What is the best way to backup large VM with Physical RDM on ESX 4.0 ?

Hi All,

I'd like to explore or have a look around of what might be the good way of improving my Exchange Server 2007 CCR - Mailbox VM with 10x DB partitions and 10x Log partitions which means I got 20x Physical RDM connection to the direct SAN via fiber channel.

the total data size is approximately 750 GB, would you kindly share your idea of how you do your Physical RDM VM backup ?
Thanks
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jjozAsked:
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Loren OkulyConnect With a Mentor Sr. IT ManagerCommented:
If you're in a Microsoft environment seriously look at DPM. It works amazingly well with Exchange and only backs up the changed blocks plus its exchange aware. It doesn't actually deduplicate any of the content so you won't take that hit in your VM but again, it only sends the changed blocks over the wire so the net effect is similar to actually de-duplicating the data. I back up a 3TB exchange 2010 environment in literally a matter of seconds

Take a look at:
mms://mediadl.microsoft.com/mediadl/www/s/systemcenter/en/us/dpm/DPM20_fix.wmv

From a cost prospective.... if you happen to use Data Center edition in your VM-Ware farm so you can run an unlimited number of VM's per CPU then there is an add on license, costs an additional 10% but lets you run an DPM on EVERY machine covered by the data center edition license as well as SCOM and a few other products. the value is incredible if you're happen to be a Microsoft shop.



and for additional info: http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/en/us/data-protection-manager.aspx
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Paul SolovyovskyConnect With a Mentor Senior IT AdvisorCommented:
I normally perfo agent based backups or San snapshots
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coolsport00Connect With a Mentor Commented:
We back up ours via agent-based (Avamar), then for the VM and its system volume I use Veeam. I have a VM ready with an initial 'seed' of data in the RDM volumes in case my orig VM crashes. So, I only need to do a restore. With Avamar, it's a data-dedup solution, so restore is fairly quick, considering (restore of 50GB is about 30-45mins; so for a size of yours...it would obviously take 20-25x longer).

~coolsport00

~coolsport00
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jjozAuthor Commented:
hm.. yes I am thinking of getting Avamar since I'm using EMC Clariion CX4-500, because now I'm using agent based backup which takes 17 hrs of backup to finish.
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
Are you doing it over the network or SAN free backups?
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jjozAuthor Commented:
at the moment there is no other way to do from the fibre channel (eventhough the ESX and the backup server got fibre ) therefore i must use the 1 GB link since the VM cannot use Fibre channel on the host hardware.
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Paul SolovyovskyConnect With a Mentor Senior IT AdvisorCommented:
You can backup the data volume (RDM) SAN free and the VM with your regular VM method.  This will reduce your backup time 250%-500%.  What are you using the RDM currently?  If you attach the media server to the FC Switch, zone as read only you should be able to get it done.
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jjozAuthor Commented:
Paul, the RDM partition is 10x for Exchange mailbox DB while the other 10x is for the transaction log partition.

suppose I back it up as the whole VM backup as per your suggestion above, then that would means I'm going to have one very big VM files backup ?
[backup as VM not using Exchange agent installed inside the VM]
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
What software are you using?
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jjozAuthor Commented:
at the moment it is the old HP data protector which performs VM to tape drive backup:

Exchange ---1GB Ethernet--- HP DP Media server---10 GB Fibrechannel---Tape drive
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