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Thread: VM Backup?

  1. #1
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    Default VM Backup?

    Anyone running Zimbra as a VM in ESXi host? How do you backup your Zimbra VM? Do you install vmtools inside Zimbra to ensure snapshot is consistent?

  2. #2
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    Hi bhwong,

    We're currently running ZCS NE 7.2 on ESXi 4.1. We rsync the backups directory nightly to an off-site server. When we do an update, we shut down Zimbra and do an rsync of the whole /opt/zimbra directory to the off-site server.

    In the next couple of weeks we'll be upgrading to new hardware running ESXi 5 and Veeam Enterprise will be used to backup the VMs. At this stage we'll be using VMware tools to stop the Zimbra processes temporarily before the backup is run and start Zimbra afterwards (quiesce). This should only be a short period as it's only a snapshot being taken.

    Cheers

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    Thanks Rob!

    This mean your email server will be down every night for rsync to complete? How big is your Zimbra backup now and how long is your downtime?

    I just wonder does VMware Tools able to stop and quiesce Zimbra for backup/snapshot or do we need to execute zmcontrol stop just to be sure?

    Anyway, We can't afford to down our Zimbra and currently, we are using Zimbra build-in backup to backup into a separated local storage. We are evaluate Veeam and Acronis at the moment.

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    No, as it only rsyncs the backups directory there is no downtime. The only time we stop Zimbra currently is just prior to an update so we can rsync the whole Zimbra directory.

    When the quiesce occurs, it runs a file or command which would be zmcontrol stop prior to the backup being run. Then it would run zmcontrol start following. At this stage, we're not sure whether we'll be running a full VM backup every night, or whether we'll just do it weekly and backup the Zimbra incrementals nightly. Need to see how long the backup will take and the load it may generate.

  5. #5
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    Running both the inbuilt zmbackup and veeam backup & replication.

    Veeam is setup to do what I think is called a reverse incremental. Full backup first weekend of the month and reverse incrementals then all month.

    vmtools are installed but thats more for monitoring and time keeping. I don't shut zimbra down at all. You do need some free space in your file system when the backup starts as it takes a snapshot and runs a temp file with changes while the copy happens. If you have too much disk activity and run out of space vmware will halt.

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    I understand that Veeam make use of snapshot to do backup, but from my experience, a snapshot will freeze Zimbra for a while. Do you do both a local backup and a remote replication?

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    I don't believe the snapshop freezes the vm at all. Been a while since I ever ran one during work hours so I could be wrong.

    I do both the zmbackup and vm snapshop to a nas located in another building. zmbackup purely for those instances where I need to recover a specific mailbox. veeam backup is more for whole of server restore.

  8. #8
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    From my experience, a snapshot will freeze any VM for a few seconds while removing snapshot, especially huge ones, will freeze up for few minutes!

    So you use Veeam backup instead of Veeam Replication? Your NAS located in another building is connected thru WAN or ethernet?

  9. #9
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    As always, you have to care and deal about your application.

    Again, ZCS bundled many components, yo have to care about your applications requierements.

    Du you suit?

    ccelis

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