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johnny@datafant.se
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Inreasing restore performance in an FC SAN.

Post by johnny@datafant.se »

Hello,

to increase backup performance but more important restore performance, you preferably need to use Veeam Proxies which in turn has a physical connection (iSCSI) to fast storage. This is mostly designed for iSCSI based SAN:s, correct me if I am wrong.

Concerning FC-based SAN:s - would the following be a viable solution:

install an ESXi host and let it access the same fibre channel SAN-volumes as the vSphere hosts in the cluster.
This ESXi host should not be a part of the vSphere cluster however.
On this ESXi host a Veeam Proxy runs and is directly connected via iSCSI to a storage unit (hence NTFS file-system and not a VMDK file).

So whenever you need to restore a vm to this cluster, you can speed up the backup/restore via the proxy hot-add feature.

Or do you have other configuration suggestions concerning FC-based SAN:s to speed up the restore of a vm ?

Regards,

Johnny

Vitaliy S.
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Re: Inreasing restore performance in an FC SAN.

Post by Vitaliy S. »

Hi Johnny,
johnny@datafant.se wrote:So whenever you need to restore a vm to this cluster, you can speed up the backup/restore via the proxy hot-add feature.
This recommendation can be applied to any type of configuration (local storage, FC SAN or iSCSI).
johnny@datafant.se wrote:This ESXi host should not be a part of the vSphere cluster however.
Actually you can use any ESX(i) host which is connected to the datastore you're restoring the VM to. If you have VMware Cluster connected to the shared storage via FC, you can place a proxy server on any host of this cluster to perform restore operation via HotAdd mode.

In addition to this, if you want to restore the production VM as quickly as possible, then I would suggest using Instant VM recovery feature, which was specifically designed to address these kind of issues.

Thanks!

johnny@datafant.se
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Re: Inreasing restore performance in an FC SAN.

Post by johnny@datafant.se »

Thanks for the answer.
Maybe I should explained more clearly what I am trying to do:

In my head, the reasons to have the Proxy server separated from the cluster is for example:

1) the ESXi-host which holds the Proxy-server does not need to have the same high-performance hardware as the hosts in the cluster and therefore I need not to worry about EVC or needing to buy a expensive vSphere license.

2) I don´t want to put the Proxy load on the hosts in the cluster

3) I don´t want to install software iSCSI on the vm if it resides in the FC-based cluster to be able to directly talk (iSCSI not VMDK) to the backup-storage - I want to keep it simple


Does the above make sense ?

Regards,

Johnny

Vitaliy S.
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Re: Inreasing restore performance in an FC SAN.

Post by Vitaliy S. »

Yes, I guess it does, but with all this in mind, the solution becomes a bit over-complicated. Don't you think so? Looks like the easiest option will be to use Instant VM recovery...

johnny@datafant.se
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Re: Inreasing restore performance in an FC SAN.

Post by johnny@datafant.se »

Isn´t it getting more complicated if you add the proxy server to one of the hosts in the cluster when the proxy-vm also involves a direct iSCSI connection to a backup-storage - hence iSCSI "within" the FC-SAN ?

Also, the proxy-server takes resources from the production-vm:s when running either backup or restore
Additionally, it may be harder to evaluate the performance of backup/restore perfom due to the prod-vm:s claiming for the same host-resources as the proxy-server.

Am I thinking incorrectly do you think ?




/Johnny

Vitaliy S.
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Re: Inreasing restore performance in an FC SAN.

Post by Vitaliy S. »

johnny@datafant.se wrote:Isn´t it getting more complicated if you add the proxy server to one of the hosts in the cluster when the proxy-vm also involves a direct iSCSI connection to a backup-storage - hence iSCSI "within" the FC-SAN ?
Proxy server doesn't need to have iSCSI connection to the storage where you store your backups, unless you have proxy and repository server roles deployed on the same VM.

On a side note, the iSCSI traffic goes through the network stack of your ESX(i) server anyway, so it's not going to flow within your fiber channel.
johnny@datafant.se wrote:Also, the proxy-server takes resources from the production-vm:s when running either backup or restore
Yes, but when you need to perform a full VM restore, I believe it shouldn't be an issue, as restoring the production VM as quickly as possible is much more important than the this, right? Can you please tell me how often do you perform full VM restores?

Besides, since you have a FC SAN, then there is no need to backup your production VMs via this virtual proxy, continue using your physical proxy which is configured to work in direct SAN mode.

johnny@datafant.se
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Re: Inreasing restore performance in an FC SAN.

Post by johnny@datafant.se »

Vitaliy S. wrote:Proxy server doesn't need to have iSCSI connection to the storage where you store your backups, unless you have proxy and repository server roles deployed on the same VM.
My goal is to have as fast backup/restore-storage as possible, that is why the iSCSI connection needs to be configured on the proxy-vm residing here since this is the backup repository.
Vitaliy S. wrote:On a side note, the iSCSI traffic goes through the network stack of your ESX(i) server anyway, so it's not going to flow within your fiber channel.
No, in this scenario it is the vm that is configured with Software iSCSI not the ESXi host.
Vitaliy S. wrote:Besides, since you have a FC SAN, then there is no need to backup your production VMs via this virtual proxy, continue using your physical proxy which is configured to work in direct SAN mode.
I am using direct SAN mode for backing up but that does not help when performing a restore. It uses common network for that which is slow.

Vitaliy S.
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Re: Inreasing restore performance in an FC SAN.

Post by Vitaliy S. »

johnny@datafant.se wrote:No, in this scenario it is the vm that is configured with Software iSCSI not the ESXi host.
I understand, but since iSCSI traffic is just a standard network traffic, all data will go through your hosts network card, not FC.
johnny@datafant.se wrote:I am using direct SAN mode for backing up but that does not help when performing a restore. It uses common network for that which is slow.
Yes, that's correct, so my point is that since full VM restore is not a frequent operation, you can create a virtual proxy and keep it in stand by mode (in this case no CPU resources of your cluster will be consumed).

johnny@datafant.se
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Re: Inreasing restore performance in an FC SAN.

Post by johnny@datafant.se »

Sorry for misunderstanding you, Vitaly.

Concerning your last remark about full restore; if the production-vm:s number grows over time and ESXi host is nearly working at full load then maybe when restore is needed, it will be a negative experience performance-wise.
Wouldn´t it be better for this reason of "unknown" restore performance result to dedicate an ESXi host to the proxy-server alone.
I mean, this doesn´t have to be high-performance server.

Vitaliy S.
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Re: Inreasing restore performance in an FC SAN.

Post by Vitaliy S. »

Yes, in this case your initial setup looks fine.

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