For many, there’s lots of room for improvement when it comes to protecting data in a virtualized environment. During a recent Storage Swiss webinar, “The Five Ways Backup Design Can Impact Virtualized Data Protection”, we asked the audience what they wished their virtualized backup would do better. The results were almost evenly mixed across the board, but in short, most of the respondents were looking for ways to frequently protect data more quickly without relying on full backups, while also enhancing the data recovery process.
Veeam Integration Is Key
Veeam’s virtual server data protection solution has seen widespread adoption throughout the industry, however, some of the backup appliance systems in the market haven’t provided the right level of integration that data centers need. For example, Veeam can leverage the change block tracking (CBT) backup feature embedded within VMware to enable backup administrators to take fast and efficient backups multiple times a day. This can help improve recovery point objectives (RPOs) as there are more point-in-time backups available to recover from.
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At first glance this seems to tick the check-box for item “A” in the above poll. The challenge is, this type of backup I/O stream can cause havoc on backup disk appliances since it creates a randomized I/O pattern that they are not tuned for. The net result is that backup performance can actually degrade when CBT backups are occurring unless the appliance has an efficient layer of “production like” disk storage to ingest this information or provides additional processing power and RAM to offset the performance impact.
Another challenge with the combined use of Veeam and some backup appliances is if the appliance manages the data replication process. In these instances, Veeam is not aware that backup jobs have been replicated to an alternate site(s). This requires the administrator to manually update the Veeam catalogue on the far end. Not only is this cumbersome but if a DR event were to take place and the catalogue had not been updated, this could impact the ability of the administrative team to perform timely recoveries.
If, however, the backup appliance had a Veeam software agent installed on it, it could directly communicate with the Veeam catalogue server like any other device in the Veeam environment. Any backup jobs replicated by the appliance would be immediately recognized by the Veeam management server and instantly registered in the catalogue as recovery data sets. This helps to drive more automation into the data protection and recovery process and reduce the risk of extended recovery times.
To learn how to tick off all of the above check boxes in your virtualized backup environment, check-out the on-demand version of the ExaGrid and Storage Swiss webinar, “The Five Ways Backup Design Can Impact Virtualized Data Protection”.