VMware

VMware Consolidated Backup 1.5 Update 1 Release Notes

VCB 1.5 Update 1 | 24 June 2009 | Build 150805

What's in the Release Notes

The release notes cover the following topics.

What's New in This Release

This release of VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB) 1.5 Update 1 offers the following improvements:

Support for Thin Provisioned Disks

VCB preserves the thin provisioning status of virtual disks while backing them up in vSphere 4.0 and enables their restoration in the same format.

Support for IDE Disks

VCB backs up IDE disks that are supported in vSphere 4.0.

Improved Support to Handle Busy SAN and iSCSI Links

VCB now retries more often, with increasing back-off time and introduces some fluctuations in the back-off time interval to handle busy SAN and iSCSI links.

Support for vApps

VCB backs up virtual machines that are part of vApps. vApps is a new feature in vSphere 4.0 to simplify the deployment and ongoing management of an n-tier application in multiple virtual machines by encapsulating it into a single virtual service entity.

Support for Windows Server 2008

VCB 1.5 Update 1 offers official support for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Microsoft Windows Server 2008 proxy server. Previous VCB versions provided experimental support for Windows Server 2008.

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Prior Releases of VMware Consolidated Backup

Features and known issues from VCB 1.0.3 Update 1, VCB 1.1, VCB 1.1 Update 1, and VCB 1.5 are described in the release notes for each release.

  • VCB 1.0.3 Update 1 (HTML)
  • VCB 1.1 (PDF)
  • VCB 1.1 Update 1 (HTML)
  • VCB 1.5 (HTML)

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Upgrading from VCB 1.5 to VCB 1.5 Update 1

To upgrade from VCB 1.5 to VCB 1.5 Update1:

  1. Download the vmware-vcb-150805.exe from the VMware Web site or from the vSphere CD to a directory in the VCB Proxy. VCB Proxy is a physical or virtual machine running Microsoft Windows 2003, Consolidated Backup, and third-party backup software.
  2. Double-click vmware-vcb-150805.exe and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the upgrade.

To verify the upgrade:

  1. In the VCB Proxy, go to Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs, and click VMware Consolidated Backup Framework.
  2. Click Click here for support information to view the version. It should be 1.5.0.4948 build-150805.

 

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ESX Server, vCenter Server, and VCB Compatibility

VCB 1.5 Update 1 is compatible with ESX Server 3.0.3 or ESX Server 3.5 or later, and vCenter Server 2.5 or later.

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Installation Notes

Refer the Virtual Machine Backup Guide for instructions on installing and configuring VCB 1.5 Update 1.

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Known Issues

VCB Does Not Support Virtual Machines with Bootable SCSI disks and IDE Disks

VCB generates an exception when file-level backups of virtual machines are taken after attaching an IDE disk in addition to the already installed bootable SCSI disk that contains the guest operating system. No errors are generated when a full backup of a virtual machine is taken. However, after restoring the backup of the virtual machine and powering it on, because the first bootable disk is IDE, the guest operating system does not boot.

To work around this issue, manually select the first bootable disk as the SCSI disk in the BIOS of the virtual machine.

Hot-Add Transport Mode Fails to Take Backup of Virtual Disks

On a Windows proxy server, hot-add transport mode fails to take backup of virtual disks belonging to different datastores.

Currently, there is no workaround for this issue.

Three Transport Modes of VCB Support on IDE Disk

On IDE disks, SAN, nbd, and nbdssl transport modes are supported, while hot-add transport mode is not. When a virtual machine is backed up by using hot-add transport mode in VCB 1.5 Update 1, the backup operation fails with a Cannot use hot-add to transport to mount Virtual Machines with non-SCSI disks error.

VCB File Level Mount Fails when the Guest Operating System is Not Installed on the First Virtual Hard Disk

When VCB tries to take a file-level backup on a virtual machine with the Windows operating system not installed on the first virtual hard disk of the virtual machine, the backup operation fails with a Cannot query guest operating information. The mount directory is invalid. error.

Currently, there is no workaround for this issue.

Hot-Add Fails with an Error

Backup operation of virtual machines in the hot-add fails with an File is larger than the maximum size supported by datastore `[<datastore_name>] error, when the backup virtual machine and the VCB-HELPER virtual machine are residing on datastores of different block sizes.This issue occurs when the .vmdk files of the backup virtual machine are greater than the maximum file size supported on the datastore of VCB-HELPER virtual machines.

To work around this issue, VCB-HELPER virtual machines and the backup virtual machine should be residing on datastores of the same block size.

VCB Cannot Access the Mounted Files of Windows Server 2008 Virtual Machines Having Striped Disks

On Windows Server 2008 virtual machines, create and partition striped disks. Mount the Windows Server 2008 virtual machine using the vcbMounter command. Mounting is successful, but VCB cannot access the mounted files of Windows Server 2008 virtual machines having striped disks.

Currently, there is no workaround for this issue.

Cannot Create the Virtual Machine in the FT Mode When the Virtual Machine Is Backed Up by VCB

Because VCB operates on snapshots of virtual machines and Fault Tolerance (FT) does not work for virtual machines with snapshots, you cannot create a virtual machine in the FT mode while being backed up by VCB. FT disables snapshot operations for its virtual machines.

Hot-Add Fails with an Error

VCB allocates SCSI target IDs to virtual disks from the backup virtual machine that will be added while the virtual machine is running (or "hot" added). If all target IDs in the proxy virtual machine are in use, the mount operation fails with the following error: Failed to allocate SCSI target ID. VCB cannot add a SCSI controller while the machine is running, so you must power off the proxy virtual machine to add SCSI controllers. The proxy virtual machine can be configured with up to four SCSI controllers.

To add more than four SCSI controllers, add a virtual disk and use the vSphere Client to assign a target on a new SCSI controller.

VCB Fails to Find or Mount Virtual Machines Whose Names Contain the & Character

If the virtual machine's name contains an & character, VCB fails to locate and mount the virtual machine.

To work around this issue, when running VCB commands that involve virtual machine's name containing & character, specify the virtual machine's name in double quotes.

Example: vcbVMname -h <host-name> -u <username> -p <password> -s name:"<Vmname with & >"

Backup Operation of Virtual Machines Fails to Mount after Uninstalling and Installing VCB 1.5 Update 1 on VCB Proxy (Windows Server 2008)

After uninstalling and installing VCB 1.5 Update 1 on VCB Proxy (Windows Server 2008), file-level virtual machine backups fail with the following error: Cannot mount volume 1, Cannot open virtual storage driver. Make sure it is running. However, full virtual machine backup works correctly.

To work around this issue, reboot the VCB proxy and run the backup operation again.

64-bit PowerPath Installed on VCB Proxy Is Not Supported

Backup fails with an A virtual disk could not be opened. – Cannot open disk file: Error : Disk library failed error. This issue occurs if 64-bit PowerPath is installed on 64-bit VCB proxy operating systems. For more information, refer Support for VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB) and Multipath software (KB 1007479).

vCenter Server Displays an Error During Hot-Add Backups

Occasionally, while using the hot-add backup, users might see the following message in the Recent Tasks panel of vCenter Server: The operation is not allowed in the current state. This message can be ignored as the backup operation continues.

Running custom quiescing scripts inside Windows guest operating system virtual machine with ESX 3.5 Update 2 and later (KB 1006671)

Support for dynamic disks and GPT disks (KB 1003793)

vcbSnapAll command fails (KB 1010105)

Consolidated Backup and storage VMotion are Mutually Exclusive

Because Consolidated Backup operates on snapshots of virtual machines and Storage VMotion does not work for virtual machines with snapshots, you cannot migrate a virtual machine while it is being backed up by Consolidated Backup. Storage VMotion, on its part, disables snapshot operations for virtual machines it migrates.

As a result, an attempt to back up such a virtual machine with Consolidated Backup fails with a resource in use error.

VSS Not Installed by Default on Windows Server 2003 During VMware Tools Upgrade on ESX 3.5 Update 2

ESX 3.5 Update 2 introduces quiescing support using Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS). However, VSS components are not installed when upgrading VMware Tools on a Windows Server 2003 virtual machine. You can install VSS components manually by performing an interactive tools upgrade with the VI Client:

  1. In the VMware Tools installer, select Modify > Drivers > VSS.
  2. Complete the installation process.
  3. Restart the virtual machine to make sure VSS components are installed and running.
VSS Not Installed by Default on Vista and Windows Server 2008

ESX 3.5 Update 2 introduces quiescing support using VSS. However, VSS components are not installed by default on Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 virtual machines. You can install VSS components manually by performing an interactive tools upgrade with the VI Client:

  1. On the drive where the VMware Tools CD is mounted, locate the redist folder.
  2. Install vcredist_x86.exe (or vcredist_x64.exe on a 64-bit operating system).
  3. In the VMware Tools installer, select Modify > Drivers > VSS.
  4. Complete the installation process.
  5. Restart the virtual machine to make sure VSS components are installed and running.
Hot-Add Fails with Could not locate device nodes for new disks Error

Some applications install a virtual adapter in the guest operating system. These virtual adapters might interfere with the ability of Consolidated Backup to detect a disk that has been added while the machine is running to the proxy virtual machine when performing a mount operation.

If the error Could not locate device nodes for new disks occurs during a hot-add mount operation, check the Windows device manager to see if any SCSI controllers other than those for LSI Logic or Buslogic are installed.

Hot-Add Fails with Failed to allocate SCSI target ID Error

Consolidated Backup allocates SCSI target IDs to disks from the backup virtual machine that will be added while the machine is running (or "hot" added). If all target IDs in the proxy virtual machine are in use, the mount operation fails with the following error: Failed to allocate SCSI target ID. Consolidated Backup cannot add a SCSI controller while the machine is running, so you must power off the proxy virtual machine to add SCSI controllers.

The proxy virtual machine can be configured with up to four SCSI controllers. To add more than four SCSI controllers, add a disk and use the VI Client to assign a target on a new SCSI controller.

Proxy Virtual Machine Used with Hot-Add Transport Mode Fails to Power On

During a hot-add mount operation, Consolidated Backup attaches the snapshot disks of the backup virtual machine to the proxy virtual machine. During a hot-add unmount operation, Consolidated Backup removes the snapshot disks of the backup virtual machine from the proxy virtual machine. If the unmount operation is performed manually (for example, a snapshot of the backup virtual machine is manually deleted) the operation might invalidate the disks that are still attached to the proxy virtual machine. As a result, the proxy virtual machine fails to power on.

You must use the VI Client to reconfigure the proxy virtual machine manually, removing any disks attached to the virtual machine that did not originally belong to it. After the offending disks are removed, you can power on the machine. You can avoid this situation by using Consolidated Backup for the unmount operation on proxy virtual machines.

Backup Fails with Cannot use hotadd transport to mount virtual machines with independent disks Error

When using hot-add transport to back up a virtual machine with an independent disk (including physical compatibility RDMs), the backup fails with the following error: Cannot use hotadd transport to mount virtual machines with independent disks.

File-Level Backups Fail if .vmdk Is Expanded Using vmkfstools -X

If you use vmkfstools -X on the ESX 3.5 service console to expand the size of a virtual machine's disk, Consolidated Backup cannot run a file-level backup on the virtual machine, and can only run a fullvm backup. Attempts to run a file-level backup fail with the error message: "unable to open disk." This issue occurs because cylinder values are not updated by vmkfstools, and Consolidated Backup is unable to determine the size of the disk.

To work around this issue:

  • (Preferred) Use the VI Client wizard, rather than vmkfstools, to expand the size of the virtual machine's disk, which will not change the cylinder's value.
  • If you have already used the vmkfstools -X option, you can manually modify the cylinder's value (use this method with caution):
    1. Navigate to /vmfs/volumes/storage/<vm-name>
    2. Open the vm-name.vmdk file for edit.
    3. The file contains lines similar to the following:
      RW 8388608 VMFS "vm-name-flat.vmdk"
      ddb.geometry.cylinders = "261"
      ddb.geometry.heads = "255"
      ddb.geometry.sectors = "63"
    4. Change the number of cylinders accordingly.
    5. For example, if the size of the .vmdk file was 4GB before you applied the vmkfstools -X option (RW 4194304 ...), and the new .vmdk size is 8GB (RW 8388608...), the number of cylinders should be doubled from 261 to 522.

      Before:
      RW 4194304 VMFS "vm-name-flat.vmdk"
      ddb.geometry.cylinders = "261"

      After:
      RW 8388608 VMFS "vm-name-flat.vmdk"
      ddb.geometry.cylinders = "522"

Windows pre-freeze.bat and post-thaw.bat Scripts Not Invoked When Upgrading from VMware Tools on ESX 3.5 to ESX 3.5 Update 2 and Later

When you update an ESX host and its guest virtual machine's VMware Tools to ESX 3.5 Update 2, the scripts in C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Tools\backupScripts.d are invoked with a freeze or thaw argument during quiescing. However, the scripts c:\windows\pre-freeze.bat and c:\windows\post-thaw.bat are no longer invoked.

To work around this issue, copy the scripts (pre-freeze.bat and post-thaw.bat) to the new script format as required by VMware Tools for ESX 3.5 Update 2. Refer the Virtual Machine Backup Guide for more information.

SCSI Controller Order Varies After Importing a Virtual Machine with pvSCSI and LSI Controller

Virtual machines imported to ESX Server fail to boot when powered on. This issue occurs when the guest operating system is installed on a SCSI virtual disk attached to VMware Paravirtual SCSI (pvSCSI) controller and another SCSI virtual disk is attached to the LSI Controller.

To work around this issue, manually select the first bootable SCSI virtual disk attached to the pvSCSI controller in the BIOS of the virtual machine.

VCB Fails to Create Snapshot

While mounting a backup virtual machine, the snapshot creation might fail with the error Error: Other error encountered: Snapshot creation failed:Could not quiesce file system. vCenter Server reports the same error as Creating a quiesced snapshot failed because the created snapshot operation exceeded the time limit for holding off I/O in the frozen virtual machine.

To work around this issue, use the following options:

  • If snapshots are taken with VSS quiescence, disable VSS tools in the virtual machine. This enables the SYNC driver to quiesce the virtual machine.

    Note: This workaround requires that the virtual machines be restarted.

  • Uninstall and install VMware Tools.

    Note: This workaround requires that the virtual machines be restarted.

  • Disable quiescing by appending -Q 0 to the vcbMounter command, or adding Quiesce = 0 for pre-backup jobs. Refer the Virtual Machine Backup Guide for more information.

    Note: -Q 0 refers to disabling the quiescing option.

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Resolved Issues

Improvement to VCB on Busy SAN and iSCSI Links

In previous releases, while taking backups of multiple virtual machines that reside on the same ESX Server host, VCB fails by informing about busy SCSI devices. This issue is fixed in this release.

pre-backup Script Returns Incorrect Error Code

When the pre-backup script is run for a nonexistent virtual machine, code 0 is returned instead of code 16. This issue is fixed in this release.

Fix for the Hot-Add Operation Allows Length of VCB Proxy Name to Exceed 20 Characters

Previously, during a hot-add operation, if the length of the VCB proxy name exceeded 20 characters, the backup operation would fail with the Could not find virtual machine specified by name:<proxy name>(VCB-HELPER)error. This issue is fixed in this release.

VCB Does Not Adhere to the SNAPSHOT_POLICY for deleteonly or manual Policies

When using the SNAPSHOT_POLICY option in the config.js file as deleteonly or manual, VCB incorrectly deletes the snapshot. The snapshot deletion occurs when the pre-command script is invoked with the PREEXISTING_VCB_SNAPSHOT option set to delete. This issue is fixed in this release.

createonly Value for SNAPSHOT_POLICY Option Does Not Work As Expected

When the SNAPSHOT_POLICY option is set as createonly in the config.js file, VCB incorrectly deletes the snapshot when the post-backup commands are run. This issue is fixed in this release.

pre-backup Script Fails with Incorrect Error Message When Wrong Password Is Specified

When a wrong password is specified in the config.js file, running the pre-backup script results in an incorrect The virtual machine identified by <name> is unknown.Exit Code: 16 error message. The correct error message is Check hostname,username and password Exit Code: 18 checking for virtual machine. This issue is fixed in this release.

Fix for Virtual Machines That Contain Spaces in Name

The pre-backup script fails to remove snapshots for virtual machines that contain spaces in the name when VM_LOOKUP_METHOD in the config.js file is set to name. This issue is fixed in this release.

Update to ReadMe File for Legato Networker VCB Integration Module

The ReadMe File of Legato Networker VCB Integration Module is updated to reflect Legato Networker 7.4 SP2 client creation and restore policy for integrated VCB.

vcbMounter Command Displays an Error if the Mount Path Specified with the -r option ends with "/"

vcbMounter command displays an error if the mount path specified with the -r option ends with "/". When run, this command creates the specified directory, but fails with the cannot create a directory error. This issue is fixed in this release.

vcbMounter Command Fails With an Error Due to Insufficient Permissions in vCenter Server

In vCenter Server, when VCB permissions are set at the virtual machine level, the vcbMounter command fails with an error for full virtual machine backup. The error is
This application has requested the Runtime to terminate it in an unusual way. Please contact the application's support team for more information. This issue occurs during the backup of virtual machines that have VCB 1.5 and vCenter Server versions 2.5 GA and 2.5 Update 1. However, for the same virtual machines, file-level backup works correctly. This issue is fixed in this release.

ESX Server hosts to be backed up should have access to the datastore in hot-add mode (KB 1007227)

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