Veeam Backup Server HP Apollo 4200

Availability for the Always-On Enterprise

Veeam Backup Server HP Apollo 4200

Veeam Logoby bg.ranken » Thu Dec 24, 2015 8:18 pm

Hi All,

We are currently looking into replacing our current Veeam server as well as all of our proxies (used offsite with Veeam backup copy) with servers loaded with direct attached storage. Being an HP shop, we were originally looking at DL380s with 12 4TB LFF drives in each. However it looks like HP has released this Apollo series this year that can hold up to 24 LFF drives in a 2U box.

Has anyone had a chance to get their hands on one of these yet and test them out with Veeam? If so I'd like to know your thoughts on the platform. I've always been more of a fan of using DAS instead of iSCSI or other NAS devices when it comes to pure archival data, but I've never had a server loaded with more than 12 drives and am not sure what other "gotchas" I should look out for.

Also for this many drives we're planning on doing two sets of RAID 6, so we'll get about 80TB of space. Most of these will be used for archival use through GFS so performance isn't a major factor. We will be layering on Windows 2012 deduplication on top of the archives though so I'm hoping we'll be able to fit a lot of data on these.

Does this sound like a good idea or are there better alternatives? Our current full backup size sits around 25TB so I'm hoping 2 of these boxes with the Microsoft deduplication will be enough for us to keep a years worth of monthly checkpoints through GFS with the backup copy.
bg.ranken
Enthusiast
 
Posts: 55
Liked: 10 times
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:13 pm
Full Name: Randall Kender

Veeam Backup Server HP Apollo 4200

Veeam Logoby poulpreben » Fri Dec 25, 2015 12:03 pm 1 person likes this post

Just before the holidays, we received the HP Apollo 4200 in the Veeam labs for some testing together with HP, so expect some official performance results in the near future.

As it is still too soon for us to conclude anything, the only gotcha is the missing FC HBA option. We just found a standard HP HBA on our shelves and installed it, but it's not officially supported as far as I understand. If you're not a FC shop, or if you don't want to use the server as backup proxy, I guess it is no problem. For us it was just quite critical to get the best throughput from our FibreChannel storage array.

This particular box has 22x 6TB and 2x SSD drives connected to the P84x controller and the SSD drives are used with the SmartCache feature. It means additional write-back caching on SSDs which seems to give a significant performance boost.

Windows deduplication... well, I know some of my colleagues have good experiences with it, but I never saw it working at scale. The biggest limitation is the 2 TB file limit, which even with v9 prohibits you from backing up any VMs larger than 2TB to those repositories. I am probably a bit biased having had to deal with numerous customers who never bothered reading the release notes or system requires for that feature.

Merry Christmas!

- Preben
poulpreben
Expert
 
Posts: 935
Liked: 398 times
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:16 am
Full Name: Preben Berg

Re: Veeam Backup Server HP Apollo 4200

Veeam Logoby bg.ranken » Mon Dec 28, 2015 5:21 pm

Awesome, thanks for the information, I'll be looking forward to the performance results.

That's very interesting regarding the FC HBA. I didn't even think about it not being an option this day and age and definitely something I will look out for. I guess it won't matter too much for our archival storage with Veeam backup copy, but we were also planning on replacing our actual Veeam server as well which means we'd definitely need FC.

Regarding Windows deduplication, the reason we're planning on using it is because it's going to be a near perfect solution with the release of Windows 2016 and Veeam 9. Combining the per VM backup file option in Veeam 9 with the improvements in the deduplication engine in 2016 I'm hoping it's going to do very well. I also agree with you in terms of scale, but take a look at this article for 2016 since it seems like much of the scaling problems are being fixed in the new version: http://blogs.technet.com/b/filecab/archive/2015/08/20/data-deduplication-in-windows-server-technical-preview-3.aspx
bg.ranken
Enthusiast
 
Posts: 55
Liked: 10 times
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:13 pm
Full Name: Randall Kender

Re: Veeam Backup Server HP Apollo 4200

Veeam Logoby bg.ranken » Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:53 pm

So paulpreben, happen to get anywhere on that testing yet? No rush or anything I'm more just curious.
bg.ranken
Enthusiast
 
Posts: 55
Liked: 10 times
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:13 pm
Full Name: Randall Kender

Re: Veeam Backup Server HP Apollo 4200

Veeam Logoby poulpreben » Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:25 pm

Good timing of you to ask this question. The draft whitepaper was in my inbox this morning. Stay tuned :)
poulpreben
Expert
 
Posts: 935
Liked: 398 times
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:16 am
Full Name: Preben Berg

Re: Veeam Backup Server HP Apollo 4200

Veeam Logoby Andreas Neufert » Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:39 pm

This is such a good device... Why you want to slow down it and make Instant VM recovery nearly unusable with Windows Dedup.
If you do so I suggest to create 2 Repositories on it (different folder) 1 with actual restore points... no dedup... the one for Long Term Backup Archive (GFS) with enabled dedup.

There are several limitations Anton Gostev (VP Product Managent) discuss at the moment with the MS win 2016 team. He shared this information in the Forum Digest.
Andreas Neufert
Veeam Software
 
Posts: 2198
Liked: 357 times
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 8:36 am
Location: Germany
Full Name: @AndyandtheVMs Veeam PM

Re: Veeam Backup Server HP Apollo 4200

Veeam Logoby dellock6 » Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:43 pm

And to add it to Andreas notes, create two volumes using two different raid groups and even different raid controllers, like basically having two arrays in the same box. Otherwise dedupe activities will still impact the performance of the non deduped volume.
Luca Dell'Oca
EMEA Cloud Architect @ Veeam Software

@dellock6
http://www.virtualtothecore.com
vExpert 2011-2012-2013-2014-2015-2016
Veeam VMCE #1
dellock6
Veeam Software
 
Posts: 5047
Liked: 1330 times
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:39 pm
Location: Varese, Italy
Full Name: Luca Dell'Oca

Re: Veeam Backup Server HP Apollo 4200

Veeam Logoby bg.ranken » Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:36 pm

Oh, I had no intention of deduplicating the actual backup files. As dellock6 said my plan would have been to create different volumes with different RAID groups and only dedup the backup copy files (instant recovery would be unaffected). Though according to Microsoft there's only a 3% performance loss for opening files that are deduplicated so technically we could do instant recovery from the backup copy files, but ideally we would just have them for archival purposes and only do file level restores from them. And I've been reading the Gostev digests and he's been mentioning all the improvements for Windows 2016. Just last week he mentioned that it's possible the 1TB recommended limit (the only real problem with using it with Veeam) may not even apply to read-only backup files and I've been hoping he'll hear from the team at Microsoft and confirm that.

Though plans have changed and I am now thinking about getting 3 of these with 80TB each. One would be completely flat for the actual backup jobs. Then the other two would be put in our DR site and have Veeam backup copy jobs going to it, and those would have deduplication turned on. They would be strictly for archiving at that point, with monthly checkpoints going back two or three years.

But based on the pricing I've gotten that 240TB with the Apollo is still cheaper than many of these deduplication appliances even assuming you get a 10-20x deduplication ratio and they can sell you two 10-20TB appliances (one for onsite and one for DR). Layer on top the post-deduplication with Microsoft to get more than 240TB for archival backup copy files and the better performance (from having so many drives) I just see this as a win-win. But still it's all speculation on my part which is why I've been waiting for poulpreben's testing.
bg.ranken
Enthusiast
 
Posts: 55
Liked: 10 times
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:13 pm
Full Name: Randall Kender

Re: Veeam Backup Server HP Apollo 4200

Veeam Logoby pirx » Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:14 am

Anyone using a Apollo 4510? This device looks interesting with its 68 drives. Not sure how a configuration should look like regarding disk type/size number/type of RAID controllers.
pirx
Enthusiast
 
Posts: 69
Liked: 7 times
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 6:24 pm

Re: Veeam Backup Server HP Apollo 4200

Veeam Logoby Andreas Neufert » Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:32 am

pirx wrote:Anyone using a Apollo 4510? This device looks interesting with its 68 drives. Not sure how a configuration should look like regarding disk type/size number/type of RAID controllers.

Hi Pirx,

thanks for the request.
Apollo Systems are strait forward standard systems with typical standard raid controller.
So if you use big disks, Raid rebuild times are very high. To protect your backup data you should use Raid6 or Raid60. As Veeam do a lot of Random Write in many cases Raid 6/60 isn´t that optimal.
My recommendation for huge disks (above 1TB) or Nearline (7200rpm) is:
- Create a Raid60 with 4+2 or 5+2 (to address random write penalty at Raid 6)
- Use Apollo recommendations for Spare disks. 1 for each 20 at min.
- Latest Raid Controller Firmware usage
- Latest Raid Controller Firmware default block size settings are OK for Veeam. Maybe set it one value higher.
- Add at least 2 SSDs in Raid 1 and create a Smart Cache (use latest Raid controller configuration boot media to enable this).
- User forward incremental Veeam backup modes to process more data sequentially.
- Per VM backup chains can help to increase speed with that system
- Don´t use any Raid controller based dedup or compression (don´t know if any raid controllers are available for that system that support this... just in case).

A general recommendation for Raid Controller selection:
- use battery buffered controllers
- choose the best one that is available for the systems.
- More raid controllers help in case of performance.
Andreas Neufert
Veeam Software
 
Posts: 2198
Liked: 357 times
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 8:36 am
Location: Germany
Full Name: @AndyandtheVMs Veeam PM

Re: Veeam Backup Server HP Apollo 4200

Veeam Logoby poulpreben » Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:41 am

Hi pirx,

Maybe it is just the appliance lent to us by HP, but we realized that all backplanes are SATA based - not SAS. Personally, I would be slightly concerned to trust the ATA with my corporate data simply due to the lack of additional verification mechanisms in the data channel. There is a great write up on the differences between SAS and SATA here: http://www.enterprisestorageforum.com/s ... ata-1.html

Again, it is possible that you can get a SAS variant, but the one we had in for testing was not.

- Preben
poulpreben
Expert
 
Posts: 935
Liked: 398 times
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:16 am
Full Name: Preben Berg

Re: Veeam Backup Server HP Apollo 4200

Veeam Logoby Andreas Neufert » Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:56 am

Correct there are several options including SAS Backplanes.
So best practice is to use SAS backplanes and Nearline SAS disks or faster SAS disks.
Andreas Neufert
Veeam Software
 
Posts: 2198
Liked: 357 times
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 8:36 am
Location: Germany
Full Name: @AndyandtheVMs Veeam PM

Re: Veeam Backup Server HP Apollo 4200

Veeam Logoby pirx » Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:23 am

Andreas Neufert wrote:- User forward incremental Veeam backup modes to process more data sequentially.


So you would not recommend to use this system for reverse inc backups? I'm not fully up to data with Veeam but in the past reverse inc was the recommendation in most cases (with higher IO requirements on the target side).
pirx
Enthusiast
 
Posts: 69
Liked: 7 times
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 6:24 pm

Re: Veeam Backup Server HP Apollo 4200

Veeam Logoby Andreas Neufert » Mon Feb 15, 2016 11:56 am

Reverse Incremental is in the product since v1 and is a good recommendation.
Depending on the amount of VMs you want to backup to that apollo system and the nature of the Apollo Raid Controllers forward incremental chains work a bit more performant on this system as more sequential processing happens on storage side.
In most cases Reverse Incremental is as well a good choice for Apollo systems. Just test and compare it.
Andreas Neufert
Veeam Software
 
Posts: 2198
Liked: 357 times
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 8:36 am
Location: Germany
Full Name: @AndyandtheVMs Veeam PM

Re: Veeam Backup Server HP Apollo 4200

Veeam Logoby NightBird » Mon Feb 15, 2016 12:56 pm

poulpreben wrote:Hi pirx,

Maybe it is just the appliance lent to us by HP, but we realized that all backplanes are SATA based - not SAS. Personally, I would be slightly concerned to trust the ATA with my corporate data simply due to the lack of additional verification mechanisms in the data channel. There is a great write up on the differences between SAS and SATA here: http://www.enterprisestorageforum.com/s ... ata-1.html

Again, it is possible that you can get a SAS variant, but the one we had in for testing was not.

- Preben


SATA backplane with P840ar SAS controller ? are you sure ?
The datasheet do not mention it...
NightBird
Service Provider
 
Posts: 148
Liked: 20 times
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:33 am
Location: Strasbourg, FRANCE

Next

Return to Veeam Backup & Replication



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 22 guests