VSAN – Compliance Status is Out of Date

Occasionally the Compliance status of the performance service will go to the “out of date” status. This is not an alert that is thrown anywhere within vCenter. You will have to check this status by logging into the vSphere web client, locating your vCenter, choose the cluster, clicking on “Manage” then choosing “Health and Performance” under “Virtual SAN”
ComplianceStatus-a

As I have recently fixed this issue the above screenshot shows the “Compliant” status. Below are the steps to get to that point.

1. In the box for “Performance Service” click “Edit storage policy”
ComplianceStatus-01

2. If there is a storage policy available in the drop down, select it and click “OK”. This will apply that policy and perform the compliance check.
ComplianceStatus-02

For the lucky few where that works, that’s all you need to do. If the storage policy list is empty you’ll need to restart the vsanmgmtd service on each of the hosts.

3. Enable SSH on each of the hosts in the VSAN cluster and using an SSH client (like putty), SSH to a host and run the following command to restart the vsanmgmtd service (this is a non-impactful operation and should be able to be performed during production hours with no impact)
a. /etc/init.d/vsanmgmtd restart

4. Repeat that command on each of the hosts in the cluster until they have all restarted their services
ComplianceStatus-04

5. Wait 5 minutes and then check to see if you are able to select a storage policy for the performance service. If not, move on to step 6

6. Now we’ll need to restart the vSphere Profile-Driven Storage Service on the vCenter server. This is also non-impactful and should be able to be performed in the middle of the day. If you’re using vCenter on windows, connect to the Windows server and restart the “Vmware vSphere Profile-Driven Storage Service”. If using VCSA (like this example) you’ll need to SSH to the VCSA and run the command below
a. Service vmware-sps restart

7. After the vmware-sps service restarts, log out of the web client and wait for 5 minutes while the storage profile service completes its restart.

8. Log back in to the web client, navigate to the vCenter server, click “Manage” then choose the “Storage Providers” tab
ComplianceStatus-08

9. Click the Synchronize Providers button to resync the state of the environment
ComplianceStatus-09

10. Wait another 5 minutes while these synchronize completes. After 5 minutes, navigate to the VSAN cluster in the web client. Click on “Manage” then choose “Settings” and locate “Health and Performance” under the “Virtual SAN” section
ComplianceStatus-10

11. In the Performance Service box, click the “Edit Storage Policy” button
ComplianceStatus-11

12. From the drop down list you should be able to select the appropriate VSAN storage policy and then click “OK”
ComplianceStatus-12

13. After this is selected the compliance status should change to “Compliant” and you should be all set.

So far these are the only steps that I have needed to follow in order to fix this issue. Let me know if there are any other fixes available.

Change IP of vCSA

While changing the IP address of my vCenter Server is not something I’ve ever had to do before that changed this week. In my quest to separate networks into more logical groupings instead of everything living on the same subnet I had to change the IP address of my vCenter Server Appliance to place it on a new network along with the hosts it was managing. There is apparently a right way and a wrong way to do this.

I logged into the vCSA web interface (vCenterIP:5480), clicked on the “Network” tab and then click on “Address” and assumed this would be the correct place. So I changed the IP address and clicked “Save Settings” then rebooted the appliance.

changeip012315-step1

Yeah…that wasn’t right. As I watched the appliance boot from the console I saw a lot of errors being thrown trying to access services running on the old address and failing. Then I decided to shut down (not reboot) the vCSA and try a different method. This is a pretty simple process, but in case you’re looking for the right way of doing it, this is what worked for me.

Once the appliance is powered off, right click and choose “Edit Settings”
changeip012315-step2

Click the “Options” tab then choose “Properties” under “vApp Options”
changeip012315-step3

Enter the new IP address, gateway, and any other information that is changing. If you’re moving it to a new portgroup, update that now as well and click “OK”
changeip012315-step4

Once the changes have been made, power on the appliance and you should see the new addresses being referenced during start up.
changeip012315-step5

And now that start up is complete, we see the new IPs listed for managing the appliance and you should be able to connect on the new IP.
changeip012315-step6

Like I said, this is a very simple process. Once the vCSA was running, my hosts were notified of the change and were still in their cluster. Nothing bad happened and the lab continued to function as expected.

Restore Files & AD Objects From NetApp & Veeam v8

With the release of Veeam Backup & Replication v8 we can restore directly from NetApp Snapshots. Whether it’s an entire VM, individual files, or just some objects in Active Directory, you can do it all from the Veeam console. For a guide on installing and configuring Veeam v8 with NetApp storage, click here

We’ll be testing the restore of individual files and some Active Directory objects for this blog post. In this scenario we have a couple Domain Controllers (2008 R2) and a couple of member servers with some files that we’ll delete. We also have an OU with a couple users, a member server, and a group.

Each of these VMs sit on either of these two volumes, Win_2008 and Win_2012. If you click on “Storage Infrastructure” in the Veeam Backup and Replication console, then expand your NetApp storage you’ll see a list of all the volumes available and their snapshots.
veeamrest120114-part1

1. I’ve taken a snapshot in NetApp System Manager of these volumes. To list these snaps, refresh the volume by right-clicking on the volume and choosing “Rescan volume” or right click on the storage array and choose “Rescan Storage” (Since we have 2 volumes to refresh, we’ll rescan storage.
veeamrest120114-step1
2. A new window will popup showing the progress
veeamrest120114-step2
3. Once completed, we now see the new snapshot I created called “Pre-delete”
veeamrest120114-step3
4.I’m going to delete a file from the server “Lab2008” (on the Win_2008 datastore) and “Lab2012” (on the Win_2012 datastore) that are sitting on my desktop.
veeamrest120114-step4a
veeamrest120114-step4b
5. And let’s also delete the OU “Delete Test” which contains a couple test users, a group they are apart of and the VM “Lab2008”
veeamrest120114-step5
6. Now that those files and OU\objects have been delete, let’s go back to the Veeam console and see what we can recover. We’ll start with the files for the “Lab2012” VM.
7. Expanding “Win_2012” datastore in “Storage Infrastructure” view, click on the name of the snapshot I created earlier and we see the “Lab2012” VM
veeamrest120114-step7
8. We right-click on “Lab2012”, hover over “Restore guest files” and then choose “Microsoft Windows”
veeamrest120114-step8
9. Under the “File Level Restore” screen, click “Customize” in the bottom right corner
veeamrest120114-step9
10. As long as you’re restoring to a vCenter/Host that’s already been added to Veeam, choose the host, resource pool (if any) and folder. Click “OK” then click “Next”
veeamrest120114-step10
11. Enter a reason for the restore and click “Next”
veeamrest120114-step11
12. Click “Finish”
veeamrest120114-step12
13. The restore session will open and mount the snapshot/VM to the chosen host
veeamrest120114-step13
14. In vCenter, we see these 2 tasks of creating a datastore and registering the virtual machine.
veeamrest120114-step14
15. On the host, we see a new powered off VM with the name of “Lab2012” followed by a GUID.
veeamrest120114-step15
16. Back at the Veeam console, the Backup Browser window appears and we can browse to the location of the deleted file
veeamrest120114-step16
17. From here, we can copy the file to our local machine or restore it directly to the Virtual Machine. Right click on the file and choose “Restore” then “Overwrite”
veeamrest120114-step17
18. We’ll pick “Use the following account” and choose my Lab Domain credentials and click “OK”
veeamrest120114-step18
19. The restore process will start and you’ll see this output if you click “Show Details”
veeamrest120114-step19
20. Logging back in to “Lab2012” we can see the file has been restored
veeamrest120114-step20
21. Close the “Restoring files” window in the Veeam console and the “Backup Browser” window. After they’re closed, the VM will be unregistered on the host and the datastore will be unmounted.
22. I’m doing a restore from “Lab2008” but this time I will just copy the file to my local computer instead of restoring to the guest VM. After browsing the datastore snapshots and choosing “Restore Guest Files”, we’ll browse the directory structure, locate the file, right-click and choose “Copy To”
veeamrest120114-step22
23. A window will pop up to choose the folder location on your machine and whether to preserve permissions and ownership. Then click “OK”
veeamrest120114-step23
24. Now in the root of the C: drive we have the “Lab2008-txt” file
veeamrest120114-step24
25. Let’s look at the “Lab2008” VM now. It was in that OU we deleted and after rebooting it and trying to login we receive the message “The security database on the server does not have a computer account for this workstation trust relationship”. We can fix that.
veeamrest120114-step25
26. Back in the Veeam console and the “Pre-delete” snapshot for the “Win_2008” datastore, we’ll locate the “Lab-DC01” VM. Right click on the VM, hover over “Restore application items” and then click “Microsoft Active Directory objects”
veeamrest120114-step26
27. Our host settings are saved from the last restore we did, so click “Next”
veeamrest120114-step27
28. Enter a restore reason and click “Next”
veeamrest120114-step28
29. Review the summary and click “Finish”
veeamrest120114-step29
30. The Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Active Directory window will appear
veeamrest120114-step30
31. Then the VM will be mounted in vCenter
veeamrest120114-step31
32. Once the Veeam Explorer window for AD opens, you’ll be able to browse your Domain object. We’ll expand the “LabOU” object where we see “Delete Test” with the same 2 test users, “Lab2008” server and the group those users belong to.
veeamrest120114-step32
33. Right click the “Delete Test” OU and choose “Restore container to LabDC.local”
veeamrest120114-step33
34. Enter the credentials for the account with access to add objects to the domain and click “OK”
veeamrest120114-step34
35. You’ll see the progress of the restore and then the summary of how many objects were restored
veeamrest120114-step35

(In order for this to work your Veeam server will need network access to the live domain controller)

36. If we refresh the screen for Active Directory Users and Computers on “Lab-DC01” we’ll see the OU is back with all of it’s objects
veeamrest120114-step36
37. In the properties for the users, we can see that group membership was retained. The group “Email Group” is located in another OU and that membership was restored as well
veeamrest120114-step37
38. And now when we try to login to “Lab2008” with domain credentials it works with no issues.

 

How fast can this restore happen? From the time I opened the Veeam console until the time the OU reported as being restored took 3 minutes and 34 seconds. In an emergency where someone accidentally deletes an entire OU, a user account, a server, or anything else, they can all be restored in under 5 minutes time without the need to reset any passwords and everything will work without anyone ever noticing. Veeam is awesome and just keeps getting better and better.

Veeam v8 Install With NetApp Config

Veeam has released v8 of it’s Backup and Replication software. As a long time Veeam user this is a release I have been waiting for. Previously, Veeam had released support for storage snapshots on HP storage arrays, but with my environments being primarily NetApp over the last few years I wasn’t able to take advantage. Now in v8, we can restore and backup directly from snapshot. This speeds up the process and limits the impact on the Virtual Machines in the environment.

This guide walks you through a brand new installation of Veeam Backup & Replication v8 on Server 2012 and how to add your NetApp storage array as an object to browse existing snapshots. This is a high-level guide and in the future I’ll do a more in-depth backup/restore from Storage. For my guide on installing Veeam v7 with Windows 2012 R2 Data Deduplication, click here.

If you’re not interested in a custom SQL Express installation as well, pick up the guide at step 15. Steps 1-15 show how to install SQL Express to the secondary drive to prevent growing databases from affecting the main OS partition.

Prerequisites:

1. Dedicated server for installing Veeam
2. License file for Veeam (copied out to the server)
3. Latest version of Veeam v8 downloaded and mounted on the server (the installer is in an .ISO)
4. A service account for running the Veeam services (Optional, but my preferred method)
5. Username/password with admin rights to vCenter
6. Username/password for NetApp array (for this post I’ll be using the ‘root’ account)

Steps:

1. Right click the DVD drive and click “Open”
veeamv8111714-step1
2. Navigate to Redistr -> x64. Locate SQLEXPRx64.exe, right click and choose “Run as administrator”
veeamv8111714-step2
3. Click “Yes” to run the installer if prompted
veeamv8111714-step3
4. Under the “Installation” section, click “New SQL Server stand-alone installation”
veeamv8111714-step4
5. Click the check box for “I accept the license terms” and decide if you want to send feature usage data to Microsoft then click “Next”
veeamv8111714-step5
6. Ensure the check box for “Include SQL Server product updates” is checked and click “Next”
veeamv8111714-step6
7. Updates and setup files will install…
veeamv8111714-step7
8. Choose the features to install (Database Engine Services is the only thing required). Choose the install directory (I always choose the secondary drive of the machine and click “Next”
veeamv8111714-step8
9. Choose a name for the instance or leave as default (SQLExpress), choose the instance root directory (secondary drive again) and click “Next”
veeamv8111714-step9
10. Enter a service account for running the SQL DB engine (or leave it as local system) and click “Next”
veeamv8111714-step10
11. Choose “Mixed mode” for the authentication type then enter a password for the “sa” account (Immediately save this password somewhere). Choose the groups/users that will be SQL Server administrators
veeamv8111714-step11a

a. Be default, only users/groups added here will have access to the Veeam console. If you don’t want to grant permissions to the SQL instance, you can grant access to these users/groups for the Veeam database after it has been created

12. Click on the “Data Directories” tab and ensure all the directories are pointing to the secondary drive and click “Next”
veeamv8111714-step12
13. Choose whether to send error reports and click “Next” and the installation will begin
veeamv8111714-step13
14. Once the installation completes, click “Close”
veeamv8111714-step14
15. Close the “SQL Server Installation Center” window. Navigate back to the root of the DVD drive. Right click on “Setup.exe” and choose “Run as administrator”
veeamv8111714-step15
16. Click “Yes” to run the installer if prompted
veeamv8111714-step16
17. Click “install” for “Veeam Backup & Replication”
veeamv8111714-step17
18. Click “Next”
veeamv8111714-step18
19. Read and accept the license terms and click “Next”
veeamv8111714-step19
20. Click “Browse” and locate your license file then click “Next”
veeamv8111714-step20
21. Choose the features to install and the install directory then click “Next”

a. To install to a different location (like a secondary drive), the folders need to be created ahead of time
veeamv8111714-step21

22. If any features are missing, click “Install”
veeamv8111714-step22
23. Once the system configuration check passes, click “Next”
veeamv8111714-step23
24. Review the default configuration and if no changes need to be made, click “Install”
veeamv8111714-step24
25. Once the install completes, click “Finish”
veeamv8111714-step25
26. Close the setup window and restart the server
27. After the server finishes rebooting, login and view the services to ensure the Veeam and SQL services that are “Automatic” have started
veeamv8111714-step27
28. Open “Veeam Backup & Replication”
veeamv8111714-step28
29. Click “Managed servers” on the left side and then click “VMware vSphere”
veeamv8111714-step29
30. Enter the name or IP of the vCenter Server and click “Next”
veeamv8111714-step30
31. Click the “Add” button and then enter the username/password of an account with permissions on the vCenter server. Click “OK” then click “Next”
veeamv8111714-step31
32. Click “Finish”
veeamv8111714-step32
33. To add your NetApp storage systems to Veeam, click on “Storage Infrastructure” and then click the “Add Storage” button
veeamv8111714-step33
34. Click “NetApp Data ONTAP”
veeamv8111714-step34
35. Enter the Name or IP of the storage system and click “Next”
veeamv8111714-step35
36. Click “Add” to add credentials to connect to the NetApp then choose the protocol and port. Click “Next”
veeamv8111714-step36
37. If the name/IP and credentials work, click finish and discovery of VMs and LUNs/Volumes will begin.
veeamv8111714-step37
38. Once storage and VMs have been discovered, click “Close”
veeamv8111714-step38
39. In the “Storage Infrastructure” view, expand “NetApp”, then the storage system. Choose a volume with virtual machines and current volume snapshots. Expand the volume, choose a snapshot and see what VMs are inside.
veeamv8111714-step39

a. From this view you can delete existing snapshots, create new storage snapshots, and rescan the volume for new snapshots. At the VM-level, you can instantly recover the VM from snapshot, restore guest-OS files, and even restore objects from Active Directory, Exchange, SQL or SharePoint.
veeamv8111714-step39a

40. Click on “Backup & Replication” then expand “Backups” and click on “Storage snapshots.” You’ll see a list of all the volumes that have snapshots, what VM’s are in those snapshots, and how many restore points are available.
veeamv8111714-step40

This is the basics of installing Veeam v8 and connecting to your vCenter Server and NetApp Storage. The process is incredibly simple and like every else from Veeam it just works. In the future I intend to add more restore scenarios such as application item recovery and VM recovery from storage snapshots.

Tegile Array Replication and Restore

These days most of my replication is handled at the VM-level by software design for virtualization. While that is the case for most of my evironment, I still have a few non-virtualized workloads that run on shared storage that need to be replicated in the event of a disaster at my primary location. This process has never been too complex from my days of working with NetApp and now as I continue exploring the Tegile I’m happy to say that it’s just as easy through the GUI.

Documenting this process for my non-virtual workloads would be a little difficult so I’ve decided to document this process using an NFS datastore containing a few virtual machines. The first half of this guide is setting up the replication relationship and replicating the data. The second-half is the process to actually restore that data and make it usable at your DR site.

 

1. Login to the web interface of the Tegile that is the replication source
2. Click on “Settings” then “App-Aware”
tegiledr111214-step2
3. Click on “Zebi Replication” on the left column
tegiledr111214-step3
4. Under the tab “Replication Target” click the “Add” button (This is adding the DR Tegile as the target array)
tegiledr111214-step4
5. Enter the name or IP of the array (the shared Management IP address) and the username/password (Optionally you can specify a port range for replication which we won’t be doing for this documentation) and click “Add”
tegiledr111214-step5
6. Once it has been successfully added it will appear in the “Replication Target” list
tegiledr111214-step6
7. Login to the web interface of the DR target Tegile, click on “Settings” then “App-Aware”, choose “Zebi Replication” on the left column and then click on “Replication Source” tab. You should see your other array listed here (The IP address will be the “management” IPs of each controller, not the shared management IP for both arrays)
tegiledr111214-step7
8. Back on the Primary Tegile (Replication source) click on “Data”
tegiledr111214-step8
9. Click on the disk pool then then project that will be replicated
tegiledr111214-step9
10. For this documentation I’ve created a Project named “NFS_Replication” with a volume named DR_Windows with 4 VMs inside. Click on the project that will be replicated and click on the “Edit” button
tegiledr111214-step10
11. Click on “Replication” on the left column
tegiledr111214-step11
12. Click the “Add Replication” button
tegiledr111214-step12

a. Select the Target System and click “Next”
tegiledr111214-step12a
b. Select the “Target Pool” and enter a name for the “Replication Project”. Click “Next”
tegiledr111214-step12b
c. Choose what options are required and which volumes will be replicated (This test only has one volume, DR_Windows, but you can include or exclude any volumes that exist in this project. We’ll choose quiesce which will perform a VMware snapshot to put the OS in a consistent state. Click “Next”
tegiledr111214-step12c
d. Choose your schedule (manual or automatic), frequency, and how many additional snapshots (restore points) will be saved on the target array. For this example we’ll do daily replication that happens at 10:49 am and we’ll keep 14 snapshots. Click “Finish”
tegiledr111214-step12d
e. Once it’s all setup, you’ll see your target array, the target pool, and the target project
tegiledr111214-step12e

13. I have 4 VMs in that datastore (DR-Test01-04). Once the time hits, we can see that snapshots are taken, then removed, for each of the VMs in that datastore.
tegiledr111214-step13
14. On the DR target array, we can see we now have snapshots available for this project. (The reason there are 2 is because I initiated a manual replication sync for testing first)
tegiledr111214-step14

a. To manually kick off a replica snapshot, on the source array, find the project, click on “Replication” and then click the “Play” button that says “Replicate”
tegiledr111214-step14a

 

That is how simple it is to setup replication. Now let’s imagine we need to spin up those replicated VMs in this volume. Here is how we do that.

 

1. On the DR target array, click on Data, select the pool, then click on “Replica (1)” to view the replica project
tegilerest111214-step1
2. Click the “Edit” button for the NFS volume
tegilerest111214-step2
3. Click on “Snapshots” and find the snapshot you want to bring live (We’ll choose the latest version). Click the “Clone” button
tegilerest111214-step3

a. Cloning the snapshot will allow us to create a new project and NFS Volume from this snapshot and spin up these VMs in DR. By doing a clone, we’re able to continue to replicate data in the event you are testing replication instead of having an actual DR event.

4. Enter a name for the new Project (DR_NFS_Replication for this writing) and a name for the mount point (/export/DR_NFS_Replication for this writing) and click “Clone”
tegilerest111214-step4
5. If successful, you’ll receive this message about the new project being created. Click “OK”
tegilerest111214-step5
6. Close the window for “Share Configuration” and click on “Local (1)” under “Projects”
tegilerest111214-step6
7. Click on the “DR_NFS_Replication” project then view the Mountpoint of the Share (/export/DR_NFS_Replication/DR_Windows). Note the “c” before the share name which denotes it was a clone from another projects
tegilerest111214-step7
8. Click the “Edit” button for the project and then click on “Sharing”
tegilerest111214-step8
9. This is where you will add the IP addresses or range of IPs that need read/write and root access to the shares in this project. The IP addresses/ranges will carry over from the source array. Our IP range is the same in DR as our lab so we’ll leave this alone.
tegilerest111214-step9
10. Connect to your DR vCenter server or ESXi hosts. Click on the host, then “Configuration”, then “Storage”
tegilerest111214-step10
11. Click “Add Storage” towards the top right
tegilerest111214-step11
12. Choose “Network File System” and click “Next”
tegilerest111214-step12
13. Enter the NFS IP address of the DR Tegile, enter the folder path (/export/DR_NFS_Replication/DR_Windows) and then enter the name of the Datastore (DR_Windows). Click “Next”
tegilerest111214-step13
14. Review the summary info and click “Finish”
tegilerest111214-step14
15. Repeat for each host that needs access to this datastore. Afterwards, right click the datastore and click “Browse Datastore”
tegilerest111214-step15
16. Inside you’ll see the 4 VMs we that were located in here before. Open each folder, right click the VM name.vmx file and choose “Add to inventory”
tegilerest111214-step16
17. Enter the name and location for the VM and click “Next”
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18. Choose the Cluster or host and click “Next”
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19. Review the settings and click “Finish.” Repeat for each VM that needs to be added.
tegilerest111214-step19
20. Power on all the VMs and now you can run any validation tests or bring these VMs live in a DR event
tegilerest111214-step20

 

Obviously, the process of mounting the datastore in your DR vCenter Server and re-adding the VMs one by one would be time consuming and tedious. When developing your DR plans, having this process scripted (easy enough in something like PowerCLI) ahead of time on the vCenter side of things would ease that burden. From the standpoint of the Tegile, this process is fairly intuitive and simple to setup. One of the things I love is that by default the data you are bringing live on the DR site is a clone and replication continues running without being affected.

Deploy NetApp OnCommand Balance 4.2

OnCommand Balance is a virtual appliance deployed within vCenter that allows you to monitor the health of your VMware environment at the Virtual Machine, vCenter and Storage level. Having a single place that displays end-to-end performance allows you to spend less time troubleshooting performance issues and trying to correlate data and address potential issues in your environment.

I’ve been using OnCommand Balance (formerly OnCommand Insight Balance) for a few years now and it has saved countless hours finding issues in the environment. We’ve had historical data available to look at growth and performance trends, as well as increased demand on individual servers after code releases/updates. Having access to the information within the VMs (such as drive space filling up) also makes this an invaluable tool.

The following documentation will take you through the deployment process of the Virtual Appliance and initial setup. You will go through adding your vCenter hosts, storage controllers, creating saved credentials, connecting to Active Directory for authentication and provision a Windows proxy service for monitoring Windows Servers.

Prerequisites:
1. A user account with appropriate permissions to vCenter for OnCommand Balance to use
2. A domain account with permissions to access all monitored Windows machines (preferrably a Domain Admin account)
3. A separate Windows Server/VM that will be used as the Proxy service to monitor Windows machines
a. Must have latest version of Java 6 installed and User Account Control disabled
4. Username/password for the NetApps that will be monitored

Steps:
1. Download the latest version of OnCommand Balance (4.2) for this writing from the NetApp website
balance101414-step1
2. Connect to the vSphere web interface, click on “vCenter”, “Hosts and Clusters”, expand the Datacenter, and click on the Cluster/Host that will host OnCommand Balance. Right click and choose “Deploy OVF Template”
balance101414-step2
3. Click “Local file” and then “Browse”
balance101414-step3
4. Locate the OnCommand Balance OVA and click “Open” then click “Next”
balance101414-step4
5. Review the details of the OVF then click “Next”
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6. Accept the EULA then click “Next”
balance101414-step6
7. Give the appliance a name and choose the folder location of the appliance (if any) and click “Next”
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8. Set the virtual disk format (I prefer Thin since one of the drives is 220GB) and choose the datastore. Click “Next”
balance101414-step8
9. Choose the appropriate network and then click “Next”
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10. Review the settings then click “Finish”
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11. After deployment completes, locate the appliance, right click and choose “Power On”
balance101414-step11
12. Open the console of the VM (Right-click and choose “Open Console”) where you’ll see this countdown to install VMware tools prior to configuring the Balance virtual appliance (If you miss your chance to do this at this point, I was unable to install VMware tools at all on the appliance)
balance101414-step12
13. Right-click on the VM, go to “All vCenter Actions”, then “Guest OS” and then click “Install VMware Tools”
balance101414-step13
14. After the VMware tools dialog box is displayed, click “Mount”
balance101414-step14
15. The Balance virtual appliance should recognize VMware tools ISO has been mounted and proceed with the installation
balance101414-step15
16. After VMware tools install completes, press “y” then enter to configure static Network connection for the management interface
balance101414-step16
17. Enter the following information:

a. Host name
b. Host IP address
c. Netmask
d. Gateway
e. Primary DNS address
f. Secondary DNS address
g. Search domains
balance101414-step17g

18. Review the settings and then press “y” and enter if everything is correct
balance101414-step18
19. Default OnCommand Balance console login is netapp/netapp. Login to the console
balance101414-step19
20. After a few minutes (5-10) the web service will be up and running. Connect to the https://IPofAppliance/bp to begin configuration
21. Enter the name of your organization and click “Continue”
balance101414-step21
22. Choose if you want to participate in AutoSupport and click “Submit”
balance101414-step22
23. Enter the time zone, NTP Server address, the address of the primary Balance admin (preferably a distribution group), and the SMTP server address. Click “Continue” (You can choose to change the password at this time)
balance101414-step23
24. Sit around and wait a couple minutes…
balance101414-step24
25. A blank screen may appear during this time, but eventually should take you to the OnCommand Balance login page. Login with the default credentials of admin/password or whatever password was set in step 23.
balance101414-step25
26. Click the link for “Configure you storage arrays & appliances”
balance101414-step26
27. Choose the type of storage (NetApp FAS in this case), enter the management address for one of the nodes, Enter the name of the filer, enter the credentials (root in my case) and enter a nickname of these credentials as they can be modified later on during password changes. Click “Save”
balance101414-step27
28. Even though DNS is configured correctly, I usually receive this error about the other filer of this HA system not being resolvable. Click “Enter IP address instead” and then enter the IP of the other filer and click “Resolve”
balance101414-step28
29. Click the “Refresh” link on the right side of the page a few times until “Discovery Collection” status changes to “OK”
balance101414-step29
30. Click the “Add storage system” button to add additional storage arrays (Including the HA partners). Click on “Dashboard” then choose “Configure your vCenter Server”
balance101414-step30
31. Enter the FQDN/IP Address of the vCenter server. Click “Add new” next to Credentials to add the credentials for the vCenter server
balance101414-step31
32. Enter the username, password, and nickname for these credentials. Click “Next”
balance101414-step32
33. Choose what you want monitored (though I can’t imagine why you’d choose not to monitor everything) and click “Save”
balance101414-step33
34. Click the “refresh” link until “Discovery Collection” status changes to “OK”
balance101414-step34
35. Click “Add vCenter Server” button to add any additional vCenter servers. Otherwise, hover over “Discovery” and choose “Credentials”
balance101414-step35
36. To monitor the OS’s of your VMs and physical servers, you can add those credentials on this page. I’ll add domain admin credentials for monitoring my Windows domain VMs. Click “Add credentials” button
balance101414-step36
37. Choose the login method, login name (domain\username), password, nickname for the credentials, and a description. Click “Save”
balance101414-step37
38. Once added they will appear on this screen
balance101414-step38
39. Hover over “Discovery” and choose “Proxies”
balance101414-step39
40. A proxy is required to monitor the guest OS status of Windows VMs and Physical servers. This proxy runs on a windows server. Once you’ve determined (or built) the appropriate server for the proxy, enter it’s FQDN or IP address and click “Continue”. Much like the picture below says, UAC MUST be disabled. You’ll beat your head against the wall for hours trying to figure out why it fails without that.
balance101414-step40
41. Download and install the latest 32-bit Java 6 runtime on this proxy server. Then navigate to the link listed on that proxy VM to begin the installation
balance101414-step41
42. Once the Balance Proxy Installer screen appears, click “Next”
balance101414-step42
43. Locate the folder path for the 32-bit java install and click “Next”
balance101414-step43
44. Enter an admin account for the service to be run under. Check the box for “Start service immediately after install” and click “Next”
balance101414-step44
45. Select any additional components you might need for other vendors and click “Next”
balance101414-step45
46. Review the information and click “Install”
balance101414-step46
47. Click “Finish”
balance101414-step47
48. Back at the Balance web interface, click “Validate proxy setup” and if successful, click “Continue”
balance101414-step48a
balance101414-step48b
49. Hover over “Discovery” and click on “Servers”
balance101414-step49
50. Click the link on the right side for “Unmonitored Servers”
balance101414-step50
51. Click the link next the vCenter server for “# guests are not being monitored”
balance101414-step51
52. Check the box next to the VMs you wish to monitor, choose your Credentials from the dropdown box in the center and click “Monitor guest(s)”
balance101414-step52
53. Hover over “Admin” and choose “Configuration”
balance101414-step53
54. Click “Email”. In here you can set authentication for your SMTP server, choose the “From” address for Balance emails. Click “Enable alerts” and then check all the boxes for Critical, Warning, and all categories (I prefer as many alerts as I can get). Click “Update”
balance101414-step54
55. Click on “Active Directory” and click the check box for “Enable Active Directory”
balance101414-step55
56. Enter the IP/hostname of your AD server, enter the Distinguished name of the account used to search Active Directory, and enter the password for that account. Click “Test”
balance101414-step56
57. Once successful, enter the Distinguished Name of the of the OU for the user/group that will have access to login. Enter the Distinguished name of the Group that will be able to login. Enter “sAMAccount” for the search attribute. Click “Update”
balance101414-step57
58. Hover over “Admin” and click “Users”
balance101414-step58
59. Click “Add User”
balance101414-step59
60. Change “Authentication” to “Active Directory”. Enter the username and click “Lookup”. If successfully, configured, it should populate the e-mail address. Choose the appropriate user type (Admin or User) and click “Save”
balance101414-step60

You’re all setup and ready to let OnCommand Balance start collecting data in your environment. You start to receive some information within about 30 minutes, but after 3-5 days you start to get a better understanding of what is going on in your environment and have more useful metrics.

Tegile NFS Datastore Management in vCenter

As the primary VMware and storage admin, I try to minimize the number of tools I have to use to accomplish my tasks. When it comes to provisioning and managing volumes for VMware, I prefer to do it all from within the vSphere if possible. The VSC console for my NetApp filers has saved a lot of time over the years, but as we continue to explore our Tegile array we can see what their software has to offer.

My last post was about registering the Tegile plugin with vCenter to have this functionality available in the vSphere client. This post goes into the basic administration of NFS volumes from within the vSphere client.

Prerequisites:
1. Credentials to the Tegile web interface (default is admin/tegile)
2. Registered the Tegile plugin on your vCenter server. Click here for those steps.

Steps:
1. Login to the vSphere thick client then click on “Home” and choose “Tegile Management” under “Solutions and Applications”
tegilenfs092214-step1
2. Proceed through any security warnings and login to the Tegile interface
tegilenfs092214-step2
3. On the left you’ll see a list of all the datastores on the Tegile that have been mounted on the ESXi hosts in this vCenter. Towards the bottom, click on “Add Datastore”
tegilenfs092214-step3
4. Enter the following information and click “Create”

a.Name: Name of the datastore
b. Type: Whether block or file based (SAN or NAS)
c. Protocol: NFS, iSCSI
d. Quota: Check this box to set a max size of the volume
e. ESX/ESXi Server (Version): Check the hosts that this datastore will be provisioned to
f. Pool: The disk pool for this datastore (if multiple are available)
g. Project: The project that this datastore will be associated with
h. Purpose: The type of workload hosted on this datastore (important for block size assignment)
i. Zebi Floating IP Address: The IP each ESXi host will connect to
tegilenfs092214-step4i

5. Once the operation is complete, click “OK”
tegilenfs092214-step5
6. The new datastore has been created and mounted and appears in the list of Zebi datastores
tegilenfs092214-step6
7. Click the “More Details” button for the newly created datastore to see all the details of this volume
tegilenfs092214-step7
8. In order to resize this volume, click the “resize” button
tegilenfs092214-step8

a. Check the box for “New Share Quota” and enter the new size and press “Submit”
tegilenfs092214-step8a

9. This view will refresh and the new size will be reflected
tegilenfs092214-step9
10. I have moved a virtual machine into this datastore to test the snapshot function with quiesce enabled. Click the “Snapshot” button for the datastore
tegilenfs092214-step10
11. Enter the name of the snapshot, change “Quiesce” to “on” and click “Create”
tegilenfs092214-step11
12. You’ll receive a message that snapshot creation has been triggered. Click “OK”
tegilenfs092214-step12

a. A new task will be created to snapshot all VMs that are in that datastore
tegilenfs092214-step12a

13. Once the task to remove the virtual machine snapshot completes, click the “Refresh” button on the snapshot screen to see the new snapshot
tegilenfs092214-step13
14. To delete the snapshot, check the box to the snapshot and press the “Delete” button
tegilenfs092214-step14

a. Click “Yes” to confirm deletion
tegilenfs092214-step14a
b. After this box disappears the snapshot is deleted
tegilenfs092214-step14b

i. *UPDATED 10/9/14* There was a bug in version 2.1.2.4.140802 of the Zebi software that stopped the confirmation box was going away after the snapshot deletion completed. Clicking “No” would allow you to return to the snapshot list without any errors. In version 2.1.2.5.140925 this has been fixed and now the confirmation box disappears after the snapshot deletion completes.

Those are the basic functions you can perform from within the plugin. In a future release I would like to see the ability to create full snapshot schedules from the plugin. Since I am the one who is responsible for VMware and storage in our environment it’s simple for me to create the schedule on the web interface of the Tegile array, but that is not always the case. Another function I would like to see is mounting existing datastores on new hosts without having to go through the “Add Storage” process in vCenter for each host.

I’m confident the functionality will get there and I’ll continue to build my list of feature requests for the Tegile team.

Register vCenter Server on Tegile

After 7 years of NetApp administration and implementation I have started looking for a new storage vendor that can “do it all” like NetApp has been able to do. Protocol support is a big deal in each of the environments I’ve worked in, but performance (IOPs and low-latency) are 2 things my existing NetApps haven’t been able to provide. The idea of adding capacity just to add performance is an antiquated way of thinking and NetApp just hasn’t been able to keep up with the evolving storage market.

I am starting a short series on Tegile setup and administration. Tegile came to us a couple of months ago and has impressed us from the very first conversation and all throughout our sizing and implementation. The box is simple to setup and administer and its performance is crushing our current NetApp.

This guide walks you through connecting the Tegile array to your vCenter server, installing the NFS VAAI Plugin, and setting the Tegile recommended values on the ESXi hosts. Once this is completed, you’ll be able to provision new volumes, resize existing volumes, create VM-aware storage snapshots as well as view storage performance of your VMs all from within the vSphere client.

Prerequisites:
1. Admin credentials to the Tegile and vCenter server
2. Dedicated service account in vCenter (I created an account called “ZebiAdmin”)
3. Root password for the ESXi hosts (required to set recommended values)

 

Steps:
1. Connect to the web interface of the storage array and login with Admin credentials

a. Default username: admin
b. Default password: tegile

vctegile091614-step1
2. Click on “Settings” then choose “App-Aware”
vctegile091614-step2
3. Click “Add vCenter/ESXi Host” towards the bottom
vctegile091614-step3
4. Enter the following information:

a. Host Name/IP address: Host name or IP of the vCenter server
b. Username: User account with admin access to vCenter
c. Password: Password for user account
d. Enable Quiesce: This needs to be checked if quiescing will be used at all (a VMware snapshot is taken during thestorage snapshot process for OS consistency). Can be toggled per snapshot job

vctegile091614-step4d
5. Click “Test” to see if the connection is successful. If it is, the “Save” button will turn solid blue and can be clicked
vctegile091614-step5
6. Click “OK” to confirm enabling of quiesce on VMware
vctegile091614-step6
7. Once saved, click the green “Register” button to add the Tegile plugin to vCenter
vctegile091614-step7
8. Once the registration is successful, click “OK”
vctegile091614-step8
9. Login to the vSphere thick client (not the web client). Click the “Home” button then click on “Tegile Management” under “Solutions and Applications” (Click yes to proceed through any certificate warnings)
vctegile091614-step9
10. Login to the Tegile web interface (Likely the same username and password as in step 1)
vctegile091614-step1
11. In this interface you’ll see a list of Datastores on the Tegile that are mounted on your ESXi hosts as well as real-time stats of your array, datastores, and VMs.
vctegile091614-step11
vctegile091614-step11-2
12. Click on “ESX Settings”
vctegile091614-step12
13. Select all the ESXi hosts and then click the Green Arrow icon to install/upgrade the VAAI NFS plugin on these hosts
vctegile091614-step13
14. After the install completes (may take 2-3 minutes), click the “Configuration” button for each host
vctegile091614-step14
15. Login to the ESXi host (likely “root” credentials)
vctegile091614-step15

a. Click “Yes” to enable SSH on this host if it isn’t already enabled
vctegile091614-step15a

16. NFS.MaxQueueDepth should be set to “32” and the rules for iSCSI and FC can be installed in this location. Click “Save” to enable these changes

17. After the NFS VAAI plugin has been installed and settings saved, reboot the host. Repeat for each host in vCenter.

a. The settings changes are immediate, but the NFS VAAI plugin requires a host reboot

 

The process is simple and straight forward. This same process on the NetApp requires the Virtual Storage Console plugin to be installed on a separate server and configured then registered on the vCenter side with much more configuration. Also, installing the NetApp NFS VAAI plugin on the hosts is done through vCenter Update Manager and has been downloaded separately from the NetApp support site. That being said, the Tegile solution is lacking some of the polish that NetApp provides. I would like to see recommended values of the ESXi hosts set all at once, as opposed to one host at a time. In addition, I’d like the Tegile to change NFS.MaxVolumes default value from 8 to something much higher like the NetApp (256).

vCenter Orchestrator Install and Config

I have wanted to get started with vCO for awhile now, but I have not had much of use for it. Justifying the time to deploy and learn a new tool when you don’t have a glaring need for it proves tricky, but recently I was able to carve out some time to learn. One of the biggest hurdles was finding step-by-step deployment guide that worked so I decided to document this process.

The following documentation is for installing the vCenter Orchestrator (vCO) Appliance v5.5.1 with an already deployed vCenter 5.5 server (vCSA in my case). The appliance allows you to run vCO without installing it on a dedicated Windows Server.

1. Search for VMware-vCO-Appliance and download the latest version (VMware-vCO-Appliance-5.5.1.0-1617225_OVF10.ova for this writing)
VCO080414-step1
2. Accept the license terms and save the file locally
3. Connect the vSphere client to your vCenter Server then choose File -> Deploy OVF Template
VCO080414-step3
4. Click the “Browse” button, locate the .OVF downloaded previously and click “Open” then click “Next”
VCO080414-step4
5. Review the template details and click “Next”
VCO080414-step5
6. Accept the license agreement and click “Next”
7. Choose a name and location for this appliance and click “Next”
VCO080414-step7
8. Choose a datastore for the appliance and click “Next”
VCO080414-step8
9. Choose the appropriate disk format (I prefer thin provisioned) and click “Next”
VCO080414-step9
10. Choose the appropriate Destination Network (VM Port Group) and click “Next”
VCO080414-step10
11. Enter passwords for both the root user of the appliance and the password for the configuration interface (‘vmware’ is the username)
VCO080414-step11

  • Enter the Hostname, gateway, DNS, IP and subnet mask for the appliance and click “Next”
    VCO080414-step11a

12. Review the details of the configuration and then click “Finish”
VCO080414-step12
13. Once the appliance has been deployed successfully, click “Close”

VCO080414-step13
14. Right click on the appliance and choose “Open Console”
VCO080414-step14
15. Click the Power button to turn on the VM
VCO080414-step15
16. Boot to “VMware vCenter Orchestrator Appliance”
VCO080414-step16
17. Note the URLs for each function
VCO080414-step17
18. Open a web browser and connect to the URL for Orchestrator Configuration (Port 8283)
19. Login with the username “vmware” and the password entered for the vCO configuration during appliance deployment
VCO080414-step19
20. Click on “Network”
VCO080414-step20
21. Change the “IP address” to the IP used to access vCO and click “Apply changes” in the bottom right corner
VCO080414-step21
22. Click the “SSL Trust Manager” tab, enter the IP or hostname of your vCenter server and click “Import”
VCO080414-step22
23. Once the cert information is displayed, click the “import” link
VCO080414-step23
24.Repeat this process again, this time importing the certificate for SSO. Enter the FQDN of the SSO server with port 7444 and click “Import” then “Import” again once the certificate details are displayed
VCO080414-step24new
25. Click on “Authentication” to configure user access

VCO080414-step24
26. For this writing we will use the SSO Authentication method, so change Authentication mode to “SSO Authentication” and click “Advanced settings”
VCO080414-step25
27. Enter the Token and Admin service URLs, the SSO admin username and passwords. Click “Register Orchestrator”

  • Token service URL: https://vCenterIPaddress:7444/ims/STSService
  • Admin service URL: https://vCenterIPaddress:7444/sso-adminserver/sdk
  • Admin user name: administrator@vsphere.local
  • Admin password: Password for admin account
    VCO080414-step26d

28. Once registration completes, choose the vCO Admin – domain and group from the list (These are populated based on your SSO config). Click “Accept Orchestrator Configuration”
VCO080414-step27
29. Click on “Startup Options”
VCO080414-step28
30. Click “Restart the vCO configuration server”
VCO080414-step29
31. Log back in once the server has finished restarting and click “Licenses”
VCO080414-step30
32. Choose “Use vCenter Server license” and enter the host name of the vCenter server, port should be 443, path is /sdk, and for username and password I used the SSO admin. Click “Apply changes” towards the bottom right of the screen
VCO080414-step31
33. Click on “vCenter Server (5.5.1)”
VCO080414-step32
34. Click “New vCenter Server Host” and enter the hostname of the vCenter server, port is 443, path is /sdk, I chose “Session per user” and the username and password for the SSO admin account. Click “Apply changes”
VCO080414-step33
35. Click on “Mail (5.5.1)”
VCO080414-step34
36. Click the check box for “define default values” and enter in the following information and click “Apply changes”

  • SMTP host: The address for your mail server
  • SMTP Port: Usually 25
  • Username and password: If your mail server requires authentication
  • From name: Name that vCO emails will appear from
  • From address: Email address that vCO emails will appear from
    VCO080414-step35e

37. Open a new browser window/tab and navigate to https://vCOIPaddress:8281/vco/client/client.jnlp to access the Java web client for vCO. Login as user that is a member of whatever group was chosen in step 27 as a vCO Admin
VCO080414-step36

  • At first this did not work and kept reporting “No vCO license available” when I attempted to login. After restarting the service and configuration server through the web interface, I ended up restarting the vCO appliance within vCenter and then I was able to login without issue

38. At this point you’re all setup and ready to start creating workflows
VCO080414-step37
 

Veeam 7.0 Install on Windows 2012

Veeam Backup & Replication is one of my favorite piece of software I get to work with. I’ve been working with B&R since 2010 (v5) and it has always been easy to install, easy to configure, and quick to start taking backups and protecting my environment. And that is just the software, the company itself is even better. Their support forums are full of employees and users that are knowledgeable and quick to help. The best way to describe Veeam is a company that is on your side as an Administrator. They listen to their community, their users, their customers and are developing solutions that make our jobs easier.

The following guide walks you through installing SQL Express, Veeam, connecting to vCenter 5.5 and configuring deduplication for a secondary drive on Windows Server 2012 R2. I have a preference for installing all software to a secondary drive instead of the OS (C:\) drive so this documentation shows how to install each component to that secondary drive in the event you have the same preference as me.

Veeam’s site contains best practices regarding backup types, sizing of your Veeam server, deduplication recommendations, and everything else that goes into the planning of your Veeam Backup & Replication deployment. This guide is more just to show how to configure the components and an example of what I’m seeing for deduplication rates.

 

Prerequisites:
1. Windows Server 2012 R2 patched, joined to domain, with 2 additional drives (one for Veeam to be installed on and the other for backup data)
2. A user or group defined for Veeam administrators (required when doing a standalone SQL Express install in order to use Veeam, the service account used to run veeam must be a member of this group or added as a SQL Administrator in step 8)
3. A domain user account with admin rights to the vCenter server
4. Mount the Veeam B&R ISO
5. Turn off User Account Control (SQL Express install will fail without this)

Install:
1. Open “This PC”, located the Veeam disc, right click and choose “Open”
veeam7061614-step1
2. Browse to “Redistr\x64”, locate and double-click on “SQLEXPR_x64_ENU.exe”
veeam7061614-step2
3. Once the “SQL Server Installation Center” windows appears, click on “New installation or add features to an existing installation”
veeam7061614-step3
4. Accept the license terms and click “Next”
veeam7061614-step4
5. After Setup Support Files are loaded the SQL Server 2008 R2 Setup window will appear. Choose the features you’ll need (just Database Engine Services usually), change the Directories to the secondary drive (D:\ for this writing) and click “Next”
veeam7061614-step5
6. Enter the name of the instance and change the root directory to the secondary drive and click “Next”
veeam7061614-step6
7. You can run the SQL database engine as Network Service, but I prefer running as a named service account. Enter the domain\username, password, and click “Next”
veeam7061614-step7
8. Choose “Mixed Mode” for authentication type. Enter the “sa” password and immediately save it somewhere.
veeam7061614-step8

  • a. For “SQL Server administrators”, only users/groups added here will be able to open and run Veeam. Add all users that will need to access Veeam or create a group.
    veeam7061614-step8a
  • b. Click “Data Directories” tab and ensure all the directories are pointing to the secondary drive and click “Next” (For organization I prefer to create folders for each file, but it isn’t necessary)
    veeam7061614-step8b

9. Choose if you want to send error reports to Microsoft and click “Next”
veeam7061614-step9

  • a. Install will now begin to run

10. Once Installation completes, click “Close”
veeam7061614-step10
11. Navigate back to the root of the disc drive then locate and run “Setup.exe”
veeam7061614-step11
12. Click on install for “Veeam Backup & Replication”
veeam7061614-step12
13. Click “Next” through the initial setup screen
veeam7061614-step13
14. Read and accept the license agreement and click “Next”
veeam7061614-step14
15. If you have a license key add it now, otherwise click “Next”
veeam7061614-step15
16. Choose the program features to install. Click “Browse” button to change the installation to the secondary drive (you will have to make a new Folder name “Veeam” followed by “Backup and Replication” inside of it). Click “OK” then click “Next”
veeam7061614-step16
veeam7061614-step16-2
17. If any of the components that are required show a status of “Failed”, click the “Install” button
veeam7061614-step17

  • a. Once the installation completes the status will change to “Passed” then click “Next”
    veeam7061614-step17a

18. Enter the domain\username and password of the account Veeam will use to access vCenter and click “Next”
veeam7061614-step18

  • a. This user should be a local administrator on the server running Veeam or you’ll receive this message
    veeam7061614-step18a

19. Choose “Use existing instance of SQL Server”, select the Server\Instance and then enter a name for the Veeam database. Click “Next”
veeam7061614-step19

  • a. If the domain\veeam account isn’t in the Veeam Admins group, you will receive the following error that the user account “lacks CREATE ANY DATABASE permission”
    veeam7061614-step19a

20. Note the ports for Backup service and Catalog service and click “Next”
veeam7061614-step20
21. Change the “vPower NFS” directory to the secondary drive by clicking “Browse”, then navigate to the D:\Program Files\Veeam\Backup and Replication” then create a new folder inside named “NfsDatastore” and click “OK”.
veeam7061614-step21

  • a. For Guest file system catalog, click Browse and create a new folder named “VBRCatalog” under the D:\ drive. Click OK then “Next”
    veeam7061614-step21a1
    veeam7061614-step21a2

22. Review the configuration and then click “Install”
veeam7061614-step22
23. Once installation completes, click “Finish”
veeam7061614-step23
24. Now that Veeam is installed, let’s upgrade it to the latest patch. On Veeam’s website, download the latest patch for the version you’re running (Patch 4 for this writing) and copy it out to the server running Veeam.
25. Run the executable for this patch
veeam7061614-step25
26. Click “Next” through the first screen of the patch wizard
veeam7061614-step26
27. Click “Install” to begin the installation
veeam7061614-step27
28. Once the patch is installed, click “Finish”
veeam7061614-step28
29. Now that Veeam is installed and fully patched, locate Veeam Backup & Replication and open
veeam7061614-step29
30. You will receive a message about components that need to be updated (vPower NFS, Transports, Installer, etc). Click the check box next to the server and click “Next”
veeam7061614-step30
31. Click “Finish” once the components have been updated
veeam7061614-step31
32. Click the menu button and then click on “Options”
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33. Click the check box for “Enable e-mail notification” and then enter your SMTP server, from email and to email. Click “OK”
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34. Click on “Virtual Machines” towards the lower-left of the window and click “Add Server”
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35. Click on your Server type (VMware vSphere for this writing)
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36. Enter the name or IP of the vCenter server and click “Next”
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37. For credentials, click “Add” then enter the domain\username and password for the Veeam account used to connect to vCenter. Click “OK” then click “Next”
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38. Once the server has been added, click “Finish”
39. By default, the folder all VM backups are stored in is “C:\backup”. To change this before you create any backup jobs is to click on “Backup Infrastructure” towards the lower left of the window then click on “Backup Repositories”
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40. Click the “Add Repository” button towards the top-left
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41. Name your Backup Repository and click “Next”
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42. Choose the type of repository (Microsoft Windows server) and click “Next”
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43. Click the “Populate” button then select the backup drive and click “Next”
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44. Enter the folder name (I took the default of D:\Backups) and click the populate button to see the capacity and free space of the drive. Limit the max concurrent tasks and/or data ingestion rate and click “Next”
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45. Ensure vPower NFS is enabled and click “Next”
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46. Review the settings and click “Next”
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47. Once it completes, click “Finish”
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48. Once the new repository appears, click the Menu button in the top-left corner and then click “Configuration Backup”
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49. Change the Backup repository to the newly created repository and click “OK”
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50. Right click on the “Default Backup Repository” and click “Remove” and click “Yes” to confirm delete
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51. Now that a new repository is created, we need to enable deduplication on that folder. Open Server Manager, click on “Manage” then choose “Add Roles and Features”
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52. Click “Next” through the “Before you begin” screen
53. Choose “Role-based or feature-based installation” and click “Next”
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54. Choose “Select a server from the server pool” and select the current server then click “Next”
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55. Expand “File and Storage Services”, then “File and iSCSI Services” and then check the box next to “Data Deduplication” and click “Next”
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56. Click “Next” through “Features”
57. Click “Install”
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58. Once installation is complete, click “Close”
59. Back in “Server Manager”, click on “File and Storage Services”
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60. Click on “Volumes”, right-click the drive that we’ll be enabling dedupe for and choose “Configure Data Deduplication”
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61. Set data deduplication from “Disabled” to “General purpose file server”, change “Deduplicate files older than (in days)” to 0.
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  • a. To exclude folders from being deduped on that disk, click the “Add” button, expand the “Z:\” drive, and select each folder to prevent deduplication. In our setup, only backups are going to the Z:\ drive so we’ll skip this
  • b. Click “Set Deduplication Schedule” and then check the box for “Enable throughput optimization”. You will set the schedule for when dedupe runs. This should run when your backups are NOT running. My backups run OUTSIDE business hours, so dedupe should run DURING business hours. Click “OK” when finished and “OK” again
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Now that Veeam is setup and connected to vCenter and we have a backup repository created with dedupe enabled, let’s take a look and see what kind of savings we get when we take our backups. One thing to note is that you won’t see much dedupe savings on a single backup file, but on a long backup chain and multiple backup jobs is where the real savings starts to come into play.

I have configured backups of 2 of my Exchange 2013 servers to run every 6 hours and keep 28 restore points (7 days). This backup job is set to “Reverse incremental” and Veeam is performing inline dedupe, compression set to “Optimal” and optimized for “Local target”. My first full backup was 36.3GB. Over the next 3 days, I have taken 12 more backups for a total of 75.1GB.
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After dedupe ran over the last 3 days, we see the size as 75.1GB, but Size on disk is only 10.5GB
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This is where it gets a little interesting though. In powershell, running the command “Get-DedupStatus” only shows a savings of 14GB. I’m not sure which one is accurate, but even a savings of just 14GB in one backup job is an improvement. Since Windows Server 2012 deduplication runs across all files on a volume, you will see increased savings for every new backup file that’s created for every job that writes to that backup repository.
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