I have also been looking into how to backup an OVM Repository, and I'm currently thinking of doing it with the OCFS2 reflink command, which is what it used by the OVMM 'Thin Clone' option to create a snapshot of the virtual disk's .img file. I thought I could create a script that reflink's all the virtual disks to sperate directory within the repository, then export the repository via OVMM and backup all the snapshots. All the snapshots can then be deleted once the backup was complete.
The VirtualMachines directory could also be backed up in the same way, or I would have thought it would be safe to back this directory directly, as the files are very cfg files are very small and change infrequently.
I would be interested to hear from anyone that has any experience of doing a similar thing, or has any advise about whether this would be doable.
yes, that is one common way to perform backups. Unfortunately, you'll have to script those things yourself. Some people also use the xm command to pause the VM for just the time it takes to create the reflinks (especially if there is more than one virtual disk in the machine and you want to make sure they are consistent).
You can read a bit more about it here: VM Manager and VM Server - backup and recovery options
great article (in german but you can understand the scripts) about this http://www.trivadis.com/fileadmin/user_upload/PDFs/Trivadis_in_der_Presse/120601_DOAG-News_Snapshot_einer_VM_mit_Oracle_VM_3.pdf
and I have blogged about an alternative way where you clone a running machine and then backup that cloned (and stopped) machine
Can you do reflink snapshots of OVMs that contain Oracle DataBases ?
I understand that after putting the DB in hot backup mode some of the hardware SANs can do snapshots but was curious if, with the new reflink, if this was possible with OVM VMs that contain Oracle DBs.
We back up our guests weekly by shutting down the the VMs by script using the OVM CLI and then copying the .img files to our media server where it's then backed up by tape. The script also turns them on again. I realize you can do clones then back the clones up, however I've already had some issues with that approach.