The right way to ensure the Availability of SAP environments starts with Veeam

Source: Veeam

When it comes to ensuring the Availability of SAP environments, enterprises need to ensure their expectations are met. Recently, I collaborated with a few of my peers and experts in the industry to provide detailed, technical information on ensuring the Availability of SAP environments with Veeam. If you have SAP, it’s an important part of your business, and ensuring its Availability goes without saying.

There are a number of key points covered in the mentioned paper, so I encourage you to have a look. Note that there are a few things to consider with SAP environments; mainly the SAP-specific tools (BRTools) such as BRRestore, BRBackup and BRArchive. The Veeam SAP whitepaper has a number of scripts you can use with BRBackup so you can provide additional application Availability. Many SAP environments that use Veeam may have a data flow much like the image below:

Availability of SAP environments with Veeam

The BRTools provide a good data flow for application-specific data (from the database), but there are a number of extra considerations. For example, there are questions about the need for an image-based backup of the SAP environment, and many organizations have struggled with the decision to virtualize SAP.

The Veeam SAP whitepaper is an outstanding read to explore some additional capabilities that you may not even know you had when it comes to using Veeam Availability Suite for SAP environments. Simply virtualizing SAP is a difficult enough decision, however, by doing so there are some very compelling Veeam-specific capabilities that many organizations would indeed benefit greatly from.

The first example is leveraging the Veeam On-Demand Sandbox for SAP environments. This is particularly important when it comes to testing critical updates to SAP environments and any downstream systems that may have special communication or custom applications that critically depend on SAP. Take into consideration that Veeam now has three different ways in which you can run the On-Demand Sandbox: from a backup file, from a replicated VMware VM and from a storage snapshot of a supported array for Veeam storage integration. The other half of this technology is the ability to verify that image-based backups of the SAP system are indeed recoverable. Note that the paper also shows how to leverage scripts in the SureBackup area of Veeam Backup & Replication.

The ability to leverage the data of an SAP environment in a risk-free situation (the virtual lab) is an incredible capability many enterprises simply do not have. This can save wasted time on change control situations that are backed out or not properly tested ahead of time.

Also consider the Instant VM Recovery capability for SAP environments. This technology provides an outstanding, high-speed recovery technique should an SAP environment have a failure that requires a complete restore.

In addition to the entire system options above, the Veeam SAP paper talks at length about a number of Oracle database situations, as well as provide example walkthrough situations of restoring SAP databases with Veeam Explorer for Oracle. This is in addition to the walkthrough provided using BRRestore from the BRTools kit. If you are using HANA or SQL Server, there is further content for these databases as well in the Veeam SAP paper.

When it comes to Availability for SAP environments, it’s critical to have the best tools at your arsenal to avoid outages, ensure workloads are running as expected and have rich options when things don’t go as planned. Download the Veeam SAP whitepaper to learn more.

Additional resources:

The post The right way to ensure the Availability of SAP environments starts with Veeam appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

The right way to ensure the Availability of SAP environments starts with Veeam

Fueling Mexico’s Economic Transformation

Source: Cisco
Mexico is rapidly becoming one of Latin America’s economic success stories. With a thriving manufacturing hub and a fast-growing IT industry, Mexico is clearly a significant economy in Latin America and an economic lighthouse for the region. At Cisco, we’re proud to play a role in helping drive Mexico’s continued economic transformation. We started operations […]Fueling Mexico’s Economic Transformation

Get to know the reference design for replication services with Veeam Cloud Connect v9

Source: Veeam

At the beginning of 2016 Veeam released the NEW Veeam Availability Suite v9 and one of the biggest enhancements in the software has been the new version of Veeam Cloud Connect, this time offering replication services.

The amount of new options, features and best practices for Veeam Cloud Connect v9 is so impressive that it deserved not just white paper, but a proper book! Luca Dell’Oca, EMEA Cloud Architect for Veeam, has recently presented his new Reference Architecture Guide for Veeam Cloud Connect v9, which goes far beyond your expectations and covers nearly everything you ever wanted to know about setting up cloud services with Veeam. One of the things that cloud services administrators and networking experts may value most in this eBook is the accuracy in providing lab examples as close to a real production environment as possible. And there’s even more – a printed version of the Reference Architecture Guide is coming soon, so you can always have it at hand!

For service providers, Veeam Cloud Connect with replication opens new and exciting revenue opportunities through DRaaS offerings. We keep saying that offering DRaaS services with Veeam is EASY and it really IS! This blog post is inspired by Luca’s Reference Architecture Guide and is meant to demonstrate you the fancy logic of Veeam Cloud Connect design. We’ll review the list of key Veeam Cloud Connect architecture components and their roles. This will help you as a service provider architect to easily navigate in the product documentation and start with VCC implementation.

Veeam Cloud Connect architecture

Veeam Cloud Connect works with both VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V virtual environments and leverages Veeam replication technology to create VM replicas at the cloud-based DR site. Its modular architecture includes a number of required and optional components – some of them are cloud-specific and others are a part of Veeam Backup & Replication infrastructure that you’re already familiar with. Thus, to provide DRaaS services with Veeam Cloud Connect you need to have in your infrastructure a Veeam backup server, Veeam Enterprise Manager, proxies and WAN accelerators. What else? On the scheme below you can see several highlighted components – Veeam Cloud Connect Portal, cloud gateways and network extension appliances – all proprietary to Veeam Cloud Connect. Let’s now review their roles and understand their specifics.

Replication services with Veeam Cloud Connect v9

Veeam Cloud Connect Portal

Veeam Cloud Connect Portal (or Cloud Portal) is critical for DRaaS cloud services offerings. Using Cloud Portal web UI, your tenants can execute their cloud failover plans and instantly switch to their cloud-based VM replicas in case of emergency. The web-based Cloud Portal operates over a single 6443 TCP port and can be accessed from any device and location over an HTTPS connection.

Replication services with Veeam Cloud Connect v9

Cloud Portal comes as an additional component of Veeam Enterprise Manager. You need to choose its installation during the Veeam Enterprise Manager setup. It’s recommended to use a dedicated server for Veeam Enterprise Manager with Cloud Portal installation.

Replication services with Veeam Cloud Connect v9

Cloud Portal UI is something your tenants will be using regularly and its look can be easily customized to become a part of your branding strategy! You can apply your company’s colors, name and even change the portal name. For more details on this, I suggest you to read my colleague’s blog post Veeam Cloud Connect Portal branding.

Cloud Gateways

To establish a secure and reliable connection between tenant’s and service provider’s infrastructures Veeam uses cloud gateways – network appliances running on Windows OS (see the full list of requirements). Cloud gateways enable the single-port connectivity for Veeam Cloud Connect by tunneling all data traffic over a single TCP or UDP port (for DRaaS services), secured with an SSL certificate.

Cloud gateways also help to balance the traffic load on the service provider side. For better scalability, redundancy and load balancing you can install several cloud gateways and create a pool of such network appliances.

Replication services with Veeam Cloud Connect v9

Network extension appliances

The network extension appliance is a Linux-based auxiliary VM created both on tenant and service provider virtualization hosts with source VMs and their replicas to establish communication between them. Network extension appliances are mandatory for enabling DRaaS services and are installed automatically by Veeam Backup & Replication.

These tiny VMs are responsible for failover capabilities. During a full-site failover, the network extension appliance provides internet access for replica VMs and makes replicas accessible from the internet. During partial site failover, it extends the customer network to the service provider environment and allows production VMs on the tenant side to communicate with their replicas in the cloud.

Replication services with Veeam Cloud Connect v9

Summary

Veeam Cloud Connect adds just a few specific components to a service provider infrastructure, including a Cloud Portal, cloud gateways and network extension appliances – all required if you’re going to provide DRaaS services. They enable a single-port connectivity between tenant and service provider hosts, route replication traffic and commands, allow tenants to perform full and partial site failover and provide a web-based management portal.

Veeam Cloud Connect not only provides you an easy and efficient way to extend your service offering with BaaS and DRaaS, but also allows you to do it within your company’s branding strategy familiar to your tenants.

Additional resources

Veeam Availability Orchestrator

The post Get to know the reference design for replication services with Veeam Cloud Connect v9 appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Get to know the reference design for replication services with Veeam Cloud Connect v9

CSO Women’s Development Day

Source: Cisco
Our 4th Annual CSO Women’s Professional Development Day, hosted by Cisco’s Corporate Strategy Office, was held in San Jose last week. Aimed at providing education, development and inspiration to employees from Cisco, customers and partners, this year’s event was incredibly well received, with over 450 attendees from 11 locations across the U.S. Events such as […]CSO Women’s Development Day

Enterprise datacenter Availability with NetApp cascaded SnapMirror and Veeam

Source: Veeam

Data Availability has become more and more important for today’s businesses. The NetApp Data ONTAP and Veeam combination provides a high Availability level for the Always-On Enterprise. By leveraging NetApp data protection features like snapshots, SnapMirror and SnapVault, Veeam is able to enhance recovery time and recovery point objectives, otherwise known as RTPO, for VMs and applications residing on NFS-, FC-, FCoE- and iSCSI-based arrays.

Some enterprise data centers are leveraging NetApp’s ability to cascade ONTAP systems to maximize Availability. In this blogpost, I explain the benefits of leveraging an ONTAP cascaded design with Veeam.

The environment

Let’s assume the customer has the following data center design and requirements:

Availability with NetApp cascaded SnapMirror and Veeam

  1. In the primary data center, a NetApp ONTAP system named RLPEDGE01, with a source volume called NFSVAULT
  2. On the secondary side, a NetApp ONTAP system RLPEDGE02, with a SnapVault destination Volume RLPNFS01_NFSVAULT_vault
  3. At the third side, a NetApp ONTAP system RLPEDGE03, with a SnapMirror destination volume RLPNFS03_NFSVAULT_mirror

The requirements include using SnapVault between RLPEDGE01 and RLPEDGE02, combined with application-consistent snapshots. Furthermore, the customer wants to use SnapMirror to replicate the SnapVault data to RLPEDGE03, which is in a co-location facility.

Veeam orchestration combined with NetApp protection policies

To build this configuration, NetApp ONTAP protection policies are combined with Veeam’s advanced storage integration and orchestration capabilities.

Availability with NetApp cascaded SnapMirror and Veeam

  1. Veeam creates an application-consistent backup of VMs. This includes the optional log truncation and snapshot creation within the VMware environment.
  2. Next, Veeam instructs the primary NetApp system (RLPEDGE01) to perform an array-based snapshot and subsequent orchestration.
  3. Next, the primary NetApp system will manage the SnapVault update to the secondary (RLPEDGE02) and retention policies of these snapshots within both primary and secondary systems.
  4. The NetApp ONTAP built-in protection engine handles the SnapMirror update between the secondary and the tertiary (RLPEDGE03) NetApp systems. Through this process, all snapshots on RLPEDGE02 will be mirrored to RLPEDGE03 and made available for restores.

The customer benefits here by being able to leverage Veeam’s native restore capabilities on any NetApp ONTAP platform in the environment. This includes the third NetApp system, RLPEDGE03, which is not part of the Veeam snapshot orchestration process. The restore functionality permits granular restores using Veeam Explorers for Storage Snapshots to perform file, item or VM image-based recoveries for Microsoft Active Directory, Exchange, SharePoint, SQL and Oracle. Veeam OnDemand Sandbox capabilities can also leverage NetApp snapshots to create isolated test environments for testing application updates, patches and other changes, without impacting the production environment.

Let’s get it done

To set up this configuration, follow these steps:

1. Add all NetApp ONTAP systems to your Veeam Backup & Replication console

Availability with NetApp cascaded SnapMirror and Veeam

2. Create the SnapVault relationship between primary and secondary NetApp systems

Availability with NetApp cascaded SnapMirror and Veeam

3. Create a Veeam job to protect your VMs:

a. Within the Veeam job set the desired SnapVault retention policies

Availability with NetApp cascaded SnapMirror and Veeam

b. If required, enable Application-Aware Processing

c. Define a schedule for the job that meets the RPO of applications being protected

If you require any assistance creating a Veeam/NetApp backup job, you can find additional detail in the Best Practices Guide.

After Veeam Backup and NetApp SnapVault are configured and running, we can now set up the SnapMirror relationship to the third NetApp system. However, you should pair NetApp 2 and NetApp 3 and ensure that the proper SnapVault Mirrors (SVMs) are available and paired as well. In addition, create a DP Volume on the NetApp 3 SVM, which will be used as the destination target for the SnapMirror volume.

NOTE: Veeam assumes no warranty for any command. These commands should only be used as a reference. Exercise CAUTION when working in any production environment. All commands should be modified (cluster, volume, vservernames, etc.) to fit in your environment!

After the volume is created, you can create the SnapMirror policy and the SnapMirror relationship:

To create the SnapMirror policy run:

snapmirror policy create -vserver SVMNFS03 -policy VeeamSM -tries 8 -transfer-priority normal -ignore-atime false -restart always -type async-mirror

Add the rule to mirror all source snapshots: all_source_snapshots. This is mandatory, otherwise you will get an error that the SnapMirror label was not found:

snapmirror policy add-rule -vserver SVMNFS03 -policy VeeamSM -snapmirror-label all_source_snapshots -keep 1

snapmirror policy show

SnapMirror relation creation and initialization:

snapmirror create -source-path RLPNFS02:RLPNFS01_NFSVAULT_vault -destination-path SVMNFS03:RLPNFS03_NFSVAULT_mirror -type DP -throttle unlimited -identity-preserve false -vserver SVMNFS03 -policy VeeamMirror

snapmirror initialize -destination-path SVMNFS03:RLPNFS03_NFSVAULT_mirror

snapmirror modify -destination-path SVMNFS03:RLPNFS03_NFSVAULT_mirror -schedule 5min

snapmirror show

You can also check the SnapMirror relationship within the NetApp System Manager on the third NetApp to get the following screen view:

Availability with NetApp cascaded SnapMirror and Veeam

Now that the SnapMirror relation has been initialized and running (in our case, every 5 minutes), check the Veeam interface to verify that snapshots on the third NetApp platform are available for restores.

Your Veeam interface should look similar to this:

Availability with NetApp cascaded SnapMirror and Veeam

As you can see, all three NetApp systems are available, as well as the three volumes. When browsing the volumes on RLPEDGE02 and RLPEDGE03, we see the same number of available snapshots (one snapshot is the baseline image).

Availability with NetApp cascaded SnapMirror and Veeam

With the configuration complete, we now have a cascaded SnapVault to SnapMirror relationship from which all Veeam restore capabilities can be used. One of the benefits of the direct integration Veeam provides is the ability to directly restore from array-based snapshots.

In the example below, we illustrate how an administrator can browse our NetApp system RLPEDGE03, view the VMs within that snapshot and perform all of the great recovery options that Veeam has available. In summary, this scenario illustrates how we’ve executed a single NetApp snapshot, which has been cascaded down to our tertiary device where we’re able to perform recovery. This process drastically reduces the load placed on the production environment during backup and recovery operations, which in turn, increases the RTPO for our applications and services.

Availability with NetApp cascaded SnapMirror and Veeam

What about Veeam Backup from Storage Snapshots?

Veeam Backup from Storage Snapshots is a unique technology that optimizes VM backup by leveraging Storage Snapshots as a source for the Veeam data stream. In the scenario that was just explained, you can fully leverage Veeam Backup from Storage Snapshots from the primary or secondary NetApp ONTAP storage device. Veeam orchestrates all the snapshots processes across these two storage systems.

Availability with NetApp cascaded SnapMirror and Veeam

To complete the cascade process, and as mentioned earlier, the SnapMirror relation toward the third NetApp ONTAP system is handled by the data protection engine of ONTAP, and is not a part of Veeam orchestration.

Interested in learning more?

Please visit:

The post Enterprise datacenter Availability with NetApp cascaded SnapMirror and Veeam appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Enterprise datacenter Availability with NetApp cascaded SnapMirror and Veeam

Standardizing performance with Storage QoS in Windows Server 2016 (Article)

Source: Microsoft
Microsoft IT maintains a private cloud that includes dedicated storage and thousands of virtual machines. With Windows Server 2016, we use Storage Quality of Service (QoS) to manage storage usage and monitor performance. Policies in Storage QoS prevent one virtual machine from dominating storage I/O within a cluster, standardize storage I/O, and give us insight into storage I/O across the environment.
Standardizing performance with Storage QoS in Windows Server 2016 (Article)

Reducing downtime with Windows Server 2016 rolling cluster upgrades (Article)

Source: Microsoft
Hyper-V cluster nodes running Windows Server make up a significant part of the private cloud at Microsoft, hosting thousands of apps and services. Upgrading these cluster nodes was a tedious process for Microsoft IT, and meant taking entire clusters offline. But now, with Windows Server 2016, we can do rolling cluster OS upgrades without stopping the services or going offline. The process is simpler and more efficient, and no one loses productivity due to down time.
Reducing downtime with Windows Server 2016 rolling cluster upgrades (Article)

Configuration as code: Automating Windows Server 2016 configuration with PowerShell and DSC (Article)

Source: Microsoft
Microsoft IT manages thousands of servers across the company, and the process of reconfiguring servers was tedious and potentially inconsistent. Now, using automated configuration with PowerShell and DSC, we can define configuration logic and make changes programmatically in Windows Server. We have a more flexible, consistent environment, with fewer complex server configuration tasks.
Configuration as code: Automating Windows Server 2016 configuration with PowerShell and DSC (Article)