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#1 2022-06-05 18:20:21

mikeg
Member
Registered: 2022-06-05
Posts: 10

Questions about this product

I run free ESXi 6.7 U3 on a single Dell R720 (20 CPUs x Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2690 v2 @ 3.00GHz , 320 GB RAM) in my home lab and was looking for a good backup solution when I ran across XSIBackup-DC. I generally will only have half a dozen VMs that I would like to keep maybe a half dozen restore points for in case of DR. My original thought was to use the newer DC product for free since I would be under the 100 GB limit. I partitioned a single SAS 450 GB drive for 10 GB to install ESXi and the balance for a VMFS6 datastore for VM storage. Nothing is so important that I need replication to a second host. If my R720 hardware fails it is fine until I fix it or replace it but they are pretty bulletproof and mine is protected well from surges and such. I did want to get my VM backups on a different hard drive however since those do fail so I provisioned a second 450 GB SAS as another VMFS6 datastore and then configured xsibackup-gui jobs to use that target. If I lose my working hard drive I would replace it then install ESXi and XSIBackup-DC again then restore the host config and the VM backups and re-register them and be good to go.

After I got my backups configured and ran successfully I read about not using VMFS for backup storage. I redid my backups using a 50 MB block size just in case. I then read about setting up a Rocky Linux server as an NFS depository but was unclear if I could do that with a VM (I do not want to introduce another physical server into the mix.) Then I ran across this NAS solution and figured I would give it a try in place of that since it would be a faster setup. I added a third hard drive to the server and provisioned it as another VMFS6 datastore. Then I set up the NAS VM and added a second hard drive using that datastore and added an LVM volume formatted for ext4 and NFS4 share on it. I was able to add an NFS datastore to ESXi for it and could run my backups to it instead but they actually seemed slower instead of faster. I was using the default 1 MB block size for these. Is that to be expected in this scenario?

Then I tried to  test granular restore from one of these backups with xsigir --interactive but it fails with this error. I did make sure the path was right with .xsitools in the root. I researched this error but could find no help. Can you help with this error and can you confirm this route for backups (using the NAS) in my environment would be better than my previous route (just using a VMFS6 DS)? Thanks for any help.

Note: after choosing either restore point 1 or 2 from the list returned to me I get:

Mounting ...
Checking if mount point already exists ...
/bin/xsigr: line 686 :   :  command not found
Some error was raised while mounting the restore point.

I did have a thought that maybe the original VM disk size (4 GB) was too small to do the mount but not sure about that requirement. Right now ESXi reports this for the volumes:
/ 2.58 GB 38% free
/boot 1014 MB 84% free
/mnt/volumes/nfs/...  430 GB 98% free

Last edited by mikeg (2022-06-05 19:07:03)

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#2 2022-06-06 22:50:23

admin
Administrator
Registered: 2017-04-21
Posts: 1,967

Re: Questions about this product

Congratulations, yours is the biggest homelab server that we ever came to know:
20 CPUs x Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2690 v2 @ 3.00GHz , 320 GB RAM

Yes, it's perfectly fine to use some VM as the target of your backups, in fact using a VM has some big advantages when compared to using a disk or a physical server.

We can't asess your setup based on words such as "slow" or "fast". You don't even provide some relative comparison that we can base our assesment on.

There are some obvious facts, such as setting your backup VM in a separate datastore, but we guess you already thought of that.

Do use Rocky Linux 8 as your NAS OS?. (c)XSIBackup-NAS is an apliance to help quickly deploy NFS and iSCSI shares for (c)ESXi. You can run XSIGR from (c)XSIBackup-NAS, you may need to install some components manually though.

To have a more straight granular restore backup server just use a minimal install of Rocky Linux 8, then run ./bin/XSIGR/install from the (c)XSIBackup installation dir in the (c)ESXi host.

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#3 2022-06-07 13:26:13

mikeg
Member
Registered: 2022-06-05
Posts: 10

Re: Questions about this product

admin wrote:

Do use Rocky Linux 8 as your NAS OS?. (c)XSIBackup-NAS is an apliance to help quickly deploy NFS and iSCSI shares for (c)ESXi. You can run XSIGR from (c)XSIBackup-NAS, you may need to install some components manually though.

To have a more straight granular restore backup server just use a minimal install of Rocky Linux 8, then run ./bin/XSIGR/install from the (c)XSIBackup installation dir in the (c)ESXi host.

I was using (c)XSIBackup-NAS. It was my assumption since it was your pre-configured appliance for ESXi it would have everything needed. Since that didn't work as expected I moved on and tried the Rocky Linux 8.6 route as suggested. I installed it with the gui on a VM. Then I linked it with xsibackup on my Esxi host. Then I installed xsigr to it from my host and then ran xsigr and installed all the dependencies logged in as root when prompted. I successfully created some backups to it with no problem. However when trying to mount one for a granular restore I now get this fuse error.

# xsifs --backuppath=/run/media/root/backup/xsibackup/photonos /root/xsifs
fuse: warning: library too old, some operations may not not work

I ran software updater and it reports up to date.

fuse-2.9.7-15.el8.x86_64 is installed 
fuse-libs-2.9.7-15.el8.x86_64 is installed.
fuse3-3.3.0-15.el8.x86_64 is also installed
fuse3-libs-3.3.0-15.el8.x86_64 is installed

Perhaps that is the problem?

I thought Rocky Linux would be good right out of the box as advertised. No such luck.

Edit: Well I just noticed it did in fact mount the repository even though it reported that error. So should I do anything or just ignore the error?

Last edited by mikeg (2022-06-07 19:02:16)

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#4 2022-06-08 10:26:44

admin
Administrator
Registered: 2017-04-21
Posts: 1,967

Re: Questions about this product

That is just a warning, it's there just because XSIFS was compiled on a previous version of FUSE. It does not affect functionality.

Run: xsigr --interactive to mount some restore point and recover individual files.

You can mount some -flat.vmdk file manually using xsifs directly, it will be much more cumbersome than using xsigr though, plus you will need to mount it on a loop device, list its partitions, detect any eventual LVM2 volume in Linux, mount the volume, etc...

By using the scripted TUI you just have a to answer a few questions to get your disk/partition mounted.

ON ADDITION:

We have just tested (c)XSIBackup-NAS and xsigr is installed with all components and working properly.
What is the exact version that you are using?
Did you download it from the sourceforge.net download page?:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/xsibackup-nas/

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#5 2022-06-08 15:31:26

mikeg
Member
Registered: 2022-06-05
Posts: 10

Re: Questions about this product

Thanks. I was learning them both and agree. All seems to be working well now and I am looking at some of the other commands/options available. What is the best way to only keep a certain number of the last available backups automatically?

Also I just discovered the ESXi NFS datastore share is lost after rebooting Rocky Linux. Trying to figure out why. It becomes accessible again if I simply duplicate these steps in terminal:

nano /etc/exports
CTRL-O
CTRL-X
exportfs -arv

Last edited by mikeg (2022-06-08 20:31:24)

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#6 2022-06-08 20:35:30

mikeg
Member
Registered: 2022-06-05
Posts: 10

Re: Questions about this product

admin wrote:

ON ADDITION:

We have just tested (c)XSIBackup-NAS and xsigr is installed with all components and working properly.
What is the exact version that you are using?
Did you download it from the sourceforge.net download page?:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/xsibackup-nas/

Yes I downloaded XSIBackup-NAS_2.1.1_C7.tar.gz from there and followed the steps in the readme to set it up.

Today I deleted the VM but if you would like me to test it again for you I will be happy to. Just let me know.

Last edited by mikeg (2022-06-08 20:38:53)

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#7 2022-06-09 10:55:24

admin
Administrator
Registered: 2017-04-21
Posts: 1,967

Re: Questions about this product

mikeg wrote:

Thanks. I was learning them both and agree. All seems to be working well now and I am looking at some of the other commands/options available. What is the best way to only keep a certain number of the last available backups automatically?

Also I just discovered the ESXi NFS datastore share is lost after rebooting Rocky Linux. Trying to figure out why. It becomes accessible again if I simply duplicate these steps in terminal:

nano /etc/exports
CTRL-O
CTRL-X
exportfs -arv

Well, those are general Linux administration issues, just make sure that you have enabled the NFS service to start at boot time.

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#8 2022-06-09 10:57:10

admin
Administrator
Registered: 2017-04-21
Posts: 1,967

Re: Questions about this product

mikeg wrote:
admin wrote:

ON ADDITION:

We have just tested (c)XSIBackup-NAS and xsigr is installed with all components and working properly.
What is the exact version that you are using?
Did you download it from the sourceforge.net download page?:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/xsibackup-nas/

Yes I downloaded XSIBackup-NAS_2.1.1_C7.tar.gz from there and followed the steps in the readme to set it up.

Today I deleted the VM but if you would like me to test it again for you I will be happy to. Just let me know.

We already tested it, use if you will, then post if you find any difficulty. Nonetheless Rocky Linux is a better option nowadays, as (c)XSIBackup-NAS is based in CentOS 7

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#9 2022-06-09 12:24:43

mikeg
Member
Registered: 2022-06-05
Posts: 10

Re: Questions about this product

I also just discovered that the backup jobs to the nfs share are not storing the host config to the cfgbak folder even though that option has been added. The same job configuration to a local vmfs6 datastore does write the host config to that folder. Any ideas on that?

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#10 2022-06-09 18:02:56

mikeg
Member
Registered: 2022-06-05
Posts: 10

Re: Questions about this product

mikeg wrote:

Also I just discovered the ESXi NFS datastore share is lost after rebooting Rocky Linux.

I noticed that the second hard drive this share was located on was not auto-mounting at startup. It was a bit confusing. When I used the Disks app to check the mount options for that drive/partition the auto-mount option was clicked but everything was grayed out. I had to turn off the "user session defaults" toggle then apply the now un-grayed out options and then the share would consistently be available from ESXi after many Rocky reboots. I guess the user session defaults do not include auto-mount. It is just weird that it shows selected but grayed out.

Last edited by mikeg (2022-06-09 18:08:53)

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#11 2022-06-09 18:05:40

mikeg
Member
Registered: 2022-06-05
Posts: 10

Re: Questions about this product

My two outstanding questions are:

1) What is the best way to only keep a certain number of the last available backups automatically?
2) The backup jobs to the nfs share are not storing the host config to the cfgbak folder even though that option has been added.

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#12 2022-06-09 18:11:10

admin
Administrator
Registered: 2017-04-21
Posts: 1,967

Re: Questions about this product

mikeg wrote:

I also just discovered that the backup jobs to the nfs share are not storing the host config to the cfgbak folder even though that option has been added. The same job configuration to a local vmfs6 datastore does write the host config to that folder. Any ideas on that?

The --config-backup argument just copies the (c)ESXi configuration to the remote end, it makes no difference between a VMFS and an NFS datastore.

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#13 2022-06-09 18:16:33

admin
Administrator
Registered: 2017-04-21
Posts: 1,967

Re: Questions about this product

mikeg wrote:

My two outstanding questions are:

1) What is the best way to only keep a certain number of the last available backups automatically?
2) The backup jobs to the nfs share are not storing the host config to the cfgbak folder even though that option has been added.

Please, read the manual and the related articles and posts before posting questions.

On rotation:

--rotate argument in the (c)XSIBackup Man Page
- Rotating replicas
- Extended rotation features

On --config-backup:

The argument is working well. Check your job syntax, beware of invisible characters and substitutions on cut&paste, etc...

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#14 2022-06-09 18:47:23

mikeg
Member
Registered: 2022-06-05
Posts: 10

Re: Questions about this product

mikeg wrote:

2) The backup jobs to the nfs share are not storing the host config to the cfgbak folder even though that option has been added.

I looked in the xsibackup.log and there was no mention of trying to run that option even though it was selected for the job. I decided to delete the job and recreate it and then it worked. Not sure what the problem was but that fixed it.

If I could get some ideas for #2 I could put this project to rest. Thanks for all the help.

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#15 2022-06-09 18:59:55

mikeg
Member
Registered: 2022-06-05
Posts: 10

Re: Questions about this product

admin wrote:
mikeg wrote:

My two outstanding questions are:

1) What is the best way to only keep a certain number of the last available backups automatically?
2) The backup jobs to the nfs share are not storing the host config to the cfgbak folder even though that option has been added.

Please, read the manual and the related articles and posts before posting questions.

On rotation:

--rotate argument in the (c)XSIBackup Man Page
- Rotating replicas
- Extended rotation features

On --config-backup:

The argument is working well. Check your job syntax, beware of invisible characters and substitutions on cut&paste, etc...

I have spent days reading your documents before posting and have made good progress on my own. Sorry I am not perfect in interpreting them and asked for some simple help. Thanks for the clues.

The argument was not working. The job was created with the gui. Recreating it fixed it. Period.

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#16 2022-06-11 21:34:41

mikeg
Member
Registered: 2022-06-05
Posts: 10

Re: Questions about this product

admin wrote:

On --config-backup:

The argument is working well.

My experience is the argument works well until you edit the backup job with the gui and add another argument. The next time the job runs the new argument is invoked and runs in the job but config-backup does not even though it is still in the job definition. If you delete the job and rebuild it with both arguments then both run.

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#17 2022-06-13 17:31:04

admin
Administrator
Registered: 2017-04-21
Posts: 1,967

Re: Questions about this product

We'll investigate that. There's always a chance that something is mispelled or that some weird character is printed to the job file.

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