6 Replies Latest reply on Sep 6, 2012 10:09 AM by lolix

    OVM Repository and VM Guest Backups - Best Practice?

      Hey all,

      Does anybody out there have any tips/best practices on backing up the OVM Repository as well ( of course ) the VM's? We are using NFS exclusively and have the ability to take snapshots at the storage level.

      Some of the main points we'd like to do ( without using a backup agent within each VM ):

      backup/recovery of the entire VM Guest
      single file restore of a file within a VM Guest
      backup/recovery of the entire repository.

      The single file restore is probably the most difficult/manual. The rest can be done manually from the .snapshot directories, but when we're talking about having hundreds and hundreds of guests within OVM...this isn't overly appealing to me.

      OVM has this lovely manner of naming it's underlying VM directories off of some abiguous number which has nothing to do with the name of the VM ( I've been told this is changing in an upcoming release ).

        • 1. Re: OVM Repository and VM Guest Backups - Best Practice?
          Terry Phelps
          This posting has been here for a couple of months now, and has no answers. I don't have an answer for you, either.

          But I AM very interested in the answer. We use VMWare heavily for our non-Oracle, mostly Windows, VMs. We use a product called Vranger, from Quest, and it works pretty well. I wish there were some similar product for Oracle VM, but I haven't heard of one.

          Our repository will be exclusively on a fibre-channel SAN., but I hear that OVM 3.1 allows you to export your repository as an NFS share, and you can somehow back it up from there. But I still haven't read enough to have an idea how to use this capability for intelligent backups.

          So, I hope someone can share some information here.
          • 2. Re: OVM Repository and VM Guest Backups - Best Practice?
            In 3.1.1 you can now export the repo to an NFS share on your VM servers. You can then use a third party backup utility to back up the entire share. Check out page 73 in the user guide for 3.1.1. The share is exposed via one of your VM servers.

            Edited by: user12273962 on Jul 3, 2012 12:33 PM
            • 3. Re: OVM Repository and VM Guest Backups - Best Practice?
              Terry Phelps
              Yes, that will enable a "backup solution" to read the repository, but there's a lot of details involved in actually backing up and restoring a VM. Things that come to mind are:
              How would the Backup Solution (hereafter called BS) decide what files go with what VM?
              Would the BS just backup the disk images "in flight"?
              Or should the BS create a snapshot of the disk images and backup those? If so, how whould that happen, with access only to the NFS share?
              Assuming the BS can backup a VM, what's the procedure for restoring it? What if the VM is complete gone? What if the VM is still there, but corrupted? What if it's there, and still running?

              I can't understand why Oracle doesn't either provide such a BS, or at least tell us about a third-parts BS for Oracle VM. Do they think we don't really need a good BS, before going into Real Production/
              • 4. Re: OVM Repository and VM Guest Backups - Best Practice?
                I want to clarify some things that I've learned about backing up Oracle VMs. For one, this new feature in 3.1.1 to export an NFS share is just that. An NFS share export. While the VMs are running there is NO supported/documented way by Oracle to backup the VMs. The only relevant document(ID 783287.1) I came across on their support website was for earlier version of Oracle VM and it said that you gotta shut down the VMs first...

                I'll keep you guys updated on our own backup scheme we are developing. So far it involves scripts which shut down all of our Oracle VMs so they can be backed up routinely. This is a very clunky way of doing it in my opinion since Oracle touts this product as being more versatile and scalible than its VMware counterpart. Hopefully these guys will wake up and realize they gotta offer us a good backup solution!
                • 5. Re: OVM Repository and VM Guest Backups - Best Practice?
                  I agree that it should be better. I will say that most backup strategies now are directly related to the storage environment. Replication and Cloning in combination with De-Duplication is the future of backup strategies.

                  I am surprised that Oracle Secure Backup doesn't have the ability to backup a running VM. (except via the host itself). The licensing model of OSB wouldn't be hurt by producing such a feature. Not to mention its Oracle's own product. You would think it would.
                  • 6. Re: OVM Repository and VM Guest Backups - Best Practice?
                    Please find below the response from the Oracle support on that.

                    In short :
                    - First, "manual" copies of files into the repository is not recommend nor supported.
                    - Second we have to go back and forth through templates and http (or ftp) server.

                    Note that when creating a template or creating a new VM from a template, we're tlaking about full copies. No "fast-clone" (snapshots) are involved.

                    This is ridiculous.

                    How to Back up a VM:
                    1) Create a template from the OVM Manager console
                    Note: Creating a template requires the VM to be stopped (this is required because the if the copy of the virtual disk is done with the running will corrupt data) and the process to create the template make changes to the vm.cfg

                    2) Enable Storage Repository Back Ups using the step above:

                    2) Mount the NFS export created above on another server

                    3) Them create a compress file (tgz) using the the relevant files (cfg + img) from the Repository NFS mount:
                    Here is an example of the template:
                    $ tar tf OVM_EL5U2_X86_64_PVHVM_4GB.tgz
                    How to restore up a VM:
                    1) Then upload the compress file (tgz) to an HTTP, HTTPS or FTP. server

                    2) Import to the OVM manager using the following instructions:

                    3) Clone the Virtual machine from the template imported above using the following instructions:


                    Edited by: user521138 on Sep 5, 2012 11:59 PM

                    Edited by: user521138 on Sep 6, 2012 3:06 AM