Aug 27

Veeam does image level backup and replication for virtual machines. Storage agnostic and agent free.
Veeam currently has 88% of the Fortune500 companies. All industries all sizes.

Modern Data Protection with lots of awards and other marketing bragging rights.

V1 came out in 2008, V7 is the latest release.

The Veeam way is to solve backup problems.
Backup from storage snapshots, sure backup recovery verification, instant VM recovery, Built in deduplication, built in WAN acceleration.

86 percent of people create copies of their backups.
The 3-2-1 rule says 3 copies, 2 different media, 1 offsite. I could not agree more with this rule. We do this today with Tivoli Storage Manager.

True WAN acceleration is caching duplicate data and referencing it rather than sending across the WAN. Everything else is not WAN Acceleration.

Veeam is licensed per socket and has a few different versions of the product. There is a completely free version for use as well.

Veeam uses a primary backup storage device and an offsite backup storage device.

If you are using a WAN accelerator like Riverbed, you should configure the Veeam replication to bypass. The Veeam built in WAN Acceleration is under the backup copy screen.

Backup copy jobs moves the VM’s and restore points offsite. This is forever incremental. It can be selective so you can specify VM’s, frequency, and retention.

Veeam has added native tape support. An in room survey was conducted and I was surprised at the people still using tape. 50% of the room.

File level restore is newly added. Backup and recovery for vCloud Director is added as well. Lots of features and capabilities are VCD, even in the free edition!

Virtual lab for replicas. This looks interesting. On demand sand boxing for testing, training, and troubleshooting. Put the DR site to work.

Veeam explorer for SharePoint. Allows you to map to your SharePoint database that is offline and recover items for it. Even included in the free edition! Same concept for Exchange with restore to office365.

Veeam does use backup proxy servers just like other solutions.

Top 3 new features are:
Parallel processing
Data mover improvements like 64 bit and memory
New compassion algorithm that is hardware accelerated

V7 performance is around 200 MB/s.

Oct 4

I’ve been researching Tivoli Storage Manager a bit lately and have some good information to report. VMware API for Data Protection, or VADP for short, is VMware’s replacement for VCB. In some ways this is completely new and in others it is going to be very familiar.

You have to still use a proxy both ways. For full images you use a hardware proxy and vcb. For file level you can use a Windows Virtual Machine with the 6.2.1 client to backup other Windows VM’s. The last row in this table is incredibly vague in all honesty.

If you are only interested in file level backups of your vm’s, you will likely be happy with TSM’s integration to date with VADP. You’ll want the 6.2.1 windows client loaded on a windows VM. I used Windows 2008 R2. In this proxy machine you have to do some configurations. You cannot use the GUI to do the actual backup. The backup has to be ran just like VCB “dsmc backup vm”. At this point in vCenter you should see a snapshot made for the machine you are backing up. You also will soon see the proxy machine reconfigured with that machines vmdk mounted. To see some of the configs in the GUI open the 6.2.1 GUI (i’m using windows). Click on Edit, client preferences, vm backup. You will see on the right where you point it to virtual center. List vm’s to backup and select the style. Once this is done you can operate this new proxy vm just as you did your VCB box. Some nice features are backup all windows vm’s and then the ability to do a minus vm “-vm ” to exclude some vm’s.

Some missing features are things like auto detecting new VM’s and backing them up. The “All-Windows” selection in TSM will catch the new VM’s but it will fail to back them up because they do not have a node in the TSM server. Also your proxy node has not been granted access to back them up in TSM server. I am playing with some ways to script this but hopefully this is already on Tivoli’s roadmap.

Now if you want image level backups you are in for a surprise. TSM does not currently support VADP for image level backups. I currently do not do image level backups for production (that’s what replication is for I always said). I am now thinking of doing them simply to have another method to protect data.

If you have any issues please feel free to post a comment. I would love to hear how others are using TSM and VADP.

Mar 28

VMware Consolidated Backup is going to continue to mature into a great solution for backing up VM’s. Some of the early adopters may have experienced problems with centralized storage. If you have more than one path to your centralized storage it has been recommended in VMWare’s documentation that you disable all inactive paths. This to me does not seem acceptable as part of the reason you paid for your highly available storage was for it to be “HIGHLY AVAILABLE”. This was a big issue for me.

VMWare VCB 1.1.0 apparently works fine with PowerPath. I have configured this and I am currently backing up about 20 guests. I am using Windows 2003 SP2 and PowerPath 5.1.0. The version of VCB I am using is exactly VMware-vcb-64559. I am also using Tivoli Storage Manager

I am unsure if VCB and PowerPath are officially supported yet. I am unable to find any documentation on VMWare’s site that says it is supported. I am also unable to find anything in release notes or the forums. It was recommended to me by vmware support to see if it resolved a disk access issue we seemed to randomly be having. I’m happy to say that after installing PowerPath I am able to backup all of my vm’s I have in vmlist so far. I would try it in a lab environment for a bit. I’d be interested to hear if it works for anyone else.

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