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Veeam backup of Exchange in VMSphere environment

Posted on 2013-01-14
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Last Modified: 2013-02-14
I hope this question isn’t too convoluted.  I am evaluating Veeam Backup and Replication, and am very confused.  
We have a HP Lefthand San, with VSphere 4.1.  We have 2 ESX hosts, and several virtual servers.  
One of the vm’s is our Exhange 2003 box.  It is configured as follows:
C: drive  (program files)  20Gb total   with 9Gb used
Then two drives built from VM storage, that show up as hard drives in explorer
K: drive  (exchange database)  200Gb total with 150 used
L: drive (exchange logs)  40Gb total  25Gb used

In the evaluation copy of Veeam, I added our VCenter and ESX1.  Once Veeam scanned the VCenter, my Exchange server showed as a server.  But it listed it as only being 23 Gb, so I was assuming it only saw the c drive, not the database and logging drives.  I ran a backup anyway, and it ended up being 23Gb, and went very quickly, so I’m assuming it didn’t backup my Exchange database.  However, when I went in and checked my log drive, it appears that it flushed the logs.  
I’m very confused, and can’t find anything in the little bit of documentation supplied.  Am I correct that the backup didn’t include my database?  If so, why did it flush my logs?  How do I perform a full exchange 2003 database backup in this environment.
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Question by:TOHIT
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by:Amit
Amit earned 1000 total points
ID: 38775355
Why don't you create a RSG and restore the backup you have taken, if it restores the db and logs files that means you are backing up correct db. I personally feel you are doing the correct steps, however restore will put the stamp.
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by:MaximVeeam
ID: 38775365
This may happen if you use unsupported disks like pRDM or in-guest iSCSI or independent.

Can you tell more on that part?
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Author Comment

by:TOHIT
ID: 38775505
I will explore the RSG option.  It's just that it says for d-dup it was 1 to 1, so not sure why the backup would only be 25Gb when the database itself is 150Gb.  

The drives in the san are SAS drives.
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Expert Comment

by:Amit
ID: 38775520
Why don't you use windows backup.
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Author Comment

by:TOHIT
ID: 38775566
I'm not sure I trust Windows Backup with an Exchange database this size.  We have had decent luck with a large regular file server backup, but we had another large Exchange 2003 database backup (100+Gb) that failed to restore even though the backup reportedly ran fine and verified.  It was using an older version of NT backup, but I'm a little leery of using it again.  Also, when we did use it, it took close to a full day to run, and we're hoping to find something a little faster and more reliable.  Open to any suggestions.
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by:MaximVeeam
ID: 38775568
>> The drives in the san are SAS drives.

No, I mean the virtual machine configuration  - what type of virtual disks do you use for

- K: drive  (exchange database)  200Gb total with 150 used
- L: drive (exchange logs)  40Gb total  25Gb used


Veeam supports all types and versions of virtual hardware, except
physical RDM (raw device mapping) and Independent disks.
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by:Amit
ID: 38775592
Better to look for symantec products.
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Author Comment

by:TOHIT
ID: 38779328
Sorry for the delay in replying.  I didn't set this system up, and am trying to figure out how the virtual disks are setup.  I have looked in both VSphere and Lefthand management console, but can't find the information you mentioned.  I can only see that it is thin provisioned.  Does anyone know where I can determine what type of virtual disks they are?
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by:MaximVeeam
ID: 38782075
in VMware vSphere Client, if you edit VM configuration and select the virtual disk, you should see these settings on the right hand side, last box.
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Author Comment

by:TOHIT
ID: 38784382
Thanks for your help.  As you probably can see, I am not a virtual expert.  It was there, but it only lists the c drive.  It says it is scsi.  The other two drives are volumes created from storage with the HP Lefthand Client, if that helps.
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MaximVeeam earned 1000 total points
ID: 38786149
You could clarify the issue much more faster if you open a support ticket with Veeam and send them logs with more details.  http://www.veeam.com/support.html


From what you have explained, you have only one virtual disk with that VM which is essentialy backed up by Veeam.

What is the total size of the virtual disk ? Are these C:,  K: and L: drives partitions of this one virtual disk?

if not,  other 2 drives may be mapped directly from the storage with an iSCSI driver that loads inside the VM (in-guest iSCSI). In that case this configuration won't be supported.
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Author Comment

by:TOHIT
ID: 38786931
I have been working with Veeam.  They have not been able to pinpoint the problem either.  I am thinking that Veeam is not going to be able to be my exchange backup solution.  I may use it for other things, but will have to find another Exchange backup solution.  Thanks for the help.
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Expert Comment

by:MaximVeeam
ID: 38787183
The 2 additional disks that contain the database for Exchange, are mentioned as “Built from VM storage”.  I’m guessing this is physical RDM?  Mapped LUN?  Since these are not encapsulated in .vmdk format, they are not part of the snapshot set leveraged to perform a live backup.  This is required for Veeam to be able to back up the data, so those 2 disks were not part of the backup.

It is also likely that application aware processing was enabled, and the advanced options were not reviewed, as logs are truncated by default on successful VSS operation.
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