Commvault Simpana 9.0 with Granular File Recovery for Linux under VMWare

I am currently going through the process of installing a brand new Commvault installation. One thing I am evaluating is doing most of my backups via the Virtual Server iDataAgent, this will give me “bare metal” recovery of my VM’s as well as cover my individual file restore requirements. As at Simpana 8 granular file level recovery was only supported for NTFS volumes but with the release of Simpana 9 the documentation has been updated to remove the NTFS requirement. Also a nice little line that also says “Granular file-level recoveries are now supported for Linux-based VMware virtual machines.” under the new features in the documentation for Simpana 9.

So testing begins, and you would imagine given the above information that file-level recoveries for Linux would just work. Problem is it just doesn’t work out of the box, after hours of playing with settings and tick boxes and reading forum posts I finally found the solution I needed to get file-level recovery working.

Ok, so to get Linux backup working you need to add a registry entry on the Virtual Server iDataAgent proxy server (the documentation for which can be found here).

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\CommVault Systems\Galaxy\Instance001\VirtualServer

Then add the following DWORD value

LinuxMetadataSupport    REG_DWORD    0x00000001

Restart the Commvault agent on the VMWare server for good measure and now take your backup.

As for file system support it seems very limited. I have tested the following setups:

Ubuntu Host
sda1 /boot ext3
sda3 / reiserfs
sda4 /data ext4

Centos Host
LVM2 with partition formatted in ext3

The only file systems that backed up were the EXT3 file systems, LVM appears to be supported as well. One can only assume that EXT2 would be supported, but I haven’t tested this.

Overall this solution can only get better, as more file systems are supported and the option to backup the linux systems on a file level are brought into the GUI it can only get easier from here. Personally I plan on moving forward using the Virtual Server iDataAgent to backup all my VM’s that don’t have special applications on them (ie, database, AD, and Exchange).

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3 Responses to Commvault Simpana 9.0 with Granular File Recovery for Linux under VMWare

  1. Hi Jon,

    Stumbled upon your write up and found it to be excellent!

    Yes – you’re correct EXT2 will work without a problem.

    If I can assist with any questions you may have about VSA(virtual server agent) please let me know.

  2. Paul Lowrie says:

    I tried this with Simpana9SP5a and it doesnt quite work.
    Commserve is W2K8, Media Agent is W2K8. the VSA is installed on the Media Agent and LinuxMetadataSupport is set to 1.
    Virtual server is RHEL4.9 using ext3 on a vCenter 5.
    Backup INCR/FULL using VSA and SAN transport goes great.
    Restore whole VM goes great.
    Granular restore of a file from the RHEL4.9 guest (backed up using VSA) to the same RHEL4.9 guest (using restore-only iDA for FS) is not configurable. the “Restore Options for Selected Items” Dialog box “Destination Client” dropdown menu only shows Windows targets.
    Granular restore any any other physical linux box (iDA for Linux FS) to RHEL4.9 guest file system goes great.

  3. Remy says:

    Hello,
    I am currently looking at an issue regarding the backup of ext3 based virtual machines. The registry key is correctly set on the iVirtualServer Agent proxy but I am still unable to collect the metadata of linux based virtual machines.

    I am using Simpana 9 in its last version and it seems that the file system is recognized as written in the log files :

    2164 804 04/11 08:09:11 345 vsBkpConfig::collectVolumeMetadata() – Check if we have a Linux FileSystem
    2164 804 04/11 08:09:56 345 BufferCache :: ~BufferCache() – Stats ==> Hits:0 Misses:0 PrevCacheHits:0

    2164 804 04/11 08:09:56 345 vsBkpConfig::collectVolumeMetadata() – FsType = ext3

    But metadata collection still fails :

    vsBkpConfig::collectVolumeMetadata() – Meta Data Collection Failed. removing index files.

    Do you have any idea ?

    Many thanks for your help

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