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wayneus
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Cisco UCS C240M5 Backup Repository Design

Post by wayneus » Sep 10, 2019 1:11 pm

Hi all,

I'm new to Veeam. Hopefully this is a quick question for you guys.

We just purchased a Cisco UCS C240M5 rackmount server as a performance tier of scale-out repository (capacity tier is Azure Blob Storage). The specs is:
2 x 250GB SSD for OS
12 x 14TB SAS HDD for storage
OS is Windows 2016 Datacenter

The overall size backup data is around 40TB. My question is, from performance perspective, what is the best practice to present volumes for use as backup repository. Is it better to:
1. Present one large 12x14TB volume. All backup jobs go to one repo.
2. Present smaller volumes, for example two 6x14TB. Half backup jobs backup to first one, and the other half backup to second one.

I would like to hear your advice. Thank you very much in advance for your time and help.

DeadEyedJacks
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Re: Cisco UCS C240M5 Backup Repository Design

Post by DeadEyedJacks » Sep 10, 2019 2:02 pm

What Veeam licensing do you have?
i.e. Can you use one or more Scale-Out Backup Repositories?

With a physical Windows server as Backup Repo you can use Microsoft ReFs file system for significant space savings.
What's the largest VM and VMDK you need to protect ?

Which Cisco UCS SAS / RAID controller have you specified? Determines you options for JBOD or RAID levels.

ejenner
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Re: Cisco UCS C240M5 Backup Repository Design

Post by ejenner » Sep 10, 2019 2:06 pm

The disadvantage of several smaller volumes compared with one larger one is that it is possible to have more wasted space. This is because jobs cannot split between two repositories, even if you amalgamate two or more repositories into a Veeam 'scale out repository'. If you had a multi-terabyte full backup file it would have to fit squarely into one or other of your repositories. With a scale-out repository (where you join smaller repositories together within Veeam) the backup files on the repositories underneath will have to be channeled to one or other of the repositories. It is possible to have incrementals and full-backup files on separate repositories when you have scale-out enabled. What you lose is the bit of empty space at the end of a volume which isn't big enough to fit a backup into. This can be many terabytes depending on your configuration and the kind of data you're protecting.

With split repositories it is possible your system might not let you share a hot-spare disk with both arrays? So you might lose one of the physical disks... depending on the system and how you configure it.

The advantage of several smaller volumes compared with one larger one is manageability in a recovery or upgrade situation. If an array somehow fails for whatever reason and you have to migrate the jobs off the volume to rebuild it or if you want to upgrade to Windows Server 2019 and want to reformat with the later version of ReFS (for example) then it's less data to move out of the volume. Worst case, if you happened to lose a volume for some reason it would be only half your backups gone rather than all of them!

I've got both kinds of configuration and I'm running out of space on both, there is more wasted space on the split system than there is on the continuous one. So when I set up my next repository I'm drawn more towards setting up the next repositories as continuous volumes. There tends to be a larger number of failure points within a larger volume so it's a bit more risky.

Don't forget to make sure you format your volumes following guidelines from Veeam. You have to set the right cluster size and some other things.

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Re: Cisco UCS C240M5 Backup Repository Design

Post by nitramd » Sep 10, 2019 2:26 pm

Hello Wayne.

If you want capacity you can use RAID 6 (double parity). Once the RAID 6 array is created you'll have ~140TB of usable space - assuming all 12 disks are in the array.

As EJ mentioned, follow the Veeam guidelines for volumes. Would also suggest check to see if Cisco has any recommendations for stripe size, cache, etc.

I've used C240s as repos and I've found that they work quite well.

Hope this helps.

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Re: Cisco UCS C240M5 Backup Repository Design

Post by DeadEyedJacks » Sep 10, 2019 2:53 pm

JBOD, Concatenation or RAID 0 wil yield you the most capacity, but at the cost of no tolerance to disk failure. Concat or RAID 0 you lose it all, JBOD you lose the one repo.

RAID 6 is only available with 12G RAID controller, not Embedded RAID or Modular SAS controllers. Are your C240s SFF or LFF ?

FYI, We went with JBOD and combined the multiple disks into a scale-out repo.

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Re: Cisco UCS C240M5 Backup Repository Design

Post by wayneus » Sep 10, 2019 3:08 pm

DeadEyedJacks wrote:
Sep 10, 2019 2:02 pm
What Veeam licensing do you have?
i.e. Can you use one or more Scale-Out Backup Repositories?

With a physical Windows server as Backup Repo you can use Microsoft ReFs file system for significant space savings.
What's the largest VM and VMDK you need to protect ?

Which Cisco UCS SAS / RAID controller have you specified? Determines you options for JBOD or RAID levels.
Thanks you for your reply, sir!

We are using Enterprise license. The C240 is LFF version with Cisco 12G Modular RAID controller. I plan to use RAID 1 for SSD (OS) and RAID 6 for HDD (storage). The largest VM we have is over 5TB.

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Re: Cisco UCS C240M5 Backup Repository Design

Post by wayneus » Sep 10, 2019 3:09 pm

ejenner wrote:
Sep 10, 2019 2:06 pm
The disadvantage of several smaller volumes compared with one larger one is that it is possible to have more wasted space. This is because jobs cannot split between two repositories, even if you amalgamate two or more repositories into a Veeam 'scale out repository'. If you had a multi-terabyte full backup file it would have to fit squarely into one or other of your repositories. With a scale-out repository (where you join smaller repositories together within Veeam) the backup files on the repositories underneath will have to be channeled to one or other of the repositories. It is possible to have incrementals and full-backup files on separate repositories when you have scale-out enabled. What you lose is the bit of empty space at the end of a volume which isn't big enough to fit a backup into. This can be many terabytes depending on your configuration and the kind of data you're protecting.
Thank you EJ, that's very solid suggestion. I think I will eventually go with one volume.

wayneus
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Re: Cisco UCS C240M5 Backup Repository Design

Post by wayneus » Sep 10, 2019 3:10 pm

nitramd wrote:
Sep 10, 2019 2:26 pm
I've used C240s as repos and I've found that they work quite well.
Thank you sir. Looks like we purchased the right server, lol!

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Re: Cisco UCS C240M5 Backup Repository Design

Post by ejenner » Sep 10, 2019 3:19 pm

Think about going for Windows 2019 and formatting as ReFS. You should use ReFS either way... but 2019 has improvements over the 2016 version.

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Re: Cisco UCS C240M5 Backup Repository Design

Post by nitramd » Sep 10, 2019 5:57 pm

Wayne,

If you choose ReFS, I would suggest having a look at the post below - it may not be specific to your environment or goals but I think it would provide some context for ReFS. It seems that ReFS v3 has gone through some teething problems, but these appear to be resolved.

veeam-backup-replication-f2/windows-201 ... 57726.html

Good luck.

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Re: Cisco UCS C240M5 Backup Repository Design

Post by ferrus » Sep 11, 2019 2:57 pm

We have a similar setup, but with 5x C240 M4 LFF servers, poulated with 6TB HDD.

The advice given above is pretty much where we ended up, after several re-configurations.
1x RAID6, ReFS formatted volume, grouped across all servers into a single SOBR.
Additional 12G RIAD controllers were required, as the basic M4 system only allowed RAID 0,1 or 5.

Just be careful about the defaults for strip size, cache settings etc. The standard settings (particularly when UCS integrated), were the worst possible for Veeam/large vbk processing performance.
We increased the repository performance severalfold, by re-formatting and updating these settings.

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Re: Cisco UCS C240M5 Backup Repository Design

Post by nitramd » Sep 12, 2019 1:29 pm

Wayne,

Take a look at this post for configuring the C240's policies: veeam-backup-replication-f2/cisco-veeam ... ml#p300609

Even though this thread is referring to a Cisco 3260 the information should apply to your setup.

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