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Vmware 6.5 and VVOL managed snapshot protection

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arik01071
Occasional Visitor

Vmware 6.5 and VVOL managed snapshot protection

Hello,

We been running for some time nimble arrays without any issues and with overall success using standard datastores.

we got two FC nimble arrays with datastore snapshots policy and replication policy between both (most of them are none vm aware, just storage snapshots)

currently we are looking into moving to VVOLS as we relly want to consolidate protection with vsphere management , we already tested it with VSPHERE 6.5 and it seems working, but as it is new technology we are looking into all possible drawbacks so first of all does anyone can comment for reasons staying on luns vs moving o vvols ?

  • what i figured for now the limit is for 1000 vvol that is about 250 vms, does the count include all the replciated offline vms from the partner array?
  • if we lose vcenter appliance and for some reason dont have the option to restore do we also lose the access to vvols? what will be the route for getting them back? it seem much more difficult than advertising vmfs luns.
  • instead of investing into veeam 9.5 and managing file level restore from vmfs storage snapshots is there any better way doing it so directly from vmware?when we tested the vmware storage policy there were only options in policy to set array based snapshots and replication, we want it to be se as vmware snapshots is there any way?

as there is not much info for nimble and vvol integration except the basic setup and etc.. i would really appriciate if someone who tried it can comment.

tnx!

8 REPLIES
ndyer39
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: Vmware 6.5 and VVOL managed snapshot protection

Hello Arik,

If you're using vSphere 6.5 and NimbleOS 3.5.x or above then you're testing the new VVol 2.x framework with VASA 3 - which is enhanced over vSphere 6.x and VASA 2. A few enhancements here are towards replicating and restoring VVols to another vCenter. Whilst it's not inbuilt within VMware as a restoration framework, Nimble Support have written all the PowerCLI scripts to get the VVols back up and running in the event of a failure - so please do reach out to them should you want assistance.

The current volume limit within NimbleOS 3.x is indeed 1000, and thus it restricts us to somewhere around 330-odd VMs (3 VVols per VM = 999 volumes in total), however 1000 volumes DOES also include any volumes that have been replicated to the array from a partner's system. NimbleOS 4 - due for beta very shortly - will contain a drastic hike in the volume limits in order to allow thousands of VMs installed in a VVol environment (and as a consequence snapshot limits will rise considerably too).

VVols are designed to back the storage functions to the array itself - so VVol snapshots do not appear as a 'VMware snapshot' as they are inherently different. It is very easy to mount a Nimble snapshot to a VM and perform a file level restore. It could be done in the Nimble GUI or through a PowerCLI script. Veeam gives a easy-to-use GUI to use their file level recovery tools (as well as recovery tools for Exchange, SQL, AD, Oracle etc) which is worth the money as part of the backup strategy. One caveat: Veeam integration DOES NOT support VVols today nor do they support vSphere 6.5. We hope this to be resolved in a future Veeam update.

Hope the above helps!

arik01071
Occasional Visitor

Re: Vmware 6.5 and VVOL managed snapshot protection

Thanks for clearing out the concerns for availability and future support for growing vm number.
I still don't sure if there is benefit of migrating to vvol since there is no built in option to clone snapshot or issue file level restore from vcenter.

one thing I noticed that when we manually made snapshot of vm based on vvol it offloaded the nimble storage array snapshot and didn't create the vmdk delta file as it usually does (this is very promising)

but there is still no way for vcenter administrator to schedule those snapshot or even perform a clone or restore from them inside vcenter, we still need to got back to nimble ui and restore from there which is somehow more difficult because there are some vms thaht have multiple volumes inside... it will be great the restore or clone option (like there is in vmfs) added to vcenter plugin in next release.

arik01071
Occasional Visitor

Re: Vmware 6.5 and VVOL managed snapshot protection

I am also struggling to find how to restore VVOL from replica array (in case primary array fails and so on the vcenter)

i see all of the vvols in the root folder of the pool but could not find any way to make them visible to associated vcenter.

also do i need to manualy delete replica and snapshots of vvols that migrated back to vmfs? they seem to remain stale in the array.

ndyer39
Honored Contributor

Re: Vmware 6.5 and VVOL managed snapshot protection

Hello Arik,

As mentioned previously, we have built all the PowerCLI cmdlets in order to allow you to bring the environment back up in a DR scenario using the replicas. You can obtain them by chatting with Support who would be able to assist you. There is no supported way to restore the VVols within the VMware GUI right now.

You will need to manually clear down any replicas or clones that are now 'orphaned' by any data migrations you have done unless as they may not reside under a retention schedule if you have delete the VVol itself.

arik01071
Occasional Visitor

Re: Vmware 6.5 and VVOL managed snapshot protection

Thanks for the quick info

we will stay with VFMS right now until os 4 will release then it might woth to test again.

ndyer39
Honored Contributor

Re: Vmware 6.5 and VVOL managed snapshot protection

Hi Arik,

Why would you wait for NimbleOS 4?

arik01071
Occasional Visitor

Re: Vmware 6.5 and VVOL managed snapshot protection

you had written above that in os 4 there will be increase for current vvol limit... that is the main cause.

hopefully until then vvol will have more 3rd party support (veeam) and will have deeper integration to vcenter (ability to clone,restore etc.. from the plugin)

ndyer39
Honored Contributor

Re: Vmware 6.5 and VVOL managed snapshot protection

Ah ha! Gotcha, sorry I didn't re-read the thread before posting.

A lot of the new enhancements for our VVol framework were delivered within NimbleOS 3.6. The only major improvement directly related to VVols in NimbleOS 4 will be the increase in volumes. There are no additional enhancements to the vCenter Plugin, which is focused more on traditional VMFS datastore management rather than the SPBM management natively within VMware.