Taking a VMware snapshots and Hyper-v checkpoint can produce a serious workload on VM performance, and it can take considerable effort by sys admin to overcome this technical challenge and meet the required service level agreement. Most Veeam user will run their backup and replication after hours considering impact to the production environment, but this can’t be your only backup solution. What if storage itself goes down, or gets corrupted? Even with storage-based replication, you need to take your data out of the single fault domain. This is why many customers prefer to additionally make true backups stored on different storage. Never to store production and backup on to a same storage.
Now you can take advantage of storage snapshot. Veeam decided to work with storage vendor such as EMC and NetApp to integrate production storage, leveraging storage snapshot functionality to reduce the impact on the environment from snapshot/checkpoint removal during backup and replication.
- EMC VNX/VNXe
- NetApp FAS
- NetApp FlexArray (V-Series)
- NetApp Data ONTAP Edge VSA
- HP 3PAR StoreServ
- HP StoreVirtual
- HP StoreVirtual VSA
- IBM N series
- Dell Compellent
NOTE: My own experience with HP StoreVirtual and HP 3PAR are awful. I had to remove HP StoreVirtual from production store and introduce other fibre channel to cope with workload. Even though Veeam tested snapshot mechanism with HP, I would recommend avoid HP StoreVirtual if you have high IO workload.
Veeam suggest that you can get lower RPOs and lower RTOs with Backup from Storage Snapshots and Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots.
Veeam and EMC together allow you to:
- Minimize impact on production VMs
- Rapidly create backups from EMC VNX or VNXe storage snapshots up to 20 times faster than the competition
- Easily recover individual items in two minutes or less, without staging or intermediate steps
As a result of integrating Veeam with EMC, you can backup 20 times faster and restore faster using Veeam Explorer. Hence users can achieve much lower RPOs (recovery point objectives) and lower RTOs (recovery time objectives) with minimal impact on production VMs.
How it works
Veeam Backup & Replication works with EMC and NetApp storage, along with VMware to create backups and replicas from storage snapshots in the following way.
The backup and replication job:
- Analyzes which VMs in the job have disks on supported storage.
- Triggers a vSphere snapshot for all VMs located on the same storage volume. (As a part of a vSphere snapshot, Veeam’s application-aware processing of each VM is performed normally.)
- Triggers a snapshot of said storage volume once all VM snapshots have been created.
- Retrieves the CBT information for VM snapshots created on step 2.
- Immediately triggers the removal of the vSphere snapshots on the production VMs.
- Mounts the storage snapshot to one of the backup proxies connected into the storage fabric.
- Reads new and changed virtual disk data blocks directly from the storage snapshot and transports them to the backup repository or replica VM.
- Triggers the removal storage snapshot once all VMs have been backed up.
VMs run off snapshots for the shortest possible time (Subject to storage array- EMC works better), while jobs obtain data from VM snapshot files preserved in the storage snapshot. As the result, VM snapshots do not get a chance to grow large and can be committed very quickly without overloading production storage with extended merge procedure, as is the case with classic techniques for backing up from VM snapshots.
Integration with EMC storage will bring great benefit to customers who wants to take advantage of their storage array. Veeam Availability Suite v9 will provide the chance to reduce IO on to your storage array and bring your SLA under control.