Veeam VESS series 4: Configure and browse LeftHand snapshots inside Veeam Backup & Replication

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In the previous posts of this series, we completed the configuration on the HP leftHand side. This time, we are going to configure VESS itself.


Network Connection

LeftHand storage has no dedicated management interface. This has always created debates among its users, since many smaller storages has this opportunity. My opinion is that, beeing an iSCSI scale-out storage, every node in the cluster must be able to talk with others, so they need to be on the same network. Whatever is the reason behind this design anyway, you have to deal with it and configure other systems that need to talk with LeftHand accordingly.

One of the most common configuration in VMware environments is done in this way:

The iSCSI network is already configured (either via standard switches or distributed ones like in my lab) in order to connect to the LeftHand storage. So, the easiest way to connect Veeam server to the LeftHand (obviously if you are going to run Veeam on virtual…) is to add a VM type portgroup to the iscsi switches, and add a second vNIC to the Veeam VM, and give it an IP of the same LeftHand subnet. Chances are you already have this configuration in place, since one of the most common place to install and use LeftHand CMC is vCenter itself.

Configure VESS

In the new Veeam Backup & Replication (VBR) 6.5 there is a new section named “SAN Infrastructure”. Here is where you will configure VESS.

You start with the Add Storage command.

In the Name step, you insert the IP or DNS name of the Virtual IP you configured while creating the cluster.

In the Detect section, you can already see VBR talking with the HP LeftHand. In my example, it sees the group skunk-vsa-group, the two volumes vsa-snap-01 and vsa-02, and most of all it seems it has found the VMs running inside vsa-snap-01 and synced its information with those coming from vcenter.skunkworks.local (my lab domain).

Expanding the tree, you can see the complete LeftHand structure with all the snapshots! For each of them, you can see its size (my fileserver is not used so much, I’ve only installed my dropbox account on it just to populate some shares automatically) and most of all the number of VMs inside each snapshot.

Finally, if you go back to the usual Backup & Replication menu of VBR, you do not need to work in a different way when managin VESS restores:

You can browse the LeftHand structure as any other Veeam backup, as you can see my fileserver VM is only listed once, and VBR shows I have 24 restore points, the exact number of snapshots I have in my LeftHand.