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Mounting EMC's Checkpoints / SnapSure as a file-level recovery solution for VMware ESX Virtual Machines when using NFS Datastores

Mounting EMC's Checkpoints / SnapSure as a file-level recovery solution for VMware ESX Virtual Machines when using NFS Datastores

 **Edit** 10/21/2009 - This is not solely for VMs running on NFS Datastores. This can be VMs running on iSCSI too. You just have to export the snapshot as a NFS volume to mount it inside a linux box

**EDIT** 1/15/2010 - Collin MacMillan over at http://blog.solori.net- brought up a very good point. How can you export an ISCSI VMFS to a NFS datastore? The Answer is: I DON'T KNOW =(. I no longer have my celerra, so if anyone can test and let me know, I will be sure to update the post. So if you're running iSCSI, this is YMMV. Thanks Collin!

I'm really getting bad at these long titles. On to the good stuff

A little background on what I am running to see if it will suit your environment's needs. I currently have 7 ESX Servers running version 3.5 and an EMC NS40 Celerra Version running version 5.3.36. My environment runs solely on NFS and so far this is the best option I've seen. You will need a linux box, in this case I created a virtual machine of Kubuntu Desktop Intrepid Ibex 8.10. That being said let's continue.

Basically, this is how it works. Using the Celerra Manager we will create a schedule of checkpoints for a file system. This is done on the back end of the file system, so unlike many backup solutions, this won't put any stress on the ESX hosts. Using some Linux mount commands, we can mount the snapshots/checkpoints and mount a virtual machine's hard drive. This solution is free, won't be needing any additional servers or bigger storage, can be managed internally, and won't be dependent on 3rd parties.

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How to fix a frozen Virtual Machine that is stuck at 95% or timed out after trying to power off or restart

How to fix a frozen Virtual Machine that is stuck at 95% or timed out after trying to power off or restart

that's quite the catchy title eh? Well I couldn't think of any other way to put it.

I have had this problem 3 times now so hopefully I'll blog about this to potentialy save other people some more time

Symptoms: Your virtual machine has frozen. You open up the console and you get no mouse movement, it's literally frozen. It will not respond to ping requests, RDP, anything.

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UPDATE*** 10/15/2009** THIS METHOD WORKS FOR ESX3.5. HAVE NOT TESTED ON VSPHERE. THIS WILL NOT WORK ON ESXi 4

"@LeGrandMeaulnes @KendrickColeman So you may want to make a note ... those steps don't work in ESXi 4. No vmware-cmd, nothing useful in /proc."

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The Proper Way To Mount NFS Filesystems with EMC Celerra

The Proper Way To Mount NFS Filesystems with EMC Celerra

We are moving our production VMs from iSCSI to NFS data stores in our ESX environment because of replication issues. We found out that to replicate a 1TB Lun with iSCSI, you need to have 4.4x the amount of space. You have to have your 1TB Lun sitting inside a 2.2TB Filesystem (because to replicate an iSCSI Lun it uses 120% overhead), then you also need 2.2TB sitting on the receiving end. We found that to be ridiculous because of how much it costs for a single drive. We are moving towards NFS because to replicate an NFS Filesystem is uses very little overhead. Thus, we are regaining TONS of space. After creating a few NFS Filesystems and running production VMs on them, I think I found the proper way to create the NFS shares.

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Configuring Local SSH account on a Nortel 5520 ERS

After relentless searching on the tubes, I found no step-by-step guides on how to setup SSH on nortel switches, Nortel Ethernet Routing Switch 5520 to be exact.  After contacting Nortel personally I have finaly found the solution and it wasn't difficult to say the least

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vmware-vmz-zdump

I've encountered a new problem and only found a little bit of help online

 

I am going through the process of moving our storage. When you do a storage VMotion you cannot migrate storage if there are snapshots.  I had one machine that had snapshots so I had to delete them. During the deletion process, the VirtualCenter Server froze up and killed the deletion process. After I logged back into Virtual Center, I noticed these 2 files sitting in the directory

 vmware-vmx-zdump.001

 vmware-vmx-zdump.000

 

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