Configuring Veeam Backup and Replication Storage Snapshots

Do you want to use the latest backup technique by Veeam Backup & Replication and decrease impact on your virtual infrastructure while backupping? Read on!

As you know, Veeam B&R is utilizing vSphere snapshots to create backups of your virtual machines. Some applications suffer when created snapshots are committed to the VM and experience a short freeze or performance degration.

Veeam has developed a new technique of performing backups using Veeam B&R that utilizes storage snapshots. This technique is currently only possible with HP StoreVirtual and HP StoreServ storage solutions. You need Veeam B&R v7 to use this functionality.

What it actually does is when a VM is being processed, it creates a snapshot (like before) and simultaneously creates a storage snapshot of the LUN where the VM is living on. After creating the storage snapshot, it commits the vSphere snapshot and decreases the time a snapshot is active substanciously which eliminates the impact on your VMs. The storage snapshot is committed when all VMs in your Veeam B&R job that live on this LUN have been processed.

How do you configure storage snapshots? Well first of all you need Veeam B&R Enterprise Plus licenses for your ESXi hosts. Storage snapshots is not the only feature you’ll get with this edition, check out the other features at this page.

Next, you need to open up your Veeam B&R console and navigate to SAN Infrastructure. Here, you will be able to add your storage clusters/nodes accordingly to the type of storage you would like to add.

Following the wizard, you need to enter the IP address of one of the nodes in each storage cluster (I used the virtual IP address that covers all nodes in a single cluster) and the appropriate credentials.

Veeam now performs a scan of all the LUNs inside the given storage cluster and checks whether this is a VMFS volume or not.

After all LUNs have been scanned (aprox. 20 seconds for each LUN) you can enabled Storage Snapshots inside the job settings.

Veeam will automatically find which VMs are living on which LUN when this job starts, and performs backups grouped by LUN. So, you only have one snapshot active on your array at a time, and only one snapshot needs to be created for each LUN. When having multiple jobs run at the same time, multiple snapshots will be created on your array and LUNs.

In my case I’m using HP StoreVirtual storage and I can see Veeam creating storage snapshots in the event viewer of my array:

This snapshot will remain active (and grows!) untill the job that initiated the storage snapshot has completed or has processed all VMs on this LUN.

Note: If you are using HP 3PAR StoreServ arrays, you need a snapshot license to utilize storage snapshots.

Thanks for reading!

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