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VMware Backups failing Using Veeam - recommended alternatives?

Posted on 2011-03-08
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
My Veeam 5.0 software seems to be failing to to do any file level restores.

I have tried 'Restore guest files' for both windows and other OS. The support I am getting from Veeam is next to useless, they are taking ages and paying little interest and I feel forced to move away from their product.

1) Could the techs in this community kindly make their recommendations as to alternatives as I am currently in a situation with possibly no backups for 15 VM's.

2) Veeam I think makes use of the VmWare stoarge API's, I have it installed on a win 2003 server connected via FC to the san where the source VMDK files are located. Can I install an alternative software (eg visioncore) on this server and run in parallel to Veeam or would the 2 system clash?
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Question by:jrb139
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I looked at Veeam and decided not to.

I decided to stick with ArcServe Backup. my reason is that Veeam does not support backup migration to tape for off-site storage.

My current backup strategy is; backup to disk using deduplication and then migrate that data off to tape for off-site storage.

With this method, even if I lose my on-line backup storage, I can still restore from tape without first having to restore my on-line backup data first, which is where Veeam fails my redundancy policies.

Also, with ArcServe, you can either perform backups via VCB or VDDK frameworks over IP or fibre.
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by:coolsport00
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Well, there are several options for you -> StorageCraft, vRanger Pro, VCB, Symantec, etc. I personally use Veeam and honestly, with all the support I've assisted with here on EE, and receiving support from Veeam, I haven't ever heard anything bad about their product....well, until now :)  Sorry you're experiencing such a mess :(

What errors are you getting? I don't know if I'll be able to help outside of Veeam support, but I can try...

Regards,
~coolsport00
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by:jrb139
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Hi Coolsport
I saw some of your previous and supportive comments of veeam which I was amazed by. When it works it is a nice (ish) product, but it does fail frequently for me and I find it's error reporting very limited.

I currently get replicas reporting success, but when trying to restore guest files I either get 'no virtual disks found' for windows' windows restore or  windows guest file restore this for other os guest file restore  other guest file restore.

My support call has been going on 2 weeks now, now escalated to tier 3 last friday and this week I haven't had a call or a webex just one email asking me to start a new backup of my exchange server, and that was nearly 24 hours ago.

I wish they were reading this!

If you have any suggestions I'd be very appreciative.
Jo
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by:coolsport00
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Hmm...well, Veeam's error reporting is really non-existent...I do give you that. Their error reporting is their log files. :P Have you check those out (or have they?), in the C:\Documents and Settings\AcctUsedToInstallVeeam\Local Settings\Application Data\Veeam\Backup folder. Veeam creates logs based off the job name. Post the log and I'll see if I can find anything that may be of some use. Have you called Veeam back for an update on your case? Gosh, that is pretty horrendous cust svs :(  BTW...on occasion, they do, as well as other vendors, read these postings....

~coolsport00
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by:paulsolov
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I've tried pretty much every backup out there. Veeam does a good job, ArcServe gave me the most headaches, at least the version from a few months ago..to enable vStorage API had to add VDDK and a bunch of hotfixes..wasn't user friendly.  Quest vRanger does a decent job for VMs and Symantec Backup Exec VMWare agent is ok if you want an all around solution.
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by:nappy_d
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The only hot fix I've had to use with Arcserve is to update to SP1 for R12.5 but R15 is now out.  

I am personally not a complete fan of disk only backups.  
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by:paulsolov
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12.5 was the biggest pain I have ever seen from a backup product.  Virtual Machine backup required VDDK, hotfixes, and wouldn't restore directly to host (had to restore from tape to disk adn then use VMWare Converter to restore back to ESX host)..took 6-8 hours to restore a 100GB Server due to vmware converter speed.  Hopefully R15 doesn't have the same limitations.
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by:nappy_d
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Interesting.  I did an HP EVA SAN firmware update last year.  It required that I fully erase all 8TB of data.  Since there is not SAN replication, it meant a full restore.  

I currently use VCB 'cause VDDK does not support physical RDMs and virtual RDMs are limited to 2TB unlike physical RDMS that can be as large as 6TG or greater.

I tested all backups prior to the firmware update and went for it.  I restored all guests to the SAN and the server file shares that were hosted on the SAN in 48 hours.

My backups take 24 hours to complete over gigE.  I had one problem recently and that was because I enabled file estimation which made my backup run for 4 days.
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by:atigris
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You are looking for alternatives ...

I see you are using SAN, there maybe a snapshot option for the SAN to backup vmdk files. If the snapshot feature support "consistency" then you are good and all you have to do it is to enable it. better to check with SAN manufacture.

If you are using Backup Exec to backup your files, I know they have now agent for VMware. you may want to check that one out.

If you are looking for other solution I guess  you can always try VMware Data Recovery.

Good Luck!

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by:Luciano Patrão
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Hi

Well in my personal experience I have contacted Veeam support some times, and I always have had my problems resolved, and have found no issues with Veeam support.

Can you upload the log file from the backup, but also from the restore attempt?

Jail
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by:jrb139
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I eventually got some veeam support from the top tech in their states site and he was very apologetic and very competent, but I still feel somewhat aggrieved at having to crowbar them into action to get anywhere.

My 1st problem with a replica stuck in 'starting a failover state' cannot be resolved and is apparently a bug with a hotfix due. I am going to ditch the entire replica set and start again.

My 2cnd problem of not being able to do any file level restores is still under investigation but we managed to prove the replicas are consistent it's just timing out out somewhere  whenever we try anything larger than small text files. It looks like problems across our wan link. They are looking into it further.

It's promising that so many people are veeam supporters. I still think I may move away to another product at some point but my emergency is over.

No feed back here about esxExpress though, no one out there got any points of view on this?

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by:coolsport00
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My view on that is I've never heard of it :P

Well, at least you're getting some assistance. There is a particular support engineer (Ben Milligan) who is pretty exceptional in his support expertise, courtesy, and patience & perseverence in working through a case until completion. There have been some support folks with 'suspect' expertise, but overall they've been pretty well.

Honestly, not sure why you're having so many problems, but sure...since you are, it just makes sense to trial another option. If the root cause of your Veeam problems are related to your WAN or something more pinpointed in your environment, using a different product may pose the same issue. But obviously, you won't know for sure until 1. you get answers from Veeam, and 2. you test other VM b/u solutions.

Thanks for the update "jrb139".

~coolsport00
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by:jrb139
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Guys
It was Indeed Ben who helped, Can you see your name in lights Ben

esXpress is now called PHDvirtual
here is someone doing a compare which I will read next
http://www.vmdamentals.com/?p=1789#more-1789

Thanks, it's an even split on points as this is more a forum than a fix but thanks for all your feedback and may none of us ever actually need our backups, but let's face it, that just ain't gonna happen!

Jo
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by:coolsport00
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Ah, ok; well, I've not even seen PHDvirtual...until today. I have an RSS feed to http://www.vladan.fr, who actually did a post on that very product (interesting timing, huh?). You can read more about his testing on that product here:
http://www.vladan.fr/review-of-phd-virtual-backup-5-1-for-vmware-vsphere-esxi/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+EsxVirtualization+%28ESX+Virtualization%29

Best of luck Jo...

~coolsport00
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by:Luciano Patrão
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Hi

Yes PHDvirtual was the earlier esXpress that was a very good product(I do not know the new versions) that I use for some times, before the Veeam start to be a good product.

But like  coolsport00 stated, if your issues is regarding WAN replication(or bandwidth) you can get the same issues. Before change, In my opinion first try to check where the problem resides, after this you can decide what is the best alternative.

Jail
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by:jrb139
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Folks
Looks like all the backup sets where intact and the problem was the installation of veeam. I built myself a new server, win 2003 with all the updates and installed Veeam fresh. All seems to check out OK.

The original server had too many roles, DC, DHCP, DNS, some printing, something somewhere was causing veeam to fail, starting afresh has solved all.

Thanks for the feedback.

Jo
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by:Luciano Patrão
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Hi

Your backup server was DC?? And a backup that use Veeam? Not a good idea.

But glade that you fix the problem.

Jail
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by:coolsport00
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Wow...that is a lot of roles! :P Glad you worked it out...

~coolsport00
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