Tag Archives: Proxy

vCenter connection limitation and backup in big environments

Hi Team,

my friend and workmate Pascal Di Marco ran into some VMware connection limitation while backing up 4000VMs in a very short backup window.

If you ran a lot of parallel backup jobs that use the VMware VADP backup API you can run into 2 connection limitations… on vCenter SOAP connections and on some limitation on NFC buffer size on ESXi side.

All backup vendors that use VMware VADP implement in their product the VMware VDDK kit which help the backup vendor with some standard API calls and it also helps to read and write data. So all backup vendors have to deal with the VDDK own vCenter and ESXi connection count in addition to their own connections. VDDK connections vary from VDDK version to version.

So if you try to backup thousands of VMs in a very short time frames you can hit these limitations.

In case you hit that limitation, you can increase the vCenter SOAP connection limitation from 500 to 1000 by this VMware KB 2004663 http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2004663
EDIT: In vCenter Server 6.0, vpxd.cfg file is located at C:\ProgramData\VMware\vCenterServer\cfg\vmware-vpx

As well you can optimze the ESXI Network (NBD) performance by  increasing the NFC buffer size from 16384 to 32768 MB and optimize the Cache Flush interval from 30s to 20s by VMware KB 2052302  http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2052302

Tips & Tricks for Backup & Replication not directly related to Veeam (continuously updated)

Hi,

there are some general tips and tricks for Backup & Replication that are not directly related with Veeam Software. I will update this blog post from time to time to share these tips.

 

1) Format Backup Target disks with “/l” to avoid  that NTFS blocks access to your very large and frequently updated (fragmented) backup files.
format /FS:NTFS /L
This will take a while and will overwrite the selected folume (data loss be carefull).
If you have Win7/Win2008R2 you need to first install the following patch: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/967351/en-us

2) Fix CPU load VMXnet3 network card bug if you use one virtualized backup server/role or an VM with high disk load:
http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2039495

Prioritisation of Veeam Backup & Replication Proxy Modes from my field experience.

Update 1: 23.05.2016 => Veeam Backup & Replication v9 + new best practices.
Hi everybody,
just want to share with you a short list of Veeam Backup & Replication Proxy modes, because I got so many questions about it in the past.
VMware Backup from FibreChannel Block Storage.:
Priority 1:
For most common VMs (90%) I would use Veeams Direct Storage (Direst SAN) backup mode at backup and HotAdd (implement virtual Proxies) at restore for best performance.
For the biggest VMs (10%) with high change rates use Veeam Storage Integration (Backup from Storage Snapshot) to optimize VMware SnapShot commit processes. This feature is available for HP 3PAR StoreServe / HP StoreVirtual incl. VSA / NetApp ONTAP systems and EMC VNX(e). Nimble will follow this year. If you do not have this feature, use standard processing from above.
As Direct SAN need FibreChannel Access and FC passthrough is not really supported, you need physical Veeam Proxy Server.
Priority 2:
If you want to use virtual only infrastructure, go with 10GbE Interfaces at VMkernel, 10GbE Veeam Proxy Servers and use the Veeam Network Mode (NBD) mode. This mode is limited for a maximum throughput of 40% of the VMKernel Interface (at multiple parallel streams). You can use HotAdd for faster restore.
Priority 3:
Use Hotadd if you want to go with virtual proxies and there is only a 1GbE network.
What you should not do:
Avoid HotAdd backup processing in big environments. By design of VMware it will bring extra load on vCenter and singnificantly increase the chance that VMware get lost on his own snapshots (orphaned snapshots). As well by design of VMware VM stuns can happen at snapshot commit. If you really want to go with it, consider  ESXi bound Veeam Proxies with special Veeam registry setting. Ask Veeam Support or a SE for design and Reg Key.
VMware Backup iSCSI Block Storage.:
The priority list is the same then FC Block Storage above.
As it is iSCSI you can use virtual Direct Storage (Direct SAN) servers which should be priority 1 if you want to go with virtual Veeam Proxies. However physical Server reduce the load on your VMware Servers significantly.

VMware Backup from NFS (File) Datastores:

Priority 1:
For most common VMs (90%) I would use Veeams Direct Storage (new Veeam Direct NFS) backup mode for backup and restore. Direct NFS is the fastest restore method within Veeam as it is written from scratch by Veeam and do not leverage the VMware VDDK kit.

For the biggest VMs with high change rates use Veeam Storage Integration (Backup from Storage Snapshot) to optimize VMware SnapShot commit processes. This feature is available for  NetApp ONTAP systems and EMC VNX(e) (HP 3PAR and StoreVirtual do not have a NFS options). Nimble will follow this year. If you do not have this feature, use standard processing from above.
You can use virtual or physical Servers for processing. However physical Server offload the backup load from your hosts.
Priority 2 (or better say “No priority”):
As there is no downside of using Direct NFS method I highly recommend to use it. However if you need another backup method, go with 10GbE Interfaces at VMkernel and Veeam Proxy Servers in Network Mode (NBD). This mode is limited for a maximum throughput of 40% of the VMKernel Interface. You can use Direct NFS or HotAdd for faster restore.
What you should not do (in no way!):
Avoid HotAdd backup processing in ANY NFS  environments. By design of VMware it will bring extra load on vCenter and singnificantly increase the chance that VMware get lost on his own snapshots (orphaned snapshots). As well by design of VMware VM stuns WILL happen at snapshot commit, specifically within Linux VMs. If you really want to go with it, consider  ESXi bound Veeam Proxies with special Veeam registry setting. Ask Veeam Support or a SE for design and Reg Key.
 

Veeam Backup & Replication Proxy Mode Autodetection process works like this:

It will check Direct Storage Mode (Direct NFS/Direct SAN) first, 
then it will try HotAdd (Virtual Appliance Mode) and the it will use
NBD (Network Mode).
 
So if you want to use 10GbE NBD Mode instead of HotAdd as default, you have to select it manually at the Veeam Backup & Replication – Backup Infrastructure – Proxy settings.