UPDATE 10:45 am 4/1/2009: Silly me, I forgot until right before I was about to go to bed last night that there was a Veeam Backup 3.0.1 release I needed to upgrade to from 3.0. (I even mentioned remembering the upgrade in my post at the last minute before I published it.) Upgrading fixed the problem and it appears to be working normally again now! Apologies for the fuss; if you have Veeam Backup and ESXi Free make sure to upgrade both if you haven’t! I’m leaving the post with details of the errors below; if someone finds the information they’ll at least know they need to upgrade :-) Maybe I should just call it an April Fools joke? Ha.
I recently purchased Veeam Backup 3.0  to back up my three VMware ESXi  Free hosts. Veeam Backup is awesome and their version 3.0 is the first version to support the free ESXi version! I love the deduplication and compression and the ease of use when making backups! On March 31st, VMware released ESXi 3.5 Update 4, which added drivers for some very nice NetXtreme quad-port Gigabit Ethernet cards, which I have in two of my three VM host servers but have been unable to use until they released an updated version with built-in drivers for that hardware.
So I upgraded yesterday when Update 4 was released (I actually just did a point release update to new Update 3 firmware the night before…doh!). The new NICs work great and now I have redundant paths to the SAN! (In one case I now have more than one NIC in the whole box that was doing SAN and LAN just on VLANs, so it’s quite nice to have multiple NICs available now!)
I was going through and upgrading VMware Tools on all of my virtual machines (the new release adds some driver support for enhanced NICs to Server 2003 and a few other minor things). One of my Linux CactiEZ  VMs was being a bit picky with the yum package I was trying to install so after some troubleshooting I figured I’d restore a virtual machine from Veeam Backup (granted not 3.0.1 which I believe is out, I have the original 3.0 release installed right now) to get an earlier state and see if it helped to start fresh (my other thought was there was a repository issue but my older CactiEZ 0.4 yum was working just fine, it was my CactiEZ 0.6 box I recently set up that was having issues (it runs CentOS 4.7)).
But my restore fails, with an error relating to not being able to create the directory on the ESXi host to restore the virtual machine. The exact error is along the lines of:
Failure to restore item “VM Name Here” Cannot make directory ‘[datastore] VM Name Here’ on ‘ha-datacenter’. Soap fault. fault.RestrictedVersion.summaryDetail: ‘<RestrictedVersionFault xmlns=”urn:intervalvim25″ xsi:type=”RestrictedVersion”></RestrictedVersionFault>’, endpoint: “
The simpler error is in the status dialog box, “Restore error: Restore VM failed: Cannot make dir…”
I dig a little deeper and notice that the last couple of backup jobs scheduled to run overnight for some virtual machines have all failed completely. Nothing updated, and when I force a backup to start now it fails quickly for all VMs with an error along these lines:
Releasing VM files
CreateSnapshot failed, vmRef 224, timeout 1800000, snName “VEEAM BACKUP TEMPORARY SNAPSHOT”, snDescription “Please do not delete this snapshot. It is being used by Veeam Backup.”, memory False, quiesce True
So, I’ve submitted a support ticket. Fortunately, right now I have nothing urgent that needs to be restored (CactiEZ is more of a plaything right now, at least my new 0.6 install), although obviously not keeping backups up to date is not a good thing.
I guess I’ve been running ESXi without Veeam (Veeam’s only been running for…maybe a month?) for long enough that I wasn’t considering backups when I did my ESXi upgrades, so I’ll admit first-day upgrading is jumping the gun. But Veeam is a VMware partner as far as I know, and I don’t know why they haven’t been able to work with VMware around this release to verify that their software works…it’s not like this is ESXi 4, it’s just an Update release of 3.5. At least an announcement of the incompatibility with a warning about upgrading sent to customers would have been nice, although it’s not something that was promised or anything.
I’ll keep this updated (here or in the comments) as the “story” progresses! Tomorrow I will also look into making sure I’m on the very latest point release of Veeam Backup to see if that makes a difference…just don’t have the energy left tonight to do anything else, I was up until 5:30 am last night doing a P2V of our nursery checkin system (long but successful!).