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VMware reports complex bug that prevents machine backups from working

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November 24, 2015

Earlier today, VMware reported a complex bug that says virtual machine backups may not be working correctly or not working at all.

The issue hits virtual machine backups that use Changed Block Tracking (CBT) in the ESXi implementation.

“The CBT API call QueryDiskChangedAreas() can sometimes return incorrect changed sectors, which results in inconsistent incremental virtual machine backups,” VMware warns.

VMware knows what the software issue is, describing it as follows-- “This problem occurs due to an issue with CBT in the disklib area, which results in the change tracking information of I/Os that occur during snapshot consolidation to be lost.”

“The main backup payload data is never lost and it is always written to the backend device. But the corresponding change tracking information entries which occur during the consolidation task are missed. Subsequent QueryDiskChangedAreas() calls do not include these missed blocks and, therefore a backup based on this CBT data is inconsistent,” added VMware.

The company said it is currently working on a fix, but for now the only workarounds are downgrades, to either ESXi 5.5 or version 10 of VMware's virtual machine hardware.

We might add: good luck to users dealing with the bug-- the notification of the problem was last updated on November 17, so here's hoping you all have RPOs of more than a week.

Commvault has a fix for its software while Veeam users can just turn off CBT, keep calm and carry on backing up. We are still waiting word from VMware on the rest.

Like any other software, bugs sometimes are discovered but they may take some time to show their ugly head. In this case, it's been out for about ten days or so. Let's see how fast the company can come up with a fix on that issue.

Source: VMware.

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