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).

VMWare ESX 4.0 Update 1 Supports Windows 7!

Good news! VMWare have decided to finally add support for Windows 7. I would say a little too late given the general availability of the RTM for the last couple of months.

The upgrade the VMWare ESX 4.0 Update 1 ran smoothly and all hosts came back to life after the upgrade as they should. Installation of the client on Windows 7 was also painless, and best of all it actually worked.

To anyone from VMWare who may be watching, it would be nice if you had some form of announcements mailing list so we could be informed of these updates being made available.

VMWare vSphere Client on Windows 7 doesn’t work

The latest in a relatively short line of annoyances with the upgrade to Windows 7 is the lack of support for the VMWare vSphere Client.

There are certain things that when it doesn’t work you wouldn’t be surprised. We all have that application that hasn’t been updated in years but we still need to use on a regular basis. I can somewhat understand why these things don’t work within a new operating system. But for something that gets updated on a regular basis to not work, that is a different story altogether and that really annoys me.

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VMWare ESXi 4.0 and Boot from SAN

VMWare have just released the free VMWare ESXi 4.0.

I have just tested and it now supports Boot from SAN. WOOT!! I have been looking into using USB drives as a way to boot my VMWare farm servers, but am a little nervous about the lack redundancy. So now I can carve out 2gb of redundant storage from my SAN for each server and save on having local disks that are very much under utilised.

It also looks like you can install the Free version direct to USB Drive rather than having to hack together something from the ISO and using DD or winimage to flash the USB.

This is an excellent move from VMWare and I look forward to reporting back on any other new features i find.

And as an a-side the Cacti Graphs found on this site still work under the new version. Now to find out if there is SNMP support in this release or not (I dont suppose I will be given everything I want in one go!)