Using tape as a backup target
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russej
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Storage Snapshots to Tape

Post by russej »

Products & Situation:
* Veeam Backup & Replication v. 9.5 U3 - Enterprise Plus Edition on two servers running proxy & repos
* vSphere 6.0 - 6 ESXi 6.0 servers
* 2 x Nimble CS1000 storage arrays -- 3.8.x firmware -- "new" to my organization -- we use iSCSI
* HP MSL G3 2024 Tape Libary - two drives driven by a ProLiant DL380 Gen9 running Server 2012R2 (Veeam Tape Backup components running) -- 8 Gb FC

After upgrading from Enterprise to Enterprise Plus and working to get my Nimble storage to do snapshot/replicated backups with Veam B&R, I was disappointed to learn that I cannot copy a backup made by a Veeam Backup Job with a target to "Nimble SnapShot" to tape. This was confirmed by Tech Support. If feasible, it would be great if backups to tape could be sourced not just from "files" or a traditional "repository" but also from a snapshot. Veeam Developers and Product Managers please take note.

So in the interim, what do I do? One thing is to create a scheduled backup job to a standard repository [living on free space on my Nimble arrays] and retain those full backups around long enough until the GFS backup job runs. But it just seems clunky and cumbersome. So I'm fishing for some ideas.

Caveat: Veeam B&R is not my full-time job so there may be something obvious that I am missing. Apologies in advance.

Thanks!
Jim

Case # 03042330 - Storage Snapshots to Tape

Vitaliy S.
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Re: Storage Snapshots to Tape

Post by Vitaliy S. » 1 person likes this post

Jim,

Let me make sure I understand the situation correctly > you would like to copy a regular storage snapshot to tape? Did I get it right? If that's the case, then please be aware that storage snapshot can only be used by the storage device of the vendor, that's why vendors usually offer orchestrated copy of the snapshot rather than the functionality of offloading this data to tapes. There were similar requests for this functionality, so the "solution" proposed in this topic might come in handy to you.

Speaking about storage snapshots, please be aware that these are not the backups, since you cannot export it to the external media (for example, tape device). Here is a good blog post illustrating how both technologies can be leveraged together: Backup and storage snapshots: How they work together for the Always-On Enterprise

Thank you!

russej
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Re: Storage Snapshots to Tape

Post by russej »

Thank you Vitaliy!

In an over-simplified sense, yes, I would like to copy the regular storage snapshots to tape! But you bring up an interesting point that these snapshots use proprietary storage vendor methods so simply copying may not solve the real problem. Hypothetically speaking, this sort of thing might require an approach where the storage snapshot is read from storage and then transformed in such a way that the data is normalized and then written to tape. The data on tape is restore-able in a useful and practical way. I hope that makes sense.

Thanks for the two links!

Have a great day!
Jim

Vitaliy S.
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Re: Storage Snapshots to Tape

Post by Vitaliy S. »

Yes, it does make sense, but storage vendor should come up with the format that can be exposed to tape (not Veeam), since this format has to be read back by the vendor even when Veeam backup server is not available etc. I would recommend reviewing the current approach with backups and storing regular backups on tapes (described in the second link). Hope it helps!

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