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mgirard
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Migrating from Commvault, need tape help

Post by mgirard » Jan 24, 2019 5:53 pm

Hello,

This may have been addressed here before, but after spending a few days banging my head against the documentation (which hasn't been all that helpful), I'm at a loss of how I should go about this, so here goes.

We're currently migrating our backup and tape environments from Commvault to Veeam, and I'm having a very hard time finding out how to accomplish the tape backups we previously had in CV, in Veeam. I'll try to explain our current environment, but it's a little complex, so please bear with me:

One tape library with 3 drives, and a large "scratch media" pool that exists both in the library and on shelves (offline). All backup jobs will pull from this scratch pool, which we restock the tape robot with scratch from the shelf, weekly. We also use an offsite storage facility, similar to Iron Mountain, for specific machines that are deemed critical.

* We have multiple backup policies within CV, each with different retention for tape (some servers have 7 year retention, others only 6 months). For the purposes of this thread, we'll call the policies "7 year", "6mo", and "Offsite"
* In addition, we have legal holds that focus on specific folders within servers, retained on tape indefinitely.
* Some of our servers are physical boxes, the rest of our servers are within a VMware environment, backed up exclusively with Veeam, and then copied to tape via commvault, currently.
* Weekly, CV runs a report that creates a .csv with aged media that needs to be recalled from our offsite vault. This is then processed using a script / FTP job we wrote, so the tapes get delivered back to us.


The way I set it up in Veeam is with "Media Pools" replacing the "storage policies" concept of Commvault. I created a media pool for 7 year retention, one for Onsite 6 month backups, and one for offsites, each set with their respective retention. Since not all of our VM's are needed for offsite retention, we have a "Backup Copy" job that selects the critical VM's for offsite storage - however this results in a fairly large and cumbersome single .vbk file, instead of individual machine backups, resulting in long restore times. I'm unsure how to accomplish our legal holds, since vm backups don't appear to be granular enough to select specific files for infinite retention (seems to be all or nothing).

Our tape library only has one I/E port (SpectraLogic T50), but Commvault currently manages this by reserving ports 1 thru 8 as "virtual IE slots". Does veeam have something similar to this, or will it require us to manually export every tape that needs to go offline, one at a time? In addition, with all these different media pools, when tapes expire, will they become available for ALL jobs to use as scratch media? It seems like it stays within the media pool that first "grabbed" the scratch, if I'm reading the documentation correctly. With so many storage policies (media pools?) with different retention periods, this would make scratch media management a very frustrating manual process.

There doesn't appear to be any reporting feature, so I'm unsure how to recall scratch / aged off tapes from our offsite vendor.

Hopefully this makes sense, and sorry about the long winded post! Just trying to get some clarity on what the proper way to set this up would be.

Dima P.
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Re: Migrating from Commvault, need tape help

Post by Dima P. » Jan 25, 2019 2:12 pm

Hello Matt,
The way I set it up in Veeam is with "Media Pools" replacing the "storage policies" concept of Commvault. I created a media pool for 7 year retention, one for Onsite 6 month backups, and one for offsites, each set with their respective retention.
Check our GFS Media Pools feature which allows you to can create multiple media sets based on desired retention to achieve your backup strategy. As a result you store the data within single media pool and perform tape outs by a single tape job.
Since not all of our VM's are needed for offsite retention, we have a "Backup Copy" job that selects the critical VM's for offsite storage - however this results in a fairly large and cumbersome single .vbk file, instead of individual machine backups, resulting in long restore times.
Maybe split the source jobs into too? You can divide between vm backup jobs based on your retention goal and then use only desired vm backups as a source (with such approach you wont need backup copy job in between vm backup and tape backup).
I'm unsure how to accomplish our legal holds, since vm backups don't appear to be granular enough to select specific files for infinite retention (seems to be all or nothing).
That's true - vm backup is processed by tape as a single entity without the ability exclude the file from vm backup. If that's a huge stopper for some VMs (as you might want to process only certain files) - you can always use simple file to tape job which can backup files directly from your production host. Take a look at this article for more details.
Does veeam have something similar to this, or will it require us to manually export every tape that needs to go offline, one at a time?

Tapes can be automatically exported after backup job is completed.
In addition, with all these different media pools, when tapes expire, will they become available for ALL jobs to use as scratch media?
When the tape is expired due to set retention is remains in the pool and will be reused by the next job run targeting this media pool.
There doesn't appear to be any reporting feature, so I'm unsure how to recall scratch / aged off tapes from our offsite vendor.
We have built-in email reporting to notify you about the issues with tape jobs or when new tape is required. You can find detailed Veeam Backup Tape Reports in our Veeam One solution. Need to say that VeeamOne is not only about tape reporting, it can provide monitoring and reporting capabilities for entire it infrastructure, so definitely worth checking.

Hope this helps, please let us know if your have any further questions. Cheers!

mgirard
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Re: Migrating from Commvault, need tape help

Post by mgirard » Jan 29, 2019 4:27 pm

Thanks for all the help, Dima! It really clarified a lot of the confusion we had regarding media management. For requesting tapes back, I found a powershell command that should help us with recalling expired media from our offsite location (see here: tape-f29/expired-media-report-t20936.html). Hopefully this functionality gets implemented within the GUI itself in future updates.

I've separated our VM backup jobs into two, now (one for critical servers, one for non-critical / everything else). However, I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the GFS media pool feature.

We typically keep 6 months of daily backups (full and incremental) on-site, for both critical AND non-critical servers. In addition, we send off another copy of the critical ones for ~2 weeks before they expire and are recalled for re-use. This occurs on Mondays and Thursdays. If we were to utilize GFS with this, what would be the correct method?

I have the current settings for our test GFS pool as follows:
Daily mediaset: 180 days, auto add tapes, append. Export offline to Onsite storage
Weekly mediaset: 2 weeks, append, export offline to Offsite Storage
All other GFS options turned off (no monthly, etc)

Should our offsite copies be a simple media pool instead, with 2 week retention? Sorry for the confusion!

Dima P.
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Re: Migrating from Commvault, need tape help

Post by Dima P. » Feb 06, 2019 12:00 am

Hello Matt,

You are welcome!
For requesting tapes back, I found a powershell command that should help us with recalling expired media from our offsite location
Please check the reporting capabilities in VeeamOne - it has tape retention report which perfectly fits your case.
If we were to utilize GFS with this, what would be the correct method?
This would work. The main idea behind the GFS though, was to provide you with the convenient way to achieve the GFS rotation schema (and make sure you dont keep the same full backup twice in different media sets, as when backup file should be placed to more than one media set at the same time - it goes only to elder media set)
Should our offsite copies be a simple media pool instead, with 2 week retention?
Up to you but I'd rather use GFS media pools (as you have to manage one media pool instead of several).

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