Thursday, March 06, 2008

VMware: Virtual VCB Server/Proxy for iSCSI storage

(I know, I did not get past day 1 of VMworld Europe 2008, perhaps I will write some more about the other two days later this week...)

Something different now: It is known that VCB for VI 3.5 adds support for iSCSI devices, in itself this is not a big deal, but there is something really 'cool' about this: it means we can use a virtual server to act as a VCB proxy! This is a big step forward in my opinion.

How can this be done?
1. Install a virtual server
2. Connect the virtual network card of the server to the iSCSI network (either giving it the correct VLAN tag, or connecting it to the proper vSwitch).
3. Install a software intiator (e.g., the one you can download from the MS website. This step is pretty much the same as for a physical server.
4. Install & Configure VCB.
5. Configure the SAN to correctly present the LUNs to the backup proxy (based on the iqn).

Now, combine this with the possibility to add an iSCSI or NFS storage appliance to your virtual infrastructure, and you're ready to have a complete virtualized backup solution that is no longer tied to physical hardware.

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