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Hyper-V Amigos Show Cast – Episode 21 – Bare Metal Recovery of an S2D node with Veeam Agent for Windows Integrated in Veeam Backup & Replication

Hello everyone! Carsten Rachfahl and Didier Van Hoye, aka “The Hyper-V Amigos” created another Hyper-V Amigos show cast just before X-Mas 2020. In episode 21 we are diving into leveraging the Veeam Agent for Windows integrated with Veeam Backup & Replication (v10 RC1) to protect our physical S2D nodes. For shops that don’t have an automated cluster node build processes set up or rely on external help to come in and do it this can be a huge time saver.

We walk through the entire process and end up doing a bare metal recovery of one of the S2D nodes. The steps include:

  • Setting up an Active Directory protection group for our S2D cluster.
  • Creating a backup job for a Windows Server, where we select failover cluster as type (Which has only the “Managed by Backup Server” as the mode).
  • We run a backup
  • We create the Veeam Agent Recovery Media (the most finicky part)
  • We restore one of the S2D hosts completely using the bare metal recovery option

Now we had some issues in the lab one of them suffering to a BSOD on the laptop used to make the recording and being a bit too impatient when booting from the ISO over a BMC virtual CD/DVD. Hence we had to glue some parts together and fast forward through the boring bits. We do appreciate that watching a system bot for 10 minutes doesn’t make for good infotainment. Other than that, it went fine and we were able to demonstrate the process from the beginning to the end.

As is the case with any process you should test and experiment to make sure you are familiar with the process. That makes it all a little easier and hurt a little less when the day comes you have to do it for real.

This is probably our last show cast for 2019 and we hope it helps you look into some of the capabilities and options you have with Veeam in regards to protecting any workloads. Long gone are the days that Veeam was only about protecting virtual Machines. Veeam is about protecting data where ever it lives. In VMs, physical servers, workstations, PCs, laptop, on-prem, in the cloud and Office 365. On top of that, you can restore it where ever you want to avoid lock-in and costly migration projects and tools. Check it out.

The Hyper-V Amigos wish you a very happy New Year in 2020!

Hyper-V Amigos Showcast – Episode 20 – Windows Server 2019 as Veeam Backup Target Part II

Hello there! Good to see you are back for more Hyper-V Amigo goodness. In episode 20 of the Hyper-V Amigo ShowCast, we continue our journey in the different ways in which we can use storage spaces in backup targets. In our previous "Hyper-V Amigos ShowCast (Episode 19)– Windows Server 2019 as Veeam Backup Target Part I" we looked at stand-alone or member servers with Storage Spaces. With both direct-attached storage and SMB files shares as backup targets. We also played with Multi Resilient Volumes.

For this WebCast, we have one 2 node S2D cluster set up for the Hyper-V workload. On a second 2 node S2D cluster, we host 2 SOFS file shares. Each on their own CSV LUN. SOFS on S2D is supported for backups and archival workloads. And as it is SMB3 and we have RDMA capable NICs we can leverage RDMA (RoCE, Mellanox ConnectX-5) to benefit from CPU offloading and superb throughput at ultra-low latency.

The General Purpose File Server (GPFS role) is not supported on S2D for now. You can use GPFS with shared storage and in combination with continuous availability. This performs well as a high available backup target as well. The benefit here is that this is cost-effective (Windows Server Standard licenses will do) and you get to use the shared storage of your choice. But in this ShowCast, we focus on the S2D scenario and we didn’t build a non-supported scenario.

You would normally expect to notice the performance impact of continuous availability when you compare the speeds with the previous episode where we used a non-high available file share (no continuous availability possible). But we have better storage in the lab for this test, the source system is usually the bottleneck and as such our results were pretty awesome.

The lab has 4 Tarox server nodes with a mix of Intel Optane DC Memory (Persistent Memory or Storage Class Memory), Intel NVMe and Intel SSD disks. For the networking, we leverage Mellanox ConnectX-5 100Gbps NICs and SN2100 100Gbps switches. Hence we both had a grin on our face just prepping this lab.

As a side note, the performance impact of continuous availability and write-through is expected. I have written about it before here. The reason why you might contemplate to use it. Next to a requirement for high availability, is due to the small but realistic data corruption risk you have with not continuously available SMB shares. The reason is that they do not provide write-through for guaranteed data persistence.

We also demonstrate the “Instant Recovery” capability of Veeam to make workloads available fast and point out the benefits.

We put in this kind of effort to make sure we know what works and what doesn’t. To be better prepared to design solutions that work, even if they require a bit “out of the box“ thinking. We don’t make decisions based on vendor marchitecture and infomercials. We contemplate on what solutions might work and test those. That is how we deliver better solutions, better results, and happier customers. We hope you enjoy our musings and efforts and wish you all a very end of 2019 and a very happy new year in 2020!

Your humble Hyper-V Amigos

Hyper-V Amigos Showcast – Episode 19 – Windows Server 2019 as Veeam Backup Target

The Hyper-V Amigos ride again! In this episode (19) we discuss some testing we are doing to create high performant backup targets with Storage Spaces in Windows Server 2019. We’re experimenting with stand-alone Mirror Accelerated Parity with SSDs in the performance tier and HDDs in the capacity tier on a backup target. We compare backs via the Veeam data mover to this repository directly as well as via an SMB 3 file share. We look at throughput, latency and CPU consumption.

 One of the questions we have is whether an offload card like SolarFlare would benefit backups as these offload not just RDMA capable workloads. The aim is to find how much we can throw at a single 2U backup repository that must combine both speed and capacity. We discuss the reasons why we are doing so. For me, it is because rack units come at a premium price in various locations. This means that spending money to come up with repository building blocks that offer performance and capacity in fewer rack units ensure we spend the money where it benefits us. If the number of rack units (likely) and power (less likely) are less of a concern the economics are different.

We also address the drawbacks of an SMB 3 backup target and we will show you a solution in a later episode when we leverage a continuously available file share to solve this while also providing failover capabilities. This can be done via S2D or shared storage. The question remains if storage spaces put too much load on the CPUs compared to a RAID controller approach, but this is debatable today. When it comes to write-back cache, that’s why they invented MVMe!

One benefits with storage spaces is that ReFS can auto repair corrupt bist from the redundant copies and as such offers protection against bit rot.

While this is just a small lab setup we are getting some interesting results and pointers to further investigate. The only real show stopper is the ridiculous up mark OEMs have for SSD and NMVE drives. That is way too high and more than any added value of testing and support can justify.

Anyway, enjoy the webcast and we hope to deliver a few follow-ups in the near future. Even PMEM with Intel Optane DC memory is in the works!

Your humble Hyper-V Amigos

Hyper-V Amigos Showcast – Episode 18 – Hyper-V 2019 and Persistent Memory

Join the Hyper-V amigos who test Persistent Memory (PMEM in the lab a bit).PMEM is solid-state high-performance byte-addressable memory device that resides on the memory bus. If you have not heard of or read up on PMEM it is really time you do.

Let’s find out what it is and where it fits in. PMEM is dominating the buzz on the storage and memory scene at the moment, it is “hot”. Rightly so, PMEM is changing how the IT world thinks about and consumes storage. Not wholesale overnight but it will be a game changer.

The nature of PMEM improves the way applications use CPU cycles, how data is retrieved and persisted as well as how memory is consumed. This means significant changes in the hardware and software stack are needed to leverage these capabilities. An era of very fast, high capacity, low latency storage class memory with high endurance is coming.

We hope you enjoy the Episode.

Didier & Carsten

Hyper-V Amigos Showcast – Episode 17 -Veeam B& R 9.5 Update 4

Introduction

While we, the Hyper-V amigos (Carsten Rachfahl and Didier Van Hoye) are updating on of their labs from Veeam backup & Recovery 9.5 Update 3 to Update 4 we talk about what’s new in this release. We don’t succeed in covering it all, let alone to do so in detail. There is just too much in this release.

The upgrade itself goes smooth as silk, which is what we have become to expect from Veeam.  Not that we were confused a moment when ze couldn’t disable the jobs prior to the upgrade, well they were not scheduled in the lab.

We have future plans to do some demos of new capabilities like support for object based storage, Veeam Agent for Windows 3.0 etc.


What’s new?

Native Object Storage Support with Veeam Cloud Tier

We have started testing this feature already with a Minio Docker container on a Synology. Pay attention to the Unofficial object storage compatibility list for Capacity Tier  as we also noticed that the Windows service seems to have scalability issues.

We’ll be taking a look at this in the future.

Expanded restore options to AWS and Azure Stack with Veeam Cloud Mobility

What was possible in Azure is now extended to more use cases. This make perfect sense as the market is diverse and you have to serve all the customers. Imagine moving very easily VMs between on-premises and different cloud solutions as the conversion details are handled for you.

Improved Security and Compliance with Veeam DataLabs

Any tool that can help be more compliant and secure is a good one. Helping you be GDPR compliant for example or helping you protect restores form introducing ransom ware are prime examples of this. This is another feature we’ll look at.

Enterprise Application Plug-ins

When you use the Oracle or SAP HANA you will appreciate the fact that these can be protected by Veeam. Is this a big want? Yes. Sure, not by me personally, but it is a big deal to many customers. Let me tell you that I once met an IT director that would be trilled if Veeam would protect AS400. Needs differ.

Enhanced Self-Service Capabilities

Self service is important to organizations that offer data protection, availability and mobility to external or internal customers.  It helps optimize the process for all parties involved.

Intelligent Diagnostics

Well this is a Veeam One feature actually. Any sizable support organization has tooling to collect and parse logs in order to get to the (root) causes of issues as soon as possible. They have to in order to scale support. If not, they’d drown in work and need too many people to make if feasible and have anything close to excellent support that solves issues within a reasonable amount of time. I don’t know many that are sharing the capabilities of their tooling with their customers.  This makes me think Veeam must be pretty confident in the quality of the tooling to do so. I’m curious to hear the feedback on how much it helped customers and as such Veeam support.

New platform support

Microsoft Windows Server 2019 support as guest OS of virtual machines protected by Veeam Backup & Replication, for installation
of Veeam Backup & Replication and all of its remote components, and for backup with Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows.
Microsoft Windows 10 October 2018 Update support as guest OS of virtual machines protected by Veeam Backup & Replication,
support as guest virtual machines, for installation of Veeam Backup & Replication and all of its remote components, and for backup with Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows.
Microsoft Windows Server Hyper-V 2019 support as a hypervisor host, including support for virtual hardware version 9.0v virtual machines.
Microsoft Active Directory 2019, Exchange 2019 and SharePoint 2019 support for application-aware processing, and for item level recoveries with Veeam Explorer.
Oracle Database 18c support for application-aware processing on Windows-based virtual machines, including transaction log backup and point-in-time restores.
VMware vSphere 6.7 U1 ESXi, vCenter Server and vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) support.
VMware vCloud Director 9.5 support.

Veeam Cloud & Service Provider Partner Solutions

Veeam keeps building a strong ecosystem of partners to give customers the ability to protect their data in more ways than they could easily or cost effectively deal with by themselves.

New Licensing

Don’t panic, don’t worry, be happy. Veeam has you covered and even has this nice Instance based “we got your back” grace counting. When you need 22 instances you don’t have to buy 25 (sold in bundles of 10 or 5). You can buy 20 and the 2 extra are covered by the 5% or 5 instance (whichever comes first) margin Veeam gives you. The main thing to realize is that the instance licensing make licenses very portable to where you protect and restore data. Read up on it at Veeam Licensing Policy  and in Frequently Asked Questions

 

A ton more …

We have enhancements and additions to the product for both backup and restore functionality, 3rd party integration, the Veeam Agents, the explorers etc. You can read it all for yourself right here: What’s New in 9.5 Update 4?

Conclusion

While you’re doing some routine maintenance or getting some labs setup, you’re very welcome to kick of the show cast. You’ll be joined by two tired (recovering from colds) IT Pro’s while they do a fast and successful update of a Veeam lab environment so we can demo so new capabilities in the future.

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