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In the quiet days between Christmas and New Year, I had some time to research how DPM2012 SP1 performed with protecting guests on a Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V cluster using CSV v2.0.
According to the SP1 release notes we can expect improved backup performance of Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V over CSV deployments with the following benefits:
900% improvement in Express Full backups
No performance difference between backups from CSV owners and non-owners
Let me first point out that my setup is based on the following configuration:
HP ProLiant BL460c Gen8
Windows Server 2012 Datacenter with iSCSI Target Server Role enabled
Dual-port 10Gb HP FlexFabric 554FLB (Emulex) Adapter
Converged Fabric network configuration
Hyper-V Cluster Nodes
HP ProLiant BL460c Gen8
Windows Server 2012 Datacenter with Hyper-V role and Failover Cluster feature enabled
10Gb HP FlexFabric 554FLB (Emulex) Adapter
Converged Fabric network configuration
DPM 2012 SP1 Server
Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Virtual Machine
Windows Server 2012 Datacenter
1 x 10Gb virtual network adapter (synthetic)
Both on the iSCSI Target Server and Hyper-V cluster nodes, the two 10Gb network adapters have been teamed using a switch independent teaming mode with Hyper-V Port as the load balancing algorithm. A Hyper-V Extensible Switch is connected to the NIC Team and several virtual networks have been configured using the Converged Fabric method of Windows Server 2012. Each network has a minimum bandwidth Quality of Service configured on the virtual switch level. On the backend, the servers use a Virtual Connect Flex-10 interconnect.
Altaro just launched Altaro Hyper-V Backup 3.5 with the following support:
- Windows Server 2012 Support, including support for VHDX files.
- Windows 2012: support for backup and restore of VMs located on SMB 3.0 network paths.
- Windows 2012: support for Volume Shadow Copies of SMB 3.0 network paths.
- Windows 2012: support for CSV 2.0 and scale-out SMB 3.0 file shares.
- New and improved ‘Metro’-Style User Interface.
From the press release:
Review of Altaro Hyper-V Backup 3.5
notice: Altaro are giving away two Nexus 7’s to testers of their Hyper-V backup for Windows Server 2012 beta. Check out all the details at the bottom of this blog
The crew at Hyper-V.nu were offered a first glance of Altaro Hyper-V Backup back in May 2011. We agreed to do a review of the beta version of the product. That particular version of the beta did not have support for Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) and we provided feedback to Altaro about this shortcoming. As our Great Big Hyper-V Survey of 2011 showed, over 94% of users with Hyper-V clusters use CSV. We were pleasantly surprised how quickly Altaro responded by adding support for CSV in one of their next beta’s. So we did a second review testing the backup and recovery of guests living on cluster shared volumes on a Hyper-V R2 SP1 cluster.
Since then Altaro released their RTM of version 2, version 3 and v3.1 which have continued to add functionality, ease and performance. You can find a change log of Altaro Hyper-V Backup here: http://wiki.altaro.com/releases/change-log-for-altaro-hyper-v-backup
One noticeable improvement in version 3 was installation of the product on a cluster. When on a cluster the application could detect each node and configure them during the installation. You only needed to install Altaro Hyper-V Backup on one node and it would then automatically deploy modules on all other cluster nodes. Additionally, the administrator was able to manage all guests across all nodes from a single console. This meant that all backups, restores and configuration could be done from one centralized console. In a cluster environment all guests could be backed up to a single backup target such as a USB drive, a NAS or a disk on a SAN. Even when guests moved around in the cluster, Altaro Hyper-V Backup would take care of that.
By using a technique called ReverseDelta, incremental backups could be made at tremendous speed. The last version introduced ReverseDelta v2 which made incremental backups at least 300% faster.
Version 3 of Altaro Hyper-V backup also dealt with one of CSV’s shortcomings: redirected access during backup operations (backup node claiming ownership of disk and redirecting I/O across the CSV network for all other nodes for that CSV disk). A new scheduling feature called ‘Scheduling Groups’ was introduced which allowed a quick and easy drag & drop of Hyper-V guests to one or more defined Scheduling Groups. It would group guests on the same CSV together in order to decrease time required in redirected access mode. If you are a Data Protection Manager user, you will appreciate this feature as DPM does not do this for you automatically. It is also quite time consuming to even select multiple Hyper-V guests for backup and add them to their Protection Group.
Click on More for the rest of the post
This second blog by Altaro dealing with Hyper-V backup discusses when Application-Consistent Backup is vital for proper recovery or not. What if a VSS Writer is not available for a particular application? What are the general requirements for Application-Consistent Backups in Hyper-V? What are the Special Considerations for Cluster Shared Volumes?
When is Application-Consistent Backup Vital? Not all situations require an application-consistent backup. Things such as file and print servers will be fine with crash-consistent and possibly inconsistent backups. If your application doesn’t provide a VSS writer, there might not even be a way to get an application-consistent backup of it while its containing machine is live. The most common need for application-consistent backups is the usage of database-backed applications.
The full blog can be found here:
New Hyper-V Blog
Altaro who introduced an easy to use backup product for Hyper-V in 2011, informed us they have just launched a new Hyper-V blog. Their first article goes into good detail about Hyper-V Dynamic Memory and can be found here: http://www.altaro.com/blog/hyper-v-dynamic-memory-explanation-and-recommendations-2/
Version 3 of Altaro Hyper-V Backup
We can also announce that version 3 of Altaro Hyper-V Backup will be released on February 7.
Some of the new features are:
Central Management console on CSV Cluster
Increased backup performance with ReverdeDelts V2
Great new ‘Schedule Groups’ – allows easier backup scheduling
Live backup of Linux VMs
5Drive Swap / Rotation.
Currently beta 2 is available here:
UPDATE October 20th 2011: Here is a link to the video: http://t.co/v1xAMV6x
On Tuesday, October 4th Technical Evangelists Symon Perriman and Rick Claus are hosting an online conference on Virtualization Career Training with Microsoft Learning. This half day virtual event (8am – 11am PST) will offer a Level 100 to 200 introduction for anyone who wants to learn more about Microsoft Virtualization and how it can help their career. It is free and public so sign up for this warm-up for the Jump Start event on October 6th.
Module 1 – Technology: Learn about Microsoft’s virtualization technologies, how they work, and the future roadmap to the Cloud!
Module 2 – Career: Understand the importance of virtualization and Private Cloud, and how it can make or break an IT Professional’s career!
Module 3 – Certification: Get prepared for your next steps towards a virtualization career by understanding and preparing for the Microsoft 70-659 Technical Specialist exam, Windows Server 2008 R2, Server Virtualization.
The beta of DPM 2012 is ready and available to the general public. Related to Hyper-V it is nice to know that DPM 2012 is fully supported in a Hyper-V virtual machine and that Item Level Recovery is now possible without having to add the Hyper-V Role to the DPM server as we had to do in physical installations of DPM 2010.
You can download beta and apply for joining the Customer Experience Program (CEP).
Thanks to everyone who participated in the Altaro contest. I selected @zetacipher as the winner of the unlimited license for Altaro Hyper-V Backup. I will send the license as soon as I receive it from Altaro. Congratulations @zetacipher.
Back in May, Femi Adegoke reviewed an early beta version of Altaro Hyper-V Backup which was geared to easily backup & recover Hyper-V guests using the Hyper-V VSS Writer. Now Femi submitted his second guest blog focusing on how to protect guests in a clustered Hyper-V environment.
By Femi Adegoke
This is a follow up to our previous blog post from May 2011:
One interesting feature in this Altaro Hyper-V Backup release is support for CSV:
The current revision of the software is 188.8.131.52 BETA, download size is approximately 12.1 MB.
Our test was performed on a Dell 4 node Hyper-V cluster running 2008 R2 SP1 with a few virtual machines.
Installing the software was fast & easy and involved only a few mouse clicks. Can you believe that?
This software installs in less than 3 minutes per node.
No agent is required inside each guest
Dashboard view (this so schweeet…)
I received notice from Altaro that they were looking for beta testers for their new Hyper-V Backup software.
Because I was very short on time, one of my Twitter followers Femi Adegoke (@awedio) reacted to one of my tweets so I thought I might ask him to review the product. Well he was very quick to accept my invitation. So here it is, our first guest blog post!
Let me first briefly introduce our guest blogger: Femi Adegoke lives in Thousand Oaks, Southern California. He is in charge of fixing all things IT for healthcare company WGA Management in California. Femi holds a degree in Architecture and Masters in Business. Currently he is implementing VDI using Quest vWorkspace with Hyper-V.
By Femi Adegoke
In Hyper-V world, these are exciting times.
The 3rd party eco-system is growing up. We are seeing new products come to market.
Via Twitter, I hooked up with one of the kings of hyper-v.nu, Cluster MVP, Hans Vredevoort (@hvredevoort). He asked if I would be interested in doing a review of Altaro Hyper-V Backup.
Altaro Software is a technology start-up that recognized the need to develop easy to use and innovative backup software that goes beyond traditional backup functionality. Altaro Hyper-V Backups works on Windows 2008 R2 (all editions), Windows 2008 R2 SP1 and Windows Hyper-V Server R2 (core installation) and should be installed on the Hyper-V Host (not within the guest).
Some features in Altaro Hyper-V Backup:
Hot Backups – Back up running VMs without stopping them.
Fully Hyper-V Aware – Altaro Hyper-V Backup does all the complex config connections and allows you to backup any instance in 5 clicks or less.
Agent Less – Installs on Hyper-V Host without installing anything within the VM itself.
Flexible & Fully Featured – Backup or Restore Individual VMs without having to restore an entire volume.
The current rev of the software is Beta 2.
The test was performed on a Hyper-V host running 2008 R2 SP1 with 2 virtual machines.
Installing the software was fast & easy, about 6 mouse clicks. Next, next….x6