We are currently looking at an Nutanix implementation where the customer has a policy of using an VSS Backup for all their workloads, and now want's to cover the Nutanix platform with it where they are running Hyper-V.
As they also are looking at using an off-site cluster for DR we were thinking about using the built-in Async DR to replicate the data across the wire but we ran into a slight "Huh?" when gathering information that we havn't figured out yet.
Under the Prism Web Console Guide - Data Protection the following section is seen
"Warning: Nutanix native snapshots and replication is not supported for VMs configured with Hyper-V host snapshots."
Now, since we are using a VSS solution for Hyper-V backups we sort of always Snapshot/Checkpoint the VM during the Window. As Server 2012R2 do not yet have any Change-Block-Tracking for SMB3 Shares this Window could be rather large. Will we run into a problem if the Nutanix Snapshots happends to be scheduled around the same time?
Basically we are looking into the information if it's doable to mix the VSS Backup with the In-Built DR of Nutanix without running into any issues.
Are you specifically talking about using VSS and a "VM level" backup solution? Or an "in-guest" backup solution?
The in-built DR for Hyper-V does not yet support VSS in itself (this is on the radar near term), and you are right that hyper-v in general doesn't support a CBT-like API for SMB3 on 2012 R2, so there could be some challenges in this setup. Tread carefully.
We are talking about VSS with VM Level Backup.
The support for Hyper-V VSS for the in-built DR is not an issue right now (As SQL and other workloads are in-guest), our main concern is that we will run into problem with the Native Snapshots and the Snapshots/Checkpoints that get created during the backup windows (As these Windows are a bit large do to no CBT). The larger backup Windows is also not an concern of us as long as we still can do an in-built DR while the VSS Backup is fetching blocks from NDFS.
It is a bit unclear if the meaning with "Hyper-V Snapshots are not supported" also covers the actual process of Snapshot/Checkpoint during the backup. If I recall correct, this period of time when the .avhdx file is there is rather small and only applicable until the Nutanix Storage has done a NDFS Snapshot, if we compare it to an regular Snapshot/Checkpoint which is persistent until we remove it.
I'm double checking on this now and will report back. Would the backup application being used happen to be using VSS for SMB shares? This would take a container wide Nutanix snapshot and therefore make any VM snapshots short lived.
And huge thanks for looking into this!
The backup suite in question is actually Commvault, but do the immense amount that they backup right now in the whole company, and reports of issues with upgrading to V11 they have been adviced to hold of the upgrade until the new SP comes out which means no IntelliSnap support for Nutanix at the moment.
As far as I know they do invoke the Hyper-V VSS which in return should go through the normal Remote SMB3 provider and in turn take an Nutanix SnapShot. We can see I/O in PRISM during the backup windows without seeing any .avhdx or any "Backup" state which should point towards that they indeed do integrate correctly to the Remote VSS stack.
I confirmed that if we detect a Hyper-V checkpoint we will mark the VM as CBR incapable meaning we won't let you add it to a protection domain. In this case however the checkpoint would be short lived so you shouldn't be blocked. This leads to a different question of interop between the container snapshot taken with commvault (VSS for SMB shares) and async protection domains. Waiting to hear back on this second question but will reply back ASAP.
We just had the second cluster setup and are about to configure the Protection Domains, any new information regarding this matter?
I'll defer to Mike since he's closer to this issue.