Nakivo: configure a virtual tape infrastructure with StarWind VTL

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To enforce backups protection in Nakivo Backup & Replication, backup tape infrastructure can leverage the StarWind VTL technology to keep the backup air-gapped on virtual tape.

Taking advantage of StarWind VTL (Virtual Tape Library) technology, businesses can replace the expansive physical tape backup process with a more convenient solution by keeping same data archival rules and retention requirements.

VTL allows the administrators to leverage any public cloud and object storage tiering by enforcing the protection against ransomware attacks with a cost-effective solution.

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Prerequisites

To configure Nakivo virtual tape infrastructure with StarWind VTL, you need the following components:

  • StarWind VTL software
  • A configured Bucket in Wasabi
  • Nakivo Backup & Replication infrastructure

 

Deploy StarWind VTL

First step is the installation of StarWind VTL on a Windows Server (version 2012 or later).

The product supports main cloud storage offerings, such as AWS, Azure, Backblaze, and Wasabi. In this example, Wasabi is the chosen provider to store our virtual tapes.

Download the software from StarWind website and install the product by following this procedure.

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Configure StarWind VTL

Once VTL has been installed, access the StarWind console, select the configured server and click Add VTL Device.

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Enter a Name for the Virtual Tape Library to configure and click Next.

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Uncheck the Fill Storage Slots with Empty Tapes after Create option and click Next.

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Select Create new Target and click Next.

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Click Create to proceed with Tape Library creation.

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When the creation has been completed, click Close to exit the wizard.

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The new VTL device is now displayed in the console. Select the new Tape Library and click Create Tape.

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Leave the default and click Next.

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Specify the Number of Tapes to create and optionally the Custom Tape Size. Click Create.

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The new tape has been created successfully.

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Enable iSCSI connection to the new Tape Library

From the server where VTL has been installed, access the iSCSI Initiator Properties and go to Discovery tab. Click Discover Portal and add the IP address of the server. Click Advanced.

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From the Local Adapter drop-down menu, select Microsoft iSCSI Initiator then click OK.

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In the Targets tab, the corresponding new Tape Library's target is displayed. Select the target to connect then click Connect.

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Thick Enable multi-path option and click Advanced.

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From the Local Adapter drop-down menu, select Microsoft iSCSI Initiator and select 127.0.0.1/3260 from the Target portal IP drop-down-menu. Click OK.

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The new target is now connected.

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Create a Bucket in Wasabi

To store VTL tapes you need to have a Bucket configured in Wasabi.

To create a new Bucket, login to Wasabi and just click on Create Bucket button and follow the instructions.

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Connect StarWind VTL to Wasabi's Bucket

From StarWind VTL console, select your VTL Device and click Cloud Replication.

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Select Wasabi Cloud Storage and click Next.

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Enter the credentials to access the Wasabi's Bucket and click Next.

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Select Replicate Immediately from the drop-down menu and enable Create new empty tapes automatically when existing tape removed from VTL for replication option. Click Apply.

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The VTL device has been connected successfully to the specified Wasabi's Bucket.

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Configure Nakivo Backup & Replication

To configure StarWind VTL technology in Nakivo, you need first to install the Transporter in the VTL Server.

 

Install Nakivo Transporter in the VTL Server

Download the latest Nakivo Backup & Replication (Windows version) to the VTL Server and run the installer.

Select Transporter only as Installation type and specify a Master password to enforce security. Click Install.

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The Transporter is being installed to the VTL Server.

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After few seconds the Transporter installation completes successfully.

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Add the Transporter in Nakivo

From Nakivo dashboard, access the Settings > Transporters area. Click Add Existing Transporter and select Installed service.

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Enter the Hostname or IP of the VTL Server, specify a Transporter name and enter the Master password specified during the Transporter installation. Click Connect.

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Click Accept to accept the self-signed certificate.

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Once the certificate has been accepted, click Add to add the Transporter in Nakivo.

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The added Transporter.

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Add the VTL device to the Tape infrastructure

Access the Tape area, click Add New Device and select Robotic tape library or VTL.

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Select the previously added Transporter from the Assigned transporter drop-down menu and click Next.

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Select the correct media changer from the list then click Next.

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To identify the correct media changer, go to the VTL Server, select the VTL device configured for Nakivo and check the Serial Id value.

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Select the tape drives to use and click Next.

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Enter the Tape Library Name and click add media pool to define the Default media pool to use. Click Create Media Pool.

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Enter a Name for the new Media Pool and enable Automatically add free tapes to this pool when required option then click Save.

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Click on the created Media Pool.

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The Default media pool is now assigned. Click Finish to add the device.

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The VTL device is being added.

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The VTL device has been added successfully to Nakivo.

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Create a Backup Copy to Tape

Form the Dashboard, click Create > Backup copy job.

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Select a Backup Job to copy then click Next.

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Select Tape as Destination type and the created Media Pool as Destination. Click Next to continue.

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Specify the Schedule then click Next.

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Specify the desired Retention and click Next.

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Enter the Job name then click Finish & Run button.

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Select Run for all backups and click Run.

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The Backup Copy is being executed.

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Select Activities to check running tasks.

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After few minutes, the Backup Copy completes successfully.

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Checking the VTL Repository you can see the VMs of the Backup Copy just processed.

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The Backup Copies can now be stored directly in the cloud (offsite) making the backup configuration compliant with the 3-2-1 backup rule.

Nakivo Backup & Replication is available to download as 30-day trial.

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