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myRCvmforum
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Using a Dedicated Backup Network?

Post by myRCvmforum »

Hi,

An old school backup sysadmin here trying to understand how to optimize backups using Veeam.

Back in the days, physical servers used to have 2 NICs, a production one and a backup (as in for nightly data backups to tape). It ensured that when data is being backed up, it doesn't affect network access to the server because that traffic went thru the production network.

In the current environment I find myself in, we have 8 physical rack servers (with multiple NICs) running ESXi, on top of which are several VMs (a total of 40 VMs). The Veeam BaR itself is a VM sitting in one of those physical servers. No proxy (so, per my understanding, it is using the production network to do the backup). The VMs themselves are stored on a NetApp storage device that mounts a share as NFS on the storage network (say 192.168.2.0/24). The ESXi is configured to have 2 NICs of the physical host to be combined to act as the production network (say 192.168.1.0/24) and the other 2 as storage network (again, going to 192.168.2.0/24). All are 1Gbps but I can buy 10Gbps modules if needed.

My question is, is it worth it to configure 2 new NICs (already present; don't need to buy) to add a separate 1Gbps backup network (say 192.168.3.0/24). Configure a separate physical server proxy that has 2 NICs (1 going to the storage network 192.168.2.0/24 and the other to the backup network 192.168.3.0/24)? From what I've read, Direct NFS transport mode would be ideal for us.

Does this make sense? Am I overthinking it (or worse, am I just stuck in the old school mindset of separate prod and BaR networks)? Should I just buy the 10Gbps NIC and move the production network there and run the backups on that?

HannesK
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Re: Using a Dedicated Backup Network?

Post by HannesK » 1 person likes this post

Hello,
while using preferred networks is possible, I would avoid that due to the complexity of that setup.

Most customers have 20-50 VMs per ESXi host... as you have 8 of them, I would probably make one of these machines a standalone VBR server with latest Windows 2019 and REFS. If the Netapp has 10Gbit/s interfaces, then I would also add 10G NIC to that backup server.

Yes, direct NFS or backup from storage snapshots is the recommended way of doing the backup (and avoid the 1Gbit/s links). With NBD backup mode, 1Gbit/s links will always be slow (well, it depends on the amount of data whether it's "fast enough")

The backup proxy (per default the backup server) must have a connection to NFS network to make it work then.

Best regards,
Hannes

myRCvmforum
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Re: Using a Dedicated Backup Network?

Post by myRCvmforum »

@HannesK,

Thank you for the reply. I found a spare physical server with a couple of 1G ports. I am planning to use this as a backup proxy with Windows 2019 and and an iSCSI target on a Synology NAS formatted as ReFS.

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