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bobogs
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Using Veam for daily backups to be taken offsite

Post by bobogs » Mar 30, 2010 11:06 pm

We have a few ESX hosts with about 12 vm servers (including a DC vm, an Exchange vm, four SQL Server vms and several other file/web/app servers). We also have several physical Windows servers and some XP Pro client pcs that need some files backed up daily. Our vendor has set us up with Veeam (he manages it all, which is a good thing, because we don't really understand it :)). We've been using Backup Exec for years, but it's turning into a nightmare of failed/exception/missed jobs. We also use Red-Gate's SQL Backup to get our databases and transaction logs into a nicely compressed file backup, which Veeam and BE can grab during their backups...as the DBA, I'm just more comfortable knowing that we can restore the SQB file then restore the db...seems easier to me.

Given my lack of understanding how Veeam works, and how we'd like to ditch BE if possible, what are our options for backing up the vms in a way where we can take the backup results offsite every day? Our differential BE jobs go to a different 2TB eSATA drive every weeknight...one drive for each weekday night + two drives that rotate every other weekend for the full BE jobs...then we take the drive home the next day. These jobs NEVER succeed...never.

Is it a viable solution to do a FULL Veeam backup of all vms to our huge Buffalo drive array or to another SAN or location on the same SAN, then copy those full backup files to the weekend eSATA drive? Then, every night, Veeam will do its DIFF backup to the Buffalo/SAN, and those diff backup files can be copied to the day's eSATA drive? How would a restore work with the Veeam files in at least two different locations? How do block level backup and deduplication factor into our situation?

Our main thing here is that we'd like to take the backups offsite with us every night. We don't have a hardened server room.

Thanks for any help.

Gary

Frosty
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Re: Using Veam for daily backups to be taken offsite

Post by Frosty » Mar 31, 2010 3:32 am

I'm sure others will post how they handle it, so you'll get a variety of ideas. When I first got Veeam I started by just taking a VM Copy of all our VMware guest servers each night and saving this on our SAN. Now I've moved on a bit and am using VM Backup, but still saving the backups on the SAN. These all run between about 5pm and 10pm each night ... then at 11pm I have a batch job which uses Robocopy to mirror selected data off the SAN on to our portable USB HDDs. Its working very reliably and we're pretty happy with it. Last week I took one of the portable HDDs down to our DR site and did some test restores which worked perfectly.

bobogs
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Re: Using Veam for daily backups to be taken offsite

Post by bobogs » Mar 31, 2010 4:36 am

Thanks for the reply and the info. That sounds like a design that could work for us, but I have a few questions.

- With VM Backup (is that the Veeam product?) to the SAN, do you have to do a huge FULL backup first, then DIFFs the rest of the way? If so, do you ever refresh the FULL, like on the weekend?

- When you did your DR site test restores, what data did you have to have with you? I assume the FULL/baseline Veeam backup, which could be huge, plus the various DIFFs?

- For my SQL Backup SQB files, if those live on a vm's vmdk, can I restore just the SQB files fro the Veeam backup(s), or do I have to restore the entire vm first, then the SQB files will be available to grab?

- Is the "selected data" you copy to the external drives files from within vms, or entire vms (or both)?

Thanks!
Gary

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Re: Using Veam for daily backups to be taken offsite

Post by Vitaliy S. » Mar 31, 2010 8:24 am

Hello Gary,

You don't need to refresh your full backups because Veeam uses Synthetic way of backup, it differs from traditional methods. Please have a look a this article for more information - Veeam Synthetic Backup Explained

In order to test your restores you should have VBK file only, as it contains all your VMs with the current state. You don't neet the Veeam backup server to test restores, you may use Standalone restore utility. But you may also do a restore (File Level, VM Level, Image Level) with Veeam Backup console.

With Veeam you can do a file level restore from Multi-OS VMs, and there is no need to restore entire VM image to do that.

Also you may do some search on the fourms to see commonly used backup scenarios for more information, here is one of them: Offsite/disaster recovery options

Thank you!

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Re: Using Veam for daily backups to be taken offsite

Post by fredbloggs » Mar 31, 2010 8:41 pm

Just for consideration, as the links above will alude to, the latest backup is the large vbk file.

This means it's essentially a FULL backup everyday. Some advantages, some disadvantages.

I think the next version will have support for smaller differential files on the weekdays and then roll them up on a scheduled basis. Sometime Q3 this year I hope.

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Re: Using Veam for daily backups to be taken offsite

Post by Frosty » Mar 31, 2010 10:06 pm

What I do with my SQL Server is:
-- schedule all the usual SQL backups (full, transaction logs, etc) and store these on the SQL server itself; and then
-- use Veeam to backup the entire server

If there's a SQL problem, the backups on the server will usually be sufficient to restore anything necessary. If there's a "whole of server" problem, I have Veeam to recover the entire image.

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