Recovering virtual machines from SAN snapshots using Veeam Backup & Replication

    On October 25th, a new version of our flagship product, Veeam Backup & Replication 6.5, was released. The new version included a number of interesting improvements, one of which is the restoration of virtual machines (VMs) from SAN snapshots (hardware snapshots). Below I will briefly talk about this technology in more detail.

    Briefly about HP LeftHand Storage

    After the advent of virtual environments in companies, it became possible to run several VMs on the same server. Over time, the number of servers, VMs and applications in the company grows, and the capacity and performance of storage systems (SHD) becomes insufficient. This problem is solved by adding additional disk shelves until the storage pair of the storage system becomes a bottleneck in the development of infrastructure. When such an emergency occurs, companies usually decide to either replace the controller pair (upgrade) or install a new storage system.

    In terms of architecture, HP SAN Left Hand Storage (HP SAN) is fundamentally different from standard storage systems in that it scales not only in capacity but also in performance. HP SAN does not have separate controllers and separate disk shelves, and each array has its own resources (processor, disks, cache, input / output ports), therefore, increasing the array, the company not only increases disk resources, but also processor capacity, cache, etc. .

    Thus, the HP SAN is a cluster of storage nodes, where each node is a complete data warehouse. Between nodes, automatic data redistribution occurs, and all this is controlled through a single console. With the addition of new nodes, the performance and reliability of the HP SAN only increases.

    More details can be seengood explanatory video (in English).

    What is Veeam Backup & Replication

    Veeam Backup & Replication for VMware and Hyper-V is a backup and fast disaster recovery solution for applications and data. Since Veeam Backup & Replication was created specifically for virtual environments, it allows the use of compression and deduplication of backups and does not require the installation and maintenance of agents on hosts and VMs, restoration of application objects is quick and inexpensive. And thanks to the fact that this solution supports new versions of VMware vSphere and Windows Hyper-V hypervisors from one console, the solution is easy to use and economically effective in heterogeneous virtual infrastructures.

    Veeam Backup & Replication has a number of unique advantages, for example, starting a VM directly from a backup, automatic recovery testing for troubleshooting, etc. Read more here . Currently, this product is used by more than 50 thousand organizations around the world - from small companies to international corporations. There is also a free version with a little truncated functionality, - you can read more and download here .

    Using SAN snapshots to recover individual VMs or guest OS files

    A snapshot of a data warehouse is an exact copy of the file system of the storage (at the level of logical disks - LUN) at a certain point in time. Snapshots HP SAN integrates with Microsoft VSS and VMware VCB technologies. If you restore a snapshot, then only the whole, the whole LUN. This significantly narrows the possible use of “snapshots” on a daily basis, but not for the HP + Veeam combination. In the latest release, Veeam Backup & Replication 6.5 added integration with the “snapshots” of the HP LeftHand and HP StoreVirtual VSA data stores.

    Veeam Backup & Replication allows you to recover VM data directly from the HP SAN snapshot. The following options exist:
    • Instant VM recovery
    • Instant granular file recovery for different OS (Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, etc.)
    • Granular recovery of Microsoft Exchange objects from VM backups

    Fig. 1 Data recovery from a snapshot using Veeam Backup & Replication 6.5

    Fig. 2 Recovery statuses in the Veeam Backup & Replication 6.5

    interface. All this works through a convenient and intuitive user interface.

    What does this mean?

    The combination of HP + Veeam Backup & Replication has many advantages, for example:
    • Speed: restoring both the entire VM and individual files from the HP SAN snapshot takes less than 2 minutes, the process is fully automated. Recovery occurs directly, i.e. no need to allocate disk space or retrieve data for intermediate storage anywhere.
    • Flexibility: you can select a specific VM, file or even an Exchange server object for recovery.
    • Risk reduction: the process is fully automated, which reduces the risk of human error. No need to install agents on hosts or VMs.
    • Available in free version: HP SAN recovery from snapshots is included in all editions of Veeam Backup & Replication, including the free version of Veeam Backup Free Edition .

    As a result, the combined use of “snapshots” of HP SAN and Veeam Backup & Replication allows you to achieve the maximum possible RPOs and RTOs in practice.

    ps Often users substitute the concept of "snapshot" and backup - this is a common misconception. A hardware snapshot will not be able to protect you from a sudden “accident” until it is copied to a third-party data storage (a snapshot is stored on the same device as the original information). The best stories about the importance of backups occur precisely due to the fall of storage subsystems.

    Also popular now: