Discussions specific to tape backups
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FabioM
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Tape throught SAN Switch

Post by FabioM » Jun 03, 2016 9:47 am

Hello,

I know that connection of Tape must be made Directly but can anyone explain why can't it be done through SAN Switch ?

https://helpcenter.veeam.com/backup/vsp ... vices.html

What are the limitation? What prevent that from being a valid scenario?
I've read a bit about that and couldn't figure it out the technical reason for that impossibility.

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P.Tide
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Re: Tape throught SAN Switch

Post by P.Tide » Jun 03, 2016 10:21 am

Hi,
What are the limitation?
There are no limitations, the Directly over Fibre Channel (FC), Serial Attached SCSI (SAS), SCSI line in the article that you're referring to means that you can attach tape device not via netwrok but directly thus omitting the network layer. You can connect tape via SAN switch but you should keep in mind that currently Veeam does not support drive sharing so I'm curious why would you want to use SAN switch?

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FabioM
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Re: Tape throught SAN Switch

Post by FabioM » Jun 03, 2016 10:52 am

Hi PTide,

I'll give an example.
We have a HP C7000 with several servers (Vmware Farm, Physical DC and Physical Backup Server). There are also 2 SAN Switch (interconnects on C700 Enclosure) that allow the connections of a storage system (3PAR) and a MSL2024 with 2x LTO-6
Nowadays the backup is made with HP Data Protector to the LTO-6 through SAN.
Since the BL460c Servers are limited regarding HBA connections the idea is to use the MSL2024 LTO-6 presenting it through SAN to the Physical Backup Server that will be installed with Veeam B&R Ent+ v9.
We are also a StoreOnce connected to the same SAN Switch pair.
This is why I want to use the SAN Switch.
What do you mean with with
does not support drive sharing
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Re: Tape throught SAN Switch

Post by P.Tide » Jun 03, 2016 12:45 pm

Ok, now I see. Yes, it will be fine to connect your VBR server to a SAN switch.

I meant that it is not possible to share the library between two different solutions unless it supports hardware partitioning.

FabioM
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Re: Tape throught SAN Switch

Post by FabioM » Jun 03, 2016 1:21 pm

Hi,

So .... I can connect a Library through a SAN Switch to my Veeam Server in the condition that it will only be presented to that server (with zoning) and it's not shared with noting else. I like it :D
Does this applies to Virtual Veeam Server?

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Re: Tape throught SAN Switch

Post by skrause » Jun 03, 2016 2:00 pm

FabioM wrote:Hi,

So .... I can connect a Library through a SAN Switch to my Veeam Server in the condition that it will only be presented to that server (with zoning) and it's not shared with noting else. I like it :D
Does this applies to Virtual Veeam Server?

Thanks
If your SAN fabric is Fiber Channel, you can't typically expose the FC fabric to a VM living on the host. I guess you could do some kind of crazy FCoE setup but I am not sure how you would do that.

You can attach your library to a physical server that you either just install the tape server role, or (as seems to be fairly typical) a repository server with the tape server role also installed.

One thing that you will want to think about is that with Tape, you typically want to have your disk and your tape library going through separate HBAs on the server. There can be some weird performance issues when you are transferring data from disk to tape over the same HBA.
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P.Tide
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Re: Tape throught SAN Switch

Post by P.Tide » Jun 03, 2016 2:11 pm

Does this applies to Virtual Veeam Server?
As per VMware:
VMware KB wrote:This article provides steps/instructions to configure vendor-supported tape drives and media changers so that virtual machines on ESX/ESXi 4.x and later hosts can access these devices.<...>

Limitations

Fiber connected tape devices are not supported.
Tape devices cannot be connected to RAID controllers.
However quick googling shows that workarounds may exist.

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pkelly_sts
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Re: Tape throught SAN Switch

Post by pkelly_sts » Jun 03, 2016 2:59 pm

PTide wrote:I meant that it is not possible to share the library between two different solutions unless it supports hardware partitioning.
I'm finding it's not possible to even have two completely separate physical libraries one one physical server be used by Veeam plus one other system (BExec) and it's Veeam's side I have issues with, not BExec.

I can disable one of the libraries in BExec (to dedicate it to Veeam) but there is no way I know of to tell Veeam NOT to keep re-scanning the library that should be dedicated to BExec.

If there is a way, I'd LOVE to hear about it as it causes me huge scheduling nightmares whilst I'm in the middle of transitioning from Veeam to BExec!!

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Re: Tape throught SAN Switch

Post by FabioM » Jun 03, 2016 3:16 pm

OK, so Library through SAN Switch presented do VM is tricky but in case the Veeam is on a Physical server then there are no problems (assuming I'm not sharing the Drive).
skrause: what kind of problems did you find using the same HBA ?

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Re: Tape throught SAN Switch

Post by pkelly_sts » Jun 03, 2016 3:21 pm

Remember, you only need the "Veeam Tape server" role and recommended to have the repository/proxy server roles, assigned to the physical server. The Veeam backup server (think managment) can be on a VM which makes it easy to protect as well. If you can configure READ-ONLY direct SAN access from your repository/proxy server to your VMFS storage, then you'll achieve maximum read rates as well.

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Re: Tape throught SAN Switch

Post by P.Tide » Jun 03, 2016 3:39 pm

f there is a way, I'd LOVE to hear about it as it causes me huge scheduling nightmares whilst I'm in the middle of transitioning from Veeam to BExec!!
Please check this registry key. Also I'm curious what's the reason for using two backup solutions within the same environment.

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skrause
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Re: Tape throught SAN Switch

Post by skrause » Jun 03, 2016 5:23 pm

FabioM wrote:OK, so Library through SAN Switch presented do VM is tricky but in case the Veeam is on a Physical server then there are no problems (assuming I'm not sharing the Drive).
skrause: what kind of problems did you find using the same HBA ?
Our library is connected via separate HBAs per the recommendations (I think it might have been in the IBM docs) that said you should not have disk traffic and tape traffic on the same HBA/controller chip as that could cause issues.

It has been over a year since I set it up and I don't have the specific docs handy, but I know it was mentioned in several places.
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nfoug75
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[MERGED] Connect a Library Pv124t SAS to my ESXI PE R720

Post by nfoug75 » Jun 17, 2016 8:29 am

Hello,

I would like to connect my hardware Library DELL PV124T SAS directly to my ESXI Dell Power Edge R720 ? Is it possible to add as SAS Card on the ESXI ? Without a Windows server.
Or others solutions to do ?

Thx.

N.

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Re: Tape throught SAN Switch

Post by P.Tide » Jun 17, 2016 12:06 pm

Hi,

No, it is not supported by vmware however some workarounds are possible.

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pkelly_sts
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Re: Tape throught SAN Switch

Post by pkelly_sts » Jun 20, 2016 9:08 am 1 person likes this post

PTide wrote: Also I'm curious what's the reason for using two backup solutions within the same environment.
Apologies, I only just found this comment to my post.

My reason for two backup solutions is probably the exact same as for everyone else - testing! I don't know how smaller-medium sites are expected to properly test/evaluate Veeam tape functionality without going through some major hoops as there is no way you can just stop using your tried-and-trusted solution of years to then start testing another (Veeam Tape Backup) that seems to work SO differently to Backup Exec!

I consider myself VERY lucky that I even have a second tape library that I can dedicate to Veeam, but having spent the last few years driving the business to deeper virtualisation, the very last thing on my mind is suggesting we deploy another physical server just so we can run Veeam Tape separately from BExec tape

I have literally been testing Veeam tape for months and still not comfortable enough with it that I can raise an internal change & declare to everyone that I'm finally switching to Veeam for tape backups & deprecating BExec - I'm just not quite there with the predicatbility (though after many months of testing I think I'm now getting close, but I'm not yet as confident as I'd like to be.

I think you as a company would be doing yourselves a MASSIVE favour if you could get someone to write up a white paper describing various scenarios of how you might have been doing tape backups in "other" software (I appreciate you certainly wouldn't want to be naming competitors directly in your papers) and this is how you would achieve the same in BExec.

I'm talking long-term real-world scenarios where it just isn't clear that extra full backups will be required (like the first backup of a Forever Forward chain).

Trust me, to you guys it's probably totally ingrained, but when you're coming from literally decades spent using another platform, it really isn't as straight-forward as you might like...

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