Veeam 9: scale-out backup repository setup

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Feature introduced in Veeam Backup & Replication 9, Scale-out Backup Repository is a logical entity made of multiple simple repositories that can be used to store backup and backup copy jobs.

The Scale-out Backup Repository can comprise one or more extents where an extent is a standard backup repository configured in the backup infrastructure.

This feature is available only in Veeam Enterprise and Enterprise Plus editions with the following limitations:

  • Enterprise – allows up to 3 extents
  • Enterprise Plus – unlimited extents

 

Backup storage management

In medium and large environments, the management of backup storage devices can be a hard work for administrators. Repositories have a fixed size and space may not be consumed properly over time.

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Using simple repositories, each backup job needs to be assigned to a specific repository.

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Using Scale-out Backup Repository instead, a backup job is pointed to the scale-out repository which decides the best target to run the job. The backup storage devices management can be reduced without the issue of underutilized backup devices, optimizing IT costs and improving backup performance.

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This solution avoid the problem of relocating backup chains when repositories run out of space and administrators can easily add a new extent to the existing Scale-out Repository.

 

Setup a Scale-out Backup Repository

To configure a Scale-out Backup Repository you need to choose the available storage devices from Backup Repositories tab.

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Access the Backup Infrastructure section and select Scale-out Repositories tab. Click Add Scale-out Repository to run the wizard.

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Enter the Name for the Scale-out Repository and optionally a Description then click Next.

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Click Add button to specify the extents to use. Select the backup repositories to include and click OK.

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Click Advanced button to access the Advanced Settings. Two options are available:

  • Use per-VM backup files – enabled by default, it improves performance optimizing disk usage. If existing repositories are imported with backup files already stored, an Active Full Backup needs to be run to switch to per-VM files.
  • Perform full backup when required extent is offline – if the extent containing the backup chain is not available, it allows to complete a successful backup. This feature increase the space consumption each time a new full backup is created.

Once configured the Advanced Settings, click OK.

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When all the required extents have been selected, click Next to continue.

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Select the Policy to use as backup files placement and click Next. You have two different policies available:

  • Data locality – all extents are at the same level and all dependent files are stored on the same extent.
  • Performance – backups are stored on different extents separating full backups from incremental backups improving performance. If the full backup is stored on a failed repository or stored on an extent under maintenance, the system may create a new full backup breaking your incremental backup chain.

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When the Scale-out Backup Repository has been created successfully, click Finish to exit the wizard.

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The new created repository.

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Configure a Backup Job

From the Veeam console, add a new Backup Job. Enter a job Name and click Next.

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Specify the VMs to backup and click Next. Note that a VMware vSphere tag has been used in this backup job.

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Select the Scale-out Backup Repository just created. The total amount of available space is the combined space of the extents added during the configuration.

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Leave default if you don’t need VSS processing. Click Next.

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Specify a Schedule then click Next.

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Click Finish to save the Backup Job configuration.

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Right click the Backup Job and select Start to test the new repository.

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Maintenance

Two service actions can be performed with extents of scale-out backup repositories:

  • Put extents to the maintenance mode
  • Evacuate backups from extents

 

Maintenance Mode

If you want to upgrade the backup repository server and add more memory or replace a storage device, you must put the extent to the maintenance mode.

Right click the repository to process and select Maintenance mode option.

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The repository has been put in maintenance mode.

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When an extent is in maintenance mode, the functionality is limited:

  • New tasks targeted at this extent are not started.
  • VM data from backup files residing on the extent cannot be restored.

When you enable the maintenance mode, the Repository Maintenance job checks the status of jobs and tasks targeted at the extent and puts the extent to one of the following modes:

  • If no tasks using the extent are currently running, the job puts the extent to the maintenance mode immediately.
  • If the extent is busy with any task, the job puts the extent to the Maintenance pending state and waits for the task to complete. When the task is complete, the extent is put to the maintenance mode.

 

Backup Files Evacuation

To exclude an extent from the scale-out backup repository, the backup files need to be evacuated from this extent. The extent must be put to the Maintenance mode before you can evacuate backups. When the procedure is executed, the system moves backup files from the extent to other extents that belong to the same scale-out backup repository maintaining the backup chains consistent.

To evacuate backup files, right click the extent in maintenance mode and select Evacuate backups option.

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Click Yes to proceed.

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Files are evacuated from selected extent.

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When the evacuation is completed, the processed extent can be safely removed from the Scale-out Backup Repository.

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