I'm hoping for some advice from all you experts out there. First a little story about our setup: We had used ESXi free edition on two hosts with local storage for about a year and a half when I wanted more security in our setup. The solution was to buy two EqualLogics, a SAS based PS4000XV and a SATA based PS4000E for replication in a secondary server room in another building.
I had hoped to use snapshotting as a means of backup and cancelled our remote backup solution, but even though I had explained this very clearly to Dell then they forgot to mention the pitfalls. The huge block size of EqualLogic storage (64 MB) made our snapshots take way more space than planned so this didn't work. Enter Veeam Backup and we recently got our license and have experimented with it.
Now, I can still use the replication feature in EqualLogic and even use the ASM/VE to create hypervisor aware snapshots, but they won't be transaction-consistent and we have a very important SQL server that I need to be sure will work in our replicated environment. I could opt to use Veeam for replication since their VSS integration would ensure that SQL server is replicated properly, but we only have a VMware Essentials license with 3 hosts and I need all three hosts in our production, and I'm unsure how much load it would take on a host to be the replication server.
The big question is if we really need replication with VBR v5? Now that it's possible to start a VM directly from backup then I'm wondering if we could just create backups hourly instead of daily and store the backup on the PS4000E in the secondary server room? In case of a major disaster in our primary server room or a failure of the PS4000VX then we could be up and running pretty quickly, but probably with low performance but that's probably not a big problem. If we had a fire in our office building and the primary server room is gone, then I'm sure that people are happy knowing that we're still able to work and haven't lost much data.
So... how would you
do this? We have two EqualLogics, Veeam Backup and Replication, three ESX hosts and an extra unlicensed ESXi host in the secondary server room. I have plenty of space on a server in the secondary server room to store Veeam backups and the storage can be presented as SMB or NFS. Our goal is to be able to be back in business pretty quickly (a few hours) in case of a major failure or catastrophe in our primary server room, and be sure that data is replicated or backed in a way so that it isn't corrupted (transaction-consistent). We must not loose more than one our of work so replication or backup should happen at least once every hour.
We only have 8 VM's in production right now, so this isn't the biggest VMware environment on earth
René Frej Nielsen