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csinetops
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NetApp snap integration review?

Post by csinetops » Sep 11, 2015 1:43 pm

Good Morning-

We are going through a backup infrastructure rework. I am toying with the idea of going from virtual appliance mode to Netapp integrated mode and using Netapp snapshots to take the load of our VMware infrastructure. Just looking for some reviews from users that use the Netapp Snapshot integration.

My backups would look something like this:

1) Snaps are taken on the production Netapp and kept for something like 7 days. Then we would do ONE of the following:
a) Snaps are snapmirrored via the Veeam job to a secondary Netapp we have on site with a retention of 30+ days. We would also copy the daily's off site VIA tape. This would be a new LTO6 library we would put in place.
b) Snaps would be Snapvaulted VIA Veeam from production Netapp to the Secondary Netapp which would sit behind a virtual Netapp AltaVault appliance and replicated to a cloud provider.
I) one thing I am not 100% about this model is long term retention. We are a medical device company and need to retain data for around 7 years.

Any other recommendations on this plan? From speaking with Netapp and Veeam I haven't heard of any Snap integration limitations or downfalls but please speak up if you know of any. I would eventually like to get sure backup going etc and don't want to tray from my current method if functionality is impacted. One of my main struggles now is getting the Veeam backups off site. Currently I am only copying the month end backups to external hard drives once a month ( 8+TB) and storing them off site. This is labor intensive and not ideal.

PTide
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Re: NetApp snap integration review?

Post by PTide » Sep 11, 2015 2:19 pm

Hi,

Why don't you want to use storage snapshots alongside with VMware snapshots? All VMware snapshot are deleted once the storage snapshot is taken, so backups are produced out of VMware snapshot inside storage snapshot - that does not add any load on your VMware infrastructure at all.

Also please keep in mind, that snapshot are not supposed to be kept for long - they are just useful tool for making backups without interrupting business processes.

Thank you.

csinetops
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Re: NetApp snap integration review?

Post by csinetops » Sep 11, 2015 2:28 pm

Sorry, I think there is some confusion based off my post. I would be using Veeam initiated Netapp storage snapshots like you describe. Based off the documentation it seems like Veeam just kicks off a Storage snap, at the same time it kicks off a VMware snap to quince the VM's in that job. It then combines that with the Netapp snap in some way to create a consistent snapshot you can use Veeam to restore from or use the Exchange, SQL utilities with etc correct?

Are you saying that the Netapp integrated Veeam snaps aren't meant for long term retention?

PTide
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Re: NetApp snap integration review?

Post by PTide » Sep 11, 2015 5:00 pm

Based off the documentation it seems like Veeam just kicks off a Storage snap, at the same time it kicks off a VMware snap to quince the VM's in that job.
First Veeam creates a VMware snapshot with all app-aware magic involved in order to make applications to be backed up properly. Once done it kicks off a storage snapshot. The resulting storage snapshot contains all VMware snapshots inside, so there is no need to keep growing deltas anymore. After that your VMware structure keeps working like nothing has happened, while Veeam tears VMware snapshots out of storage snapshot.
Are you saying that the Netapp integrated Veeam snaps aren't meant for long term retention?
I mean that snapshots are not backups. Even if you copy them somewhere from your storage, you cannot perform a Full restore from storage snapshot - just Instant VM Recovery. Anyway, there is no point to keep a snap for 7 days on storage - it would be more optimal to make a backup of it and delete the snap. In addition to all said - if you need 7 years retention then backup copy job with GFS is what you need, but it does not work with storage snapshot - only with backup chains, so it would be optimal to use snapshot for backup creation.

Thank you.

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Re: NetApp snap integration review?

Post by csinetops » Sep 11, 2015 6:07 pm

Thanks, the process makes sense. what I'm not clear on is the "snapshots are not backups" comment as well as not being able to fully recover a VM. Everything I can find in the Veeam documentation says you don't lose out on anything compared to using the appliance mode.

Code: Select all

With Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots, you can take advantage of the low overhead that periodic SAN snapshots offer for low recovery point objectives (RPOs), and let Veeam Backup & Replication™ automate the whole recovery process for you, bringing you low recovery time objectives (RTOs) as well. You can:
◾Recover guest OS files (for Windows, Linux, Novell , etc.), application items or an entire VM from a storage snapshot in two minutes or less
◾Restore directly from storage snapshots, eliminating the need for staging and intermediate restores
◾Reduce the time needed to mount snapshots 10 times or more compared to manual processes, lowering your RTOs while avoiding human errors that can occur during critical recovery steps such as mounting snapshots
http://www.veeam.com/netapp-snapshot-sn ... ation.html

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How it works

Veeam Backup & Replication works with HP and NetApp storage products to create backups and replicas from storage snapshots in the following way. The backup/replica job:
1.Analyzes which VMs in the job have disks on supported storage.
2.Triggers a vSphere snapshot for all VMs located on the same storage volume. (As a part of a vSphere snapshot, Veeam’s application-aware processing of each VM is performed normally.)
3.Triggers a snapshot of said storage volume once all VM snapshots have been created.
4.Retrieves the CBT information for VM snapshots created on step 2.
5.Immediately triggers the removal of the vSphere snapshots on the production VMs.
6.Mounts the storage snapshot to one of the backup proxies connected into the storage fabric.
7.Reads new and changed virtual disk data blocks directly from the storage snapshot and transports them to the backup repository or replica VM.
8.Triggers the removal storage snapshot once all VMs have been backed up.

As the result, VMs run off snapshots for the shortest possible time, while jobs obtain data from VM snapshot files preserved in the storage snapshot. As the result, VM snapshots do not get a chance to grow large and can be committed very quickly without overloading production storage with extended merge procedure, as is the case with classic techniques for backing up from VM snapshots.
The only difference here is I want to skip copying the data to a Veeam proxy ( we are 100% virtual) and just copy the snap to a secondary NetApp via Snapmirror or Snapvault. Or, is this not possible?

Thanks again for all the input .

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Re: NetApp snap integration review?

Post by Gostev » Sep 11, 2015 7:56 pm

Snapshots on primary storage are not backups, because they are lost along with the storage.

Snapshots on secondary storage (SnapMirror/SnapVault) are not backups, because secondary storage is not read-only (remains in sync with primary storage). The synchronization process transfer over and stores "bad" data just as well as it does "good" data.
csinetops wrote:The only difference here is I want to skip copying the data to a Veeam proxy ( we are 100% virtual) and just copy the snap to a secondary NetApp via Snapmirror or Snapvault. Or, is this not possible.
It is certainly possible. To do that, just select "NetApp Snapshot" repository when creating a backup job, and specify the required secondary destination (SnapMirror or SnapVault). See here > http://helpcenter.veeam.com/backup/80/v ... shots.html

But again, keep in mind that you will still want to have true, read-only backup stored somewhere outside of this single fault domain of synchronized storage devices (this is the "2" part in 3-2-1 rule of backup).

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Re: NetApp snap integration review?

Post by dellock6 » Sep 12, 2015 3:07 am

PTide wrote:I mean that snapshots are not backups. Even if you copy them somewhere from your storage, you cannot perform a Full restore from storage snapshot - just Instant VM Recovery.
Just a small addition if someone reads this in the future or google gives this out as a result: Pavel is referring to a general array vendor. In case a supported vendor is involved, Veeam Explorer For Storage Snapshots can do "any" kind of restore from a storage snapshot, not just instant vm recovery.
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dellock6
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Re: NetApp snap integration review?

Post by dellock6 » Sep 14, 2015 3:13 pm

Thanks foggy, he just made me note that my answer can be mis-interpreted, funny enough as the reason for it was exactly to explain it better... :D

Anyway, the asnwer was this: with any storage vendor you can use snapshots and depending on the vendor involved, replicate them into a secondary array, without Veeam involved. But usually on those solutions, the only way to restore data is to clone the entire snapshot into a new volume, register the new lun, scan the VMs, and from here power on the VMs (and read for example their file system if you just need to restore a single file).
With VESS and supported storage arrays, Veeam can do any kind of restore from these same snapshots automatically.

hope now is more clear.

Luca
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