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Clustered Hyper-V Pass-thru disk backup - How to take an image based backup of an extremely large partition?

Posted on 2013-01-02
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I am trying to find the best way to backup an EXTREMELY large Hyper-V Pass-thru disk.  Here is the environment:

(2) Windows 2008 R2 Service pack 1 Hyper-V Hosts
(8) Clustered VM's
(2) Dell Equallogic SAN's in replication (8TB each)
(1) LAN Segment (192.168.1.0/24)
(1) Storage Segment (172.16.10.0/24)
(1) NAS for backup repository storage (24TB) living on the storage segment
(4) sockets licensed for Veeam Backup and Replication replicating all VM's to the NAS with Veeam running from a single host, and the host connected directly to the Storage Network

- ALL VM's are connected to the LAN via dedicated NIC's
- (2) NIC's per host are dedicated to iSCSI traffic to the storage segment

In this configuration, the following storage is setup:

(1) 1.5 TB LUN for (7) VM's
(1) 1 TB LUN for (1) VM (Exchange)
(1) 3 TB LUN for a large document repository (over 300 million small-ish files) which is connected as a pass-thru disk to a single VM for document management.  This LUN is added as storage to the cluster, and then the storage is assigned to the VM.

What I need to know is:  How I can backup this 3TB volume which is connected to a VM as a pass-thru disk?  I have done a ONE TIME backup using Symantec Backup-Exec Live state by:

- Taking storage out of the VM
- Taking storage out of the cluster
- Connecting storage to the VM Host locally as a drive letter
- Taking a Symantec Backup Exec Live State image-based backup of the entire partition, which took 15 hours.  This is GREAT considering that file backups took over 3 weeks to complete.

I'd like to take a backup ONCE and continue to backup nightly using the partition based DIFFERENTIAL function of Live State...but I have Live State installed on the VM HOST, and the storage network is only accessible to the HOSTS, not to the VM's.  I'd like to avoid adding additional NIC's to the Document Management VM into the storage network, but I don't think I can avoid this.

Thoughts are appreciated.
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Question by:jkeegan123
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3 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Steve
ID: 38739747
I know it's not what you want to hear but if the backup software is running on the VMs, they have to have access to the storage destination in some way.

You may be able to setup routing beteen the networks in some wayto save you adding new NICs, but some form of link is needed unless your software has an agent or relay facility between networks.
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by:jkeegan123
ID: 38739855
I was hoping for a way for a cluster host to access a pass thru disk without the vm giving up the resource during backups... I can't be the first person with this issue, or have so unique of a setup...
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kevinhsieh earned 2000 total points
ID: 38740416
the hosts have no access to passthrough disk. You can take an EqualLogic snapshot of the volume and then backup the snapshot.

A couple options for you. Move to Hyper-V 2012 and use VHDX drives which can grow beyond 2 TB. Veeam should be able to handle it when they support Hyper-V 2012.

If there is image based backup that can handle transportable snapshots, remove the 3 TB volume from the cluster and directly attach to the VM using iSCSI in the VM. The VM can then prepare a snapshot which can then be mounted on another server which can then take the image based backup. If the VM can just make the image based backup directly, you don't need to do anything other than getting the software on the VM and allowing it access to your backup target.

Another option is to try a CDP type backup which does incremental forever such as Dell AppAssure. Your first backup will probably take a long time, but the rest should be fast.
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