Customers that want to use Veeam Backup & Replication with ExaGrid’s family of deduplication appliances should consider the following guidelines. Specifically if there is a requirement for
- High performance with Veeam features that utilize random I/O like Instant VM Recovery, Data Labs, database point-in-time restore, and others mentioned in Veeam KB2660 without needing to add a non-deduplicating storage system as the primary backup target.
- Cost-effective, long-term backup retention (e.g., 4 weeks or longer).
- Fast restores from backup chains with recent backups.
- Scale-out backup storage that handles data growth without having to “rip and replace” existing backup storage due to having a single controller that only scales up.
With the demand placed on backup storage in these scenarios, it is important to consider the hardware configuration as it pertains to where backups are stored.
Below are some hardware configuration options that can be used with ExaGrid’s backup storage appliances to enable the desired performance across all scenarios. In some cases, there may be a need to combine charcteristics of more than one option, but in all cases, it is strongly encouraged that you consult with ExaGrid and/or a value added reseller to discuss individual needs.
More details about deduplication systems best practices can be found in Veeam KB1745, including how Veeam SOBR is best utilized with ExaGrid’s scale-out architecture and how the Veeam Data Mover component executes on the ExaGrid appliances for highest ingest, synthetic full, and copy job performance.
The industry’s 3-2-1 backup rule can be used as a guideline for backup infrastructure planning:
3: Maintain at least three copies of your data and applications – that’s the one copy you’re using and two backups. This way, if one of your backups is unavailable for any reason (such as the backup is co-located with your primary copy and both go down), you can still recover what you need.
2: Store your backups on at least two different types of media or storage controller logics. One reason for this is that each type of media has its own vulnerabilities, and you don’t want both of your backups susceptible to the same problem.
1: Keep one of the backups in a different location. Consider a crisis in your primary data center, such as a fire or power failure. If all of your copies are collocated, they can all be affected, taking down your organization.
Building backups on the first site with both short- and long-term retention on ExaGrid backup storage – A backup target storage system made up of multiple ExaGrid appliances of the correct capacity is used to hold both short-term primary backups and the copies of these backups made by Veeam Backup Copy Jobs and sent to a second ExaGrid share/extent/repository for extended long-term retention. With ExaGrid deduplicating appliances, there is no need for any non-deduplicating storage system for use as the primary backup target – the ExaGrid’s built-in “Landing Zone” is the primary backup target. Note that only ExaGrid System Engineers perform the sizing of the ExaGrid solution based on a customer’s environment.
Backup job restore points are available in ExaGrid’s unique high-speed landing zone disk cache, which provides primary backup storage random I/O performance for Veeam Technologies (see Veeam KB2660). Restores of Veeam backups kept in the landing zone require no rehydration or processing.
Copies of backups made by Veeam Backup Copy Jobs for long-term retention generally reside in the ExaGrid repository.
Add offsite target – in addition to the above scenarios, you can use the following options to create an offsite copy of your data:
- Place a set of properly sized ExaGrid appliances at a second site and use Veeam Backup Copy Jobs with optional WAN acceleration to create the offsite copy of the Veeam backups.
- Place a set of properly sized ExaGrid appliances at a second site and use ExaGrid replication to create the offsite copy of the Veeam backups.
Using option “a” above has the benefit of Veeam doing integrity checking during the copy jobs. ExaGrid’s replication is a proven and reliable technology, making this option a valid approach.
This option does add some manual tasks, like rescanning, which must be done prior to recovery from a second site. The rescan takes very little time (minutes), and does not significantly impact DR RTOs. The rescan feature is described here https://helpcenter.veeam.com/docs/backup/vsphere/storage_rescan.html?ver=95.
- Add a tape system at another site or in the cloud – Use Veeam Backup to Tape Jobs or Veeam’s Cloud Tier (connection to object storages) to store data offsite. Combining ExaGrid WAN-efficient replication of backup retention with Veeam’s backup archive to cloud allows you to balance DR service-level requirements with cost of implementation. No rehydration is required to backup data to offline media because the backup data is not in a deduplicated state in the ExaGrid landing zone. Additionally, compression should be enabled when copying backup data to offline media in order to save space since the backup data in the landing zone is uncompressed. This will reduce the amount of offline media resources required.