DR4100 as a target

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DR4100 as a target

Veeam Logoby mongie » Mon Jul 07, 2014 3:30 am

Hello,

Just wondering if anyone is using a Dell DR4100 as their backup target. We're currently talking with Dell about some issues, and they don't seem to know of anyone using the appliance with Veeam, so I was hoping to find someone here so we could compare experiences.

Thanks,
Alex
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Re: DR4100 as a target

Veeam Logoby dellock6 » Mon Jul 07, 2014 6:14 am

I Alex,
I have no experience with the 4100, I tested the 4000 a while ago (http://www.virtualtothecore.com/en/dell ... uick-test/) but I don't know how much improvement has come with the 4100, so if that test is already valuable or outdated.

Luca.
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Re: DR4100 as a target

Veeam Logoby Vitaliy S. » Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:03 am

Alex, can you please tell us what issues you're experiencing with this storage? Are they performance related? What is your configuration?
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Re: DR4100 as a target

Veeam Logoby mongie » Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:19 am

Vitaliy S. wrote:Alex, can you please tell us what issues you're experiencing with this storage? Are they performance related? What is your configuration?


Hi Vitaliy,

My colleague has a ticket open (with Veeam) about this, and it has been an ongoing issue. We have two problems with the appliance. Firstly, that we're not achieving the dedupe ratio that is advertised (We get 4:1 at best, they advertise 10-15:1). We have 72TB RAW, and we have around 300TB logical data stored. The appliance is now showing 15TB free raw disk.

Secondly, performance of the appliance is poor. We have a fully populated unit (36x3TB). We've been told by Dell support that in the 12 or so months since it was put in place, the "cleaner" has never completed a cycle. We've now had it running with no other I/O for 9 days, and while it has reclaimed ~ 15TB of raw space, its not realistic to expect this to happen on a regular basis.

Sequential write seems to peak at ~ 100-150MB/s, so running more than one or two active full backups doesn't work very well. Running the cleaner 24x7 also kills write speeds. Running Tape backups with the dedupe appliance as the source also shows significantly slower performance than raw disk (30-50MB/s). I should mention - my preliminary testing shows this is the same when reading or writing directly to the appliance with Windows.

Our local Dell sales team are looking at the issue with us, but they're very keen to point at Veeam as the culprit. They also seem to think that nobody (apart from us) is using the DR4100 with Veeam, despite it being supported by Dell. The DR4100 integration guide suggests we use Veeam dedupe, with compression disabled, and apparently this is why we're only getting 4:1 dedupe.

I'd be interested to know if DD users are getting better dedupe ratios, especially when they have Veeam doing inline dedupe.

Vitaliy - Is there any way to scan files on disk for their Dedupe/Compression ratio as seen by Veeam? Apparently, despite Local Target Dedupe being enabled, we're still only seenig 1.0x or perhaps 1.1x dedupe displayed in Veeam.

If we could get some assistance in determining whether Veeam is in fact the culprit (at least for the dedupe ratio) that may assist.
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Re: DR4100 as a target

Veeam Logoby dellock6 » Mon Jul 07, 2014 3:23 pm

Alex,
just a note on the dedup results: you need to sum both Veeam and the appliance dedup. Disabling Veeam dedupe just to see higher ratios in the appliance is good for the appliance results, but the overall result is what counts. If Veeam can give you 2:1 and Dr4100 4:1, the total is 8:1. If you get 8:1 from the appliance when Veeam dedupe is disabled, the final result is going to be the same.
Also, be aware 10,15:1 is probably the highest expected ratio, that can probably be reached in almost perfect conditions. I've seen in many environments 4 and 5 be more realistic values.
Finally, 1.0 is probably coming out during incremental runs, and this is expected since we already extract only new blocks, that are supposed to non exists in the previous backup files. Full backups are usually better to evaluate dedupe ratios.
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Re: DR4100 as a target

Veeam Logoby Vitaliy S. » Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:30 pm

mongie wrote:Firstly, that we're not achieving the dedupe ratio that is advertised (We get 4:1 at best, they advertise 10-15:1).

I actually believe you can achieve this advertised dedupe ratio (10-15:1), but this would be for only for dedupe-friendly data :) I would not expect these numbers from production VMs running SQL and Exchange servers.
mongie wrote:Vitaliy - Is there any way to scan files on disk for their Dedupe/Compression ratio as seen by Veeam? Apparently, despite Local Target Dedupe being enabled, we're still only seenig 1.0x or perhaps 1.1x dedupe displayed in Veeam.

If we could get some assistance in determining whether Veeam is in fact the culprit (at least for the dedupe ratio) that may assist.

If you want to test the dedupe of this device, you can completely disable this option in Veeam and then check the dedupe stats. On the other hand, If I were you I wouldn't chase for the dedupe numbers advertised by Dell. I would try to configure your backup jobs in the way that would allow you to have the smallest backup files possible, probably even with compression option enabled. Just my 2 cents.
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Re: DR4100 as a target

Veeam Logoby mongie » Tue Jul 08, 2014 12:27 am

Hello again...

My colleague was told by Veeam support that we should not use backup copy jobs on our dedupe appliance, because they use a transform process.

I can understand how this would affect performance, but is there going to be any issue with dedupe ratio or file integrity?

We're currently running backup copies with the same appliance as source and destination of the copy, which I realise is going to impact performance. I expect that we should be able to use a dedupe appliance as the target for a backup copy job with no issues?
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Re: DR4100 as a target

Veeam Logoby dellock6 » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:45 am

Hi Alex.
Yes, backup copy jobs created the same file types of backup jobs. So both dedupe and file integrity will work as in primary backup jobs.
The problem of having a dedupe appliance at source is the fact Veeam has to read its content, so asking to the appliance to rehydrate data, thus the performance impact. But this is the "only" problem in such a scenario. If you only use a dedupe appliance at target you will be fine. By the way, is the kind of design we usually suggest, a plain storage as primary target and a dedupe appliance as secondary target.

Luca.
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Re: DR4100 as a target

Veeam Logoby mongie » Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:44 am

Thanks Luca,

One more question... V8 DD Boost support... Our Dell sales guy suggested DD Boost is a trade name for OST by EMC. Is this true? By this measure... Should we expect our Dell appliance to integrate with the boost functionality care of its current OST support?

Thanks!
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Re: DR4100 as a target

Veeam Logoby v.Eremin » Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:51 am

My colleague was told by Veeam support that we should not use backup copy jobs on our dedupe appliance, because they use a transform process.

In fact, we recommend using dedupe appliance as the target for backup copy job. Even though the transformation activity might take some time, it happens at target location and doesn't affect production environment by any means. So, you shouldn't be that concerned about it.

We're currently running backup copies with the same appliance as source and destination of the copy, which I realize is going to impact performance.

It's not advised to point both backup and backup copy jobs to one location, since in case of disaster you will inevitably loose primary backups, as well as, secondary copies.

If applicable, use some local disks on backup server as a target for backup job (short retention), and copy data afterwards to the said dedupe appliance via backup copy job (longer retention).

Thanks.
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Re: DR4100 as a target

Veeam Logoby dellock6 » Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:25 am

Honestly this is the first time I hear this, and I hardly believe it's true. DD Boost is a specific EMC protocol used in DataDomain, I'm not aware of any other hardware vendor support it. In fact, there is a DDBoost plugin even for Symantec products; if what was said was true, it would not be needed.

Maybe, he meant to say both protocols has the same advantages and goals, just like also HP has Catalyst protocol for example. But to my knowledge they are not compatible each other...
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Re: DR4100 as a target

Veeam Logoby mongie » Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:31 am

v.Eremin wrote:It's not advised to point both backup and backup copy jobs to one location, since in case of disaster you will inevitably loose primary backups, as well as, secondary copies.

If applicable, use some local disks on backup server as a target for backup job (short retention), and copy data afterwards to the said dedupe appliance via backup copy job (longer retention).


We also use tape at the moment to store for disaster. Long term plan would be to backup to 10/15K disk, and backup copy to DR4100[s] (we have one in the office and one at DR site). Unfortunately, our full backup is ~ 26TB, so even a small amount of "fast disk" means 50-60TB minimum. We're looking to implement this at the moment, but also need Dell to sort our our dedupe storage first.


You guys have been very helpful. Thanks.
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Re: DR4100 as a target

Veeam Logoby tsightler » Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:48 am

OST is definitely not equal to DDBoost. DDBoost is an API from Data Domain that can be used by any vendor interested in writing to a Data Domain to accelerate the communication with the Data Domain appliance by offloading much of the work to the host doing the writing and provides other advanced features such as synthetic full processing directly on the DD, etc.

On the other hand, OST is an API from Symantec that provides a "standard" way for vendors to integrate with Symantec products. Basically, it allows storage vendors to write a OST compliant plugin which exposes the capabilities of their storage appliance to the Symantec product. In other words, there is a DDBoost plugin for OST which is how Symantec products can leverage the DDBoost API without having specific support for DDBoost directly in the Symantec product.

Probably the funniest thing about OST from my perspective is that it stands for "OpenStorage API" which makes a lot of people think that somehow it's some type of industry standard, but the only products that use this API are Symantec products and to get access to it you have to be a member of the Symantec Technology Enabled Program (STEP). So I guess it's fair to say that it's an "API open to Symantec partners for integrating with Symantec products" but that's about it.
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Re: DR4100 as a target

Veeam Logoby dellock6 » Wed Jul 09, 2014 10:54 am

The beauty of standards is that everyone has his own :D
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Re: DR4100 as a target

Veeam Logoby mongie » Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:31 pm

Just to be clear... I didn't think they were the same... One of the Dell storage sales guys who is handling our case threw that one at me when I mentioned DDboost in V8. Oh we'll... I almost believed him for a minute.

Our dedupe box finally finished its cleaner cycle today after 10 days :)

We now have a ratio of somewhere around 5:1

I had a look at the Veeam dedupe ratios on our full backups, and they range from 1.3x to 3x. Obviously this is handy, and I can see how this would reduce the ability for the appliance to dedupe this data, but when you consider that each of the jobs (there are about 15 backup jobs) has about 3 fulls, and between 5-40 incremental with 1x dedupe, but we also then have about 8 archive jobs with between 5-10 fulls and 10-30 incrementals, surely the appliance still has a lot of data to dedupe.

Anyway, a dell guy is coming in tomorrow to have a look at our config.
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