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VDP Clean Removal – Fresh Install

Posted on 2016-09-08
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Last Modified: 2016-09-17
Hey Experts!!

Needing some advice\help on a VMware VDP appliance.
Long story short we have been having issues with our VDP appliances filling up.
(usually the .var-poxy-4 folder) and dismounting Datastore)

This has been going on since version 5.5 and every time we upgrade, it just get worse (3 upgrades)
We are on version 6.0 right now.
We have had to have SR’s to VMware to have log files removed, cleanup and get back on track.

I have been put in charge of our VMware and something I can’t stand is intermittent working!
(Now I know just enough to get me in trouble, so force feed me like a “NOOB”)
Here is the deal…

We have two sites (main and branch). Since I figured I couldn’t do much damage to the branch site, I decided to use it as my guinea pig\test site. (don’t have funds for test lab).
I blew the 6.0 VDP away. Shut down the VDP appliance (VDP2),  right click and “delete from disk”.
BAM, gone (since I was at 6.0, didn’t think the need to remove from MOB, and we are still using 6.0 at main site).

Next downloaded and installed the newest 6.1.2 .OVA appliance, setup, configured and setup backup job. Let run couple nights and all seem to turn out good. Was able to check activity, status, and my disk space usage is now at 19% (which it should be on new install)
Filesystem      Size  Used  Avail  Use%  Mounted on
/dev/sda2        32G  5.7G   25G   19%       /

(Was at 72% at the time I blew the appliance away)

Next I went to one of the guest VMs and deleted some files and did a file level restore of files.
   (https://<VDP Appliance>:8543/flr/)
All restored, and logs are clean.  So I am going to say this was a successful clean install.

Now my Question……
On the main site, I don’t want to be all “cowboy” and just blow away the VDP (VDP1) and lose all the backup data. (unless that is the only option – I could do a veeam backup if limited to options). We also do full tape backups every night.
We have file servers, exchange servers, database servers….etc. at this site (mission critical).

Is it possible to copy the folders\vmdk of the VM from the Datastore to network drive as backup?
And restore if disaster happens? (here is where my knowledge fails me)
Or
Can you save these and just remount these folders\vmdk once I have re-installed the VDP appliance?
(not sure how to do this, if it is possible)

The main site VDP appliance (VDP1) is at 96% on the /dev/sda2 folder. Which is very close to a dismount. (which has been less than 5 months since VMware support clean it up)
It is different this time because it is not in the .var-proxy-4 folder, this time the folders with the most size is “./bin” (over 3.5 GB). I’m not a Linux expert, but I’m not going to be deleting files from this folder (in my mine, that would be like deleting files from the C:\Windows folder in windows.)

So I think it is time to flush and start fresh. Just needing some guidance and the proper path…
Please help and give it to me in “Noob-English”.  LOL

Thanks in advanced.

    Fubr
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Question by:Fubr
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Accepted Solution

by:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 41790384
Long story short we have been having issues with our VDP appliances filling up.

to be expected, VDP is very poor, and prone to failure, it's one of VMware's vSphere weakest products.

On the main site, I don’t want to be all “cowboy” and just blow away the VDP (VDP1) and lose all the backup data. (unless that is the only option – I could do a veeam backup if limited to options). We also do full tape backups every night.
We have file servers, exchange servers, database servers….etc. at this site (mission critical).

a few options, either use the existing vmdks (disks from VDP repo) and add them to a new VDP deployment, this can be successful, BUT if your repo is corrupted or full you will not be able to backup to it.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED is as follows:-

either deploy new VDP, and then BACKUP immediately to it. Once you have Backups in the VDP, destroy the originals.

however if you have data in the old VDP repo, you NEED, you will need to restore ALL, destroy VDP, deploy new VDP and backup.


Is it possible to copy the folders\vmdk of the VM from the Datastore to network drive as backup?
And restore if disaster happens? (here is where my knowledge fails me)

Not directly, ESXi does not support CIFS (Windows Shares), but it does support NFS as a datastore, so you could copy from VMFS datastore to NFS datastore, BUT the VM will need to be OFF.


The main site VDP appliance (VDP1) is at 96% on the /dev/sda2 folder. Which is very close to a dismount. (which has been less than 5 months since VMware support clean it up)
It is different this time because it is not in the .var-proxy-4 folder, this time the folders with the most size is “./bin” (over 3.5 GB). I’m not a Linux expert, but I’m not going to be deleting files from this folder (in my mine, that would be like deleting files from the C:\Windows folder in windows.)

So I think it is time to flush and start fresh. Just needing some guidance and the proper path…
Please help and give it to me in “Noob-English”.  LOL

This is is BIGGEST weakness, you are letting the REPO get too full, make sure you size it accordingly to start and create an 8TB repo at first deployment...

when you get to 75%+ full it corrupts, splines take too long to verify, and it just falls apart.

I would HIGHLY REcOMMEND alternatives!

Look at Unitrends UEB.

Working with our clients, we've had to re-deploy VDP every 9 months! (over the last four years!), the majority have no migrated OFF IT!
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Author Closing Comment

by:Fubr
ID: 41803466
Thanks for the help Andrew
Setting up a second VDP and blowing the old one away after I had a back up was the easiest way.
All is good now.

  Fubr
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