are you'all really using virtual server agent

Last post 08-16-2010, 2:23 PM by AndrewRMT. 14 replies.
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  • are you'all really using virtual server agent
    Posted: 08-05-2010, 1:38 PM

    we have about 600 vms and it looked like too much of a pain to me to back them up this way - if you are using virtual server agent with simpana 8 please let me know how many vms you are backing up this way.

    thanks

  • Re: are you'all really using virtual server agent
    Posted: 08-05-2010, 3:03 PM

    I have a seven host 3.5 VMware farm with about 100+ virtual servers. The trouble I had with using CommVault and VCB was with how long it took to back them all up.

    For example:  If I had a virtual server with a 100 GB hard disk drive but I was only using 40 GB of it, my CommVault File Agent backed up the 40 GB on a full backup job. Normal, typical, fine.

    When I tried using the CommVault VM agent with VCB it was backing up a 100 GB virtual disk image. 100 GB instead of 40 GB. Ouch, forever, not so fine.

    I tried all these things to improve the performance, but I could never get it to work very well. I am in no way saying I am perfect and did everything right, but I could not get it to work like I thought it should...

    I am now upgrading my VM farm to 4.x and it's VCB backup methods seem a lot better... I will be trying the CommVault and VCB way again a few weeks...

  • Re: are you'all really using virtual server agent
    Posted: 08-05-2010, 4:08 PM

    I've been using it in a smaller environment with vSphere 4 and 2 hosts with about 15 virtual servers.  It does seem to take a while to back everything up.  The method of using the CommVault VSA with vSphere VADP should improve performance over using the older VCB method.  The VADP method doesn't require a proxy server to be used and incremental backups are faster with the Change Block Tracking (CBT).

  • Re: are you'all really using virtual server agent
    Posted: 08-05-2010, 4:39 PM

    d3h614,

    Could you provide more details on the method you are looking to use?

    MrBillA,

    vSphere will allow you to take advantage of VADP and could cut your backup time in half by eliminating the need to stage the backup data. You will also now be able to thin provision the disks and only backup what you use.

    John

  • Re: are you'all really using virtual server agent
    Posted: 08-05-2010, 4:47 PM

    we are actually using vsphere 4 - have about 40 esx hosts - i tried the VADP which was supposed to work well .. i think it would probably work well with a few vms (50-100) but not 600 like we have. 

  • Re: are you'all really using virtual server agent
    Posted: 08-05-2010, 4:51 PM

    i actually am just looking for someone .. anyone .. using vsphere - backing up (VADP) using commvault with a very large environment. 

  • Re: are you'all really using virtual server agent
    Posted: 08-07-2010, 3:34 PM

    Bumping this post for increased visibility.

     

    @d3h614: If you have specific questions we can surely assist.

     

  • Re: are you'all really using virtual server agent
    Posted: 08-09-2010, 11:42 AM

    We have a similar size enviroment (600+ VMs).  I'm in the beginning stages of moving our VM backups over to VSA using VADP. 

    I would have to concur with you that setting this up is looking to be a bit on the painful side but the perfomance increase with VADP is noticeable and worth the effort.   Make sure you are current with all the patches and recommended registry settings from Commvault Support. 

    Another benefit in my opinion, is the ease of the restore process.   And isn't that really the whole reason of backing these stupid things up.  Tongue out

     

     

     

     

  • Re: are you'all really using virtual server agent
    Posted: 08-10-2010, 4:56 AM
    • mort is not online. Last active: 01-13-2016, 10:37 AM mort
    • Top 50 Contributor
    • Joined on 07-06-2010
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    Currently backing up 200+ VM's (an amount that is increasing every day), using VADP.

    I had a few issues during config, but heving sorted these out, the difference is well worth it.

    There's still a few things I'd like to see in the virtual server agent. i.e I'd like the ability to create backupsets based on vmware resource groups, in essence to logically backup the same way I organise in VMware.  I can do this manually, but it would be nice to have a catch all "backup resource group x", which would automatically include new VMs within this resource group.

    Seriously finally feeling confident about the whole backup/restore cycle in my VMware environment!

     

  • Re: are you'all really using virtual server agent
    Posted: 08-13-2010, 11:50 AM

    I'm backing up over 200 vms using VSA, Simpana 8 across three media servers.   The full backup performance is lousy using the existing SATA disks we own, so I would recommend you purchase SAS disks for improved performance.  Additionally, we invested in a Data Domain DD630 for deduplication and have found performance to be 50% of the SATA disks, so we are quite disappointed with hardware based de-duplication.   If you need de-duplication, i'd stick with SAS disks and use CV with it's de-duplication feature.

    CommVault continues to struggle with Incremental backups using VSA, though has recently released a hotfix 18662 that might improve performance, though up to now the incremental backup speed using the Changed Block Tracking (CBT) in a vSphere 4.0 environment is poor. 

  • Re: are you'all really using virtual server agent
    Posted: 08-13-2010, 12:31 PM

    Jimmy:

    CommVault continues to struggle with Incremental backups using VSA, though has recently released a hotfix 18662 that might improve performance, though up to now the incremental backup speed using the Changed Block Tracking (CBT) in a vSphere 4.0 environment is poor. 

    I received a 400% increase in performance after the patch.  Highly recommended!

  • Re: are you'all really using virtual server agent
    Posted: 08-13-2010, 3:02 PM

    Just out of curiousity for those of you running larger vritual enviroments,  How many Virtual Server Agents do you have installed and on average how many VMs are you backing up per sub-client on these VSA? 

     

     

  • Re: are you'all really using virtual server agent
    Posted: 08-13-2010, 3:20 PM
  • Re: are you'all really using virtual server agent
    Posted: 08-16-2010, 4:14 AM
    • mort is not online. Last active: 01-13-2016, 10:37 AM mort
    • Top 50 Contributor
    • Joined on 07-06-2010
    • Patrick
    • Adept
    • Points 209

    Currently running two Virtual Server Agents.

    8 Backup Sets (organised by VMWare resource group), with approximately 10-15 Sub-clients per backup set, each with one VM.

    Shortly to add a third and fourth VSA once they are added into the SAN fabrics, short of ports so awaiting 2 new FC switches!

     

  • Re: are you'all really using virtual server agent
    Posted: 08-16-2010, 2:23 PM

    I kept getting constant index corruption and failed backups, I just got fed up. I wound up installing the VMware Data Recovery Appliance and dumping the files to our network where the commvaulta media agent backs it up with the file system ida. Uses MUCH less space and is WAY faster.

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