Using rotated drives option in a two site environment

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Using rotated drives option in a two site environment

Veeam Logoby rmiller » Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:21 pm

Hi -

I have a scenario where there is a primary site that contains the Veeam backup server, a NAS device that is Veeam backup storage, and a tape library. Straight forward set up here - back up to the NAS share (the repository would point to \\primaryNAS\backup), where it is copied to tape, and retained for about a month on disk.

There is also a secondary site. The two sites are connected by a WAN link, but we don't want to use the WAN for backing up the remote site - the bandwidth is quite limited. So, the thought is to put a Veeam proxy in the remote site, and another NAS device for it to back up to (the repository would point to \\secondaryNAS\backup). The complication is that we want to back up the secondary site data to tape, but the only tape library is in the primary site.

One idea being explored is to swap the NAS devices between sites once/month. Take \\primaryNAS, drive it over the the secondary site, and swap it with \\secondaryNAS. Then, data on \\secondaryNAS could be copied to tape at the primary site, where the tape library is, and the primary site could back up to \\secondaryNAS for a month, and the secondary site could back up to \\primaryNAS for a month, before the swap would occur again.

Sounds easy - but I had a hunch there would be some complications, so I ran some tests, and came across the following roadblocks:

1) First thought was to simply alter the repository for the backup jobs after the swap, so that the primary site backup jobs use \\secondaryNAS, and the secondary site backup jobs use \\primaryNAS. The issue was that when changing the backup job repository, the backup job wants to see an existing chain of backups on the new repository disk. So, that option seems to be out, because the NAS unit swapped in will not have the full backup chain (if any at all) available on the new location. This is with the rotated drives option enabled on both repositories.

2) The second thought was to change where the repository points to. So, alter what would be a repository called 'Primary_repository', that originally pointed to \\primaryNAS\backup, and then point it to \\secondaryNAS\backup after the swap. The problem here was that once I configured the share target on the repository, I couldn't change it. So that was out.

3) Finally, what I did was swap the disk backing \\primaryNAS\backup, and switch it with the disk being used by \\secondaryNAS\backup. This worked - sort of. The system noticed that it was a rotated drive, and happily chugged along with no existing chain of backups. However, in the real-life scenario - I believe we would be unable to actually swap the backing disk, because \\primaryNAS\backup is inherently tied to its backing disk, as it is a completely whole NAS appliance. It's not a USB drive, or anything like that where the share name can be separated from the backing disk.
Also, while I could swap the backing disk in my test - I found that once I did, I could no longer access the data on the disk. In other words - \\primaryNAS\backup had the disk with data from the secondary site on it - but I couldn't access it to initiate a tape copy job.

So my questions here are:
1) Am I missing anything obvious?
2) The docs for the rotated drive feature do make it seem on first thought that that feature would be of use here, but my testing showed that it only works when you can swap the backing disk of the share - the share name itself has to remain the same. Is this in fact true? Or am I missing some aspect feature of the rotated drives option?
3) Is there a potential solution for solving the problem of having two sites and one tape library, but both sites have data to go to tape, leveraging the idea of swapping the NAS appliances between sites every so often?

Thanks for any help that can be provided!
rmiller
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Re: Using rotated drives option in a two site environment

Veeam Logoby foggy » Tue May 02, 2017 3:06 pm

Hi Ryan, for the first option you've tried, you could remove backups from configuration (using the corresponding command on the backup's shortcut menu) to repoint the job to another repository without copying files. Further repository rescan would allow you to copy files to tape, I believe.

The rotated drives scenario indeed implies the case where media is changed but the repository is still pointing to the same path, so this expectedly didn't work in your case.
foggy
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Re: Using rotated drives option in a two site environment

Veeam Logoby rmiller » Tue May 02, 2017 3:14 pm

Hmm.. I'll check into the option of removing backups from configuration. Thanks!
rmiller
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