You can shoot yourself in the foot with snapshots

Turns out that all snapshots are placed in the VM’s default/root folder.  Sounds obvious, right?  How about if you’ve assigned multiple virtual hard disks on different datastores?  That’s where you can have trouble.  Using VMware Data Recovery, which first creates a snapshot, then backs it the VMDK, you may not realize until it’s too late that you’ve filled up one of your datastores. VMware provides a way to alter the snapshot “working directory”, but keep in mind that you’ll have to reset that property each time you Storage vMotion that VM.


NFS Datastore on EMC NS-120 for VMware Data Recovery


I have a handful of 7.2K RPM 1TB SATA drives in the NS-120 that I didn’t want to use as a datastore for multiple VMs, but would be an ideal backup-to-disk location.  Clearly, I could have connected the hosts to the storage over the existing FC connections, but really, this IS a Celerra and I can expose volumes via iSCSI or NFS.  So, I created a pool and a LUN, assigned the LUN (on the CLARiiON portion) to the Celerra.

Datastore on NFS

When you add a NFS export to the Celerra, you have to create a network interface on the data movers first.  The NFS “server” listens on this interface.  The documentation is a little misleading – I was trying to connect to the Control Station IP.  Making matters worse, the VMKernel logs states “The NFS server does not support MOUNT version 3 over TCP”.  That’s a lot of help.  Here’s a wild goose, go catch it.

Hopefully, this will help someone save some time when connecting their vSphere host to an NFS export on a Celerra.

VMware Data Recovery

I deployed VDR using the ovf, this is nice.  It prompts where to put the vmdk, what network to use and let it transfer.

Next, install the VDR client plugin and restart the vSphere Client.  You’ll need to add a vDisk or two to the VDR appliance to use as backup locations.  Don’t start the VMware Data Recovery app or the VDR appliance until after you’ve added the additional vDisks. (not a big deal, but you’ll have to restart the appliance to get it to see the vDisks you added)

The Getting Started Wizard is pretty self-explanatory and it segues into the Backup Wizard.  The wizard will require you to format and mount the backup locations you created in the Getting Started Wizard, but once that is finished, you’ll be able to continue your first backup job configuration.  Naturally, once I had it created and scheduled, I had to make it backup now.  Like a kid, I ran to see the drive lights blinking on the SATA drives only exposed via NFS on the EMC.  Yay!  it worked!