VDP Backup tips

Love VDP since from the start.  We use Veeam backup before but we found out VDP is better suited for our environment.  No offense to Veeam, I think they wrote a very good piece of software but as far as simplicity, future proof and $$ you can’t beat VDP.

In the past I get error and they are all mainly due to stale snapshots related.  My goal is just to share how I troubleshoot and delete stale snapshots.  You must be really, really carefull when you are manually deleting snapsthots in the datastore, the best bullet-proof advice is that to make sure the VM is “ON” and running during deletion of stale vmdk.  Why? VMFS, locks the files he is using when running so any attempt to delete/rename/move to the vmdk will be unsuccessful, which is what we want.

1.  Delete all snapshots you have from snapshot manager that you are using.  99 percent of the time I tend to clean-up all my snapshots on the server as best practice.  RUN VDP

2.  Run “Consolidate” if necessary. RUN VDP

3.  If you still get VSS error or something like “Cannot take a quiesced snapshot”.  STALE SNAPSHOTS – Navigate to the datastore that this particular VM resides and look for something like “VM000002.vmdk”.  Remember that we deleted all snapshots so there should be nothing like this there.  Before you delete it, double check the date.

4.  VMware agent and third party VSS contention.  Be aware of any third party backup agent that has its own VSS like Backup-exec.  VMware agent  can use backup-exec agent without a problem, the issue is the order you install the Backup-exec agent.  Backup-exec agent should be the last to be installed.  Gotchas…  Be aware of this when you are upgrading the VMware agent, you will need to reinstall the backup-exec agent again if you start getting backup error.

Good luck…