Backup solutions for Xenserver



  • Hi Everyone!

    Ok, so about 2 years ago I posted on Spiceworks asking for advice on a backup solution for Xenserver. Well I am back asking again, but someone mentioned that this forum is a good place to ask about this.

    Based on the feedback from the original post we ended up going with PHDVirtual, which worked very well. Since then they were acquired by Unitrends and the product has become completely unreliable (hitting maybe 38% success rate on daily backups). I even went so far as to completely redo the system from the ground up (fresh appliance, blank backup target NAS), but it looks like UEB is just not capable or reliable backing up Xenserver.

    So here I am again, looking to evaluate some options for backup. I plan to take a deep look at Alike again, but was wondering what else may have popped up since the last time I looked. How do you guys that use Xenserver back them up?

    Thanks in advance,

    JRC

    EDIT: I should mention that I need a solution that allows for de-dupping of the data backed up (so I can keep around 6mo of backups, and I'll need something that allows me to do a file level restores for my ~2Tb of data on my Fileserver).



  • @jrc said in Backup solutions for Xenserver:

    Ok, so about 2 years ago I posted on Spiceworks asking for advice on a backup solution for Xenserver. Well I am back asking again, but someone mentioned that this forum is a good place to ask about this.

    Welcome to MangoLassi!



  • Xen Orchestra is our current VM backup appliance of choice around here.

    If you want to backup the Boot device, you'd just clone the bootable USB/SD card.



  • This guide here will show you how to setup a free Xen Orchestra system to backup your VM's.



  • @jrc said in Backup solutions for Xenserver:

    Hi Everyone!

    Ok, so about 2 years ago I posted on Spiceworks asking for advice on a backup solution for Xenserver. Well I am back asking again, but someone mentioned that this forum is a good place to ask about this.

    Based on the feedback from the original post we ended up going with PHDVirtual, which worked very well. Since then they were acquired by Unitrends and the product has become completely unreliable (hitting maybe 38% success rate on daily backups). I even went so far as to completely redo the system from the ground up (fresh appliance, blank backup target NAS), but it looks like UEB is just not capable or reliable backing up Xenserver.

    So here I am again, looking to evaluate some options for backup. I plan to take a deep look at Alike again, but was wondering what else may have popped up since the last time I looked. How do you guys that use Xenserver back them up?

    Thanks in advance,

    JRC

    Have you gotten in touch with Unitrends Support? That may be the first stop on investigating this.

    Xen Orchestra has several decent options for backup.



  • @DustinB3403 said in Backup solutions for Xenserver:

    Xen Orchestra is our current VM backup appliance of choice around here.

    If you want to backup the Boot device, you'd just clone the bootable USB/SD card.

    I thought Xen Orchestra was for managing Xen, not backing it up. I'll need to look into that. Does it do any de-duping? And file level restores?

    @coliver said in Backup solutions for Xenserver:

    Have you gotten in touch with Unitrends Support? That may be the first stop on investigating this.

    Xen Orchestra has several decent options for backup.

    Yes I have been working with them closely. However the latest UEB is just riddled with all kinds of bugs, and the Xen support is very much an afterthought for them. It's become very obvious that they only acquired PHD for their interface and would not be surprised if they drop Xen support all together once the various PHD contracts expire.



  • @jrc The Xen Orchestra website would be the best if you need specifics, but XO is very much a full management tool for Xen/xenServer.

    It has Delta backup capabilities, CR, Full, Disaster Recovery just to name a few features.

    @olivier is the main developer and he could better answer those questions.



  • @jrc said in Backup solutions for Xenserver:

    I thought Xen Orchestra was for managing Xen, not backing it up. I'll need to look into that. Does it do any de-duping? And file level restores?

    XO does, kind of everything 🙂 But no, it is ONLY images. If you want files you'd have to mount an image and pull the file from there. So yes, you can get files, not it is not a file based backup and does not automate that for you.

    It does no dedupe, you would rely on the resulting storage array to handle that.



  • Have you considered not using a "Xen backup" system? Or using a hybrid (XO for the images, something else for files?) Something like StorageCraft that uses an agent to do the system backups. Some people hate agents, some prefer them. On Xen, we tend to lean towards agent based backups if the tools like XO are not what you want to use.



  • I am an Alike user and, although they have their own faults, the software has been doing a decent job backing up my environment. I believe we are pushing their software pretty hard. I have ~100 VMs across 19 hosts. Once we get over the initial deployment and first backup, things are relatively smooth after that. They've made some good progress with their software over the years. There were some rocky times in the Alike 3.x days, and we eventually found a sweet spot with a "special" build of Alike 3.5 which I was running for a good 6 months plus without any fuss (was really nice). When I originally trialed the software back in 2014 they were really good about extending it without question. I believe I trialed the software for a good 3-4 months, and during my trial their support team treated me like I was a paid customer. My only wish is that their support was more reachable via phone (they like to communicate via email/tickets, which I understand)...but that'd drive up the cost of the software. When I've had major issues they've jumped on a conference call with me and done remote sessions. I believe their software does everything that PHDVirtual/Unitrends does, so you shouldn't lose any features.

    I'm currently in the process of transitioning from Alike 3.5 to 4.2, which basically requires you to scrap and re-do your backups. Fortunately for me, I have the hardware to run both in parallel. I'm still working through the initial backups with 4.2, which are running into some snags (not unexpected), but their support has been responsive and helpful. I am hopeful things will iron out in sometime this week.



  • you could use xo for your vm backups. and veeam endpoint for your files. I do this essentially in hyper-v. Except I use altaro. I dont think altaro offers Xen support... If they did, it's tits.



  • @KyleCaminita said in Backup solutions for Xenserver:

    you could use xo for your vm backups. and veeam endpoint for your files. I do this essentially in hyper-v. Except I use altaro. I dont think altaro offers Xen support... If they did, it's tits.

    I'm always forgetting that Veeam Endpoint will handle this. At least for the Windows servers. Is their Linux solution out yet?







  • @scottalanmiller That's creepy as all hell.



  • @DustinB3403 said in Backup solutions for Xenserver:

    @scottalanmiller That's creepy as all hell.

    You should see goats up close dude!! So much creepier than sheep.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Backup solutions for Xenserver:

    @DustinB3403 said in Backup solutions for Xenserver:

    @scottalanmiller That's creepy as all hell.

    You should see goats up close dude!! So much creepier than sheep.

    Go to a livestock auction sale bard the night before with no lights on....... growing up the largest livestock auction in Ohio was in the same town as the high school I went to. Thursdays you didn't want to be anywhere near the place.



  • Sheep only a few feet from my front door here, and when I was in Greece it was all you herd (pun intended) all night.



  • Man did this thread fork.

    backups >>> livestock



  • Nice. When the electric fence failed (often), we'd wake up to fresh milk mooing in the yard.

    PS - Think we can take this soon by Veem thing to far? 😛



  • @scottalanmiller said

    I'm always forgetting that Veeam Endpoint will handle this. At least for the Windows servers.

    Which Veeam product is that, exactly?



  • @BRRABill said in Backup solutions for Xenserver:

    @scottalanmiller said

    I'm always forgetting that Veeam Endpoint will handle this. At least for the Windows servers.

    Which Veeam product is that, exactly?

    I kind of answered my own question. The "Endpoint Backup" product they have they say is for desktop and latops, but then they say...

    "Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE is Veeam's new backup solution for Windows-based computers (desktops & laptops) running Windows 7 and higher as well as Windows Server 2008 and higher."

    Is this the product you mean?



  • @BRRABill said in Backup solutions for Xenserver:

    Man did this thread fork.

    backups >>> livestock

    It's a famous ML derailed.... Just ask @IRJ 😃



  • @BRRABill said in Backup solutions for Xenserver:

    @scottalanmiller said

    I'm always forgetting that Veeam Endpoint will handle this. At least for the Windows servers.

    Which Veeam product is that, exactly?

    Their end point agent based one.



  • @BRRABill said in Backup solutions for Xenserver:

    @BRRABill said in Backup solutions for Xenserver:

    @scottalanmiller said

    I'm always forgetting that Veeam Endpoint will handle this. At least for the Windows servers.

    Which Veeam product is that, exactly?

    I kind of answered my own question. The "Endpoint Backup" product they have they say is for desktop and latops, but then they say...

    "Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE is Veeam's new backup solution for Windows-based computers (desktops & laptops) running Windows 7 and higher as well as Windows Server 2008 and higher."

    Is this the product you mean?

    Yes. Linux support is coming soon. So will be pretty broad once that arrives.



  • @scottalanmiller

    Don't they have another free product just for servers? (Or VMs?)



  • Veeam has the 1TB free for anything I believe.

    I'm pretty sure they have a SW offering too where you can get some money off. Not sure if they have a special offering for us ML folks.



  • @DustinB3403 said in Backup solutions for Xenserver:

    Veeam has the 1TB free for anything I believe.

    I'm pretty sure they have a SW offering too where you can get some money off. Not sure if they have a special offering for us ML folks.

    I think that you are thinking of Unitrends. Veeam Free is always free.



  • @BRRABill said in Backup solutions for Xenserver:

    @scottalanmiller

    Don't they have another free product just for servers? (Or VMs?)

    Their normal backup product has a limited use free version called Veeam Free. It can only talk to Hyper-V and ESXi licensed (non-free). It's a totally different type of product and is the platform that people pay big money for. It is agentless.



  • @scottalanmiller I might be.

    I thought it was Veeam free 1TB though.

    Not without limitations.


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