during the snapshot. Normally they are less than than 1ms.

Expert Comment

ID: 34937321
Disk alignment. It appears you don't appreciate the lack of attention that is placed on alignment, and therefore the often serious implications.
Virtually all Windows servers pre windows 2008 have alihnment issues.
This will without question double your IO, of course if you don't have a stressed environment the alignment issue will have no effect.
I expect at some time or another all environments experience heavy resource utilisation.
I know our environment is heavily utilised every evening as backups and other maintanence tasks are run. When we had 300 misaligned Windows Servers the IO was unpleasant to say the least.
Again I say don't underestimate the importance of aligning your disks.  

Are you using the same NIC's for your Guest connectivity and Storage IP traffic? how do you connect to your storage and at what speed.
Putting a guest into snapshot in a healthy and not over utiliised environment should not cause lockups or timeouts.
But to sort this out you are likely going to have to commit significant time to it. If you don't sort it out it will only get worse as you environment gets busier.
LVL 122
ID: 34937349
@markzz: We know all about disk alignment my friend!!!  (we've also published on the issues as well!)

What I stated was don't jumpt to conclusions about it, you didn''t even ask What OS he was running, to assume disk alignment was the issue. (if disks are misaligned, it's a huge job to re-align the partition)

MOST, VMware Virtual Machines are NOT aligned, that we have examined. It depends on the environment as to whether it causes performance issues.

Do you any hard stats of before and after correctly aligned disks? That you can publish. (we do!)
LVL 122
ID: 34937362
Long ping times are to be expected when the Snaphost is taken, when the server is busy. Sometimes you could even expect a "request timeout".  Is this on Create of Snapshot or Write?

RAID 5, 10k is not the best configuration for "high performance based SAN disks". Do you have any other VMs on the LUN?
LVL 122
ID: 34937371
I assume you are using the Software iSCSI Initiator?

Are you also using jumbo frames, we've seen 100x performance increase when using jumbo frames with iSCSI software initiator, which was better than hardware iSCSI initiators.

Author Comment

ID: 34964166
The long ping times were on the creation of the snap shot.
There are other VMs on the LUN.
We are not using Jumbo Frames.

On a related issue, our Veeam Replicas and Backups of our Exchange Server have been failing the last three days.  The error messages says "another task already in progress".  There are no other tasks in progress. I have rebooted the Exchange and Veeam servers twice and I still get the error.  How do I convince Veeam there are no tasks in progress?
LVL 122

Accepted Solution

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 1500 total points
ID: 34964840
Long ping times on creation not unusual.

The "another task already in progress" is a bug/crash in the VMware Management Agents.

Restart Management Agents on the Console of the ESX server.

I don't know what version of ESX 4, you are using but you may want to consider updating to ESX 4 U2 or ESX 4.1 U1.

If you have networking switching, that supports Jumbo Frames (data packets with 9000), you may want to consider using this and updating and use Jumbo Frames, but ESX Server, SAN and Network switches must all be changed.

Author Comment

ID: 35011181
I was able to get the veeam jobs running again by turning off the Exchange server for a few minutes.  When I turned it back on whatever the task was that was in progress had stopped so the jobs were able to start and finish.

We are still having the problem of Outlook performance issues when the job starts or stops.  Do you know of any products that can replicate Exchange without performance issues?

I have a VM consultant coming out to help re-organize our VM structure. Update ESX, use jumbo frames, realign the data stores...

Author Comment

ID: 35240783
I would like tom award the points to hanccocka, he was helpful in working on this problem.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 35261486
Tips helpped understand the problem better but problem still existz.  There appears to be no good answer.

Featured Post

Optimum High-Definition Video Viewing and Control

The ATEN VM0404HA 4x4 4K HDMI Matrix Switch supports 4K resolutions of UHD (3840 x 2160) and DCI (4096 x 2160) with refresh rates of 30 Hz (4:4:4) and 60 Hz (4:2:0). It is ideal for applications where the routing of 4K digital signals is required.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Ransomware is a malware that is again in the list of security  concerns. Not only for companies, but also for Government security and  even at personal use. IT departments should be aware and have the right  knowledge to how to fight it.
Check out this step-by-step guide for using the newly updated Experts Exchange mobile app—released on May 30.
This Micro Tutorial steps you through the configuration steps to configure your ESXi host Management Network settings and test the management network, ensure the host is recognized by the DNS Server, configure a new password, and the troubleshooting…
There are cases when e.g. an IT administrator wants to have full access and view into selected mailboxes on Exchange server, directly from his own email account in Outlook or Outlook Web Access. This proves useful when for example administrator want…
Suggested Courses
Course of the Month15 days, 8 hours left to enroll

743 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question