Lenovo Helps Unlock Your Data Center's Potential

Source: Lenovo

Lenovo (HKSE:992) today announced a new set of servers, software, and solutions offerings that will help businesses gain faster insights, simplify IT management, reduce TCO and maximize uptime. Now featuring the latest Intel® Xeon® series processors, Lenovo servers have achieved six performance world records across virtualization, database, high performance computing, and high frequency trading workloads. In addition, Lenovo continues to be recognized as the #1 x86 server vendor for reliability and customer satisfaction.
Lenovo Helps Unlock Your Data Center’s Potential

Ultimate FAQ for Scale-out Backup Repository

Source: Veeam

Veeam Availability Suite v9 has been out for more than 2 months now. Many users have already upgraded, and are embracing it as well as asking questions about the new version and its features. Among the new features, there is one we’re especially proud of: Scale-out Backup Repository. This one gets a lot of questions in communities and I’ve decided to address them by issuing the ultimate FAQ. This should answer the most common questions (if not, let me know, I’ll add your question and the answer) and help describe how Veeam’s Scale-out Backup Repository works.

 

Q: What’s Veeam Backup Repository?

A: It’s a place where Veeam Backup & Replication can store backup files. Technically, it’s a folder on a disk/storage, configured from Veeam GUI (or by PowerShell cmdlets). Veeam has full access to this folder, and can read and write files.

 

Q: What types of repositories does Veeam have?

A: As of version 9.0, there are 4 repository types Veeam offers:

  • Windows Server with local or directly attached storage
  • Linux server with local or directly attached storage
  • CIFS (SMB) share
  • Deduplicating storage appliance (EMC Data Domain, ExaGrid, HPE StoreOnce)

Q: Oh, wait! Where is Scale-out Backup Repository? Is it a separate piece of hardware?

A: Veeam’s Scale-out Backup Repository is a software object. It is a logical entity that groups multiple “simple” repositories (see above) into one abstract repository. Thus, Veeam Backup & Replication creates a pool of storage devices, summarizing their capacity and increasing their performance when set properly.

 

Q: Why would I want to have such a thing?

Backup repository administration can be a hard job. It requires a lot of resources from an IT administrator. Repositories have a fixed size, and space may not be consumed properly over time. Not to mention how painful micro-management is, and how difficult it is to plan for future scalability.

Using Scale-out Backup Repository allows you to reduce backup storage management, solving the issue of underutilized backup devices and improving backup performance. As a result, companies can reduce their investments in storages making IT administrators and business owners happy.

 

Q: Ok, how can I visualize this feature graphically?

A:

Veeam before Scale-out Backup Repository
Figure 1. Veeam before Scale-out Backup Repository

 

Veeam with Scale-out Backup Repository
Figure 2. Veeam with Scale-out Backup Repository

 

Q: What kind of tasks does this feature support?

Backup jobs, Backup Copy jobs and VeeamZIP tasks can be pointed to this repository.

Replication (VM metadata), Configuration backup, VM copy and Endpoint backup are not supported as of version 9.0.

 

Q: Gotcha. So how can I create a Scale-out Backup Repository then?

A: In order to be able to set up such repository, you should create two or more simple repositories (actually it could be used even only one repository to start, but it would not make too much sense), then go to Backup Infrastructure and launch a Scale-out Backup Repository creation wizard. Provide the name of the repository, add necessary extents and define the placement policy.

Once you select the extents for this repository, all respective tasks using one of the involved simple repositories will be automatically reconfigured to use this newly created repository.

 

Q: You said something about policies. What are the policies?

A: The way Scale-out Backup Repository distributes backup files across multiple extents is set within the Scale-out Backup Repository policy. There are two policies: Data locality and Performance.

Data locality: All dependent backup files (from the same incremental chain) are placed in the same extent. However, the following incremental chain can be placed to any other extent.

Performance: Veeam Backup & Replication places incremental backup files to a different backup extent from the corresponding full backup file. This provides better transform operation performance as the I/O is distributed across the storage systems when it comes to this operation.

Even though the program attempts to follow these policies, it is flexible. If the needed extent is full or unavailable for example, Veeam Backup & Replication violates the policy and places the new backup file to an available extent. Better to violate a policy and still guarantee a successful backup!

 

Q: How does the extent selection go when a backup task starts?

A: Before a backup task starts, Veeam Backup & Replication applies a special algorithm, aiming to select the most suitable extent at this particular moment of time. Prior to selection, it checks the availability of backup extents, backup placement policy for this task, limitation for a maximum number of tasks that the extents can process, amount of free space at the extents, and presence of files from this backup chain at the extents.

 

Q: What happens if an extent with a backup chain/previous incremental file is down/offline when the task starts?

A: Veeam Backup & Replication checks the presence of the extent and fails the job if the extent is not available.

You can prevent this by enabling the “perform full backup when required extent is offline” option in advanced settings of the corresponding extent. This way the program starts over the backup chain and creates an active full backup file when the necessary extent is not available. Remember you are trading backup completion with additional consumed space with this option.

 

Q: Are there any service actions I can do with extents? What if I need to shut it down and replace the hardware?

There are a few service actions. You can put an extent in maintenance mode at any time. This means, that Veeam won’t start any new task targeted to this extent, and restore operations from files this extent contains won’t be available.

If you want to retire this extent from Scale-out repository, you can perform an automatic backup files evacuation once the extent is in maintenance mode. This operation will migrate backup files off this extent to other extents belonging to the same Scale-out repository according to previously defined policies.

Scale-out Backup Repository. Evacuate backups
Figure 3. Scale-out Backup Repository. Evacuate backups

 

Q: Anything else I should know about Scale-out Backup Repository?

A: Besides the repository itself, we introduced a per-VM backup files option (enabled by default) for each Scale-out Backup Repository. Until version 8, we used to have only one method — grab all VMs from the same job and store them into the same backup file. Now, we are able to create a separate backup chain for each VM belonging to the same backup job. This allows our solution to be more flexible in terms of storage utilization and improve the backup speed when working with storages in parallel.

 

Q: Oh, that’s cool but I’m afraid there is no more deduplication, isn’t it?

Surprisingly, it is not. We continue to perform deduplication and compression per-VM like before. When VM data is processed by Veeam components, it is split to data chunks that we dedupe and compress before placing them to an actual backup file. Plus, you can always use your deduplicating storage as a target for backups. This way Veeam’s technologies will be complemented with storage’s post-line deduplication, giving you good performance results and storage savings at the end.

 

Q: What if I upgrade from v8 to v9, what will happen with existing jobs/chains?

We always follow the rule “no reconfiguration should be done within an upgrade.” It means, that upgrades won’t touch your existing jobs/configuration. Just after the upgrade you will be able to see a newly created Scale-out Repositories node in Backup Infrastructure.

Configuring a Scale-out Backup Repository and pointing it to simple repositories with existing data comes with a warning “jobs and backups using this extent will be automatically updated to point to this repository.” If the extent contains unsupported job data (replication, configuration backup), it should be cleaned from this data and the corresponding jobs should be reconfigured to another simple repository.

If you choose the “per-VM backup files” option, the actual split of backup files happens within the next full backup run.

 

Q: Great. What is the cost of this feature? What type of license do I need?

A: Veeam’s Scale-out Backup Repository is aimed for large companies with lots of repositories to handle. It’s available starting with the Enterprise license. Using this license, you’re able to create one Scale–out Backup Repository with a maximum of three extents. With the Enterprise Plus license, it’s possible to create an unlimited number of repositories, each with unlimited number of extents.

 

Q: We are a Veeam Service Provider, can we use Scale-out Backup Repository for storing customers’ backup?

As of version 9.0, Scale-out Backup Repository is not available for such a scenario, but we’re keeping this in mind and considering to include this functionality to v9 updates. However, you can already use Scale-out Backup Repository for your own internal backups (backups received without Veeam Cloud Connect).

 

If you didn’t find your question above, please post it below and I’ll extend the FAQ.

Helpful Resources

Ultimate FAQ for Scale-out Backup Repository

CTO External Statement

Source: Lenovo

External Statement
Building on its leadership and structural changes announced on March 17 [LINK], Lenovo today announced that current Chief Technology Officer Peter Hortensius will fully move into his new role leading technology and strategy for the company’s new Data Center Group, effective April 1, and that former CTO and current head of Lenovo Capital and Investment Group (LCIG) George He will become acting CTO while the company searches for a permanent leader in that role.
CTO External Statement

Robust Wireless Network in the Healthcare Environment

Source: Cisco
Across the board, digital transformation is revolutionizing multiple industries. Healthcare is among the most prolific of these industries as digital transformation leverages the capabilities of a robust wireless network. Healthcare organizations are delivering innovative patient care, streamlining connections between patients and providers and improving collaboration among colleagues through connected devices on the Internet of Things […]Robust Wireless Network in the Healthcare Environment

Veeam Managed Backup Portal for Service Providers is generally available … And FREE!

Source: Veeam

At VeeamON 2015, we announced a new solution called Veeam Managed Backup Portal for Service Providers. The feedback we are receiving is overwhelming. In the meantime, we worked hard on releasing a technical preview. All of you who have worked with this preview and gave us feedback, thank you very much!

Today, we are happy to announce that Veeam Managed Backup Portal for Service Providers is generally available and ready for you in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace!

And we have one other surprise: We decided to make it FREE!

GET A RENTAL KEY

We have said it before, and we’ll say it again … Today’s IT world is changing rapidly. For those service providers, resellers, partners and integrators who want to extend their business offerings to their customers, Veeam Managed Backup Portal for Service Providers delivers a business-in-a-box to quickly and easily deploy new business offerings and enter the cloud era while eliminating the known pains such as a lack of resources, experience, infrastructure requirements and many more.

With this solution, you can use your extensive knowledge of Veeam solutions and offer added value to your customers by managing and monitoring their on-premises infrastructures and offering hosted backup repositories through our well-known and popular Veeam Cloud Connect technology.

Simplified customer onboarding

Managing new and existing customers should be as easy as possible for the service provider as the customers themselves. In a matter of minutes you can start managing your customers. An easy-to-use and straightforward wizard will onboard new customers. After that, your customer (or tenant) can add additional users to its subscription to give access to the tenant portal based on defined rights.

Veeam Managed Backup Portal for Service Providers

There is no need for configuring a virtual private network (VPN), no firewall configuration or creating VLANs on your side. Everything works over https and uses the same gateway technology of Veeam Cloud Connect.

You can also easily define custom plans per customer to make sure that the delivered service is built on the needs of your customer.

Veeam Managed Backup Portal for Service Providers

Speaking of billing and invoices, if you are in the beginning stage of your new business, integrating billing into your existing systems or building an entirely new system aren’t the easiest tasks to do. Our out-of-the-box billing system is simple and flexible and you can start charging your customers from the very first minute.  Depending on the SLA you agreed upon with your customer, you will be able to specify settings, such as invoice details, invoice summary only or a detailed report of their usage. On top of that, you will be able to create a custom schedule to automatically send those invoices to your customers, and you can even customize the invoices with your company logo.

Streamlined remote monitoring and remote management

The easy-to-use remote monitoring and management capabilities will make it easy for you to use your extensive knowledge of Veeam and offer added value to your customers. You can detect issues with their environments, see if all jobs are running as expected, and even start, stop and retry those jobs.

This will save a lot of time for your engineers because they won’t need to go on site, but they also won’t lose time setting up VPNs, which will result in faster time to resolution, being beneficial for both you and your customers. Service providers can also download the logs to troubleshoot further.

Additionally, the service provider can see everything per tenant (and per tenant’s location) and not only look at alarms and jobs, but also at the entire Veeam Backup & Replication™ infrastructure.

And there is much more: Dashboards give you overviews of intelligent information based on customers, growth and much more.

Veeam Managed Backup Portal for Service Providers

Multi-tenant customer portal

Each tenant or customer has also his or her own portal, which you can customize with your own logo and color scheme. He or she can create additional users and give them specific rights depending on their roles in the company. The tenant has self-service monitoring and configuration available for their environment. Just like a service provider, a tenant has dashboards with valuable information and can look at their jobs and perform related tasks. Tenants also have a full overview of all protected virtual machines in their environment, including the amount of restore points and many more details.

If the tenant is also using a service provider’s Backup as a Service offering, he or she can see the quota that used already.

The tenant also has an overview of invoices is visible, including whether they have paid already or not, just like the service provider can see.

Last but not least, the tenant has a great overview of well the environment is protected against a potential disaster.

Veeam Managed Backup Portal for Service Providers

Backup as a Service

Besides remotely managing and monitoring your customers’ environments you can take this one step further and offer Backup as a Service. Veeam Cloud Connect for backups is fully integrated into this solution, offering you, another possibility as a service provider to deliver additional benefits to your customers!

Easy-to-start

Veeam Managed Backup Portal for Service Providers, available in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, is designed to simplify your steps in the cloud era, building new businesses and revenue streams. With easy customer onboarding, out-of-the-box billing, remote management and monitoring to monetize your knowledge on Veeam solutions, and full integration with proven Backup as a Service technology, it’s easy to acquire new customers, offer better services to current customers and build new revenue streams in a matter of minutes.

Get started today!

Step 1: Apply for the Veeam Cloud & Service Provider program. It’s FREE!
(if you haven’t already)

Step 2: Once approved, get your free rental key.

Step 3: Provision within Microsoft Azure.

 

See also

Veeam Managed Backup Portal for Service Providers is generally available … And FREE!