When to switch from backup as VM to backup as client computer

Last post 10-12-2019, 1:27 PM by Liam. 7 replies.
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  • When to switch from backup as VM to backup as client computer
    Posted: 10-09-2019, 5:33 PM

    Question for CommVault staff:

    I have a virtual file server and am having trouble restoring just one folder.  I have a ticket open with support (191009-557) but I was wondering if there are guidelines for when a server should be backed up as just another VM versus installing the CommVault client software and backing up as an individual client computer.  Are there any recommendations or rules of thumb on when to switch?

    Ken

  • Re: When to switch from backup as VM to backup as client computer
    Posted: 10-09-2019, 11:26 PM

    Hi Ken_H,

     

    I don't believe there are rules fo thumb or general reccomendation for this decision.

    You will find on https://documentation.commvault.com/commvault/v11/article?p=30807.htm reccommendations to live browse disks larger than 16TB what indicates that the live browse can cater for most of the 'typical' disk sizes in use.

    Before switwing from VMware live browse to windows file system agent, you could enable the "Collect File Details" option on the "Backup Options" tab. It is the same as 'Enable Granular Recovery' in previous Commvault versions. The downside is that the backup may take longer. I honestly tested thisoption in several customer and could not observe any negative impact.

    Something elso to be explored is improving the live browse performance, you may improve the live browse performance by changing the job results path to a faster (SSD preferabily disk). This folder is utilised by commmvault to download and access the extents for the disks to be browsed.

    Another consideration is how often you restore granular files. If it is quite often, the agent could ofter a better restore experience not only considering the live browse decision, for instance the 'find' funcion for files under file system agent works in a much more compreehnsive way than in a live browse restore.

    In summary I would enable "Collect File Details" option, check the backup permance and data reduction efficience and test the browse and restore. If it suites your required... That's the way to go :)

     

    Please note that I based my response on VMware VMs and Windows File System agent assuming the most typical scenario :).

    Regards,

    Marcus

  • Re: When to switch from backup as VM to backup as client computer
    Posted: 10-10-2019, 1:04 AM

    Do both. For clients with large data volumes and a requirement for granular file restore, agent backup is best. But if you want to recreate the entire VM, it's much easier to restore into the hypervisor at the virtualisation layer than doing it all inside the guest with Bare Metal Recovery.

    The solution: use the hypervisor's backup APIs to backup the system drive, excluding all other volumes, and backup those using the in-client agent.

  • Re: When to switch from backup as VM to backup as client computer
    Posted: 10-10-2019, 8:21 PM
    A file system backup will be slower backup and full system recovery but will be faster and more efficient file level restores.
    A VSA backup is block level, and will be a faster backup and full system restore but will be inefficient with file level restores.
    Some VMs are sensitive to VM level snapshots due to rate of change and VM snapshot sizes so we would recommend using a file system agent for these.
  • Re: When to switch from backup as VM to backup as client computer
    Posted: 10-11-2019, 10:26 AM

    Thank you all for the replies.  I'm going into day 3 trying to restore a folder holding just over 8000 files totalling 74MB.  The problem is that the folder is 10 layers deep and the GUI chokes when I navigate to the 8th layer.  I did a right-click > properties on the 8th layer folder and, after a couple of hours, it came back with: > 5M files, 730K folders, 1.66TB.  I'm currently trying a command line restore that goes directly to the desired folder but even that causes the commserver to crash so hard that I need my VMware administrator to issue a power off / power on command to bring it back.  Literally none of my backups ran last night because of this.  :(

    Once I get this friggin restore done I'll definitely set the "Collect File Details" option.  I've heard from CommVault support that there's a Restore Only WinFS client that might also help.  I'll update this thread as development occur.

    Ken

  • Re: When to switch from backup as VM to backup as client computer
    Posted: 10-11-2019, 6:39 PM

    The solution for me was:

    1. Install the restore-only client on the VMware file server
    2. Build a command line restore script

    One odd thing: 179 files have a tilde as the first character.  For example “~$J9120.rtf”.  I don’t see anything like this on the original folder.

    Ken

  • Re: When to switch from backup as VM to backup as client computer
    Posted: 10-11-2019, 7:27 PM

    One more question:  I have a few virtual servers that generate an "unable to quiesce" error on backup.  Would a good method to deal with this be to install the client and back them up like a physical server?

  • Re: When to switch from backup as VM to backup as client computer
    Posted: 10-12-2019, 1:27 PM
    • Aplynx is not online. Last active: 10-16-2019, 2:44 PM Liam
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    If the machines are just file systems, you can use crash consistent snapshots or ignore the errors. 

     

    https://ma.commvault.com/Article/Details/54513

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