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 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!)