In my line of work, I often work with small business, where cos constraints mean everything runs on a single Hyper-V host. A typical setup would be 2-4 VMs (perhaps a DC, file/print and one other such as app/db server or a small RDS box). The server would usually be something like an HP DL380 or ML350 running Windows Server and the Hyper-V role.
I'm looking at putting together such a solution at the moment, and this time I'd like to use Veeam. I've been looking into what would be the best setup for a single server scenario. As you'd expect, most of what you read about Veeam assumes more than server, often with a dedicated backup server.
My current thoughts are to create a separate RAID array on independent disks to act as a local backup repository. In this case, a couple of 7.2k NL SAS disks in RAID1 seems sensible. If the data size increases significantly, I can add additional disks in pairs and rebuild as a RAID10 array. Backups can then be copied to tape using a directly-connected LTO tape drive to meet the off-site requirement. All Veeam roles would be installed on the host.
The main down-side I can see to the above configuration is that if the entire server fails, the disks can't just be pulled from the server and read using any old kit. To have a chance of reading them, you'd need another HP ProLiant with a compatible RAID controller with the correct firmware version, etc. This could complicate some disaster scenarios where the entire server has died, and you'd like to restore the most recent copies of the VMs as soon as possible onto whatever kit you have available. You'd have the tapes to fall back on, but they may not be as recent as the local repository, depending on the rotation. This scenario is unlikely, especially since I'd always include a decent on-site hardware warranty for a single server setup, but it's a concern.
I appreciate that storing a server's own backups on itself isn't ideal, but compromises have to be made, and it seems to be the best option in a single-server scenario. As backups are also being copied to tape, it seems acceptable. Without that, it would be unacceptable.
I did wonder whether using a NAS would be an option, but a quick look through the forums shows lots of instances of people saying to avoid using a NAS. Is that the case for all NASes, or are some suitable? In reading the forums, I've seen suggestions that if you do use a NAS, pick one that has decent performance and can run Veeam locally, rather than writing an SMB share. Would one that meets these requirements be OK?
One a side-note, how about if RDX was being used? For this particular project, tape is more suitable, but I've worked with RDX in the past. I see Tandberg offer a solution that uses one of their NASes running Veeam as a backup repo, with a directly connected RDX drive for off-site. Seems like a good solution to back up a single server in a way that allows you to restore onto any kit that can talk to the NAS.
What are people's thoughts? Is there a better way to do this without adding significant extra cost?