Thoughts on a new Veeam Backup install

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Thoughts on a new Veeam Backup install

Veeam Logoby btmaus » Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:06 am

I'm planning on setting up the below environment, your comments would be appreciated.

We have VMware ESXi hosts that are connected to shared storage (FC SAN). I have purchased a 10gb switch and a backup appliance with 10gb connectivity. I have installed 10gb NICs in two of the ESXi hosts. I have create a "backup" vlan for the Veeam backup traffic. My plan is to install a virtual Veeam Backup Server and two virtual Veeam Proxy servers, and then backup the VMs to the backup appliance over the backup vlan (10gb connectivity).

Some questions:

Does both the Veeam Backup Server and Veeam Proxy servers require access to the backup vlan where the backup appliance will live?

Based on the above, should I install two NICs in the above mentioned Veeam servers? One on our corporate domain and the other on the backup vlan? Will this ensure the backup traffic flows over the 10gb NICs to the backup appliance?

From what I have read, with the above virtual setup of Veeam, it will be using the "hot add" mode to backup. Do you know of any gotcha's with this setup? Or should I consider NBD instead?

What about some of my VM's that have RDM's presented to them, will Veeam be able to back them up?

Thanks in advance
btmaus
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Re: Thoughts on a new Veeam Backup install

Veeam Logoby PTide » Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:21 am

Hi,

Does both the Veeam Backup Server and Veeam Proxy servers require access to the backup vlan where the backup appliance will live?


It depends. I think that I need more info to be able to answer this question properly. May I ask you why did you ask that? Because your question sounds like you'd prefer not to provide one of the servers mentioned with an access to the backup vlan.

From what I have read, with the above virtual setup of Veeam, it will be using the "hot add" mode to backup. Do you know of any gotcha's with this setup? Or should I consider NBD instead?


You can force Veeam Backup Server to use the transport mode you want. When you add a new proxy there is an option to choose transport mode.
The Hot-Add mode can be a little bit slow in the beginning of the proccess because it needs time to attach virtual disks of the VM's being backed up. There also some limitations on that mode. Since you use 10Gb connection for your backup network the NBD mode would be a good choice.

What about some of my VM's that have RDM's presented to them, will Veeam be able to back them up?


Sorry, but unfortunately no:

RDM virtual disks in physical mode, independent disks, and disks connected via in-guest iSCSI initiator are not supported, and are skipped from processing automatically. Network shares and mount points targeted to some 3rd party storage devices are also skipped as these volumes/disks are not visible in the VM configuration file.


However, there exists a workaround - use the vRDM disks. Those can be backed up by Veeam.

Thank you.
PTide
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Re: Thoughts on a new Veeam Backup install

Veeam Logoby btmaus » Sat Jul 18, 2015 12:50 am

PTide wrote:Hi,

Does both the Veeam Backup Server and Veeam Proxy servers require access to the backup vlan where the backup appliance will live?

It depends. I think that I need more info to be able to answer this question properly. May I ask you why did you ask that? Because your question sounds like you'd prefer not to provide one of the servers mentioned with an access to the backup vlan.


Just need to know how the architecture would look when using a dedicated 10gb backup vlan. The VMware hosts would have 10gb network cards that are directly connected to a 10gb switch which the backup storage is connected too. So how would I set this up, would the Veeam Proxy Servers be on my corporate domain and have a 2nd network card in the backup vlan? Would the Veeam Backup Server also have a 2nd network card in the backup vlan? That's what I am trying to understand here.
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Re: Thoughts on a new Veeam Backup install

Veeam Logoby PTide » Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:41 am

Hmm...may I suggest you something?

Based on what you've said about your configuration there is an option of getting rid of the vlan completely. Here is how you can do that:

1. Use physical proxy
2. Attach your SAN and backup appliance directly to proxy (FC/iSCSI)
3. Install your VBR as a VM and connect it to your physical proxy via network

Such an approach allows you to use direct-SAN method of access, which provides the fastest data transfer speed.

Please let me know if that fits.

Thank you.
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Re: Thoughts on a new Veeam Backup install

Veeam Logoby btmaus » Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:02 am

We don't want to present the VMware datastores to a Windows host for a number of reasons.

I'm interested in hearing more about the 10gb network option and what the best design would be for this.

Thanks
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Re: Thoughts on a new Veeam Backup install

Veeam Logoby PTide » Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:22 am

We don't want to present the VMware datastores to a Windows host for a number of reasons.

Well, I believe that you are well aware of how the hot-add mode actually works. When using proxy in a hot-add mode you provide it with an access to your datastore so it can attach disks of the VM which is being processed.

Then, the network mode may be really the only option for you to go...anyway, please refer to this post before making a decision.

I'm interested in hearing more about the 10gb network option and what the best design would be for this.

NBD mode sends commands to your ESXi host(s) via its mgmt interface, which means that your Veeam B&R server has to have an access to mgmt network. However, you VB&R server can be forced to send backup traffic via another network - please see this article.

What are the option for you aplliance connection? Is it going to be NFS/CIFS/iSCSI?

Basically, your proxy has to be able to see your appliance, and your VB&R has to be able to see your proxy + VB&R must have an access to your mgmt network. Such schema will work if you present your appliance to your proxy as CIFS/NFS/iSCSI. In this case you don't need to put your appliance in the same network with VB&R.

OR you can choose to connect appliance to your VB&R as a repo, that would require you to place both proxy and repo (appliance) in the same network with your VB&R.


Please let me know if you want to clarify something.

Thank you.

UPDATE: please note, that using network mode alongside with virtual proxies and virtual backup server may result in significant overhead due to active usage of ESXi I/O stack, also the overall load on your host will increase.
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Re: Thoughts on a new Veeam Backup install

Veeam Logoby btmaus » Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:28 pm

What are the option for you aplliance connection? Is it going to be NFS/CIFS/iSCSI?

It will be CIFS that we are using.
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Re: Thoughts on a new Veeam Backup install

Veeam Logoby PTide » Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:49 am

Then I'd suggest you to add your CIFS share as a repo on your backup server. The gateway server has to have a direct access to CIFS share - you can specify the server manually or let VBR choose it automatically.
However, it's HIGHLY recommended to deploy a separate physical machine as a gateway server as close to CIFS as possible.

Thank you.
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