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shannonadams68
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Need advice on online backup service for VMs

Post by shannonadams68 »

I have four remote sites running two vSphere Essentials 4 servers each. Each site uses Veeam Backup & Replication software to both replicate the VMs back and forth on a daily basis. Also, I backup each VM to a local Windows disk nightly. Each site has combination of about 80-100 GB of VMs each. So, I have about 400 GB of VM's to backup. The problem is we have no tape backup system in place at any of these sites. Therefore, a natural disaster would wipe us out since we have no offsite backups.

Two options I am considering are installing a tape drive at each site or going with an online backup solution. I would like to avoid having to install tape drives at these remote sites due to the overhead and work in the actual installation, swapping tapes, staying tapes offsite, etc. I have not used an online storage service, but it sounds intriguing. A few concerns with that are the costs associated with storing up to 400 GB online and also the amount of time it will take to backup over the Internet. Some of these sites have slow upload speeds.

I would appreciate any guidance/thoughts on this.

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Re: Need advice on online backup service for VMs

Post by Gostev »

Did you also consider backing up remote sites data into your HQ location?

shannonadams68
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Re: Need advice on online backup service for VMs

Post by shannonadams68 »

I did, but the internal HQ site is using 1.5 Mbps, so it would take far too long to backup over the WAN. Our Internet connections are less critical to run our business and typically faster at each site. I think an online service that offers some sort of de-dup might work well as long as storing up to 400 GB would not cost an arm and a leg.

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Re: Need advice on online backup service for VMs

Post by adamg »

Shannon--

Did you ever find any solution for this? I'm in the same situation and have been searching for an online solution as a target to store Veeam-based backups. My research so far has led me to vendors such as Jungle Disk (a subsidiary of rackspace... www.jungledisk.com) but am not certain of how I could use that as a direct target for off-site since the backup service requires an application for it to work. I've even thought about a site-to-site tunnel to an Amazon Cloud-based server (utilizing their Virtual Private Cloud technology) but think the cost may be too high for that. One of our clients would have roughly 300-400 GB of data to store as well.

I've also been exploring the option of installing a secondary ESXi host server at a local co-located data center, which gives the benefit of being able to retrieve data quickly but at the same time increases management overhead of that server.

Have you come up with anything?

Thanks--
Adam

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Re: Need advice on online backup service for VMs

Post by bc07 »

When you do the online backups like Amazon S3/Jungledisk or others keep in mind that restoring or requesting the data back will take a while (days?).
You could test/ find out how much changes you have daily or over the week. Use Veeam to do a full back and then some incrementals, calculate then if you could transfer the changes daily or over the weekend to HQ where you have tape. The full backup you can ship on encrypted USB drive.

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Re: Need advice on online backup service for VMs

Post by msorn »

My thought on this - although I haven't found any free trial offer that would let me test it - is that cloud storage would be suitable if it supports rsync, and if rsync is smart enough to transfer just something close to the actual changed data in a .vbk (I see other forum posts suggesting that it is). A script on your Veeam server could copy the newest .vbk to a second location, keeping the same filename, and you would use rsync to keep this folder in sync with the cloud.

Again, I am not 100% sure that this would actually work... but it seems to be the only way to work around the limitations of cloud storage right now, and if it were me, I would not use this solution to replace tapes; it only gives you a second copy of your latest full backup.

In general my opinion is that when the provider charges for transfers then cloud storage is too expensive, and when they don't, it is too slow.

I haven't spent much time looking into the Veeam + CloudArray option, but when I see "45Mbps network pipe" in the case study I read "not cheap."

I can say that Carbonite Home is entirely unsuitable for this purpose. The "unlimited data" feature sounds tempting, but it will not automatically add files over 4GB to the upload queue. Even if you're willing to manually add them every time it is necessary (at least as often as every full or synthetic full, probably), you will probably not manage to upload more than a few GB per day . (While testing this, I had full backups of a few servers weighing in at about 40GB... so I needed to upload 40GB/week to ensure that I had the latest synthetic full in the cloud, but it would have taken almost two weeks just to upload one file).

If I am mistaken on any of this, I am very eager to be proven wrong. :)

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Re: Need advice on online backup service for VMs

Post by larry »

Why dont you backup site c to d and so on, skipping the main office with low bandwidth. Just place a Veeam server in thoses sites and let them backup. I do 1tb over 100 meg line. each server amount of change blocks will vary but it is an easy test for you.

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Re: Need advice on online backup service for VMs

Post by Gostev »

I think those of you looking to backup VMs into public cloud should really be looking at "smaller" service providers who are more flexible and would be willing to setup a "smart target" for your backup (tiny Linux box). This would allow for forever-incremental backup with full backup processing done on the target side.

Any cloud VMware backup solution without this is dead by definition. You simply cannot do periodic fulls to cloud with image-level VMware backup, period. Amount of data is just too large, and required bandwidth will not be available to accommodate the requirements for another 10 years and some major telecom revolution. I mean, of course you can get required bandwidth even today, it is just that the cost will be totally unreasonable.

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Re: Need advice on online backup service for VMs

Post by Gostev »

Another tip on selecting cloud backup provider - always be looking out for restore services that they are providing. As already mentioned above, if your provider does not provide near-instant shipping of your data on USB hard drive upon demand, it is useless. Better yet, if they provide an option of restoring your VMs and running them for you in their infrastructure temporarily (this might come really handy in case of large-scale disaster).

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Re: Need advice on online backup service for VMs

Post by nguyent »

I am thinking about back up to QNAP NAS 'Using Veeam" and then using QNAP firmware 3.4 (including •Back up to Cloud Storage (Amazon S3 & ElephantDrive). Therefore I have local and remote copy.
http://www.qnap.com/pro_application.asp?ap_id=228

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Re: Need advice on online backup service for VMs

Post by bc07 »

Is the data at rest encrypted? Standard S3 has no data at rest encryption and only encryption during transfer.

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Re: Need advice on online backup service for VMs

Post by Yuki »

We are using QNAPs in CIFS/SMB mode with Veeam and ESXi, but we are off-siting with portable drives, not via internet. Have not tried the iSCSI yet. Works OK for the most part, but wish it was faster

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Re: Need advice on online backup service for VMs

Post by Bunce »

I don't understand the big push to use a 3rd part provider.. Surely many of you run a multi-site VPN / MPLS with sites that are far enough apart to satisfy Natural Disaster proximity requirments.

Why not use your existing sites as the DR target / and vice-versa? The links already exist, you have full control over both sites, you probably already have likley unused bandwidth after hours or alternatively can be topped up with additional bandwidth..

Why invest in additional infrastructure where most of it already exists?

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Re: Need advice on online backup service for VMs

Post by Yuki »

We are servicing two dozen small and medium size businesses - only 3 have multiple locations. So I can see why it is important for many.

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Re: Need advice on online backup service for VMs

Post by Bunce »

Sure - where no alternatives exist it makes sense.

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