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Thread: Hyper-V: What kind of checkpoint with ubuntu server vm

  1. #1
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    Hyper-V: What kind of checkpoint with ubuntu server vm

    Hi,

    for a long time I user Hyper-V (Windows Server 2012) with Ubuntu VMs.
    Now I have a new Server (Windows 2019) which distinguishes between standard and production checkpoints.
    What kind of checkpoints does Ubuntu (20.04 and 18.04) support and do I need to install anything to support this?
    Is there anyone who has experience with Ubuntu VMs and Production checkpoints?

    Thank you,

  2. #2
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    Re: Hyper-V: What kind of checkpoint with ubuntu server vm

    Quote Originally Posted by kathrin-huber View Post
    ...for a long time I user Hyper-V (Windows Server 2012) with Ubuntu VMs.
    Now I have a new Server (Windows 2019) which distinguishes between standard and production checkpoints.
    What kind of checkpoints does Ubuntu (20.04 and 18.04) support and do I need to install anything to support this?
    Is there anyone who has experience with Ubuntu VMs and Production checkpoints?
    Well.. I think you are talking about a lot of technologies and strategies...

    What you are talking about with two types of checkpoints started in Hyper-V in Win Server 2016. In Hyper-V in Win Server 2016, 2019 and 2022... The difference in standard and production checkpoints is that standard checkpoints (aka snapshots) are the traditional "this is what was when" there at a specific point of time, with it's state, data and hardware configuration. The production checkpoint is new, and uses "the backup technology within the guest" to make a checkpoint.

    Production Checkpoints, in the new Doc's say's
    "Only Production Checkpoints are supported on guests that run Active Directory Domain Services role (Domain Controller) or Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services role."
    They imply that the server is their own branding.

    In the real, overall world, outside of MS Branding... Any Linux or UNIX Server can be a Domain Controller and/or be running LDAP, DNS and KDC services (on one server or as separate entities).
    Code:
    +------------------------------------------------+
    |              Active Directory                  |
    +-------------+----------------+-----------------+
    |     LDAP    |      KDS       |       DNS       |
    | (Identities)|(Authentication)|(Name Resolution)|
    +-------------+----------------+-----------------+
    But as that relates back to your question, MS assumes it's own structure and branding is in control.... That the Linux server is joined to a MS Domain with a MS DTC and it's ADDS service in control. So for a production checkpoint to work in that infrastructure scheme, LDAP, KDC and DNS integration with ADDS, under MS and MS as DTC. The individual Linux Servers checkpoints as a Standard Checkpoints, with the connected MS DTC and ADDS server using Production checkpoints. (Production checkpoints work with their own branding). Then it roles back through the cooperative overall scheme. All those checkpoints of the major players have to be rolled back for that to work out.

    Just a note. Linux and UNIX gets along well with most anything. But Win does not play well with others. It thinks, and assumes it's own branding is in charge. For it to pass control over to anything else, it has to be tricked (by replicating it's own structure and API's) into thinking the other it is joining is it's own branded Domain. But if it did that, in relation to Hyper-V production check points, that new, specific, special MS feature would not work.

    Just how I see that. Does that answer your question?
    Last edited by MAFoElffen; June 22nd, 2021 at 04:28 PM.

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    Re: Hyper-V: What kind of checkpoint with ubuntu server vm

    Thank you for your answer. I'm not sure if this answers my question as the server is not part of an active directory or anything like that. It is just a Windows host and a linux vm. My first ubuntu vm I installed on it runs a wekan with mongo-db on it. The other linux vms will host other web services like apache+mysql, etherpad, gitlab, apache+tomcat and so on. Do you suggest to switch to standard checkpoints then? To me - not having much idea of checkpoints - it sounded that production checkpoints work better with databases but I'm not sure what is more stable with linux hosts.

    Thank you
    Last edited by kathrin-huber; 4 Weeks Ago at 01:35 PM.

  4. #4
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    Re: Hyper-V: What kind of checkpoint with ubuntu server vm

    Quote Originally Posted by kathrin-huber View Post
    Thank you for your answer. I'm not sure if this answers my question as the server is not part of an active directory or anything like that. It is just a Windows host and a linux vm. My first ubuntu vm I installed on it runs a wekan with mongo-db on it. The other linux vms will host other web services like apache+mysql, etherpad, gitlab, apache+tomcat and so on. Do you suggest to switch to standard checkpoints then? To me - not having much idea of checkpoints - it sounded that production checkpoints work better with databases but I'm not sure what is more stable with linux hosts.

    Thank you
    The default is to use production checkpoints on the newer versions of Windows.

    I found a pretty good explanation on how this works here (basically production checkpoints rely on VSS to ensure no data is lost, but not everything supports VSS):
    https://www.altaro.com/hyper-v/stand...oints-hyper-v/

    Please note: Snapshots/Checkpoints are not backups.
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    Re: Hyper-V: What kind of checkpoint with ubuntu server vm

    @CharlesA

    But, for example, from that article...
    What are the Characteristics of Production Checkpoints?
    Start with the initial “What are Checkpoints” section. Everything there applies to production checkpoints. Unlike standard checkpoints, production checkpoints do not capture anything else. Instead, they trigger VSS in the guest. Any application operating within that has registered a VSS writer will then carry out whatever operations the writer is designed to perform. For example, Microsoft Exchange will commit its logs to the store. Windows will also stop in-flight I/Os from occurring and flush file system queues.
    Linux and UNIX do not have VSS, so doing a production checkpoint on a Linux or UNIX guest does nothing but takes a snapshot while not triggering any commits and loosing the state.

    I've been in Sys Admin discussions on what is equivalent to VSS in Linux and UNIX... Something I held back from answering... Using LVM to take snapshots. It's not the same, but is another layer of fallback.

    As you said, even that is not a replacement for Backups.

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    Re: Hyper-V: What kind of checkpoint with ubuntu server vm

    Quote Originally Posted by MAFoElffen View Post
    Linux and UNIX do not have VSS, so doing a production checkpoint on a Linux or UNIX guest does nothing but takes a snapshot while not triggering any commits and loosing the state.

    I've been in Sys Admin discussions on what is equivalent to VSS in Linux and UNIX... Something I held back from answering... Using LVM to take snapshots. It's not the same, but is another layer of fallback.
    I've seen that behavior in production too and it's part of the reason I will shut down a Linux VM before taking a snapshot.
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    Re: Hyper-V: What kind of checkpoint with ubuntu server vm

    @CharlesA.: Agreed, Me also. Just to ensure that the commits where done when the snapshot is taken. I'm very paranoid about that... But some systems, the priority is on uptime and availability. (so scheduled during maintenance)

    As disaster recovery policies, it's a balance figuring out what actually happens while you are doing things, and how to get back to that point. especially when databases are involved.

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    Re: Hyper-V: What kind of checkpoint with ubuntu server vm

    No clue about Windows. Haven't used or even logged into a Windows Server since 2008.

    btrfs, lvm and zfs all support block level freezing - that's a "snapshot" in the historical terms used for decades. There are other implementations which don't freeze blocks, rather they create a new overlay filesystem where all new writes get written. Functionally, it is the same. qcow, qcow2 and other VM data files support this method - so vdi, vdkm, etc.

    Volume manager snapshots have been around for decades. It made Veritas Volume Manager the must-have addon for almost every Unix, until each Unix vendor decided to either buy a license to be included in all their servers (and rebrand it) or the vendor created their own implementation. Veritas Volume Manager and Veritas File System where usually paired together. They were quite handy to get a backup of huge DBs while the DB kept running full speed. That's still the "killer app" for these snapshots, though VM snapshots used by QA teams would disagree. I wasn't a real sys admin during those times, so my direct knowledge is limited.

    In 20.04, the ZFS experimental support appears to create a snapshot whenever a package upgrade happens. I saw that for only a few hours on a fresh 20.04 system about a year ago. Confirmed by this article: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2020...ge-management/

  9. #9
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    Re: Hyper-V: What kind of checkpoint with ubuntu server vm

    Linux and UNIX do not have VSS, so doing a production checkpoint on a Linux or UNIX guest does nothing but takes a snapshot while not triggering any commits and loosing the state.
    Thank you, that was what I was woundering about.

    With the standard snapshots which I use for many years now, I din't have any bad experiences yet. At the beginning I did also shut down the linux machines but now I do it without shutting down for years.
    The only problems I ever experienced with the combination Windows Hyper-V + ubuntu where destroy of the file system of the vm when shutting down the host and one (Windows) vm took too long to shut down. I still have no real idea what exactly happened there. Anyway, in that case, the snapshot I took before the shutdown was a perfect backup for me.

    Of course I have an alternative Backup strategy but I use snapshots e.g. before updates or changes I want to "test".

  10. #10
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    Re: Hyper-V: What kind of checkpoint with ubuntu server vm

    Okay, I just wanted to change the configuration of the vm but there is written:
    (*) - production checkpoint
    [x] create standard checkpoints if the guest does not support creation of production checkpoints

    so this sounds to me as if either ubuntu supports production checkpoints or the checkpoints are standard checkpoints no matter what I configured.
    I feel really confused about that.

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