Veeam and ExaGrid

Availability for the Modern Data Center

Re: Veeam and Exagrid

Veeam Logoby dcolin » Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:31 pm

Hi folks,

We're looking to deploy Veeam in a VMware environment and we'd like to leverage our Exagrid. After much reading, I'm thinking the best approach might be to set up one or more backup proxies in virtual appliance mode, but in this scenario, can those backup proxies write to the CIFS / SMB shares for Veeam that I'd create on the Exagrid? I'm a little unclear on whether or not the proxies have to do their writing via the ESX I/O stack as well as their reading.

If we can write to the Exagrid this way, does it make any sense to have the backup server itself sitting on a physical box versus a VM? I'm a little hesitant to have the backup server itself live inside the very environment we're backing up, but I'm not keen on buying unnecessary hardware either. I suppose a third option could be to put the backup server on our vCenter box.

Thanks for any input!
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Veeam B&R 6 with Exagrid

Veeam Logoby Manfriday » Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:44 pm

[merged]

Hi,

What is the correct way to set up BR6 with Exagrid?

Would I need to set up a repository and point it at the Exagrid?
Or does the Exagrid become the repository, and I just point the backup proxies directly at the Exagrid?

Thanks!
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Re: Veeam and Exagrid

Veeam Logoby foggy » Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:59 pm

Hi dcolin, HotAdd for writes is only possible when restoring and replicating VMs - in this case, a virtual backup proxy can use Virtual Appliance mode to populate virtual disks with data on VMFS LUN. Thanks!
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Re: Veeam B&R 6 with Exagrid

Veeam Logoby foggy » Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:03 pm

Hi, Jason. You could create a backup repository as CIFS share on your appliance to store backups there. Thanks.
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Re: Veeam and Exagrid

Veeam Logoby Eamonn » Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:51 pm

Hi,

I had previously heard from ExaGrid support (23rd Dec 11) that BR6 is not yet supported? :? Can anyone comment as to what the outstanding issues are? I was eager to upgrade to BR6 since the hotfixes became available.

Thanks
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Re: Veeam and Exagrid

Veeam Logoby foggy » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:47 pm

Eamonn, our solution is completely storage agnostic meaning that you can use any storage as a backup target and there's no need to speak about any sort of VBR support (except in terms of performance). We have never heard of any issues concerning this type of storage devices since the release of v6. Though maybe ExaGrid support guys do know more about this... Could you please provide more details on what you've heard from them as it could be some kind of miscommunication. Thanks.
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Re: Veeam and Exagrid

Veeam Logoby dellock6 » Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:00 pm

Hi,
we have ExaGrid units at our datacenter and we also sell them.
We tested the new B&R 6 saving into ExaGrid machines since v6 release, with CIFS share configured for Veeam 5. No problem at all, and thanks to new Veeam we also saw increased performances. Basically Veeam backup files are the same as in v5, so I cannot see how v6 would not work.
I talked about the v6 support with ExaGrid Europe, basically the "official" support is only a matter of deeper tests before claiming v6 is supported, and this also involves Hyper-V support that at the moment is NOT supported.
But as long as we talk about VMware backups, v6 is supported.

regards,
Luca.
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Re: Veeam and Exagrid

Veeam Logoby Eamonn » Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:05 pm

Thanks for the info gents - I was a little confused since I was also under the belief that Veeam was storage agnostic.
The only info I got at the time was "Veeam 6 is not yet supported. I have no ETA on supportability." As you mention, (and I also suspect) this may be down to further ExaGrid compatibility testing (and possibly also the training/familiarisation of ExaGrid support personnel with VBR6?)

I now look forward to my v6 upgrade next week :)
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Re: Veeam and Exagrid

Veeam Logoby Eamonn » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:57 pm

With some careful use of storage vMotion I'm considering recreating my LUN's with VMFS 5.0 (to take advantage of the new unified 1MB block size and larger LUN capacities). Does anyone know how this will affect my current Veeam backup's on the ExaGrid ie. will Changed Block Tracking suddenly decide all the blocks have changed on a VM (that was storage vMotioned to a VMFS5 LUN), then back the entire thing up with the net result that I chew up more ExaGrid space compared to if I just stuck with VMFS3.46? :?:

Also, (when setting up the ExaGrid as a Veeam repository) should I be ticking the box 'align backup file data blocks' - ie. does the ExaGrid leverage constant block size for deduplication?

Cheers.
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Re: Veeam and Exagrid

Veeam Logoby dellock6 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:53 am

I'm not sure 100%, but for what I remember CBT data are kept even during a Storage vMotion. Do not know anyway it this is true even when we move vmdk from vmfs3 to vmfs5. Can you test on a smaller VM? My datastores are all upgraded to 5.

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Re: Veeam and Exagrid

Veeam Logoby dellock6 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:42 am

I asked to ExaGrid guys, alignment is not needed.

Luca.
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Re: Veeam and Exagrid

Veeam Logoby Eamonn » Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:35 pm

Thanks Luca. I've created a VMFS5 LUN and storage-vMotioned (online) a single VM over for tonight's test. I'm thinking CBT tracks virtual blocks within the VMDK as opposed to the underlying blocks used in the VMFS?

According to http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/micros ... Id=1020128 :-

For CBT to identify altered disk sectors since the last change ID, the following items are required:
The host must be ESX/ESXi 4.0 or later.
The virtual machine owning the disks to be tracked must be hardware version 7 or later.
I/O operations must go through the ESX/ESXi storage stack. So NFS is supported, as is RDM in virtual compatibility mode, but not RDM in physical compatibility mode. Of course VMFS is supported, whether backed by SAN, iSCSI, or local disk.
CBT must be enabled for the virtual machine (see below).
Obviously, virtual machine storage must not be (persistent or non-persistent) independent disk, meaning unaffected by snapshots.

For CBT to identify disk sectors in use with the special "*" change ID, the following items are required:
The virtual disk must be located on a VMFS volume, backed by SAN, iSCSI, or local disk. RDM is not VMFS.
The virtual machine must have zero (0) snapshots when CBT is enabled, for a clean start.
In some cases, such as a power failure or hard shutdown while virtual machines are powered on, CBT might reset and lose track of incremental changes. Likewise offline Storage vMotion, but not online Storage vMotion, could reset but not disable CBT.
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Re: Veeam and Exagrid

Veeam Logoby dellock6 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:46 pm

VMware KB is saying basically:
- if you use storage vmotion while VM is powered ON, you keep CBT informations
- if you use storage vmotion while VM is powered OFF, you loose CBT informations

So, online storage vmotion will be good for you.

Luca.
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Re: Maximizing Veeam throughput to Exagrid

Veeam Logoby tvvendors » Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:12 pm

Daveyd wrote:[merged]

I am looking to getting the fastest throughput rate from my physical Veeam server to my Exagrid appliance. Adding a 10Gb NIC to each is out of the question for now.

My Veeam server has a FC HBA attached to a Clariion CX4 @4Gbps. The Veeam server also has 2 physical 1Gb NICs teamed together using HP's teaming software for backup traffic to the Exagrid appliance. The Team is set to use Transmit Load Balancing with Fault Tolerance (TLB) and Windows reports a 2Gb connection speed. The Exagrid has 2, 1GB NICs each with separate IP addresses.

All the Veeam jobs use the SAN method for backups. Half the jobs are setup to use 1 Exagrid IP address, the other half use the 2nd Exagrid IP address. A lot of the jobs run concurrently. I want Veeam to fully utilize the 2Gb NIC Team during backups and make the backups as fast as possible. Is this the best way to accomplish this?


I have a similar setup and I'm seeing 19mbps - 917mbps throughput. I have received documentation from Veeam but some of it is contradictory to what is in this thread. We will continue to tweak and test and I will post my results here.
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Re: Veeam and Exagrid

Veeam Logoby tvvendors » Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:48 pm

In the document: Deduplication Hardware tips for using with Veeam Backup 5.x.pdf page 3 recommends "Disable inline data deduplication".

In the document: VMware Backup: Best Practices for using Veeam with ExaGrid page 7 and page 8 Figure 3 recommends "Enable inline data deduplication".

In the document: Exagrid Systems: Using Veeam Backup and Replication Software with an Exagrid System page 9 it says "Enable inline data deduplication".

Which one is the correct setting?

I got the documentation directly from Exagrid support and Veeam support.
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