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Wednesday, 17 July 2013

NetBackup 7.5.0.6 HyperV CSV Windows 2012

A CSV (cluster shared volume) is a Windows Server cluster attribute that allows all nodes, concurrent access to shared disks or volumes. It therefore offers resilience with multiple paths made available between the nodes and the storage/shared disk with VM's protected as a result. I am certainly not a Windows Server expert, and was more than a little concerned about exactly how the CSV's worked, and did a fair bit of reading to understand a little more about it. My major concern was understanding how the CSV and the individual node would react to a request of 'ownership' from NetBackup, but after installing I was happily backing up/restoring without issue.

As an introduction, a limitation of using 7.5.0.6 is that the Hyper Visor cannot be a Media Server; users requiring this, will have to wait until 7.6 to be released. However, arguably, if you have a speedy enough pipe and are able to write from the HyperV via a Media Server to storage to meet your backup window, then consider using 7.5.0.6.

Choosing the display name while configuring always makes sense to me, so I used this. I noticed some odd behaviour while configuring using the Java GUI, the odd crash while validation of clients. I verified using CLI etc, and used the Remote Admin Console to validate further. Unsure if this was a bug.

There is a separate Windows 2012 installation currently available; NOTE - you cannot use the regular 7.5.0.(6) installation binary. Take a look:

http://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/windows-2012-support-netbackup

After the installation finished (a perrier loving colleague installed this, you know who you are :) I configured the policies and did the usual calculations of time vs pipe / network vs storage destination, and naturally asked the necessary questions about the HyperV itself. A limit of around 12-15 streams was a conservative value to begin with. I tested backing up just under 1TB of data via OST (disk) in about 1 hour and 30 minutes of 30 clients under 3 nodes; I reran this and saved approximately 40% time-wise (deduplication/compression coming into effect). The backup window completed without error - naturally we're only talking about Windows based clients here, not UNIX. For UNIX, if you can pause the VM during the backup and ensure it starts without issue after the backup, then you can enable the 'enable offline backup for non-vss vm's' function. I tested this and it worked without issue. My issue is not being able to ensure that the client has come out of pause correctly; would be ideal to test the client directly after the backup to ensure its up and running and not still paused. Alternatively, install NetBackup software on the client itself and don't use HyperV to instruct VSS to do this. Btw, all this was done using software VSS and VM tools v3.4

The next thing tested was moving the client to another node; the backup took about 5 minutes longer, but it worked without issue. A restore was simple enough to perform and was restored to another node in the cluster. When this was fired-up after the restore it performed as expected, so no issues seen here.

All in all, it just worked.

Cheers.


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