Cisco HyperFlex integration details and Q&A

Source: Veeam

With Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 2 we launched our integration with Cisco HyperFlex. The integration leverages our Backup from Storage Snapshot technology to optimize the data transfer for Veeam backups as well as replications. Since then I got a lot of positive feedback and questions around the integration. That’s why I want to answer the most common questions in this blog post. A brief overview on the integration itself was already done by my colleague Michael Cade earlier this year.

Besides this blog post we already started the work on an implementation and best practice guide so stay tuned and check our website regularly.

Why does Veeam integrate into Cisco HyperFlex?

The main reason why Veeam started to integrate into storage arrays, regardless if it is Cisco HyperFlex or any other storage we support, is to avoid or at least minimize the time of VMware Redo-Log Snapshots (native VMware VM Snapshots).

If you run a VM backup without the integration, the workflow will always create a VMware Redo-Log Snapshot; Veeam will read all data while VMware redirects all writes into the Redo-Log File and after the backup/replica is done, the VM Snapshot will be deleted as shown in the graphic below on the left side. Especially the VM snapshot delete can take a lot of time and consume serious amounts of storage resources until done.

Cisco HyperFlex integration

Using the Cisco HyperFlex integration means avoiding VMware VM Snapshots completely. As you can see on the right side in the graphic above, the workflow will create a Cisco HX Snapshot; Veeam reads all data out of the Snapshots and after the backup/replica is done Cisco will delete the HX Snapshot which has almost no impact in the VM or the rest of the production.

With that the Veeam integration into Cisco HyperFlex is the only one where no more VMware Snapshots are needed at all.

What are the requirements and which Veeam features can be leveraged with Cisco HyperFlex?
Before going ahead and trying the integration please be aware of the following requirements. 50% of the questions and errors I get are due to the fact that at least one of the following requirements is missing:

  • VMs reside on a Cisco HyperFlex 2.0 or newer cluster (HX version < 2.0 are not supported)
  • Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 2 or newer is installed on the backup server
  • License for Veeam Backup & Replication Enterprise Plus Edition is installed on the backup server
  • Cisco HyperFlex storage system is added to the Veeam storage infrastructure and the vCenter server is added to virtual infrastructure
  • Backup proxy is properly configured in the backup infrastructure
  • VM must not have any existing VMware native Snapshot before the first job kicks off
  • The “Enable backup from storage snapshots option is selected in the job settings
  • When using Backup from Storage Snapshot over NFS:
    • Veeam Proxy server has access to the Cisco HyperFlex NFS Backend
    • Required VMware Firewall Ports are open for IOVisor Backup (see Helpcenter article)

As of today Veeam supports Backup from Storage Snapshots with Cisco HyperFlex. All other storage related features like Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots, OnDemand Sandbox from Storage Snapshots, Snapshot only job…etc. are not supported. Of course, you can use all regular Veeam features leveraging the Veeam backup.

How do I configure the Cisco HyperFlex integration?

The Cisco HyperFlex integration is like any other Veeam Storage Integration. For us Cisco HyperFlex is not a HyperConverged system but seen as a storage system. That’s why you need to navigate to “Storage Infrastructure” within your Veeam Backup & Replication installation to add the Cisco HyperFlex system. After selecting “Add Storage” you will be promoted with the following wizard:

1. Select “Cisco HyperFlex”

Cisco HyperFlex integration

2. Add the Cisco HyperFlex Management IP address of the Data Platform

Cisco HyperFlex integration

a) To find the needed IP address simply open the advanced Cisco HX settings within your VMware Webclient

Cisco HyperFlex integration

b) The needed IP can be found here

Cisco HyperFlex integration

3. Define the login credentials for the management

Cisco HyperFlex integration

4. Optional: Define Veeam Proxies to be used for this cluster

Cisco HyperFlex integration

5. Finish the wizard

Cisco HyperFlex integration

After finishing the wizard, you will see the following dialog that adds the Cisco HyperFlex system to the Veeam installation.

Cisco HyperFlex integration

If you see any warning message here the reason is most likely that your Veeam proxy server doesn’t have the needed backend NFS data access or the VMware Firewall ports are not opened. More details in the next questions.

What access is needed on the Veeam Proxy to get Backup from Storage Snapshots working?

The Veeam integration with Cisco HyperFlex works with all available data transport modes.

Cisco HyperFlex integration

No matter if you use NFS (1, 2) as the transport protocol by accessing the backend Cisco HyperFlex data network or if you use the regular transport modes Hot-Add (3) and NBD (4), Veeam will always leverage a Cisco HyperFlex Snapshot as a source.

For NBD and Hot-Add, no additional configuration is needed. After the Cisco HX system is added to the Veeam installation Cisco HX snapshots will be automatically used.

For NFS as transport mode there are two ways to access the data:

  • Backup from Storage Snapshots over IO Visor on ESX(i) hosts (1): The IO Visor is a Cisco HyperFlex software module that runs on every ESXi host that is part of the Cisco HyperFlex cluster. It presents HyperFlex NFS datastores to the ESX(i) hosts and optimizes the data paths in the HyperFlex cluster. The backup over IO Visor is the preferred method as it provides the high speed of VM data reading and balances the load across the HyperFlex cluster.
  • Backup from Storage Snapshots over HyperFlex Controller Cluster IP (2): In this processing mode, all traffic is handled by a single HX controller that holds the HyperFlex Controller Cluster IP.

Cisco HyperFlex integration

No matter which NFS mode you use, the Veeam Proxy will need access to the backend NFS data network of Cisco HX. The graphic above shows which networks are accessed by the Veeam proxy server. I’m used to saying, configure your Veeam proxy server with the same management and storage access like what you would do with an additional ESXi host.

The HyperFlex Controller Cluster IP does not require any additional confirmation as all needed communication will be handled by Veeam and Cisco APIs.

For the IOVisior backup you need to open specific VMware Firewall ports as the Veeam proxy server needs to access a module running within the VMware ESXi. Information on how to open the needed ports is listed in the next question.

How do I open the needed VMware Firewall Ports?

The Cisco HyperFlex IO Visor is a software component that runs on all ESXi hosts within a Cisco HyperFlex cluster. It works as an NFS server for Veeam traffic.

You need to allow NFS traffic from the backup proxies to ESXi hosts. As Cisco IO Visor based NFS communication uses dynamic ports, you need to create an ESXi firewall rule with inbound ports 0-65535 and the backup proxy IP addresses as allowed IP addresses.

You can do this in three ways:

  • Create a VMware ESXi host VIB host extension file that creates the firewall rule, install/enable it on all hosts and set the backup proxy IP addresses as allowed ones. For more information, see KB article 2291.
  • Use a predefined VMware ESXi host extension VIB file from the Veeam Community GitHUB project. For more information, see KB article 2298.
  • Use ESXi command line interface to create a temporary firewall rule (until the next ESXi host reboot). For more information, see KB article 2299.

Conclusion

As you can see the integration is very powerful and there are a lot of details when it comes down to the configuration. Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 2 offers Availability for Cisco HyperFlex 2.0 by providing both an optimized backup and replication workflow to lower the recovery time and point objectives (RTPO) to < 15 minutes for ALL applications and data running on top of it.

Here are some useful links, including our newly released Cisco Validated Designs:

The post Cisco HyperFlex integration details and Q&A appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Cisco HyperFlex integration details and Q&A

Cisco and Microsoft — Collaborating on Data Center Innovation

Source: Cisco
I’ve led the Networking and Security Business at Cisco for just over a year now. As exciting as it is to release new technologies that ultimately will become the networking infrastructure powering the world’s future disruptors – last week’s intent-based networking announcement for example – it’s the breadth and scale of Cisco’s business that make […]Cisco and Microsoft — Collaborating on Data Center Innovation

How to benefit from Veeam ONE: Monitoring, performance optimization, reporting and more!

Source: Veeam

Complete visibility within the data center is essential to keeping businesses available 24.7.365. Visibility into the data center allows IT administrators to properly utilize resources, be proactive in troubleshooting issues and run reports on their environment. Veeam allows businesses to remain proactive in monitoring and managing their environment through Veeam ONE. If you haven’t heard about it, you are truly missing out, as it works not only for your Veeam-powered data protection operations, but for entire VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V environments as well. Veeam ONE helps to optimize the performance, configuration and utilization of virtual resources while providing visibility to fix issues before any operational impact. This blog post will highlight some of the amazing features included in Veeam ONE and how you can utilize them for your business.

Health state monitoring

Veeam ONE gives you the tools to monitor your environment from every view with any level of detail. From the Summary tab to the Top Load and Lowest Load dashboards, users gain visibility down to the VM to see, which parts of the infrastructure are handling or consuming the most resources. To start, the VM tab gives you a brief overview of the VMs in your environment and what you have assigned to them in terms of provisioned space, used space, CPU and memory usage, along with how many vCPUs have been assigned to a machine. If you then move onto the Top VMs/Hosts of the Lowest Load tabs you can see the VMs/Hosts that have been using the most or least resources in your environment. These stats come in handy when reassigning resources, as you can assign more resources to the machines that need them and then also check over-provisioned VMs. These stats are also included in some of the reports that Veeam ONE provides, which will be described in detail later in this post.

The alarms that Veeam ONE fires off are a different aspect of monitoring. The pre-built alarms included in the tool allow users to proactively manage environments. Data protection alarms detect the state of the backup jobs and show how many jobs have failed, finished with warning or were successful. Alarms can also detect if jobs exceed backup windows, if the backup repository is running out of free space or notify administrators of connection failures between proxies or WAN accelerators in your environment. Not only does Veeam ONE have alarms specifically for data protection operations, alarms can notify you of errors occurring in vCenter, vCloud Director or Hyper-V.

How to benefit from Veeam ONE

Figure 1. The Veeam ONE monitor.

Performance charts

Performance charts within Veeam ONE allow you to analyze aspects of the environment to detect any issues and find the root cause. Consumed resources including CPU, memory, network, datastores and virtual disk performance can easily be seen over days, weeks, months or years. The charts show active, peak and average usage, helping determine how and when resources are being utilized the most. These charts are available for your virtual environment whether you are running VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V, but you can even utilize these charts for your backup infrastructure components. Under the data protection view you can switch between the different charts, allowing you to identify bottlenecks within the backup data flow. You can track performance metrics for physical and virtual backup servers, proxies, repositories, WAN accelerators or Enterprise Manager servers.

How to benefit from Veeam ONE

Figure 2. The CPU performance chart included in Veeam ONE.

You can see the minimum, average and maximum CPU per object within your virtual environment in the graph above. In this instance, the chart displays the usage from the past week and is highlighting one of the objects where CPU had increased for a short period and then leveled out. This analyzes CPU performance and allows users to monitor usage and take note of peak times.

Gain at-a-glance dashboards and reports

With all the monitoring capabilities included in Veeam ONE, it is also imperative to recognize the reporting capabilities, because this provides quantifiable data to your business. Veeam ONE doesn’t just provide reports, but also includes dashboards to provide at-a-glance views of the managed Veeam Backup & Replication infrastructure, VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V environments. Each dashboard contains charts, graphs and tables allowing you to focus on critical areas of your managed environment showing alarms, trends and resource utilization. The Veeam Backup & Replication Dashboard is shown below:

How to benefit from Veeam ONE

Figure 3. The Veeam Backup & Replication dashboard.

These dashboards can also be customized, which allows users to present the most important aspects of the virtual environment.

Along with the numerous dashboards available, Veeam ONE provides reports to analyze virtual environments before backup software is installed or new strategies are implemented. These reports can estimate VM storage usage and daily change rates of VMs, ensure your virtual infrastructure is configured correctly and help estimate future needs for capacity space, among much more. Reports can identify and detect issues before they can affect off-site backup or disaster recovery (DR) for your business. Infrastructure reports are available for both hypervisors that Veeam supports, allowing users to look at their infrastructure before proceeding with backup operations.

Reporter can also help identify the costs of provisioned VMs for application owners and business units. This can be helpful to see which units are using the most resources and costing your business the most amount of money. With this information, you can use the optimization reports to reassign resources where needed to get the most of what you have. The Oversized & Undersized VMs report will identify VMs that don’t have sufficient CPU, Memory or RAM assigned to them, allowing you to correctly assign and reconfigure VMs to get the best performance. Let’s look at the Oversized VMs report below.

How to benefit from Veeam ONE
How to benefit from Veeam ONE
How to benefit from Veeam ONE

Figure 4. The Oversized VMs report.

The report shows the total amount of VMs that are oversized, including if they are oversized by CPU or memory. Reading through the report, you can see the average usage and the peak usage including recommendations on resources you can reclaim. The same information is available for memory usage as well.

Along with these reports — to help better utilize resources in your environment — Veeam ONE has Veeam Backup & Replication capacity planning reports to help estimate the amount of space required to store backup files on repositories and help forecast when the amount of space reached its limit. The Capacity Planning for Backup Repositories report helps ensure that there is enough space for your backup data at any point in time, while also calculating the amount of additional space that needs to be provisioned to accommodate necessary restore points. The report estimates this data by looking at historical performance and analyzing performance utilization trends to allow you to rationally plan your resources.

Conclusion

There are many capabilities within Veeam ONE to benefit your business and ensure you remain available 24.7.365. With all the reports, monitoring capabilities and pre-defined alarms, you can stay active in your environment and troubleshoot issues before a problem occurs. The tools included can help estimate and determine storage needs through change rate estimation reports along with capacity planning reports. If you haven’t tried this power in action yet — you should, and you can download a FREE Veeam ONE trial here.

The post How to benefit from Veeam ONE: Monitoring, performance optimization, reporting and more! appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

How to benefit from Veeam ONE: Monitoring, performance optimization, reporting and more!

Lenovo™ Unveils Oculus-Ready ThinkCentre M910t

Source: Lenovo

Lenovo today announced its latest ThinkCentre M910t tower desktop has received Oculus-Ready certification designed for professional virtual reality (VR) content developers. Lenovo worked closely with Oculus on a thorough process that performs 100-point certification testing to ensure systems performance, stability and full compatibility with the Oculus Rift Software Development Kit. Learning from our fast-growing Legion gaming business, the M910t commercial desktop also includes support for the NVIDIA GTX1080 graphics card, a must for high-end VR development in the booming PC gaming community.

 
Lenovo™ Unveils Oculus-Ready ThinkCentre M910t

Veeam Named Microsoft Partner of the Year Finalist two years in a row!

Source: Veeam

Once again Veeam has been recognized as one of Microsoft’s top global partners for 2017, achieving Finalist ranking for Application Development, Partner of the Year Award. As a Partner of the Year Award Finalist, Veeam is being honored for our continued innovation within the Veeam Availability Suite and for being one of the most successful ISV partners in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace with five certified VMs.

One of the largest opportunities for Azure adoption is based on the need for businesses to transform their legacy archive solutions, like tape, to more cost effective and agile cloud archives. Every business needs to back up, recover, replicate, monitor and manage the data and applications that make their business go. In almost every case, the business will keep long-term archives of their data backups on some form of external tape or disk. Veeam + Microsoft deliver fundamental advantages over legacy tape and disk archiving solutions. Together, we provide our customers with 24.7.365 Availability for both physical and virtual devices, including the data, applications and operating systems on-premises and in the Microsoft Azure cloud. Combined, our solutions make it easy for customers to transition backup archives from on-premises to the cloud and encourage the adoption of Microsoft Azure, Windows Server, Hyper-V and Office 365.
Veeam Named Microsoft Partner of the Year Finalist
We are honored to be selected as a 2017 Partner of the Year Award Finalist. Since our founding over 10 years ago, Veeam has built a reputation for delivering innovative solutions that combine the best of Microsoft Azure and Veeam. This recognition validates our approach and underlines our passion and determination to build innovative solutions for our customers’ most challenging Availability problems.

Currently, Veeam has five solutions in the Azure Marketplace, designed to enable our 47,000 ProPartners and more than 242,000 customers worldwide to ensure Availability of their data. These solutions provide a quick and easy way to transfer Veeam powered-backups from on-premises to Microsoft Azure and just as easily restore those same items in Azure. Whether you’re looking for a turn-key service provider enabled BaaS into Azure or a self-managed Enterprise-driven approach for managing and controlling your own Veeam archives in Azure, Veeam offers our customers a variety of choices to ensure that their data is Available 24.7.365.

Veeam and Microsoft are truly Better Together! It has been said that Microsoft + Veeam have a 1+1=3 effect on the solutions we deliver, increasing the value of our individual products and technologies when used together. Clearly, our partnership with Microsoft has been a big part of our joint success and we look forward to a very bright future together.

Learn more about Veeam solutions in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace by visiting the Azure Marketplace and checking out our latest FREE offering Veeam PN for Microsoft Azure. It is a FREE solution designed to simplify and automate the setup of a disaster recovery (DR) site in Microsoft Azure.

The post Veeam Named Microsoft Partner of the Year Finalist two years in a row! appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Veeam Named Microsoft Partner of the Year Finalist two years in a row!