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SecondCity
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N00b help needed in selecting a backup destination

Post by SecondCity » Aug 05, 2010 9:51 pm

Hi all,

I've been all over the forums for the past few days trying to glean everything I can regarding the best method to implement Veeam on a tight budget. I'm still an eval user, but am going to purchase the software as soon as we have a solid plan in front of us (really, guys, you're to be applauded on your feature set and low price!).

First off, a quick overview of my environment: 2 ESX 4.0 servers housing only 2 VMs each (this will increase over the next few months as we redistribute some of our server roles...we're new to virtualization and these are all P2Vs from a few weeks ago), one EqualLogic PS4000 series SAN with 1.2TB used space, Dell PowerConnect 5424 switch running iSCSI traffic (have mod'ed for Flow Control, Jumbo Frames).

Veeam is presently installed on a physical server with the Microsoft iSCSI connector utilizing a secondary NIC to directly access the EL Array via the PowerConnect (EL HIT kit used to install that iSCSI connector). I've run a couple of jobs to one of my VMs on SAN-only mode to ensure connectivity. The Veeam server is unfortunately a 1U box, so there's absolutely no space for locally stored backups. I've childed off both a USB drive and an eSATA drive (via PCIe card) and tested with both. No difference in speed between them, and it seems rather slow from my untrained eye. This slowness supports some of what I've read in your forum posts (local storage = always best!).

We have a stack of 1TB USB drives from our old backup scheme that I'd love to continue using. However, I've read that running backups on USB targets is an exercise in frustration. I'd hate to go out and purchase eSATA drives if we're only going to get a small improvement that's not worth the investment.

I've read that people have also been using NAS drives to certain degrees of success. One in particular that seems attractive is the Iomega StorCenter ix2-200 based on its great price point and 2TB storage capability. My question is: how would I connect this? Would I run backups over the LAN using jumbo frames, or would I connect it directly to the iSCSI switch and use it as an iSCSI target for the Veeam server? Compounding the problem is that I'd love to periodically copy full backups to that stack of USB drives for offsite storage. Moreover, should I create a new VM for Veeam to run on, or is it best for me to leave it as a physical server specifically for that ability to do USB DR backups?

We don't have a DR site or any more cash to create one, so I have to think on a shoestring budget, here.

Sorry for my ramblings, but there are apparently 6,238,915 ways to skin a cat with Veeam...I'm looking for the right one for us!

Thanks,
John

TrevorBell
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Re: N00b help needed in selecting a backup destination

Post by TrevorBell » Aug 06, 2010 8:45 am

hi 2 esx servers.. if you upgrade to 4.1 you can attach usb drives directly to the esx host and then backup to them, i think you can have upto 20 usb devices but if you have only a few vm`s just attached this could well be the way forward to backup and take data off site ?

Also why not run veeam in a VM ? you will get slightly faster speed using Virtual appliance mode, then create a LUN and attach it to the vm and backup to there.. or as i said earlier you can add a usb device direct to the esx host and add it to a vm as a usb drive ( only in esx 4.1 ) i have tested this see my other posts and speeds are as good as backing upto my eql san with CBT enabled

thanks

trev

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Re: N00b help needed in selecting a backup destination

Post by SecondCity » Aug 06, 2010 1:23 pm

Thanks Trev! I'm a little worried about upgrading to ESXi, but could be swayed on these fears. I just feel that if I have 15000RPM drives in a host, they should be used properly...

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Re: N00b help needed in selecting a backup destination

Post by TrevorBell » Aug 06, 2010 4:18 pm

why upgrade to esxi ? i mean upgrade esx 4.0 to esx 4.1 .. thats what i did.I wont be swapping to esxi for for the foreseeable future.... What size is your san what space ? i have a ps4000e 16 x 1tb but i assume as you have 15k drives your space is abit smaller than that ?

I would if i had 2 esx hosts make 2 luns on the EQL san and then you have the basis of a nice fast solution. ( in my sceanrio i have 2 eql sans 1 x sas 15k around 1.5TB and 1 x 16TB sata around 10TB , i have 4 luns 2x fast and 2 x slow put high iops vm`s on teh fast and the rest on slow, beuty of eql is it load balances itself and moves adata around the spindles so you always get best performance )

any more info drop me a PM

Thanks

Trev

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Re: N00b help needed in selecting a backup destination

Post by SecondCity » Aug 06, 2010 7:07 pm

Thanks again, Trev. I was under the impression 4.1 was ESXi only...I suppose I made a bad assumption. Our EL Array is actually only about 2.14TB in size...we had to go for their baseline version, as budget was tight on the entire project. So there's really not enough space on it for backups (as I plan to carve that up for some near- and long-term future VMs). I suppose I can try out ESX 4.1 with Veeam on a VM and the USB drives childed directly off the host.

Thanks once again!
John

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Re: N00b help needed in selecting a backup destination

Post by Bunce » Aug 06, 2010 9:22 pm

SecondCity wrote:Thanks again, Trev. I was under the impression 4.1 was ESXi only...
You were close :D 4.1 will be the last version to support ESX, so while its not critical to migrate now, we need to start making plans for the future - such as hassling any of your 3rd party app providers to start transition their existing console agents to one of the available equivalents, if they haven't done so already.

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Re: N00b help needed in selecting a backup destination

Post by SecondCity » Aug 09, 2010 3:57 pm

I do apologize...I'm still relatively new to virtualization and need to figure out a plan of action, here. It appears that my best option is to have Veeam running on a Virtual Appliance. How, exactly, does that work? Do I need to provision a new Windows server, then install Veeam on it, or is it possible to run this without taking one of my available Windows licenses?

Also, would it be faster to use networked storage or USB devices directly attached to my ESX hosts (assuming I upgrade to 4.1, of course)? I looked at a relatively cheap storage option from Iomega that can act as either a LAN-attached disk or iSCSI attached. Which would be best? Obviously, adding LAN traffic is never optimal, but since backups run during offpeak hours, I'm more interested in the speed of the job on USB vs network.

Thanks once again, and please forgive my ignorance on these topics! As I noted before, it seems like there are many ways to implement Veeam properly - we're looking for the right one for us. Using the offhost server with USB targets is rather slow right now.

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Re: N00b help needed in selecting a backup destination

Post by SecondCity » Aug 09, 2010 4:15 pm

Sorry, I see now. I was confusing myself regarding some of the terminology. So the new plan would be to provision a new Windows VM and install Veeam on it. Then leverage Virtual Appliance mode for my backups (rather than the SAN-only I'm using now) and push toward *some* target.

I'd still like a little direction on which method to go with: USB, NAS, or iSCSI. If I had my druthers and a bottomless pit of money, I'd obviously just purchase more SAN space! Sadly, that's not the case, here.

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