Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: [SOLVED] Zimbra Backup on VMFS or NFS?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    503
    Rep Power
    7

    Default [SOLVED] Zimbra Backup on VMFS or NFS?

    We have a Dell Equal Logic and QNAP NAS. Our Zimbra is running from Dell Equal Logic with plenty of spare storage remains. We have been arguing which will be the ideal setup for Zimbra backup:

    1. Zimbra Backup on Dell Equal Logic:
    By placing our backup on our premiere storage (since it has plenty of storage available at the moment anyway), we can enjoy the additional reliability and performance of this SAN storage for Zimbra Backup.

    2. Zimbra Backup on QNAP NAS:
    By placing our backup on separate storage, there is additional safety whereby if one storage crash or unavailable, we have at least another set to recover from (despite QNAP is of lower reliability and performance which may extend backup time). If we decide on this route, we need to decide to mount QNAP NAS directly to Zimbra VM as NFS, or indirectly to Zimbra VM thru iSCSI as VMFS.

    2a. Zimbra Backup on QNAP NAS as VMFS:
    QNAP NAS iSCSI is certified by vmware and we have been able to mount a iSCSI volume into ESX as a VMFS datastore. The only disadvantage is that it does not have a security to set which servers to share or not to share to. Thus, anyone can access to QNAP once the iSCSI volume is created. (It does has a iSCSI Advanced ACL to handle this problem.)

    2b. Zimbra Backup on QNAP NAS as NFS:
    With NFS, we will be able to access to Zimbra Backup directly on the QNAP without going thru the ESX host. But I believe some vSphere features available on the VMFS will not be available on the NFS right?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    477 Congress Street | Portland, ME 04101
    Posts
    1,374
    Rep Power
    11

    Default

    Both iSCSI and NFS have their advantages, disadvantages, fans and detractors. Not keeping everything on the SAN is a good idea, so while tempting, I'd avoid 1 if possible.

    The good news is that Zimbra fully supports the use of NFS for backups only: NFS Support - Zimbra :: Wiki.

    Our recent experience has been that NFSv3 can be made reliable, depending on the NFS server mostly. One client ran InnoDB tables on NFS mounts for a large database application (not Zimbra).

    iSCSI with just the server's on-board NICs can be weak. Server-grade or "real" iSCSI NICs help performance a lot, but cost $$$. If you don't care how long your backups take, then dedicating a single on-board NIC to a separate iSCSI-only network segment might be more than fine and 2a would work for you.

    On the other hand, 2b has the advantage of being able to mount the backups without needing a replacement ESX server. If the whole ESX server died and corrupted everything on the SAN during the process, doing 2b might help you get Zimbra back up and running on whatever metal you can rustle up quickly.

    Why not try 2b, and if you can't get NFS to work nicely, then do 2a?

    Hope that helps,
    Mark
    Last edited by LMStone; 12-20-2010 at 06:26 PM. Reason: Clarity

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    503
    Rep Power
    7

    Default

    Thanks Mark for your advise!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Berlin, Germany
    Posts
    203
    Rep Power
    7

    Default

    I agree with Mark on 2b. In addition I would suggest to back up your entire Zimbra VM with VCB or any other tool available at least once a week. The Backup should of cause be stored on different hardware.

    If your ESX, storage or Zimbra VM will crash for some reason you are up and
    running again fast on every hardware available without loosing too much time.

    We're using exactly this setup for quite some years without any problems.
    Best regards

    Andreas Wolske

    managedhosting.de GmbH

    Zimbra Cloud Hosting, Consulting & Support
    VMware vCloud Powered Serviceprovider

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    503
    Rep Power
    7

    Default

    Thanks Andreas! Do I have to stop Zimbra to ensure that all files in the memory are committed to the disk before snapshot and backup? Cause I read that the vmware tools only ensure that on the OS level, not application level.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Berlin, Germany
    Posts
    203
    Rep Power
    7

    Default

    To be on the safe side you may want to use VMware- Tools pre-freeze and post-thaw Scripts to automated stop and start zimbra during a VCB session. Also Vmware Tools will take care of your vm's filesystem by creating a quiesced snapshot to backup your VM.

    Merry Xmas and happy new year!
    Best regards

    Andreas Wolske

    managedhosting.de GmbH

    Zimbra Cloud Hosting, Consulting & Support
    VMware vCloud Powered Serviceprovider

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 22
    Last Post: 12-02-2007, 04:05 PM
  2. zmtlsctl give LDAP error
    By sourcehound in forum Administrators
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 03-11-2007, 03:48 PM
  3. 4.5 Upgrade failure
    By brained in forum Installation
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 03-03-2007, 02:30 PM
  4. Fedora Core 3, Clean Install - Not working!
    By pcjackson in forum Installation
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 03-05-2006, 06:38 PM
  5. Mail logs
    By Rick Baker in forum Installation
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 01-17-2006, 03:33 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •