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VDP Installation Pitfalls October 28, 2013

Posted by audiomatron in Uncategorized.
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I had some other topics I wanted to write about, but they elude me at present. I do recall that whatever they were, as well as what I’ve written here today will have been done at the expense of potentially making myself look like an idiot. Regardless, my purpose here is to help others – not to make myself look awesome. It is to that end that I believe I will start writing more about my mistakes and how I overcame them in hopes that it will help someone else avoid the same mistakes.

I recently found the occasion to implement vSphere Data Protection in one of my environments – and, hey, why not? It comes with nearly every edition of vSphere (even the lowly Essentials Plus – the one I use). Our other company’s environment needs a good backup solution, so I decided to give VDP a whirl. Once set up, it’s dead simple to use. However, I ran into snags at nearly every step of the way during installation. The installation isn’t dificult, per se, but there are some considerations to make to ensure everything goes smoothly. What follows is a sort of quick and dirty guide based on some things I gleaned from various KB articles and forum posts.

DNS

Make sure you create an A record ahead of time in DNS for whatever you plan on naming your VDP appliance. Also, make sure you have a reverse lookup zone for the subnet the appliance will be on. I didn’t have a reverse lookup zone in DNS, and I got stopped during the network part of the appliance configuration. Once I created the reverse lookup zone, I was able to move on.

Naming of the VM

When deploying the OVA template for VDP, you will be asked to provide a name for the VM. You must name the VM the same thing as the FQDN you plan on giving it. Otherwise, during the vCenter registration part of the configuration, you will get some rubbish about your appliance not being found in vCenter. This happened to me. I tried to simply rename the VM, but that did not work. You must give it the right name from the very start.

Disk Sizing

Even though I gave the VMDKs for VDP a size below what my data store will actually hold, it kept giving me errors about there not being enough storage space available. The only way I was able to continue was to switch to thin provisioning. I know the risks involved in using thin provisioning, but I don’t anticipate running out of space – this is a very small environment. Although I would be interested to know why my 1.2TB data store wouldn’t hold a 1TB disk. Perhaps there is some overhead that I am unaware of. If you know, I’d love for you to share it with me!

Conclusion

Admittedly, I have become very bad about not reading documentation all the way through lately. Perhaps I could have been spared some grief if I would have just RTFM. Nonetheless, the installation process was fairly straightforward, save for these few snags. I’m happy to report that VDP is backing up all of my VMs rather nicely now! What are your experiences with VDP?

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