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Managing / alerting on vCenter & Symantec Netbackup snapshots

Question asked by steve.senecal on Oct 16, 2014
Latest reply on Oct 17, 2014 by steve.senecal

Has anyone experienced 3rd party backup software creating "orphaned" VMware snapshots? I have reviewed the current VMTurbo "Storage Top Snapshot Consumption" report. However, I not confident this report captures all snapshots.


VMware has a big problem in Travelport’s opinion regarding snapshots. Here are the big problems;

  1. VMware support engineering advises no more than 3 snapshots, beyond 3 creates performance issues
  2. VMware vCenter UI allows a user to create up to 32 snapshots
  3. VMware allows anyone that uses the vCenter API to create up to 255 snapshots per VM
  4. VMware vCenter UI does not display snapshots created from the API
    1. Example; vCenter Snapshot Manager
      • GuestVMname
        • vCenter snapshot 10/01/2014
        • vCenter snapshot 10/02/2014
        • Netbackup snapshot
        • vCenter snapshot 10/03/2014
    2. In the above example, we have four (4) snapshots, three by vCenter and one by Symantec NetBackup. I grayed out the NetBackup snapshot, as vCenter would not display it within their UI.
    3. This creates the problem, if a user creates a snapshot “after” the NetBackup snapshot, then NetBackup cannot delete its snapshot. This creates “orphaned” snapshots.
    4. Travelport has seen VMs with 200+ snapshots, since installing Symantec's NetBackup product. We have since "halted" our NetBackup's until we can understand how to report, prevent and keep vCenter and NetBackup in-sync!

  Travelport needs a snapshot report that can report on all snapshots [VMware and 3rd party using vCenter API], providing a snapshot count and size of the snapshots.


SQL - reporting on total snapshots by VM [still need to verify its accuracy]

select * from VPX_VM_FLE_FILE_INFO where NAME like '%delta%'

select VM_ID, Count(DISTINCT KEY_VAL) as Count from VPX_VM_FLE_FILE_INFO where NAME like '%delta%'

  group by VM_ID order by Count desc