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Aurock
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How to match existing backup structure using only Veeam B&R?

Post by Aurock » Nov 21, 2017 1:42 pm

Years ago, we first switched from a tape only backup solution to a disk & tape solution using Microsoft's DPM. A few years later, we moved backup's of our virtual environment to Veeam B&R, but kept DPM for physical servers. VB&R does a nightly backup of all virtual servers, but we wanted more frequent backups of some data within those VM's, so DPM kept backing up file shares, exchange, sql db's, etc from those servers. DPM also backed everything up to tape once a week, including the latest .vbk file from VB&R.

Now that VB&R has added support for Tape, and for backing up physical machines, I'm wondering if VB&R is ready to be our sole backup platform, eliminating DPM. My primary concern at this point is whether VB&R can come close to the backup structure that we have with DPM. Take the backups of SQL databases for example. DPM is configured to Synchronize the DB every 15 minutes. Then, 3 times per day, it performs an 'Express Full Backup'. If we ever have a failure that requires restoring the DB from backup, we always have a backup available that is current to within 15 minutes. If the database were damaged somehow before the last 15 minute sync ran and we need to go back further, we can then go back to the last express full backup. (We can't restore to any given 15 minute point in time sync, only the most recent.)

We use similar settings for backing up our Exchange and Sharepoint environments. For file shares, those also synchronize every 15 minutes, but a recovery point is created every 4 hours.

I'm sure that VB&R can do better for us than just a once daily backup of all VM's, but can it give us frequent backups of critical data stores like this, without having to back up our entire environment as often?

foggy
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Re: How to match existing backup structure using only Veeam

Post by foggy » Nov 21, 2017 3:02 pm

Hi Steve, yes, you can have more frequent incremental backups (copying only changed blocks) and, for SQL, you can also perform periodic transaction logs backup for granular point-in-time restores.

Aurock
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Re: How to match existing backup structure using only Veeam

Post by Aurock » Dec 20, 2017 9:11 pm

Thanks Foggy. I'm trying to work through how to set up the backup jobs to suit our needs, and struggling with a couple of areas. First, we want to always have a recent (~1hour) snapshot of our most frequently changing data. However, once a new snapshot of that data exists, we don't really need to be able to restore back to the previous snapshot. Basically, If a server suddenly goes toes up in the middle of the work day, I want to have a copy of that server's data available that is current to within an hour. DPM handled this by synchronizing the data source with the dpm server every 15 minutes, but only 'finalizing' that data into a recovery point every 4 hours. At any given point, we could tell it to create a recovery point from the data most currently synchronized so we could restore to that point, but only for that most current sync. Is there a way to do something similar with Veeam, so that we always have a recent copy of the data, but don't end up with 24 hourly backups per day? (The GFS backup structure seems like it basically accomplishes what I want for this, but doesn't appear to be available with a standard backup job, only for backup copies and tape backups.)

Next, where do replicas fit in? I was initially thinking that the use case for replication was to maintain an offsite host which is updated at least once per day, for DR purposes. But the more I think about it, I'm wondering if the replica isn't actually a better fit for on site, which would always have a recent copy of the VMs. Is a backup copy job the better fit for maintaining an off site backup for DR? And then a GFS structure for tape backups that will be kept longer term than our on disk retention. . . ?

Can you recommend any good resources on designing a backup architecture for use with Veeam which covers backup, replica, onsite/offsite, tape, etc?

Thanks!

foggy
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Re: How to match existing backup structure using only Veeam

Post by foggy » Dec 22, 2017 1:36 pm

Aurock wrote:Is there a way to do something similar with Veeam, so that we always have a recent copy of the data, but don't end up with 24 hourly backups per day? (The GFS backup structure seems like it basically accomplishes what I want for this, but doesn't appear to be available with a standard backup job, only for backup copies and tape backups.)
Yes, you can have hourly backups with short retention - if you set the forever incremental job to keep just 2 restore points, you will always have 1 full and 1 increment on disk for the two previous hours. Such short retention is not typically recommended though, just to avoid cases when you find yourself without any valid backup at all. If we're talking about SQL Server, then you can backup the entire VM daily (and have, say, 5 restore points, 1 full and 4 incremental, or less) and also backup transaction logs as frequent as you need (each 15 minutes, f. ex.) and be able to revert to any of the existing points back in time by replaying the logs.
Aurock wrote:Next, where do replicas fit in? I was initially thinking that the use case for replication was to maintain an offsite host which is updated at least once per day, for DR purposes. But the more I think about it, I'm wondering if the replica isn't actually a better fit for on site, which would always have a recent copy of the VMs. Is a backup copy job the better fit for maintaining an off site backup for DR? And then a GFS structure for tape backups that will be kept longer term than our on disk retention. . . ?
Both approaches work, everything depends on your actual needs.
Aurock wrote:Can you recommend any good resources on designing a backup architecture for use with Veeam which covers backup, replica, onsite/offsite, tape, etc?
You can start with the best practices doc.

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