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Improving performance of VMware VM backup solution via implementing lan-free backup network topology

Publication Date:  2015-08-26 Views:  2597 Downloads:  0

Issue Description

Customer was not pleased with the performance of VMware VMs backup solution like on the picture below. Backups were performed via 1 G LAN, so real speed was about 40 MB/s per VM (stream).


In order to get best backup performance of VMware VMs suggested to implement lan-free backup network topology. Realizing lan-free backup over SAN network configuration was based on implementing VTL6900 as main backup storage.

Symantec Netbackup was used as backup software with Master Server installed on VM (guest OS:  Windows 2008 R2) and Media Server installed on physical RH2288 server (OS:  Windows 2008 R2).

The best practice for backing up VMware VMs is to use VMware VADP (VMware vStorage API for Data Protection). VADP backs up vSphere VMs from a central backup server or VM without backup agents, and does not require backup processing to be done inside each guest VM on the ESX host. This offloads backup processing from ESX hosts and allows each ESX host to run more VMs.

Changed Block Tracking (CBT) is a VADP feature that allows the VMkernel to track blocks that have changed. When an incremental backup needs to be performed, the blocks that need to be backed up can be quickly identified by the VMkernel, which improves incremental backup and replication times.


Suggested topology

1. NetBackup using VADP create VM snapshot

2. Snapshot is mounted to Media Server

3. Transfer data from Media Server to storage (VTL 6900)

Result: 4-times increase of backup speed per client.

Important Notice
In order to use VMware VADP it is necessary to make all LUNs (which contain VM’s VMDK) reachable for Netbackup Media server over SAN network.