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jlehtinen
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Veeam - Install Questions, Best Practice?

Post by jlehtinen » Sep 29, 2010 4:17 pm

Hiya,

I've got a setup with two ESX hosts. One is on-site, the other is off-site for DR. The on-site ESX host will run aprox. 5 Windows Server 2003 VM's. The off-site will run 1-2 Windows Server 2003 VM's. The on-site host contains my vCenter server with a SQL Express 2005 installation.

My current plan is to install Veeam on the off-site ESX host.

My questions are:

1.) Where is the best place to host the SQL databases for Veeam? Should I create the database on the on-site vCenter server, so that the SQL database is backed up when Veeam backs up the vCenter server? Or should I install a separate SQL Express 2005 instance on the Veeam VM that is off-site?

2.) SQL Express 2005 has a 4gb size limit for the databases. Will this be an issue? Given we have <10 Virtual Machines in total, and probably about 1 terabyte of total storage used, how fast will Veeam reach the 4gb database size limit?

Vitaliy S.
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Re: Veeam - Install Questions, Best Practice?

Post by Vitaliy S. » Sep 29, 2010 9:16 pm

Hello John,

1. The best practice is to use a remote SQL server to store the Veeam database. Though I wouldn't recommend you keeping Veeam configuration database on the SQL Server used to store vCenter Server's database. I would rather use either remote SQL Server on the off-site or SQL Express which is shipped together with Veeam Backup and Replication setup.

2. SQL Express 2005 4GB database limitation is more than enough to use with any infrastructure. SQL Veeam database contains only configuration tables for your backup jobs and not the actual backup files, so it won't grow large.

Thank you!

jlehtinen
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Re: Veeam - Install Questions, Best Practice?

Post by jlehtinen » Sep 30, 2010 4:31 pm

Thanks for the reply!

I emailed support@veeam.com about this as well, and they told me to do the following:

- Place the Veeam VM on the on-site ESX host because compression is done on the B/R host, this will reduce data transmission across the WAN
- Place the SQL DB local to the Veeam VM (not remote), then use traditional backup means to back up the SQL DB

What is the reason you think the remote SQL DB would be the better practice?

One other question - what is the best Operating System to install Veeam in? Will Veeam work in a Windows XP Pro VM?

Vitaliy S.
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Re: Veeam - Install Questions, Best Practice?

Post by Vitaliy S. » Sep 30, 2010 6:06 pm

Our support team is correct, please have a look at some Pros and Cons related to installing VBR on-site or off-site:
http://www.veeam.com/forums/viewtopic.p ... 8738#p8738

As regards to why you should consider using remote SQL server, this recommendation was proposed due to DR reasons, for more infromation please check out the topic below:
http://www.veeam.com/forums/viewtopic.p ... eam+Server

Though Veeam Backup and Replication is supported with WinXP installations, I would definitely recommend sticking to Windows server platform:
http://www.veeam.com/forums/viewtopic.p ... all#p15702

Hope it helps!

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Re: Veeam - Install Questions, Best Practice?

Post by jlehtinen » Sep 30, 2010 7:00 pm

Vitaliy, Thanks for the fast reply like always.

I read through the documentation you provided. Here is my thoughts on how I will deploy our setup. If you (or anyone else) has any thoughts, please let me know!

1.) Move the off-site ESX host to our on-site location (temporarily). This is so I can capture the full, initial Veeam backups of the VM's while both hosts share a gigabit LAN network.
2.) Install Veeam B/R in a dedicated Windows Svr 2003 VM on the OFF-SITE ESX host.
3.) Install SQL Express on Veeam VM.
4.) Create a cloned .vmdk of the Veeam B/R VM at this point, copy this .vmdk to both on-site/off-site storage.
5.) Set up traditional backup methods for the SQL DB on Veeam VM.
6.) Configure Veeam and take first backups of VMs.
7.) Return off-site ESX host to off-site location.

If my thinking is correct, this should work well. Thoughts:

- Completing the first backup on local gigabit LAN should speed it up considerably.
- After our off-site ESX box to the off-site location, I shouldn't have excessive WAN traffic, as Veeam is supposed to only pass changed blocks after the first full backup has completed.
- Capturing the .vmdk of the Veeam VM means in case of a crash of the off-site server I only have to redeploy that VM and then restore SQL DB.

Vitaliy S.
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Re: Veeam - Install Questions, Best Practice?

Post by Vitaliy S. » Sep 30, 2010 7:24 pm

Yes, your approach makes sense, though If I were you I wouldn't clone Veeam B/R vmdk file at all, as re-installing the product with pointing it to the old SQL database usually takes a couple of minutes.

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