Pure Storage released the FlashArray//C (FA//C) as tier 2 storage back in 2019. The FA//C uses QLC NAND flash drives to deliver flash performance near the price of spinning disk. The FA//C reduces costs further by applying several data reduction technologies including compression and variable block data deduplication. Pure Storage FlashArray//C should be considered as backup storage for Veeam Backup & Replication due to its high performance, and immutable SafeMode snapshots to protect the Veeam backup repository data.
Veeam Backup Repository Decompress setting
I recently had several conversations about whether the Veeam backup repository Advanced settings -> Decompress backup file data blocks before storing (Figure 1) should be turned on or off.
Pure Storage is advocating that Decompress be turned on to allow the FA//C to apply its full range of data reduction capabilities to Veeam backup data. This is how backup repositories are configured when they are backed by deduplicating backup appliances, so it is a reasonable configuration when VBR is leveraging the FA//C as deduplicating backup storage.
Setting customer expectations
There is a potential concern here if the customer has an expectation that both Veeam and the FA//C will get data reduction. This is a perception issue, not a technological issue, and can be addressed by setting the customer’s expectation that the FA//C will be doing virtually all the data reduction.
What about Backup Copy Jobs and Offload Jobs?
A concern raised about setting the on-prem backup repository to Decompress=on was around copying potentially uncompressed data from the on-prem backup repository to an off-site backup repository or via offload job to the Capacity Tier. In both cases the data is compressed across the Wide Area Network. In the Offload Job compression is automatic. The Backup Copy Job needs to have the compression setting turned on (Figure 2).