Cisco c3x60 – RAID design with Veeam

Over the last couple of weeks I got a lot of question on how to configure the Cisco C3x60 server RAID-Groups when used with Veeam.
As Veeam needs a repository with good performance and usually a lot of space and CPU/RAM performance the C3x60 servers are a good choice.
If you look into how a C3x60 server is designed you will see that it has internally 4 rows with 14 disks each, so 56 internal disks.
The following image shows the internal disk design of the server:

The next image show the additional 4 disks which can be added by a expansion module at the rear site of the server chassis:

As there are “only” 56 disks internally it is a good idea to build the RAID and capacity design based on the 56 disks instead of 60 disks. At least when you look at the C3260 you will see that the 4 disks will be replaces by the 2nd server node. So at the end you will have a maximum of 56 disks for data usage in the system. For sure there are the 4 SSDs as well but they are usually used for OS/Application and don’t count in the 60 disks of the C3x60 system.

Here you can see how the system looks like when a C3260 is used:

Regarding expanding a system it is highly recommended to work with full staffed 14 disk rows only. Means if you’re going to start with the base system and 14 disks and your’re going to extend it with more disks after some time, fill it up with 14 disks again. Please also keep in mind that right now it is not possible to expand an exsiting RAID-Group with more disks. You will need to create a new one.

When looking into the RAID configuration when used with Veeam you can go for some different designs. First of all you should decide if you need one large repository or if you can go with a couple of smaller ones.

The following shows a table with possible RAID configurations within the CIMC controller:

If you go for a couple of RAID6 you will see a bit better performance especially when you run into a disk failure and the RAID needs to rebuild the failed disk. With RAID6 you will only see a lower performance on the repository which is on that particular RAID group. If you go for RAID60 over let’s say 28 disks, the whole repository will be slower if one of the disks in the underlying RAID6 groups fails. Because of that RAID6 and multiple repositories is the better choice when using C3x60 and Veeam.

 

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