Use a Drobo iSCSI Array as a Target for Veeam Backups

Drobo How-To Guide
Use a Drobo iSCSI Array as a Target for Veeam Backups
This document shows you how to use a Drobo iSCSI array with Veeam Backup & Replication version 5 in a
VMware environment. Veeam provides fast disk-based backup and recovery of virtual machines (VMs),
while Drobo provides an easy-to-use and scalable disk-based storage target. The combined solution
provides reliable and affordable disk-based backup storage for your virtualized server environment. The
benefit of this solution is the ability to have many different restore points on disk media instead of tape for
faster backups and restores without the hassle of managing catalogs of tapes.
Topics
Veeam basics
Creating and mounting a Drobo volume
 Using Microsoft iSCSI Initiator to connect to VMware datastores
Adding a new vCenter Server
Creating a new Veeam Backup job
Restoring virtual machines with Veeam Backup
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Use a Drobo iSCSI Array as a Target for Veeam Backups
What You Will Need
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Drobo model B800i or B1200i
Drobo Dashboard management software (most recent version)
Enterprise-grade 7200RPM SAS or SATA disk drives (recommended)
Windows Server 2008 R2 (dedicated server recommended)
Veeam Backup and Replication version 5
Veeam Basics
Veeam can be installed on a physical or virtual server. The advantage of installing on a physical server is
that backup storage can be directly attached and deliver the best throughput as well as attaching a tape
library to the same physical server should this is still required in addition to disk-based backup. Further,
installing Veeam as a physical server offloads the CPU burden of the backups from the VMware cluster.
Veeam Backup & Replication version 5 provides:
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File-level recovery
Start virtual machine from the backup
Provide replication
Built in deduplication and compression
Allow users to restores their own files
Backup recovery verification
Backup Modes
Veeam Backup & Replication supports different backup methods depending on the environment. Because
Veeam takes advantage of VMware Storage APIs, Direct SAN Access is preferred because it’s the most
efficient method and will be used in this document. Three transport modes are available:
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Direct SAN Access. Supported only for VMs that reside on a block storage device (iSCSI). In Direct
SAN Access mode, Veeam runs on a physical server and backs up the VM datastores directly without
going through the ESX/ESXi host. Direct SAN Access mode also adds failover safety mechanisms. Note
that if Direct SAN Access mode becomes unavailable, Veeam fails over to Network mode in order to
complete the backup.
Virtual Appliance. In this mode Veeam is installed on a VM and disks from the VMs that are to be
backed up are “hot-added” to the Veeam VM. Data is read directly from the storage stack instead of
over the network. The advantage of using Virtual Appliance mode is its ability to directly back up VMs
on NFS storage.
Network The least efficient mode because the Veeam Backup & Replication server is connected to the
ESX/ESXi host over the network using Network Block Device Protocol (NBD) to connect to the VM
datastore. This adds additional network traffic and resource usage on the host, which can negatively
impact VMs running on the host.
Veeam Hardware Requirements
Veeam recommends dedicating a server to be used solely for Veeam backups. While a VM host can be the
backup server, a physical host would tend to outperform a virtual host, because resources are not shared
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Use a Drobo iSCSI Array as a Target for Veeam Backups
and there is no virtualization layer. Make the decision based on the amount of data to be backed up and
features you might want to use in Veeam (for example, compression and deduplication).
Network Considerations
For Network mode backup and restore, Veeam uses the LAN to receive and send data. Therefore, as a best
practice, most IT administrators deploy two network interfaces. One interface is used for management (RDP
to the server, AD traffic, DNS, and so on). The second interface is dedicated to backup and restore traffic.
This results in the best possible backup and restore performance, as it will not overload the management
network.
Creating and Mounting a Drobo Volume
Follow the directions in the Drobo Online User Guide to configure the Drobo and create an NTFS volume:
http://www.drobo.com/support/documentation.php
STEP 1
In this step, two Drobo volumes are created using Drobo Dashboard. Do NOT install Drobo Dashboard on
the Veeam server but on a different host. Once the volume is created, it will be the repository in which
Veeam stores its backups.
Mount these volumes using Microsoft
iSCSI Initiator on the Veeam server.
Once the volumes have been created,
using Drobo Dashboard to open
Microsoft iSCSI Initiator on the Veeam
server: Start > Administrative Tools
> iSCSI Initiator
If you have not used Microsoft iSCSI
Initiator before, you will notice that the
list of volumes is empty.
Click the Discovery tab.
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STEP 2
Click the Discover Portal button,
add the IP address of the Drobo, and
click OK.
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STEP 3
The address is now added in the
Target portals list. Click the
Targets tab.
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STEP 4
Select the volume you wish to mount,
click Connect. In the pop-up dialog,
and click OK.
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Use a Drobo iSCSI Array as a Target for Veeam Backups
STEP 5
Once you have selected and connected
the volumes you want to use, click OK
to close Microsoft iSCSI Initiator.
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Use a Drobo iSCSI Array as a Target for Veeam Backups
STEP 6
To open Computer
Management, choose
Start > Administrative
Tools > Computer
Management.
Go to the Disk
Management section
under Storage. You will
now see two additional
disks, which are the
iSCSI volumes you have
just connected to. If the
volumes are not
mounted, mount them
and assign them a drive
letter.
STEP 7
A window prompts you to
select a folder. In this
example, a folder that
resides on one of the Drobo
volumes is selected.
To learn about Drobo and iSCSI, visit: http://www.drobo.com/resources/iscsi.php
NOTE: Veeam requires Microsoft Windows diskpart automount feature to be disabled when the backup
mode is Direct SAN Access. However, Drobo Dashboard requires that this feature be enabled, so that
volumes can be created, mounted, and formatted in Drobo Dashboard. Therefore it is recommended that
Drobo Dashboard be installed on a host that is not the Veeam server.
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Using Microsoft iSCSI Initiator To Connect to VMware Datastores
As discussed previously, Microsoft iSCSI Initiator is used on the host where Veeam is installed to allow
Veeam to:
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Connect but NOT mount the ESX/ESXi datastores on which the VMs reside
Connect but NOT mount the ESX/ESXi datastores to which VMs can be backed up
NOTE: This step is very similar to the previous section, in which Microsoft iSCSI Initiator was used to
connect to iSCSI volumes. However, because these volumes are formatted as VMFS, Windows does not
show them in My Computer. They do, however, appear as volumes in Disk Management.
There is a potential risk that the VMFS volumes are re-signatured by Windows if you attempt to initialize
one of these volumes and or assign it a drive letter. To prevent this from happening, Veeam recommends
that the diskpart automount be disabled. This is not applicable if you are using Veeam Backup & Replication
version 5, since it will automatically disable automount.
For more information, visit:
http://www.veeam.com/blog/using-the-iscsi-initiator-within-veeam-backup-replication-in-a-vm.html
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Use a Drobo iSCSI Array as a Target for Veeam Backups
STEP 1
To open Microsoft iSCSI
Initiator, choose Start >
Administrative Tools >
iSCSI Initiator.
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Use a Drobo iSCSI Array as a Target for Veeam Backups
STEP 2
In the Discovery tab, click
Discover Portal.
STEP 3
Enter the IP address of the
array. Shortly thereafter a list
of all the volumes that your
backup server has access to
appears the Targets tab.
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STEP 4
Select each target that you want
to mount and click Connect.
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Use a Drobo iSCSI Array as a Target for Veeam Backups
Adding a New vCenter Server
Install Veeam and use the main console to configure and manage backup attributes such as schedules,
retention, targets, deduplication, compression, and so on.
STEP 1
Launch Veeam and click Add
vCenter Server.
STEP 2
Enter the IP address of the
server, whether you are adding
a vCenter server or a single
ESX/ESXi host.
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STEP 3
Provide server administrator
credentials.
STEP 4
Click Finish to complete the
Add Server wizard.
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Use a Drobo iSCSI Array as a Target for Veeam Backups
Creating a New Veeam Backup Job
STEP 1
Click Create Backup Job
and click Add.
STEP 2
Enter a name for the backup
job. In this example, the name
is Production Job.
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Use a Drobo iSCSI Array as a Target for Veeam Backups
STEP 3
Select Direct SAN access.
NOTE: Veeam Backup & Replication version 5 fails back to Network mode if SAN mode fails or is not
configured correctly on the backup server, which could affect the performance of backups.
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STEP 4
Select the VMs to be
backed up.
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STEP 5
Verify the selected VMs to be
backed up and click Next.
STEP 6
Select a target on which to
store backups.
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OPTIONAL FOR STEP 6
Veeam also allows backups to
be stored on a VMFS datastore
when leveraging an ESX host,
which is not the case for ESXi
hosts. With an ESX host, you
can opt to select these
datastores/volumes as the
target. Note that this
configuration may impact
performance.
In this case, the host
destination is now an ESX host
that holds the VMFS
datastores.
Click Browse to locate the
datastore and click OK.
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STEP 7
Selecting a VMFS datastore as
the destination for backups can
have a significant decrease in
performance. So in this
example, the local disk/iSCSI
volume (V:\) is used instead of
the default.
Verify that this information is
correct and click Advanced.
STEP 8
Select the Incremental
backup mode.
In addition to incremental
backups, active full backups
should be performed either
weekly or monthly. Select the
option that works best in your
environment.
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STEP 9
Click the Storage tab.
If you wish, enable “Inline data
deduplication.” Make sure that
compression is set to Optimal
and that it is optimized for
Local target.
STEP 10
Click the vSphere tab and
select “Use changed block
tracking data.”
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STEP 11
Choose additional options for
Windows guests.
If you enable either of the
additional options, provide a
local administrator login.
For more information on
application processing and
Volume Shadow Copy
Services, refer to the Veeam
Backup & Replication User
Guide at:
http://www.veeam.com/vmwa
re-esx-backup/resources.html.
STEP 12
Specify scheduling options.
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STEP 13
Click Finish to complete the
Backup Job wizard.
This is an example of real-time
statistics for a backup job in
progress.
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Restoring Virtual Machines with Veeam Backup
STEP 1
Select the Restore from
Backup option in the Veeam
main console. A wizard guides
you through the configuration.
In this example “Instant VM
recovery” was selected as a
restore point.
STEP 2
Chose the VM you want to
restore.
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STEP 3
Choose a restore point.
STEP 4
Choose which vSphere server to
restore to.
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