There has been a lot of discussions about ReFS 3.1 after Veeam released its version 9.5 with support for the block clone API. With this integration between the two product, users can now design a repository that combines the speed of a non-deduplicated array, with some important space savings that usually belongs to those dedicated appliances. We have seen many many discussions in our Veeam forums, and I also published two articles on this topic you may want to read: Windows 2016 and Storage Spaces as a Veeam backup repository and An example for a Veeam backup repository using Windows 2016.
Now that people are starting to use ReFS, another question has risen: which cluster size should I use? 64KB or 4KB?
The new vCloud Director Self-Service Portal in Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 allows tenant to perform backups and restores in a complete self-service mode. To execute file level restores for non-Microsoft file systems, a Multi-OS FLR Helper Appliance virtual appliance is used. This appliance is configured by a Veeam administrator before it can be used for any file restore, and you can learn in this post how to configure it to be deployed multiple times and allow multiple concurrent file restores.
SPBM allows virtualization administrator to remove all the burden of manual placement of virtual disks, spreadsheets full of data about which VM is stored where, which LUN coming from a given array has feature X enabled, and so on. With SPBM, admins can create multiple policies with the needed options, and once the policy is applied to a VM, vSphere will automatically check for the compliancy of the VM and the storage it is actually stored onto, and if the policy is not fulfilled, a storage vmotion will happen to move the VM into a complaint storage. And policies can also be changed in real–time, and remediation again will happen automatically.
This new solution is a huge advantage, and many admins are leveraging this capability more and more. But what happens when a virtual machine has to be restored from a backup? Are those policies preserved? The answer is yes, if you use Veeam Backup & Replication.
Virtual Volumes, or VVOLs, has been one of the biggest addition in VMware vSphere 6. If your storage array supports them, you can start to play with it and decide if it’s time to migrate from monolithic VMFS volumes to this new exciting storage technology. VVOLs have several advantages over regular VMFS volumes, from the granularity of the volume management (essentially, we have now one “LUN” per virtual disk), to policy-based management, and so on. One of the aspects that people didn’t focused too much is the impact on backup operations coming from VVOLs.
In my previous article Windows 2016 and Storage Spaces as a Veeam backup repository I talked about the advantages that Veeam Backup & Replication can bring when combined with Windows Server 2016 and the new ReFS 3.1 filesytem. Several people have asked already about some practical examples about how to design a solution using these technologies, so I thought it was time to give you one storage design.
Veeam introduced specific support for vSAN back in mid-2014 as part of Veeam Backup & Replication v7.0 Update 4. More than support I should say integration, because the software is capable of leveraging the specific architecture of vSphere vSAN to improve the backups executed against this platform.
Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 has just been released in its GA (General availability) version yesterday, which means that every customer can download the new version and upgrade their own installation. While you download the software, let’s have a look at the What’s New document. There are as usual some really interesting things!
As Microsoft Windows 2016 is now finally generally available, people are starting to seriously looking at its features, and no doubt S2D together with the new ReFS 3.1 is one of the hot topics. I’ve first of all updated my lab with the final version of Windows 2016 in order to have my cluster in a “stable” state, than I started to focus on the different topics related to Windows 2016 and its usage as a Veeam repository. And I started to ask How can we leverage ReFS BlockCloning and Storage Spaces to make Windows 2016 the best solution for Veeam repositories? What about Storage Spaces Direct?”.