Veeam Backup v10 on vSAN 7.0

There have been many new releases in the first quarter of 2020. The long anticipated release of Veeam Backup & Recovery version 10, we’ve been waiting for since 2017 and also the latest generation of VMware vSphere. While I had vSAN 7 beta running on my homelab cluster before GA, I’ve worked with Veeam Backup 10 only in customer projects. There’s unfortunately no room for playing with new features unless the customer requests it. One of the new features of Veeam v10 is the ability to use Linux proxies and repositories. With XFS filesystem on the repository you can use the fast clone feature which is similar to ReFS on Windows.

In this tutorial I will show how to:

  • Deploy and size the Veeam server
  • Show base configuration to integrate vCenter
  • Build, configure and deploy a Linux proxy and its integration into backup infrastructure
  • Build, configure and deploy a Linux XFS repository

Using Veeam Backup on a vSAN Cluster has special design requirements. There’s no direct SAN backup on VMware vSAN because there’s neither a SAN, nor a fabric and nor HBAs. There are only two backup methods available: Network Mode (nbd) and Virtual Appliance Mode (hotadd). The latter is recommended for vSAN, but you should deploy one proxy per host to avoid unnecessary traffic on the vSAN interfaces. Hotadd also utilizes Veeam Advanced Data Fetcher (ADF).

Talking about licenses: Having Linux proxies on each host will reduce the cost of Windows licensing. One more reason to play around with this new feature. A Veeam license will be required too, but as a vExpert I can get a NFR (not for resale) license which is valid for one year. Just one of the advantages of being a vExpert. 🙂

Let the games begin. We’ll need a Veeam server that holds the job database and the main application. The proxy and repository role will be kept on individual (Linux) servers.

Continue reading “Veeam Backup v10 on vSAN 7.0”

Setting timezone in Photon-OS

Many of VMware’s appliances are based on Photon OS. Sometimes these appliances aren’t using suitable timezones for your current location, which makes it difficult to match logs and results.

If that appliance has no GUI, you have to adjust it on the shell. Use SSH or the appliance’s console to login as ‘root’. To get a list of all available timezones issue the command below.

ls -lsa /usr/share/zoneinfo | more

Some timezones are divided into sub-zones. For example “Europe”.

ls -lsa /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe | more

We’re piping the results to the ‘more‘ command in order to achieve better readability. It’s optional. Once you’ve found your timezone, you can set it. In my example it’s “Europe/Berlin”.

Set Europe/Berlin timezone

Next we’ll create a symbolic link from localtime to “Europe/Berlin”.

ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/Berlin /etc/localtime

Finally we can check settings with the ‘date’ command. Date and Time is correct and also the timezone CEST.

VCSA 6.7 archive partition filling up

During a cluster routine check with RVtools I’ve seen a warning.

Warnings like this on a vCenter appliance let my alarm bells ring. Partitions filling up close to 100% are not a desirable condition. But let’s have a look into VAMI (vCenter Appliance Management Interface).

https://<vcsa_FQDN>:5480

Now that’s strange. Everything seems to be in a green state. It’s a VCSA 6.7 Update 2a (6.7.0.31000). Older versions did show a storage warning. “File system /storage/archive is low on storage space“. But this appliance seems to be happy. Let’s have a look at the shell, to see what’s really happening.

It looks like mount point /storage/archive is almost filled up.

Continue reading “VCSA 6.7 archive partition filling up”

Backup NFS shares with RSYNC and Veeam

The poor man’s guide to backup old NetApp boxes

Veeam Backup and Replication has a deep integration into NetApp hardware since version 8. Yet there is still no NAS Backup Support for SMB and NFS Shares (v10 Feature or 9.5 Ux). The question arises how to back up NAS data from older NetApp boxes, when the ONTAP version is simply too old for Veeam integration and  you can’t utilize NDMP, NFS or SMB protocol for direct NAS backup?

I will outline a real-life scenario where a customer has an old Netapp (7+ years old) with single controller holding very important data (I will not comment on that). 🙂

How can we integrate these datasets into an existing Veeam infrastructure?

I’ve created a cheap and dirty(?) method how to synchronize the content of that old Netapp box with a Linux VM which can be easily backed up by Veeam. The content of the Netapp NFS share will be replicated into a Linux VM (1st copy), backed up to disk by Veeam (2nd copy) and archived to tape (3rd copy, 2nd media type) which is then kept in a fireproof safe (offsite). It was possible to fulfill the 3-2-1 rule (3 copies, 2 types of media, 1 copy offsite).

pro

  • no extra licenses
  • simple implementation
  • reliable and mature protocol
  • 3-2-1 rule
  • rock-solid

cons

  • needs extra space on VM storage
  • basic knowledge of Linux commands

Continue reading “Backup NFS shares with RSYNC and Veeam”