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rtwright68
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Current AppAssure user - testing out Veeam

Post by rtwright68 » Aug 15, 2014 5:29 pm

My apologies in advance if my lack of a complete knowledge of Veeam are causing any misunderstandings below.

I am looking to see how I can replace AppAssure with Veeam (for a variety of reasons), but maintain how I am replicating traffic from my outlying divisions currently to our corporate location. Currently I have an AppAssure Core server at both ends that replicates between the two of them over the public internet via TCP port(s). I have a second dedicated internet connection at our corporate office that receives the replication traffic from our other divisions primary internet connection. Our primary internet connect has a VPN that connects between corporate and our other sites so I can see all their devices/servers

I understand that in order to have a single Veeam install with both proxy and repositories at the other divisions would require communication between them and the various vSphere hosts through a VPN. I have that working now. My concern is the overall data transmission speed for replication traffic, which appears to be much slower than AppAssure at this point (I'm suspecting because of the VPN overhead, we use SonicWALL NSA 220's at all ends).

One other thing I have noticed is that the incremental backup size seems somewhat larger than what appassure is backing up (for example, regular incrementals of our Exchange Server). Is that typical? Even if speed weren't an issue, the incremental backup job copying/replicating appear that they would take longer because the backup size is bigger?

Do I have any other options? I'm not sure if a replication job is overall slower than a backup copy job? I have been reading up on Veeam 8, will that allow me to do the following (if a Backup Copy job is quicker/more efficient):

The following assumes a full backup of the VM at Site A has already been run and seeded to the other Site B's repository and only incrementals are being sent..

Proxy/Repository at Site A backs up a VM on Site A's ESXi host
Backup Copy Job sends differences from Site A to Site B's proxy/repository
Replication Job at Site B is run using Site B's respository to update a replica on Site B's ESXi host

Or is there a better way to accomplish having backups at Site A, a copy of the backups at Site B, and a replica of critical machines ready to fire up at Site B?

One other wrinkle is between our corporate and largest division, we are the fail-over sites for each other's servers. We have a corporate Exchange server that has a high rate of change that I'm concerned about being able to replicate fairly regularly.

Thanks in advance for any guidance.

Gostev
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Re: Current AppAssure user - testing out Veeam

Post by Gostev » Aug 15, 2014 8:02 pm

Hi, Randy. Veeam and AppAssure cannot be compared directly, because of different architectures. Veeam uses what is usually called host-based processing, although technically there is no code running on the host (data mover sits on a dedicated computer called Backup Proxy). On the other hand, AppAssure uses a data mover in each and every protected VM, which is a legacy approach for backing up physical computers that is not so great for virtualization. The additional load those multiple data movers cause is directly proportional to your VM count, where as with Veeam, a single data mover can easily process hundreds of VMs.

As such, Veeam engine is built and optimized for fast backup of thousands of VMs using limited processing resources of just a few data movers. And when I say fast, I mean speeds like 1GB (8Gb) per second. On the other hand, each AppAssure data mover is free to consume the protected VM's CPU, so it can afford to do more data processing locally, detecting changes more granularly. This is fine for smaller underprovisioned environments with plenty of spare CPU (as long as you don't mind managing those agents), but does not really scale well. Not to mention that agent-based backup approach requires all VMs to be powered on for backup job to run, which is often not the case in the large, dynamic virtual infrastructures.

Now, this is not to say that with Veeam, you are stuck with larger backups. Incremental backup size with Veeam mostly depends on the storage optimization settings, and I am guessing you are testing with the default aka "Local target", however this one is optimized for fast local backups. In case of replication over WAN, you need to switch that to "WAN target" as the name implies, this should reduce your incremental backup at least twice in size, due to our processing engine using much smaller block size.

Note that v8 will further reduce replication bandwidth consumption, as we are expanding our WAN acceleration technology to replication as well.

As far as Replication vs. Backup Copy performance, since when properly deployed, both transfer the exact same amount of data over WAN, the reason for Replication slowness is likely something in your setup (for example, no hot add proxy in target site makes VM disks content populated via network mode, which is generally slow). Alternatively, may be storage in your target ESXi is slower than backup repository used for Backup Copy testing. Again, generally speaking, the speed of the two should be the same going over WAN, because as you will note, the "Transferred" statistics will show about the same numbers for both types of jobs processing the same VMs.

Hope this helps.

rtwright68
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Re: Current AppAssure user - testing out Veeam

Post by rtwright68 » Aug 16, 2014 9:15 pm

Gustev,

We mainly went with AppAssure over Veeam originally due to the physical servers we had around the company. Thankfully, we are 100% virtualized now.

I will most definitely modify the settings for WAN optimization for the replica jobs.

Will the WAN improvements in v8 be available for the Enterprise licensing or will it only be based on the Enterprise Plus licensing?

Thanks for the reply.

Randy.

Gostev
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Re: Current AppAssure user - testing out Veeam

Post by Gostev » Aug 18, 2014 6:53 am

Most v8 improvements will be included in Enterprise licensing (true resume on disconnect, replication from backup files, failover plans), however built-in WAN Acceleration is and will remain an Enterprise Plus feature. Thanks!

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