Veeam - Physical or Virtual that is the question?


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I wanted to ask the community on here to get a discussion going about whether using VMs for Veeam is good, bad or indifferent?  It is based on a question from the forum here - VM as repo - Veeam R&D Forums

I added my thoughts to this post as I disagree with some of the comments about having to use physical servers as the BP site mentions both physical and virtual.  I also work at an MSP and everything we build is virtual for Veeam other than a few tape servers we have which are physical boxes since they perform better this way with direct connect to the FC fabric.

Anyway just wanted to see the communities opinions here and not to put one or the other down just thoughts and what everyone is doing now.

And go…….  🤣


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I watched their demo on the VeeamON 2022 broadcast when they were coming out of stealth mode and was pretty impressed.  I mean, a lot of us have been pretty much rolling our own, but I do like the idea of a turn-key solution as well.

Edit:  The Broadcast I watched is the video linked above.

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I’m very interested in seeing what Object First is doing…...the main issue I tend to have is that I want to have VBR running on a different environment than the performance workload, but want the data to reside on a separate server as well, and want to use Hardened Linux Immutability, which means if I’m using the same server, I’m looking at VM’s, so I need to either store the data in a VMDK which is not advised, or I need to use some sort of RDM which tends to be unsupported on local storage but can be cobbled together.  I’m trying to figure out how Object First would fit into that picture and while it doesn’t fix all of my concerns, it sure helps!

Agreed, unless you’ve got dedicated backup/management compute, then it doesn’t help fix that problem, as you can’t run any applications on those boxes.

 

But you could grab as cheap as possible a physical VBR server if required for some level of isolation, or just running the VBR + DB virtually.

Object First is dedicated physical hardware, from 1 to 4 nodes in scale, each node contributing either 96TB or 128TB of storage, backed by RAID6 + Hot spare, it’s spinny disk + NVMe cache (key note: cache is for backup performance only, to avoid wear and tear on the NVMe it’s not used for recovery). I thought this was a weird comment they made, as previously we’ve not been able to use object storage for performance tier, stuff like instant VM recovery and SureBackup wouldn’t be possible, but I’m suspecting that they are in v12, hence this comment.

As this is S3 compatible and supporting object lock / versioning out of the box, it’s certified for object + immutability with Veeam from day one, so that gives you the immutability protection locally instead of having to use a hardened repository.

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I watched their demo on the VeeamON 2022 broadcast when they were coming out of stealth mode and was pretty impressed.  I mean, a lot of us have been pretty much rolling our own, but I do like the idea of a turn-key solution as well.

It was great to see them at VeeamON too at their booth.  It will be a great solution when ready I think.

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When I first started looking at the idea of a dedicated appliance, I was pretty surprised to see that there wasn’t something out there already.  I may have even had the thought to start a company doing this, but the entrepreneur drive isn’t really huge within me most of the time.  This is closer for sure to a solution I was looking for.  It just occurred to me that one could also use a Dell PowerStore X array where you can run VM’s directly on the array (somewhat similar to the VRTX boxes) but PowerStore can be somewhat pricey and they get a lot of their capacity from running their Data Reduction through dedupe and compression, and I’m not sure how they’d handle Veeam data and would be worth the cost.

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When I first started looking at the idea of a dedicated appliance, I was pretty surprised to see that there wasn’t something out there already.  I may have even had the thought to start a company doing this, but the entrepreneur drive isn’t really huge within me most of the time.  This is closer for sure to a solution I was looking for.  It just occurred to me that one could also use a Dell PowerStore X array where you can run VM’s directly on the array (somewhat similar to the VRTX boxes) but PowerStore can be somewhat pricey and they get a lot of their capacity from running their Data Reduction through dedupe and compression, and I’m not sure how they’d handle Veeam data and would be worth the cost.

Having spec’d up PowerStores, the IOPS they spout, certainly doesn’t exist anywhere near the base models 😆 but considering how many people are out here rocking a RAID 5 with slow spinny disks or less, it certainly could be good if you had the budget. I’d say look at either a Dell PowerEdge R740XD or something like a Dell NX for low end

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When I first started looking at the idea of a dedicated appliance, I was pretty surprised to see that there wasn’t something out there already.  I may have even had the thought to start a company doing this, but the entrepreneur drive isn’t really huge within me most of the time.  This is closer for sure to a solution I was looking for.  It just occurred to me that one could also use a Dell PowerStore X array where you can run VM’s directly on the array (somewhat similar to the VRTX boxes) but PowerStore can be somewhat pricey and they get a lot of their capacity from running their Data Reduction through dedupe and compression, and I’m not sure how they’d handle Veeam data and would be worth the cost.

Having spec’d up PowerStores, the IOPS they spout, certainly doesn’t exist anywhere near the base models 😆 but considering how many people are out here rocking a RAID 5 with slow spinny disks or less, it certainly could be good if you had the budget. I’d say look at either a Dell PowerEdge R740XD or something like a Dell NX for low end

I agree to you, @MicoolPaul 

I am using Dell PowerEdge R740XD (or R740 when less repository space is needed) often. Or now R750… My experiences with these servers are good. They are sufficient for many use cases.

I use “real” storage systems for customers with higher repository storage demand - 200 TB or more… These have redundant controller and can have much more disks or SSDs…

Sometimes I use two or more PowerEdge servers, if the growth expectation is not that big…. 😎

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When I first started looking at the idea of a dedicated appliance, I was pretty surprised to see that there wasn’t something out there already.  I may have even had the thought to start a company doing this, but the entrepreneur drive isn’t really huge within me most of the time.  This is closer for sure to a solution I was looking for.  It just occurred to me that one could also use a Dell PowerStore X array where you can run VM’s directly on the array (somewhat similar to the VRTX boxes) but PowerStore can be somewhat pricey and they get a lot of their capacity from running their Data Reduction through dedupe and compression, and I’m not sure how they’d handle Veeam data and would be worth the cost.

Having spec’d up PowerStores, the IOPS they spout, certainly doesn’t exist anywhere near the base models 😆 but considering how many people are out here rocking a RAID 5 with slow spinny disks or less, it certainly could be good if you had the budget. I’d say look at either a Dell PowerEdge R740XD or something like a Dell NX for low end

I agree to you, @MicoolPaul 

I am using Dell PowerEdge R740XD (or R740 when less repository space is needed) often. Or now R750… My experiences with these servers are good. They are sufficient for many use cases.

I use “real” storage systems for customers with higher repository storage demand - 200 TB or more… These have redundant controller and can have much more disks or SSDs…

Sometimes I use two or more PowerEdge servers, if the growth expectation is not that big…. 😎

 

I’ve never run the 740xd for this.  My larger boxes tend to be R540’s in the middle of the road, or T640’s.  The T640 can be had with 18 3.5” bays and in a rack configuration if needed.  In fact, we just deployed for for a client that also has a T640 running their VMS for their camera system….works great.  Last I checked, the R740 was a higher cost due to processor and RAM density capabilities, but to be fair, it’s 2U rather than the 4 or 5 RU that the T640 takes up so that’s nice if rack space is a at a premium.  Interestingly, I see the R740 listed as capable of 18 3.5” drives, but I don’t see that chassis configuration available.  That said, I see the R740XD2 with an available 24x3.5” chassis which is kinda crazy. 

Unfortunately, I don’t see any 15th gen servers with anything near that capacity.  At the point that 14th Gen is discontinued, I guess I’ll be looking at something more like a PowerEdge R440/R450 connected to a PowerVault via SAS/DAS?  Or back to a virtual repo connecting to a ME50xx via ISCSI?  Going to have to give some more thought to that when we get there.  Really expected more drive density on the R750xs.  I even checked the R850 and R950 lineups but no dice.  Hopefully we can get some larger drive densities in the 2.5” form factor at that point?  🤔

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@dloseke funnily enough I spoke to Dell today with that exact same comment about their 15th gen, have been told “it’s in its way” but no eta! Handy as Intel are winding down their OCP NICs for 14th gen now.

 

Fingers crossed the R750XD (or whatever they call it) is available sooner rather than later or we’ll be on the 16th gen soon…

 

RE the 18 disk config for R740XD, if you speak to Dell they can still do this, it’s 12x bays on the front, then 4x bays in the mid-plane, then a further 2x bays at the rear.

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When I first started looking at the idea of a dedicated appliance, I was pretty surprised to see that there wasn’t something out there already.  I may have even had the thought to start a company doing this, but the entrepreneur drive isn’t really huge within me most of the time.  This is closer for sure to a solution I was looking for.  It just occurred to me that one could also use a Dell PowerStore X array where you can run VM’s directly on the array (somewhat similar to the VRTX boxes) but PowerStore can be somewhat pricey and they get a lot of their capacity from running their Data Reduction through dedupe and compression, and I’m not sure how they’d handle Veeam data and would be worth the cost.

Having spec’d up PowerStores, the IOPS they spout, certainly doesn’t exist anywhere near the base models 😆 but considering how many people are out here rocking a RAID 5 with slow spinny disks or less, it certainly could be good if you had the budget. I’d say look at either a Dell PowerEdge R740XD or something like a Dell NX for low end

 

I have a PowerStore 500T configured for 50TB when getting the advertised 4:1 DRR that we use internally.  I don’t even come close to the rated IOPS on that thing - the highest I’ve ever pushed to it was around 11k IOPS and I’m not 100% sure that number wasn’t an anomaly.  My most recent high was around 3900 but my average is closer to 1k.  But it took it all in stride at least.  That said, my business is heavily involved in construction as well, so we have a lot of plans (PDF’s, images, etc) that don’t dedupe and compress well so I’m only getting a 1.8:1 - 2:1 DRR. 

Wonder how the PowerStore would do with a Veeam workload on it…..guessing the best bet would be to disable compression and let the PowerStore do it’s thing, but I’m not sure how that would work if I had encryption enabled.  Regardless, I don’t have that kind of fun money laying around the play around with it, so I guess it’ll have to be theoretical for now.

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When I first started looking at the idea of a dedicated appliance, I was pretty surprised to see that there wasn’t something out there already.  I may have even had the thought to start a company doing this, but the entrepreneur drive isn’t really huge within me most of the time.  This is closer for sure to a solution I was looking for.  It just occurred to me that one could also use a Dell PowerStore X array where you can run VM’s directly on the array (somewhat similar to the VRTX boxes) but PowerStore can be somewhat pricey and they get a lot of their capacity from running their Data Reduction through dedupe and compression, and I’m not sure how they’d handle Veeam data and would be worth the cost.

Having spec’d up PowerStores, the IOPS they spout, certainly doesn’t exist anywhere near the base models 😆 but considering how many people are out here rocking a RAID 5 with slow spinny disks or less, it certainly could be good if you had the budget. I’d say look at either a Dell PowerEdge R740XD or something like a Dell NX for low end

 

I have a PowerStore 500T configured for 50TB when getting the advertised 4:1 DRR that we use internally.  I don’t even come close to the rated IOPS on that thing - the highest I’ve ever pushed to it was around 11k IOPS and I’m not 100% sure that number wasn’t an anomaly.  My most recent high was around 3900 but my average is closer to 1k.  But it took it all in stride at least.  That said, my business is heavily involved in construction as well, so we have a lot of plans (PDF’s, images, etc) that don’t dedupe and compress well so I’m only getting a 1.8:1 - 2:1 DRR. 

Wonder how the PowerStore would do with a Veeam workload on it…..guessing the best bet would be to disable compression and let the PowerStore do it’s thing, but I’m not sure how that would work if I had encryption enabled.  Regardless, I don’t have that kind of fun money laying around the play around with it, so I guess it’ll have to be theoretical for now.

Yeah it’d be the same as if you had a Data Domain, perform encryption at rest so it can dedupe, otherwise you’d just have to let Veeam do compression & deduplication and use it as nothing more than a fast repo, or disable encryption. But as you say, the money for it, you’d be using it as a limited retention tier 1 for backups, and then copying your backups out to something like an R740XD/T640 anyway for retention.

 

I still wish that Dell did the XE7100 server in a newer generation, 100x 3.5” disks in 5U!

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@dlosekefunnily enough I spoke to Dell today with that exact same comment about their 15th gen, have been told “it’s in its way” but no eta! Handy as Intel are winding down their OCP NICs for 14th gen now.

 

Fingers crossed the R750XD (or whatever they call it) is available sooner rather than later or we’ll be on the 16th gen soon…

 

RE the 18 disk config for R740XD, if you speak to Dell they can still do this, it’s 12x bays on the front, then 4x bays in the mid-plane, then a further 2x bays at the rear.

 

R750xs, as in Extreme Scalability.  There’s also an “xa”, but I can’t for the life of me remember what the “a” stands for.  I know it’s focused towards the AI/ML/DL vertical for GPU intensive operations, but I doubt it stands for AI.  I’ll have to dig up my release notes if this one bothers me too much.

Thanks for pointing out that configuration on the “xd”….I had completely missed it when looking at their Solutions Configurator.  I’ll have to price out a xd with BOSS vs a T640 and see where it comes out….the rack space savings would be nice.

 

 

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When I first started looking at the idea of a dedicated appliance, I was pretty surprised to see that there wasn’t something out there already.  I may have even had the thought to start a company doing this, but the entrepreneur drive isn’t really huge within me most of the time.  This is closer for sure to a solution I was looking for.  It just occurred to me that one could also use a Dell PowerStore X array where you can run VM’s directly on the array (somewhat similar to the VRTX boxes) but PowerStore can be somewhat pricey and they get a lot of their capacity from running their Data Reduction through dedupe and compression, and I’m not sure how they’d handle Veeam data and would be worth the cost.

Having spec’d up PowerStores, the IOPS they spout, certainly doesn’t exist anywhere near the base models 😆 but considering how many people are out here rocking a RAID 5 with slow spinny disks or less, it certainly could be good if you had the budget. I’d say look at either a Dell PowerEdge R740XD or something like a Dell NX for low end

 

I have a PowerStore 500T configured for 50TB when getting the advertised 4:1 DRR that we use internally.  I don’t even come close to the rated IOPS on that thing - the highest I’ve ever pushed to it was around 11k IOPS and I’m not 100% sure that number wasn’t an anomaly.  My most recent high was around 3900 but my average is closer to 1k.  But it took it all in stride at least.  That said, my business is heavily involved in construction as well, so we have a lot of plans (PDF’s, images, etc) that don’t dedupe and compress well so I’m only getting a 1.8:1 - 2:1 DRR. 

Wonder how the PowerStore would do with a Veeam workload on it…..guessing the best bet would be to disable compression and let the PowerStore do it’s thing, but I’m not sure how that would work if I had encryption enabled.  Regardless, I don’t have that kind of fun money laying around the play around with it, so I guess it’ll have to be theoretical for now.

Yeah it’d be the same as if you had a Data Domain, perform encryption at rest so it can dedupe, otherwise you’d just have to let Veeam do compression & deduplication and use it as nothing more than a fast repo, or disable encryption. But as you say, the money for it, you’d be using it as a limited retention tier 1 for backups, and then copying your backups out to something like an R740XD/T640 anyway for retention.

 

I still wish that Dell did the XE7100 server in a newer generation, 100x 3.5” disks in 5U!

 

I mean...grab a ME484 and connect as JBOD to a R440 or a ME5084 to add some controllers and cram it with 84 20TB drives and you get some pretty sweet density there at 5-6RU…...but at a cost of course.  It’s almost the same thing…..  At that point, maybe it would be better to go to a PowerStore though…..if you can achieve that 4:1 DRR, it starts paying for itself in drive count savings and power consumption.

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@dlosekefunnily enough I spoke to Dell today with that exact same comment about their 15th gen, have been told “it’s in its way” but no eta! Handy as Intel are winding down their OCP NICs for 14th gen now.

 

Fingers crossed the R750XD (or whatever they call it) is available sooner rather than later or we’ll be on the 16th gen soon…

 

RE the 18 disk config for R740XD, if you speak to Dell they can still do this, it’s 12x bays on the front, then 4x bays in the mid-plane, then a further 2x bays at the rear.

 

R750xs, as in Extreme Scalability.  There’s also an “xa”, but I can’t for the life of me remember what the “a” stands for.  I know it’s focused towards the AI/ML/DL vertical for GPU intensive operations, but I doubt it stands for AI.  I’ll have to dig up my release notes if this one bothers me too much.

Thanks for pointing out that configuration on the “xd”….I had completely missed it when looking at their Solutions Configurator.  I’ll have to price out a xd with BOSS vs a T640 and see where it comes out….the rack space savings would be nice.

 

 

I’d seen them but shared your sentiment that they’re not true replacements, and Dell have said there will be an XD 15th gen but isn’t out yet, so that should plug the gap.

 

Agree, you get to a point where you’ve just got to start attaching dedicated storage shelves.

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Hello,

I very often use physicall only for linux hardened repo or dedup appliance.

If client use direct san, we always use the same physical server for proxy + VBR + EM.

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Hello,

I very often use physicall only for linux hardened repo or dedup appliance.

If client use direct san, we always use the same physical server for proxy + VBR + EM.

What a really interesting topic ! How many time I asked myself during the design conception for some of my client “physical or virtual”

As already said it will depend where you place your security cursor…! There are pros & cons in the both sides.

Just a quick reminder when you are using Direct San Access Mode, only Thick VM disks could be restored with this mode, otherwise the restore process switch to NBD… So to avoid poor performances you will have to deploy a virtual proxy. (If the VBR is virtual, it could handle this)

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Here is my strategy

Veeam Server = Physical or Virtual. Both are fine.

  • Physical is great if you have an Hypervisor/host issue
  • Virtual can be added to SRM / SAN replication to make DR a breeze
  • Virtual is probably going to be cheaper
  • In a disaster as long as I have a windows disk and my backup config I can create a new server quick. Having a second physical server at a DR site with windows preinstalled and not on the domain could save you time in a ransomeware event. 

Proxies =Physical or Virtual. Physical preferred, both is better.

  • I use Storage Snapshots so physical for fiber connectivity.
  • Physical has an advantage or being able to saturate network / fiber ports without causing issues to virtual environment
  • Virtual are great for hot add. Having a few kicking around is not a terrible idea.
  • Physical is needed to tape
  • In an event where your VMware or Hyper-V environment is ransomewared, you want quick access to a physical proxy.

Repos = Physical

  • In an event where your VMware or Hyper-V environment is ransomewared, you want to be able to access your storage. I also don’t want the SAN my repo is connected to attached to VMware if possible so someone cant wipe out my Datastores/Volumes.

 

 

 

Separate Zones, VLANS, Off domain for everything.

I am not against using the Repo Server as a Proxy / Tape server if it has the resources.  Why not add an extra fiber card, and basically attach the tapes to the source rather than spew that all over the network. 

 

 

 

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Check this out:

and then check out their website https://objectfirst.com/ they’re doing demos every Friday 😊

 

It’s a really clean deployment I’ve got to say, there’s some advanced features IMO that are missing, but those are self-imposed restrictions for them to focus on getting v1 GA.

They aren’t offering any hosted storage, so it’s purely on-premises object storage, and it shows, they’ve got speeds of up to 4GB/s! More than enough for an SMB.

 

This will be a great solution for VBM365 as well. I can’t wait for them to get Veeam certified for that.

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Check this out:

and then check out their website https://objectfirst.com/ they’re doing demos every Friday 😊

 

It’s a really clean deployment I’ve got to say, there’s some advanced features IMO that are missing, but those are self-imposed restrictions for them to focus on getting v1 GA.

They aren’t offering any hosted storage, so it’s purely on-premises object storage, and it shows, they’ve got speeds of up to 4GB/s! More than enough for an SMB.

 

This will be a great solution for VBM365 as well. I can’t wait for them to get Veeam certified for that.

Yeah that will definitely help us out in that regard but we need to get invested first.  Hopefully I can convince them.  🤞🏻

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