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Gav
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Archiving Replicas

Post by Gav »

I'm looking for a solution to make tape archives of our Veeam Replicas.

Appologies if this is a dupe, I've not found a similar scenario during a quick search.

Specifically, I'm looking for a method (tips and pitfalls) for automatically getting the replicas off ESX and onto a Windows disk.

We currently use Veeam to create offsite replicas. I would like Backup Exec to archive these replicas to tape. Obviously, I need to retain integrity of the replica so it can be remounted at any time in the future.

Here's the backup workflow: Production VM's (ESX) -> Offiste Replica VM's (ESX) -> Replica VM files (Windows) -> Replica VM files (Tape)

One thought was to use FastSCP scheduled copies on the /vmfs/volumes/<datastore>/VeeamBackup directories.
- Is anyone currently doing this?
- Is there a way to script it from veeam (eg run as a post replica job)?
- Are there any other Veeam files required to be stored with the replica that may be required to do a future recovery?

Thanks,

Gav

TrevorBell
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Re: Archiving Replicas

Post by TrevorBell »

Gav,

Archiving a replica to tape may have been a good idea in V4 but with v5 how about just archiving your *.vbk files to tape then if you need to recover a VM then just restore from BE tape and use Instant Recovery to bring the VM up ? Then you can storage vmotion it back to production ?

This is what i do and find it works effectively...

Just an different approach....
Trev

Gav
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Re: Archiving Replicas

Post by Gav »

Sounds promising Trev, but not sure I follow just yet :wink:

Can you give me a bit more of an idea about the *.vbk files?

My goal for archiving is to be able to recover a machine as it was at the time of the replica (eg a file server from 3 months ago).

Looking at a typical replica of mine, I have the usual VM files (vmdk etc), I also have a series of *.vrb files (about 1Gb each) and a little 8mb *.vbk file. I've read an over view here http://www.veeam.com/blog/veeam-synthet ... ained.html, which mentions archiving the *.vrb files also.

So in a recovery scenario, how do the vrb/vbk files from 3 months ago, align with the current VM files?

Additionally, whenever I have a replica failure Veeam support suggest "delete the replica and try again". In doing this, do it break the continuity of the Synthetic Backup?

Gav

Alexey D.

Re: Archiving Replicas

Post by Alexey D. »

Hello Gavin,

Let me give some details on what B&R can do. Basically, for data protection purposes there are two major activities: performing Backup and performing Replication. To read more on this, please refer to: Job Types

For your goals it would be better using Backup: compression and dedupe is enabled to save your storage space. And you can easily and quickly restore a 3-month-old file server by doing Instant VM Recovery.

P.S.
*.vbk stands for 'full backup'; *.vrb stands for 'reverse increment'. You can read about backup modes here. The number of files (restore points, actually) you see in folder is according to retention policy (this topic is covered in User Guide). Thanks!

Gav
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Re: Archiving Replicas

Post by Gav »

Thanks Alexy,

I agree that the Backup type is probably ideal purely from an isolated archiving perspective. However, I really need to make this wok using replication (replicating machines to our Disaster Recovery centre and need to be able to fire up 100+ VMs in the event of a site going down).

I'm concerned about not capturing the whole replica, but it's a lot of data to move over to Windows/Tape. So any techniques to improve this woudl be great!

So back to the original questions:

1. What to copy out of the replica?
- vbk only? vbk & vrb?
- How do historic vrb/vbk files, align with the current VM files?

2. Techniques for doing this copy (SCP jobs, post Replica scripts etc)?

3. Any restoration issues to be aware of?
- issues with creating a new replica of the same machine
- dependencies on continuity of the Veeam database

Gav

TrevorBell
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Re: Archiving Replicas

Post by TrevorBell »

Gav,

I will let others answer your questions but you are over complicating what you are trying to achieve imho... if you want to bring up a file server from e.g 3 montha ago like you say then just backing all vm`s up together would mean just 1 .vbk file to xfer to tape and 1 file to restore/ import the file into veeamand then power on the vm, yes not a quick as a replica granted but what is an extra 30 minutes restoring something thats months old anyway ?... soon in a new Veeam release the option to multi-restore more than 1 vm at a time will be available .. so maybe soon you might consider this method ;)



In my environment i have only 50 vm`s with 2TB of data so this solution is fine for me...

Good Luck with your replicas

Trev...

Gav
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Re: Archiving Replicas

Post by Gav »

Not trying to complicate it Trevor, I just don't understand how it works?

Are you refering to backups or replicas?

My replica .vbk files are all <10Mb and I don't see how this file contains all of the info I need for a restoration.

Gav

TrevorBell
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Re: Archiving Replicas

Post by TrevorBell »

im referring to backups... the vbk file is the complete backup file and should be the biggest..

Vitaliy S.
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Re: Archiving Replicas

Post by Vitaliy S. »

Hello Gavin, let me chime in on this conversation:
Gav wrote:1. What to copy out of the replica?
- vbk only? vbk & vrb?
- How do historic vrb/vbk files, align with the current VM files?
You need to protect an entire folder including VBK and VRB files. For replication jobs VBK file is used to store metadata which links your current state to the rollbacks (vrb files). So provided that you need to restore to some particular point in time you will need all the files - actual vmdk, VBK and VRB files.

Please also note that moving vmdk file to the tapes, will make those files thick, as it is only possible to store thin disks on VMFS file systems.

That said, I would recommend reviewing our F.A.Q. topic, as Instant Recovery might do the trick for you (restore VMs in the matter of seconds from a backup file).
Gav wrote:2. Techniques for doing this copy (SCP jobs, post Replica scripts etc)?
The majority of our customers are using post replica/bakup job scripts to offload backup files to tapes. Please search these forums for more information on "post backup job script".
Gav wrote:3. Any restoration issues to be aware of?
- issues with creating a new replica of the same machine
- dependencies on continuity of the Veeam database
I'm not sure I got your question completely, but there are no issues while restoring backup files or creating new replicas.

However please note that, if you are going to offload the replicated VM to the tape, you wouldn't be able to import those replicas back to the backup console. In other words, as soon as the disaster strikes, you would be able to start VMs from tapes to the most recent state via vSphere Client only.

On the other hand, if you want to use rollbacks you should either keep those replicas presented in the backup all the time or backup Veeam SQL configuration database together with performing replica tape offloading. But this approach seems to be a more complicated one for me.

So getting back to your initial question, I agree with Trevor and should say that offloading backup files to tapes makes more sense, as you can do both, import those backups to the console later on and choose any point in time to perform a restore or Instant VM Recovery.

Hope it helps!

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