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To back-up or not to back-up?

Backing up your data is of crucial importance. We generate enormous amounts of data every day and try to get the most out of our hardware for long as possible – but at the same time, businesses are constantly threatened by power outages, hackers and ransomware. In our rapidly evolving environment, solid backup systems and flawless restore plans are the ultimate safety net. Unfortunately, companies often don’t pay attention to these security measures and even cut budgets instead. But what if an incident does happen?

You’ll probably agree that it’s best to prevent worst-case scenarios from happening. There are smart, creative and reliable ways to set up and maintain efficient backup systems for a more affordable price. Everything depends on the puzzle pieces you use. It’s possible that our puzzle pieces aren’t a perfect match with your current business environment, but they can give you another perspective on how your backup infrastructure could evolve.

Combining virtual Veeam proxy servers with HPE Nimble

The puzzle pieces.

What are the puzzle pieces of our powerful backup solution? We use Veeam Backup & Replication software and HPE Nimble Storage arrays. Both are strong players in their respective fields – backup and storage of your data.

Veeam is a well-known brand, but have you heard of Nimble already? Nimble has been developing its own high-performance storage arrays since 2008. Last year, they became part of HPE Enterprise – a move which bumped up the popularity of Nimble’s innovative storage arrays considerably. Earlier this year, Nimble released its fifth generation of storage arrays, which are even more powerful than the previous versions. HPE Nimble’s storage arrays come in three different ‘flavours’: All Flash (AF…), Hybrid Flash (CS… , HF…), and Secondary Flash (SF…). Today, almost all these arrays support data compression and deduplication1, which is the most important advantage of this setup.

Our puzzle.

The basic setup for Veeam B&R consists of a management server and one or more powerful Veeam proxy server(s) with large storage volumes to store your backup data. The reason why we need a powerful physical server for this is because the physical servers do the heavy lifting: they take care of the compression and deduplication of backup data. The goal is to process these data as quickly as possible, while occupying as little storage space as possible. Because these operations put a lot of stress on the CPU and have high IO values, it’s hard to run these servers virtually: they’d take up too many resources from our hypervisors and choke other VMs.

The above setup is a configuration every Veeam user implements in their environment in one way or another. The downside? You’ll need to purchase one or more expensive servers which you’ll only need during backup and restore periods. Luckily, there’s another solution.

The HPE Nimble storage arrays feature built-in compression and deduplication. They use the exact same method as the Veeam proxy servers to resize their data, without compromising on performance. In other words: the resources required by Veeam proxy servers to carry out these tasks are already present.

In our solution, we move the computing power of the physical Veeam servers to our HPE Nimble storage array, which is powerful enough to handle inline deduplication and compression of our backup data.

As a result, our Veeam proxy becomes a gateway for data and no longer needs to execute demanding operations. This means we can significantly reduce the resources required for this server – and we can run the server virtually without impacting our virtual environment or our backup.

And there’s more. HPE Nimble offers several other advantages:

  • Integration with Veeam is very simple. Using a username and password, Veeam can read all snapshots in the storage array, which you can use to restore data. Veeam doesn’t even have to manage the snapshots.
  • Veeam and Nimble don’t just allow you to create snapshot backups, they also allow you to replicate snapshot backups on a 2nd Nimble. Veeam can even manage this replication.

  • HPE Nimble’s storage arrays can deliver high IOPS values, which means we can start up VMs directly from backup copies with Veeam vPower.


Our conclusion?

The pieces of this puzzle fit together beautifully: HPE Nimble storage arrays and Veeam B&R are an ideal combination with lots of interesting extras that simplify your backup solution and reduce RTO.

What can Xylos do for you?

As HPE Storage Gold Partner and Veeam ProPartner Gold, Xylos can offer a solution for all your needs concerning backup and recovery. We can help you analyse your current systems and find the perfect solution for your company.

If you want to find out what Xylos can do for your organisation, be sure to visit our website.

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