Sunday, 13 January 2013

EqualLogic, BackupExec 2012, and VMware SAN Transport Mode Part 1/2

Scenario

We have a physical server running Windows Server 2008R2 with 6 NICs, 2 NICs for LAN (which will be teamed), and 4 NICs for iSCSI (which will each be configured with a different IP Address.) We need to configure the server to use Symantec Backup Exec 2012 SAN Transport Mode, to backup a VMware environment running off an EqualLogic PS6100 iSCSI SAN.

Step by Step Walkthrough

Installing Softwares

1. Install Symantec Backup Exec 2012.
2. Install the EqualLogic Host Integration Tools for Microsoft (Complete) from the Setup64.exe (or Setup32)

Image: Components install with HIT/ME Complete

The HIT/ME installer will automatically add Server 2008 MultiPath I/O Feature, along with installing the EqualLogic MPIO DSM.

3. Reboot to complete the MultiPath I/O Feature install.

Diskpart Part 1/2

From the DOS Command Prompt (run as administrator), run the following commands in bold below:

C:> diskpart
DISKPART> automount disable
DISKPART> automount scrub

iSCSI Configuration

1. Obtain the backup server’s iSCSI Initiator Name from Control Panel > iSCSI Initiator > Configuration Tab

2. Enable the iSCSI Initiator on the backup server to have access to the volumes containing the Virtual Machines to be backed up (the easiest way to do this is modifying/create a new ACL Policy via the EqualLogic VSM/HIT for VMware – see http://cosonok.blogspot.com/2013/01/equallogic-install-complete-with-vmware.html - alternatively via the PS Group Manager GUI.)

3. iSCSI Initiator Properties > Dell EqualLogic MPIO tab and MPIO Settings

Image: Dell EqualLogic MPIO tab

Exclude the LAN subnet, change the Default Load Balancing Policy to Round Robin (for VMware), change the Max sessions per volume slice to 4 (4 iSCSI NICs on the backup server, and 4 iSCSI NICs per controller a PS6100)

Image: Configure MPIO Settings

4. iSCSI Initiator Properties > Discovery > Discover Portal… and add the Group IP Address and click OK

Image: iSCSI Discover Target Portal

5. iSCSI Initiator Properties > Targets > click Refresh

And for each of the discovered targets, click Connect
Connect To Target > tick the ‘Enable multi-path box’ > and click OK

Image: Connect To Target and Enable multi-path

Note: If you check back 10 seconds or so later on the Properties or Devices… buttons there will be 4 Sessions/Devices present per target, with paths built by the Dell EqualLogic MPIO.

Diskpart Part 2/2

The EqualLogic GUI doesn’t allow assigning read-only rights, in which case we must use diskpart to set the newly discovered volumes to read only (otherwise the volumes could be re-formatted accidentally or otherwise corrupted) run the following commands in bold below:

DISKPART> list disk
DISKPART> select disk 1
DISKPART> attributes disk set readonly

Do this for however many disks you have.

Note 1: The disk numbers match with the numbers in Disk Management, and they will indicate Read Only when the readonly attribute is set.
Note 2: Setting the disks to readonly prevents accidental formatting/corruption, but also prevents restore to that volume. The volume can be set back to read/write with attributes disk clear readonly.

4 comments:

  1. Hi Vidad...

    Great stuff here. My name is Matt Stephenson and I am part of the Backp Exec Product Mgmt team. I have already scheduled a couple of your blogs about BE to go out via my Twitter feed as well as promoting it within Symantec to get the word out to a wider audience. Hit me up at @PackMatt73 via DM and I will forward you my contact info. Would love to hear more about your experience with BE, specifically with regards to VMware. I would also be happy to connect you with members of the development team if you have any questions.

    Thanks!

    Matt Stephenson
    Symantec

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    Replies
    1. Hello Matt,

      Thank you for the comment. I'm finding BE 2012 SP1 pretty simple and easy to use which is good. Any problems (not encountered any so far) I'll be sure to contact you.

      Cheers!
      VCosonok

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  2. I'm currently not using the SAN transport because of the possibility of wiping out a VMFS datastore, just to risky trying to tell Windows to not do that. Problem now though is the VMware environment is to big for the NBD transport mode and it uses the VMware management network for the through host backups so can impact other things. This is the first time I have seen the ability to set the VMFS disks as Read Only, very interesting. I would think restores could use NBD transport so they wouldn't have to be changed back to Read Write. NBD is the only option for restores right now anyway with BE 2012.

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  3. I have BE running on multiple Windows 2008 R2 with a number of iSCSI targets. Is there a way to get W2K8R2 to flag all of the iSCSI drives as read-only?

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