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ajped
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Backup Big Virtual Machines

Post by ajped »

Hello,
We have a big size virtual machine (>32 TB) which has several 4 TB volumes. All those volumes except the last one have historical information, I mean, the information in these volumes is static and it doesn't change. I would like to backup only once this volumes and to have this backup in two differents locations (backup repository and tape).

I want to create different backup tasks for this historical volumes but I wonder what is the best approach.
I mean, should I take Virtual Machine disk backup and create a different backup task for each virtual disk or should I install the windows agent and take the backups using the agent?
Besides, the last disk has dynamic information and I would like to take a full backup from this volume and incrementals backup daily. What is the best approach in this case?.

In our former backup solution, we installed an agent in the virtual machine and from the central backup server we selected the information that we want to backup. But now with Veeam B&R, I see is all oriented to Virtual Machines Backup.

I´ve heard that the Windows or Linux Agent are for Physical Servers but I don't know if in case of big virtual machines it is better to use VMWare Backup or use the Windows or Linux Agent too.

Thank you.

soncscy
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Re: Backup Big Virtual Machines

Post by soncscy » 2 people like this post

For my money, I'd do it this way, but I don't quite get your needs fully.

1. Run a VM backup on it and back that full up to tape -- this will give you the volumes on tape and also on disk.
2. (Assuming you're on v10) enable GFS backup for the primary backup and just keep that full backup for your desired period, or if not v10, export the full backup and make it never expire.
3. After the initial full backup, edit the job and exclude the disks you don't need.

If for some reason you have one huge disk partitioned into a bunch of volumes, then as far as I know, you will need to use Veeam Agent.

But I think just take a full backup once and get it to tape -- you can decide what to do with the disk backup from that point, and after that, just exclude the disks you don't need.

PetrM
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Re: Backup Big Virtual Machines

Post by PetrM » 1 person likes this post

Hi Antonio,

1. You can manage Veeam Agents from your central Veeam B&R server and create jobs per volume (but volumes can not be processed in parallel by different jobs)
For example, you may create 2 different jobs: one job for the static volumes to process them simultaneously and another job for the dynamic volume.

2. The next step is to schedule backup to tape jobs


VM backup might be a way to go as well, you will need to exclude disks at the level of backup job settings.

The method proposed by Soncscy seems to be elegant and simple and disks can be processed in parallel during the first run of backup job.
But I would opt for jobs per volume (or group of volumes) because it gives more flexibility and you can apply different settings for jobs or change settings if you will decide to backup all volumes on the regular basis in future. By the way, volume restore option will be available if you decide to use agent management backup, might be also important for your case.

Thanks!

ajped
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Re: Backup Big Virtual Machines

Post by ajped » 1 person likes this post

Hello again,
Thank you for your answers. I'm testing backups jobs with the Windows Agent and with the VM backup.
Although I think backup agent suits me better in this case, I have seen that it has several disadvantages (including security ones):
1. I have to open ports between the Veeam Backup Server and the Windows Server Backup Client.
2. I have to create an account with rights to access to the Windows Server Backup Client.
3. The guest VM has a high CPU usage while the task is running.
4. If the agent is managed by the backup server I need to use an instance license.
5. If the agent is managed by the client I have to create the backup jobs in the client and I need to define an account with access to the backup repository. So, If the client it would get compromised, the backup repository would get compromised to.

Thank you!!!

PetrM
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Re: Backup Big Virtual Machines

Post by PetrM »

Hi Antonio,

Thanks for the feedback!

I think you could select a "soft" compression algorithm to achieve low CPU usage during backup, take a look at these settings (compression level).

From security perspective, I'd recommend to control prompt OS updates installation on the guest system because missing updates might be one of the possible causes of credentials theft.
In case of VBR agent management, sensitive information is stored in the configuration database on VBR side, you may find basic security considerations for VBR in this article.

In fact, VM backup approach addresses most of mentioned disadvantages because it requires external access at the hypervisor level only.
Anyway, every solution has its own set of advantages and it's always up to you to decide which of them suits you better.

Thanks!

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