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SMVI snapshoting Virtual Center when it is a VM

I am running vSphere with an NFS datastore on a FAS3020 with OnTap 7.3.2. All VMs are aligned and NFS parameters are set correctly via the Netapp snapin to Virtual Center. My VC server runs as a VM and I use SMVI for backup. When the VMWare snapshot is taken of my Virtual Center server it generates an event with ID 8194:

Volume Shadow Copy Service error: Unexpected error querying for the IVssWriterCallback interface.  hr = 0x80070005.

The process seems to finish fine with the snapshot being taken and eventually the Netapp snap being taken. Can a VMWare snapshot be taken of Virtual Center when it is running as a VM? How can I prevent this VSS error?

Re: SMVI snapshoting Virtual Center when it is a VM

Hi

I had some questions.

1)Is your backup completing successfully? It wasn't too clear from the post.

2)what's the OS version on which your vCenter server VM is running?

3)Is the VM updated with VMware tools? Based on your previous posts I think tools are updated.

I also found some posts on the Microsoft site regarding this error

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/itprovistasp/thread/a5b427fe-dd7e-4d81-a8f7-296085f5bbc3

Regards

Amrita

Re: SMVI snapshoting Virtual Center when it is a VM

Over the past week my backups have been completing successfully. Not sure what is different but I have not seen and of the VMWare snapshot errors that would halt the SMVI process and keep it from completing. All of my VMs have updated tools. I am running Virtual Center and SMVI on the same server with Windows Server 2003 R2 with SP2 loaded, everything is fully patched. I am using VMXNET3 adapters on all of my VMs and PVSCSI adapters on all of my VMs.

Re: SMVI snapshoting Virtual Center when it is a VM

Hi,

We're having similar problem - SMVI running on the virtual VC server is able to back up all other VMs but itself (VMware consistency snapshot fails).

Please see attached job jog for more exact error. We have SMVI 2.0 installed, VMware version is ESX 3.5 and VC server runs Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard (32-bit). The job just hangs to the point where it should do the VC server VMware snapshot, and will not complete until I either wait for hours for it to time out or I restart the SMVI service.

On the storage side there is a FAS 2020 running ONTAP 7.3.2P5.

This problem makes VM snapshots very cumbersome and we'd appreciate any help or tips regarding this issue. TIA!

BR;

Kimmo

Re: SMVI snapshoting Virtual Center when it is a VM

Hi

You would need to disable VMware snapshot on the vCenter.

Regards

Amrita

Re: SMVI snapshoting Virtual Center when it is a VM

So it's not supported to do VMware consistency snapshots on VC server when it's running as a VM on the same server as SMVI?

It doesn't seem too practical since this way I need to select specific VMs on the Entities-tab of the job properties (to be able to untick the consistency snapshot for the VC server only) and remember to go and add all new VMs I might create along the way (whereas seleting complete datastores would do the trick for me).

--EDIT: After checking it out, the consistency snapshotting is a per-job option, so I'd need a job of its own to backup the VC. This doesn't alleviate the problem of having the VC on the same datastore as other VMs I'd like to back up with the VMware option enabled.

Long story short, is it really so that there is no way to do VMware consistency snapshots in this case?

Thanks,

Kimmo

Re: SMVI snapshoting Virtual Center when it is a VM

For the past 4 weeks SMVI has been working fine in the sense it always completes. My virtual center does get a VM snapshot taken. I still get the vss error in the application log on my virtual center server but the vmware snapshot finishes. We run vSphere and are fully patched. Since the SMVI jobs finishes fine I have been ignoring the error in the applicaion log.

I do have two separate SMVI jobs. Most of my VMs are in one job where the VMWare snapshot is taken. I have 4 VMs that are in another job where the vmware snapshot is not taken. Two of these VMs are SQL and Exchange. These two VMs have iSCSI luns presented to them and taking vmware snapshots of vms with luns attached is not supported. The other two vms are my domain controllers. Maybe I should switch my virtual center server to this second job, I am sure that the vss error would go away but of course I would not be getting a vmware snapshot of this vm.

Re: SMVI snapshoting Virtual Center when it is a VM

I managed to get the SMVI snapshots running successfully again, but it came with the cost of not doing VMware-consistent snapshots of the Virtual Center server. It seems that it's not possible to do them when SMVI is running on the VC server itself.

Not a big deal, but since VC runs on the same volume entity as other production machines, and the VMware-snapshot setting is a per-job setting, I must remember to add any future production servers to my snapshot job since I've defined the servers now one-by-one (instead of the whole entity) to the backup job.

/Kimmo

Re: SMVI snapshoting Virtual Center when it is a VM

I got the same iissue when trying to include my vCenter Server VM in the backup job. It would be nice if NetApp documented that you can not include vCenter Server VM in the backup with a VMware consistency snapshot. Also, when creating the job via Virtual Storage Console Backup and Recovery I cannot select individual vm's for the job. The only entity's available to select are the entire datastore object - not the vm's within. How would I go about creating a backup job that includes all vm's in that datastore - except the vCenter Server VM? I realize that the actual NetApp snapshot is performed at the volume/datastore level. Is it possible to somehow have the job take VMware consistency snapshots of the vm's other than vCenter and then have NetApp snapshot the volume?

Re: SMVI snapshoting Virtual Center when it is a VM

I was running into the same issue a while back. Found out SMVi cannot snapshot VMs with "external" LUNs. My guess is that your vCenter has local DB, and your DB is most likely on a separate "disk" (LUN). Correct?