Simple tape job strategy, help needed

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Simple tape job strategy, help needed

Veeam Logoby Moebius » Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:39 pm

A customer has a small (2 hosts) VMware environment where all VMs are backed up to disk daily with a single backup job with the forward incremental forever method.
He has a Tandberg T24 tape library with 2 drives and no mailbox slot that has been used so far to send to tape the Veeam backup files with TSM. TSM has to be dismissed and Veeam (v8) must be in charge of sending the backups to tape.

The idea is to send all the incrementals to tape daily. On Fridays the customer would take the non-empty tapes out of the library and take them offsite, replacing with free tapes. Veeam should then create a synthetic full on tape at first subsequent pass.
Four weekly sets should be kept offsite and after that period a set should become free and return to the free pool. Each weekly set should contain a full and the incrementals for a week.

I am new to the tape functions of Veeam B&R. I read the manual and several threads but, not having a tape library at my home lab for testing, I'm still pretty confused about all the different options and possibilities (and cannot do much testing at the customer's premises - he expects the thing to just work!). Can anybody guide me to a proper setup? Thanks.
Moebius
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Re: Simple tape job strategy, help needed

Veeam Logoby Dima P. » Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:33 pm

Hello Moebius,

Media pools

I’d rather have two media pools since customer has two drives library. Such setup will allow tape drives to be used by tape jobs simultaneously. This could be two media pools with the same retention like Weekly A and Weekly B. If you want you can set additional media pools for incremental backups as well (Weekly A Full, Weekly Incremental etc)

Up to you how to organize a free tape media on Tapes step of the media pool: use a manually selected scope of tapes or just check the box “Add tapes from Free media pool automatically”. For Media set creation option I’d use “Create media set daily at” and specify the day after you are going to export the media (i.e. you plan to export tapes on Sunday, then set it to create a new media set on Monday). Retention should be set to "Protect data for 4 weeks". Offline media tracking is an additional option – you can create a logical vault where offline tape is going to be displayed once it is exported from library.

Backup to tape jobs

Same as media pools – at least two jobs to speed up processing. You can use a backup to disk jobs as a source (just split all the jobs you would like to put on tapes)

Since you said customer is using forever forward incremental do not forget to set the virtual synthesized full backup schedule properly. Set it to be created the day when new media set starts. Export should happen the day before new media set is created. As for schedule - it’s up to you, I would start with daily and if it does not suite you switch to "as a new backup file appear" option.

Hope this makes sence. Cheers!
Dima P.
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Re: Simple tape job strategy, help needed

Veeam Logoby Moebius » Wed Sep 23, 2015 2:04 pm

Thanks a lot Dima.
I understand that the first backup to tape job will copy the latest full and all the following incrementals. In this case the backup is forward incremental forever with 30 restore points so the first job run would send 30 files to tape (1 vbk + 29 vibs).
How can I get Veeam to start directly with a synthetic full on tape (synthetizing the latest restore point as a full) if it's not the day scheduled for creating the synthetic fulls?
Moebius
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Re: Simple tape job strategy, help needed

Veeam Logoby Dima P. » Wed Sep 23, 2015 3:44 pm

Indeed, it works that way – it will copy the existing chain: first full backup plus all further increments. Additionally, it creates one synthesized full backup to split the long incremental chain on tape (the virtual full backup on tape is created from the incremental restore point for the set day) for the latest period before tape job actually runs.

Assuming you have the following backup chain and tape job is configured as explained in my previous post.

Full backup + 6 weekly incremetals ( 1 week ) | 7 weekly incremetals ( 2 week )| 7 weekly incremetals ( 3 week )| 7 weekly incremetals ( 4 week )| 2 weekly incremetals ( 5 week )|

Tape job picks 1-4 weeks of restore points “as is”. Then it will find the restore point for virtual full creation, again, assuming you set Virtual Full backup to be created on Monday, even though first tape job run can happen any time it will pick the Monday incremental from 5th week and create a full backup. If there is no incremental restore point for the set day it will go "back in time" and find the closest one (i.e. 4 week Sunday > 4 week Saturday…). All further restore points are going to be linked to this new full.

Buy the way if you have more one full backup (assuming it’s a forward incremental with periodic fulls) – backup to tape can detect and prompt what piece of chain should be transferred to tape (starting from latest full or whole chain).

Hope it makes sence.
Dima P.
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Re: Simple tape job strategy, help needed

Veeam Logoby Moebius » Thu Sep 24, 2015 2:06 pm

Dima, thank you again. It's slowly starting to clear up.
A couple of questions are arising now:

1. you said that I should set the Media Set to be created the day after I am going to export the media; since I plan to export on Fridays, I should set the Media Set to be created on Sundays. However, the manual says that if the tape where data should be written is not available, VBR creates a new Media Set automatically. So couldn't I just set "always continue the same Media Set" and just export the used tapes on Fridays? Then VBR should create a new Media Set not finding the last used tape available.

2. The plan "always export tapes on fixed day of the week" in some cases could not happen. Say that tapes are normally exported on Fri., new Media Set and Synthetic Full are created on Sat., but that Friday is a holiday. If the tapes are then exported on the previous day, a new Media Set would be created on Friday and another on Saturday? What would then be the best strategy?
Moebius
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Re: Simple tape job strategy, help needed

Veeam Logoby Dima P. » Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:47 pm

You are welcome!
So couldn't I just set "always continue the same Media Set" and just export the used tapes on Fridays?

Works as well.
If the tapes are then exported on the previous day, a new Media Set would be created on Friday and another on Saturday? What would then be the best strategy?

If you use the create media set on specific day option and tape remains in the library - media set is going to be closed anyway. With always continue existing media set you may get a full backup placed on the last week’s tape for example, that’s why I do not like this option when we speaking about weekly export.
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