VeeamON 2017 – Experience availability

2017-03-22 11_57_06-VeeamON 2017 - Experience Availability!

As we are getting closer and closer to the world’s largest event entirely focused on Availability, Veeam’s VeeamON, I tried to put together the most important infos in one post.

What is VeeamON?
VeeamON is Veeam’s own availability conference and taking place in New Orleans May, 16th-18th this year. At VeeamON all is about availability and how to make sure your data is protected and ready for the digital transformation. It’s the world’s largest event that is purely focused on this topic and very unique in what you can get there. It’s the second one and with around 3000 attendees it will be even bigger then 2015.

Why to attend VeeamON?
There are several reasons to attend events like this. For me especially the networking and the chance to talk to experts is one of the key reasons to attend. Next to that it’s definitively worth to join to get all the announcements and previews on Veeam Availability Sutie v10. What makes VeeamON unique is the chance to participate in an VMCE/VMCE-ADO class before joining to conference and get both for a very attractive price.
Some more reasons to attend:

  • Learn how to capitalize on your existing virtualization, networking, storage and Veeam investments
  • Discover the latest cloud technologies and how you can leverage your existing assets as part of a comprehensive availability strategy.
  • Hear how Veeam and partners like Microsoft, VMware, Cisco, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, NetApp and many others work together to deliver innovations that optimize your data center
  • Network with peers, meet the best technical and business minds in the industry, and voice your opinion directly to the team responsible for the development of Veeam solutions
  • Learn best practices and how to avoid unnecessary downtime from the Veeam experts
  • Become a VMCE at a greatly discounted rate.  If you’re already a VMCE  register for our VMCE-Advanced, Design and Optimization (VMCE-ADO) class at the same great rate.

VeeamON 2017 – The sponsors
Another reason to join such an event is all the sponsors and vendors having a booth there. You can see all the integrations and get the latest information’s on the join alliance work.
This year Veeam got again the top partner joining the event. Some of them are:
Cisco   HPE   Microsoft   NetApp
and many more.

VeeamON Hard facts
Event date:                       May 16th – 18th
Event location:               New Orleans Convention Center
Breakout session:           80+ session on different topics and different levels
Attendees:                        more than 3000 expected
LabWarez:                         $10,000 top prize

VeeamON 2017 will take place in a special location. New Orleans is a unique blend of cultures that has so much to offer. I hope you’ll plan your agenda in such a way that you’ll have the chance to enjoy the Big Easy. Today, I will share with you several attractions that will definitely make your stay in New Orleans unforgettable.

To get all details and to register yourself please visit http://www.veeamon.com

As soon as the Breakout Session schedule is ready I will also create a blog on the must see sessions. In the meanwhile please let me know on any question and hope to see you at VeeamON 2017 in New Orleans.

VCC Series Post 3 – Veeam Cloud Connect Backup – End-Customer configuration

In this blog series you will learn step-by-step how to setup and configure Veeam Cloud Connect to offer Backup-as-a-Service.

This series contains 3 blog posts:
1. Veeam Backup & Replication installation (already posted)
2. Veeam Cloud Connect Backup – Service Provider configuration (already posted)
3. Veeam Cloud Connect Backup – End-Customer configuration (this post)

Read More »

VCC Series Post 2 – Veeam Cloud Connect Backup – Service Provider configuration

In this blog series you will learn step-by-step how to setup and configure Veeam Cloud Connect to offer Backup-as-a-Service.

This series contain 3 blog posts:
1. Veeam Backup & Replication installation (already posted)
2. Veeam Cloud Connect Backup – Service Provider configuration (this post)
3. Veeam Cloud Connect Backup – End-Customer configuration (will be posted on Feb. 6th)

Read More »

VCC Series Post 1 – Veeam Backup & Replication installation

In my new blog series you will learn step-by-step how to setup and configure Veeam Cloud Connect to offer Backup-as-a-Service.

This series contains 3 blog posts:
1. Veeam Backup & Replication installation (this post)
2. Veeam Cloud Connect Backup – Service Provider configuration (will be posted on Jan. 9th)
3. Veeam Cloud Connect Backup – End-Customer configuration (will be posted on Feb. 6th)

Read More »

Veeam 9.5 and NetApp: Enterprise performance and scalability for NetApp storage with

Veeam just released version 9.5 of Veeam Backup & Replication. In this blog post, I would like to share some of the new capabilities that 9.5 delivers with our NetApp ONTAP storage integration.

As this is not a major version release, we didn’t add any specific new features, however, there are several improvements with respect towards backup resource scalability, which is of particular importance in enterprise data center environments.

1. Automatic NetApp LIF selection for data traffic

With 9.5, we implemented an advanced way for the Veeam backup server to identify the correct Data LIF for the backup process.
img01-1-700x427In the above example, the VM is stored on an aggregate located on Node 4. With 9.5, we made sure that data LIF4, of node 4, is used to access and backup the VM, instead of using data LIF1 on node 1 and transferring the data over the back-end cluster network. With this new implementation, we avoid the potential for node 1, or the back-end cluster network, to run out of resources during a Veeam backup.

The new cluster aware LIF selection also follows the data in case it is moved to another aggregate on another node, thereby ensuring the optimized path is utilized by the Veeam proxy server to perform data movement.

This functionality is enabled by default and does not require any action from your side to utilize this new capability.

2. Proxy affinity rules for storage access

The second enhancement is a new way to define proxy affinity between your NetApp ONTAP systems and the Veeam proxy server.
img02-1-700x204By using proxy affinity rules, you can easily define Veeam proxy server assignments for each NetApp ONTAP system. If there are multiple NetApp systems and Veeam proxy servers in the same environment, it is recommended to assign affinity relationships to avoid situations where a Veeam proxy server is misaligned with an ONTAP system. This capability saves time in the job initialization process and optimizes proxy resource utilization in larger environments, enabling you to ensure that specific proxy servers are available for specific backup jobs. img03-1-700x275This also ensures that local proxies are only accessing local NetApp ONTAP systems when using network based access protocols like NFS or iSCSI. img04To configure the proxy affinity, simply go to “Storage Infrastructure” within your Veeam Backup & Replication console and select the NetApp cluster you want to modify. Open the advanced settings and select the backup proxies Veeam should use.

3. Protocol selection to optimize proxy data access

One very common user request that we have addressed with 9.5 is the option to assign a different protocol to the Veeam proxy server than the one being used by the VMware server. Before 9.5, you could use different REG-Keys to force the Veeam proxy to use a different protocol. img05-1-700x466Now with 9.5, you can easily deploy a configuration where VMware is accessing the ONTAP cluster by FC, while the Veeam proxy uses iSCSI for backup and replication and all of the other Veeam features. Since the LUN is the same block device, it can be accessed via FC, iSCSI or both, enabling you to leverage your existing 10 GB network to back up the data via FC or iSCSI (or vice versa).

Besides the benefit of defining a different access protocol, you can also reduce the time that the Veeam proxy needs to scan and access your NetApp data and start a job, as the overhead required to check all available protocols is eliminated. In short, it’s a very simple way to optimize your existing Veeam and NetApp installation. img06To configure the protocol selection, simply go to “Storage Infrastructure” within your Veeam Backup & Replication console and select the NetApp cluster you want to modify. Open the advanced settings and select the protocol to be used by the Veeam proxy host. As shown in the above example, only the licensed ONTAP protocol is available to use.

In summary, the enterprise enhancements available in 9.5 make the Veeam integration with ONTAP more flexible and scalable. This is another great example of Veeam product development implementing feature enhancements based on the direct feedback from our customers and partners.

For additional Veeam and NetApp best practices, I highly recommend the following documents and articles:

Enterprise datacenter Availability with NetApp cascaded SnapMirror and Veeam

Data Availability has become more and more important for today’s businesses. The NetApp Data ONTAP and Veeam combination provides a high Availability level for the Always-On Enterprise. By leveraging NetApp data protection features like snapshots, SnapMirror and SnapVault, Veeam is able to enhance recovery time and recovery point objectives, otherwise known as RTPO, for VMs and applications residing on NFS-, FC-, FCoE- and iSCSI-based arrays.

Some enterprise data centers are leveraging NetApp’s ability to cascade ONTAP systems to maximize Availability. In this blogpost, I explain the benefits of leveraging an ONTAP cascaded design with Veeam.

The environment

Let’s assume the customer has the following data center design and requirements:
1

  1. In the primary data center, a NetApp ONTAP system named RLPEDGE01, with a source volume called NFSVAULT
  2. On the secondary side, a NetApp ONTAP system RLPEDGE02, with a SnapVault destination Volume RLPNFS01_NFSVAULT_vault
  3. At the third side, a NetApp ONTAP system RLPEDGE03, with a SnapMirror destination volume RLPNFS03_NFSVAULT_mirror

The requirements include using SnapVault between RLPEDGE01 and RLPEDGE02, combined with application-consistent snapshots. Furthermore, the customer wants to use SnapMirror to replicate the SnapVault data to RLPEDGE03, which is in a co-location facility.

Veeam orchestration combined with NetApp protection policies

To build this configuration, NetApp ONTAP protection policies are combined with Veeam’s advanced storage integration and orchestration capabilities.
2

  1. Veeam creates an application-consistent backup of VMs. This includes the optional log truncation and snapshot creation within the VMware environment.
  2. Next, Veeam instructs the primary NetApp system (RLPEDGE01) to perform an array-based snapshot and subsequent orchestration.
  3. Next, the primary NetApp system will manage the SnapVault update to the secondary (RLPEDGE02) and retention policies of these snapshots within both primary and secondary systems.
  4. The NetApp ONTAP built-in protection engine handles the SnapMirror update between the secondary and the tertiary (RLPEDGE03) NetApp systems. Through this process, all snapshots on RLPEDGE02 will be mirrored to RLPEDGE03 and made available for restores.

The customer benefits here by being able to leverage Veeam’s native restore capabilities on any NetApp ONTAP platform in the environment. This includes the third NetApp system, RLPEDGE03, which is not part of the Veeam snapshot orchestration process. The restore functionality permits granular restores using Veeam Explorers for Storage Snapshots to perform file, item or VM image-based recoveries for Microsoft Active Directory, Exchange, SharePoint, SQL and Oracle. Veeam OnDemand Sandbox capabilities can also leverage NetApp snapshots to create isolated test environments for testing application updates, patches and other changes, without impacting the production environment.

Let’s get it done

To set up this configuration, follow these steps:

  1. Add all NetApp ONTAP systems to your Veeam Backup & Replication console
    3
  2. Create the SnapVault relationship between primary and secondary NetApp systems
    4
  3. Create a Veeam job to protect your VMs:
    1. Within the Veeam job set the desired SnapVault retention policies
      5
    2. If required, enable Application-Aware Processing
    3. Define a schedule for the job that meets the RPO of applications being protected

If you require any assistance creating a Veeam/NetApp backup job, you can find additional detail in the Best Practices Guide.

After Veeam Backup and NetApp SnapVault are configured and running, we can now set up the SnapMirror relationship to the third NetApp system. However, you should pair NetApp 2 and NetApp 3 and ensure that the proper SnapVault Mirrors (SVMs) are available and paired as well. In addition, create a DP Volume on the NetApp 3 SVM, which will be used as the destination target for the SnapMirror volume.

NOTE: Veeam assumes no warranty for any command. These commands should only be used as a reference. Exercise CAUTION when working in any production environment. All commands should be modified (cluster, volume, vservernames, etc.) to fit in your environment.

After the volume is created, you can create the SnapMirror policy and the SnapMirror relationship:

To create the SnapMirror policy run:

snapmirror policy create -vserver SVMNFS03 -policy VeeamSM -tries 8 -transfer-priority normal -ignore-atime false -restart always -type async-mirror

Add the rule to mirror all source snapshots: all_source_snapshots. This is mandatory, otherwise you will get an error that the SnapMirror label was not found:

snapmirror policy add-rule -vserver SVMNFS03 -policy VeeamSM -snapmirror-label all_source_snapshots -keep 1
snapmirror policy show

SnapMirror relation creation and initialization:

snapmirror create -source-path RLPNFS02:RLPNFS01_NFSVAULT_vault -destination-path SVMNFS03:RLPNFS03_NFSVAULT_mirror -type DP -throttle unlimited -identity-preserve false -vserver SVMNFS03 -policy VeeamMirror

snapmirror initialize -destination-path SVMNFS03:RLPNFS03_NFSVAULT_mirror

snapmirror modify -destination-path SVMNFS03:RLPNFS03_NFSVAULT_mirror -schedule 5min

snapmirror show

You can also check the SnapMirror relationship within the NetApp System Manager on the third NetApp to get the following screen view:
6Now that the SnapMirror relation has been initialized and running (in our case, every 5 minutes), check the Veeam interface to verify that snapshots on the third NetApp platform are available for restores.

Your Veeam interface should look similar to this:
7As you can see, all three NetApp systems are available, as well as the three volumes. When browsing the volumes on RLPEDGE02 and RLPEDGE03, we see the same number of available snapshots (one snapshot is the baseline image).
8With the configuration complete, we now have a cascaded SnapVault to SnapMirror relationship from which all Veeam restore capabilities can be used. One of the benefits of the direct integration Veeam provides is the ability to directly restore from array-based snapshots.

In the example below, we illustrate how an administrator can browse our NetApp system RLPEDGE03, view the VMs within that snapshot and perform all of the great recovery options that Veeam has available. In summary, this scenario illustrates how we’ve executed a single NetApp snapshot, which has been cascaded down to our tertiary device where we’re able to perform recovery. This process drastically reduces the load placed on the production environment during backup and recovery operations, which in turn, increases the RTPO for our applications and services.
9

What about Veeam Backup from Storage Snapshots?

Veeam Backup from Storage Snapshots is a unique technology that optimizes VM backup by leveraging Storage Snapshots as a source for the Veeam data stream. In the scenario that was just explained, you can fully leverage Veeam Backup from Storage Snapshots from the primary or secondary NetApp ONTAP storage device. Veeam orchestrates all the snapshots processes across these two storage systems.
10To complete the cascade process, and as mentioned earlier, the SnapMirror relation toward the third NetApp ONTAP system is handled by the data protection engine of ONTAP, and is not a part of Veeam orchestration.

Datacenter 4.0 – A reference architecture with Cisco, NetApp and Veeam

Today’s business relies on the IT department more than ever. The Internet of Everything (IoE) now requires a fully functioning datacenter to avoid business grinding to a halt, products not reaching the market and services disappearing. It is impossible to meet all user, customer or partner expectations without a fully functioning datacenter, which is the driving force for organizations to modernize and optimize their IT resources.

An important part of this modernization is standardizing predictable, repeatable and very stable data center reference architectures.

The reference architecture defines a technology design and deployment that addresses the specific requirements of a business need. This includes the blueprint and best practices for installation and configuration, which all work together in the most optimal state. The reference architecture defines which specific technologies and products are combined and how address them in a particular use case. The reference architecture is a template solution for enterprise IT.Read More »

NetApp SnapMirror policies and Veeam integration

Since years NetApp has the two different data protection mechanisms SnapMirror and SnapVault. SnapMirror is used to mirror the state of the volume to a secondary volume including all SnapShots and can be used to be a disaster recovery solution. SnapVault is used to build up a data protection (backup) solution based on SnapShots. With SnapVault you can define different numbers of SnapShots for primary and secondary volume. You can e.g. save 10 SnapShots on your production for instant recovery, primary volume and keep 200 SnapShots on you secondary volume for long-term retention.

With Data ONTAP 8.3 NetApp has extended the data protection relationships (type XDP) support by two more use cases, mirroring and mirror-vault. Mirror-Vault can be used to have one data protection relation for both, backup (SnapVault) and disaster recovery (SnapMirror). In previous versions you only had one data protection (type DP) relationship for async-mirror (SnapMirror) and one extended data protection relationship (type XDP) for SnapVault. The table below explains the current available types of data protection policies and their related results. The new flexible version SnapMirror is part of XDP as well.

Unbenannt-2

As you can see, NetApp integrated the two new type into the XDP type. Veeam supports all four different types of data protection policies and relation types.

If you want to use any kind of secondary integration, you simply have to choose in our job settings.

Depending on your SnapMirror policy type you now have to select different options to get the update to a secondary ONTAP running.

Standard SnapMirror relation (async-mirror, DP)
To get a standard SnapMirror relation working you have to choose “Configure secondary destination for this job” in your Veeam Job in the section “Storage”.
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In the next section “Secondary Target” you can now add a SnapMirror update by clicking on “Add” and selecting “SnapMirror”.
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In the appearing window you simply click on “OK” to add SnapMirror secondary target job to your original Veeam Job.
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You will see the SnapMirror Job in the GUI.
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Standard SnapVault relation (vault, XDP)
To get a standard SnapVault relation working you have to choose “Configure secondary destination for this job” in your Veeam Job in the section “Storage”.
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In the next section “Secondary Target” you can now add a SnapVault update by clicking on “Add” and selecting “SnapVault”.
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In the appearing window you have to specify the amount of SnapShots that should be saved on the secondary window (SnapVault retention). In our case 30 SnapShots will be saved on the secondary volume.
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After a click on “OK” you will see the SnapVault integration immediately in the GUI.
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Version Flexible SnapMirror (async-mirror, XDP)
To get a version flexible SnapMirror relation working you have to choose “Configure secondary destination for this job” in your Veeam Job in the section “Storage”.
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As the version flexible SnapMirror is relation type is XDP Veeam recognizes them as a SnapVault relation. That means that you have to select “NetApp SnapVault” under “Add” in the “Secondary Target” window.
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In the appearing window you can leave everything on default. As it is a mirror the number of SnapShot copies for secondary does not have any effect. The number of SnapShots that will be saved on the secondary volume is depending on what you’ve entered in the Job setting “Storage” section under “Restore points to keep on disks”.
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After a click on “OK” you will see the version flexible SnapMirror integration immediately in the GUI (shown as NetApp SnapVault).
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Mirror and Vault combined (MirrorAndVault, XDP)
To get a version combined SnapMirror/SnapVault (mirror-vault) relation working you have to choose “Configure secondary destination for this job” in your Veeam Job in the section “Storage”.
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As the mirror-vault relation type is XDP Veeam recognizes them as a SnapVault relation. That means that you have to select “NetApp SnapVault” under “Add” in the “Secondary Target” window.
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In the appearing window you can specify the number of SnapShots that should be saved on the secondary volume. In our case we save 30 SnapShots on the secondary volume.
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After a click on “OK” you will see the mirror-vault integration immediately in the GUI (shown as NetApp SnapVault).
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