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recommendation on backing up RHEL/Windows cluster under ESXi

jeorainc
Level 4

HI All,

I am now working with a backup solution to backup RHEL and Windows cluster. I know nothing about how to backup clustering environment.

Master Server will be installed on Windows Server 2012, with latest Netbackup release.

 

I believe there are other documents mentioning the backup method for clusters, but if it's under ESXi, may I know if it's possible to backup all Guest OS vmdks using VMware policy, and leave the shared cluster disk to backup using other policy?

For restore then I will restore the guest OS first, followed by data disks. 

 

Any comment or advise? Thanks a lot!

 

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RiaanBadenhorst
Level 6
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Hi,

 

Just place agents in all the guests. I've never heard of someone doing SAP on Sybase but you can just backup the Sybase DB using a Sybase policy. We can do the same for SAP on Oracle if people prefer to just use RMAN and not Backint.

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Marianne
Level 6
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The big question in my mind is what exactly is being clustered?

A File Server cluster should be fine getting backed up as vmdk using VMware policy, but something like a Oracle cluster will probably need traditional installation of NBU software on cluster nodes with the appropriate agent backup.

RiaanBadenhorst
Level 6
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Hello,

 

If you're running the amazing Storage Foundation HA 6.0.1 or later, and you've configured the VMwareDisks agent for the resources in your cluster, then you can backup the entire guest with VMware policy (provided all disks are VMDK), (and provided that the application is SQL, Exchange, VMware, or just files....no support for Oracle).

 

Otherwise you can protect the OS with VMware policy and the clustered resources (running on RDM) by an inguest client and the relevant policy (Windows-NT, SQL, Oracle, etc,etc)

Scott_123
Level 3

As for Storage Foundation and VMware backups, the docs state to back up a VM that contains Veritas Storage Foundation Volume Manager volumes, disable options for Exclude deleted blocks and Enable file recovery from VM backup.

http://www.symantec.com/docs/HOWTO70878  implies the issue above is specific to Windows only, but all other documentation about the limitation is unclear as to whether it's only Windows or if it also impacts Linux, Solaris x86, etc.

Even if you can use VMware backups to protect an entire cluster, if you're using Storage Foundation, you may not get the features you want and may want to use an in-guest Client for backups anyway.

RiaanBadenhorst
Level 6
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Oh dear, thanks for pointing that out Scott. I was under the impression that the SFWHA 6.0.1 release was actually helping us do backups of the entire VM (by removing the need for RDM).

Not impressed by this lack of integration between SF and NBU. Would have thought this was solved long ago.

jeorainc
Level 4

Thanks all for your advise. Let me describe more on my environment.

My environment will use VMware free license with no Vcenter.

There will be SAP running with sybase under the RHEL cluster. And an unknown application on the MS cluster (which I will probably use file level backup after the application offline)

I thought of using VMware policy for my guest OSes, but my colleague said that in order to setup cluster under VMware I should use the "bus sharing" option for the VM, and that will grey out the snapshot option, meaning that I cannot use VMware policy type for the Guest OS of the cluster?

 

Also, I read the guide for SAP, it only supports backup with oracle or SAP DB. What if I use Sybase, can I separate two policy, one for SAP and one for Sybase? Still figuring out the solution..

RiaanBadenhorst
Level 6
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Hi,

 

Just place agents in all the guests. I've never heard of someone doing SAP on Sybase but you can just backup the Sybase DB using a Sybase policy. We can do the same for SAP on Oracle if people prefer to just use RMAN and not Backint.

jeorainc
Level 4

Thanks for your reply and if it's applicable we will use the sybase policy for the sybase. But what about the sap? Is it possible to use SAP policy? Or just file-level backup?

jeorainc
Level 4

I also want to ask about backing up the vmdk guest OS. As the VM Guest will form cluster, as I know in order to do so it is required to enable the option of "bus sharing" on VMware profile, which will eventually grey out the snapshot. So if snapshot is not possible, is that the only way to backup the Guest OS is BMR?

Or is there any other approach to form cluster on VM guest without using "bus sharing"? As I don't have the concept on the VMware, I would like to hear more on your advise! Thanks a lot!

RiaanBadenhorst
Level 6
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A SAP policy is basically only a frontend for calling backint (sap util) which will then backup the datasbase (which is usually Oracle). So as I said, I'm not sure if you can use backint to backup the sybase.
 

RiaanBadenhorst
Level 6
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Storage Foundation HA (veritas cluster) 6.0.1 and later allows you to create a cluster without shared disks. It is done by dynamically attaching and detaching the disks (via vcenter/vmware integration) to the vm that is being onlined/offlined. In other words, if your clustered application is brought online on vm1 then the disks are added to the vm as part of the online process, and the top resource come online. If you failover, the resources are brought  offline, and the disks are removed from that vm, and added to the other vm, and then the top resources come online.

 

So the disks aren't shared, so you don't have a shared SCSI bus issue.

jeorainc
Level 4

I don't know about the cluster you mentioned, but my environment will gonna have a MS-cluster and RHEL GPS cluster.. which I am not sure if it is a must to enable "bus sharing" feature under vmware (as I heard from colleague, it is a must). Just want to confirm if that's the case does it means that I cannot use VMware policy...

RiaanBadenhorst
Level 6
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The cluster I mention is sold by Symantec, and is the only clustering software (that i know of) that can get around the limitation.

 

You cannot use a vmware policy on guests with a shared / rdm lun. It is a VMware limitation

http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1006392