First look at Veeam 9.5 & Nimble Storage Integration – Part 1

As a part of the Veeam Vanguard program, I have been given access to the beta version of Veeam 9.5. And in this blog post I will cover some of the integration components between Nimble Storage and Veeam, announced by Veeam back in April. If you have been following the Veeam forums, then you’ll know that there is a very active post where the forum users are all pitching in which storage vendor they think should be next to get integration.

Note: This blog post content is created from a beta version of Veeam 9.5, any features, dialog boxes, names and such are subject to change before the final public release.

What I’ll be covering in these series of blog posts;

Part 1

  • So what does the integration give us?
  • The test environment
  • Adding the Nimble Storage Array into Veeam
    • Configuration
    • Nimble Audit Logs

Part 2

  • Now we’ve added the Nimble Storage array
  • What can we do with Snapshots?
    • Controlling Nimble Storage  snapshots and restoring files from the Veeam console
    • Backing up a Virtual Machine from a Nimble Snapshot
    • Backing up a Virtual machine to a Nimble Snapshot
    • Replicating a Virtual Machine from a Nimble Snapshot
  • SureBackup from Nimble Snapshots
So what does the integration give us?

I think the below extract from this article by Clint Wyckoff sums it up best.

Veeam's advanced integration with Nimble Storage provides additional protection and recovery options that are not available without direct integration and joint development efforts that provide the ability to:

    - Schedule the creation of Nimble storage snapshots containing application-consistent VM images, and storage snapshot replication orchestration.

    - Restore from Nimble storage snapshots or their Replicated Copies (entire VM, guest files and application items)

    - Backup from Nimble storage snapshots or their Replicated Copies.

The only other company to have this kind of integration is NetApp, showing this high regards Nimble Storage are held in from Veeam. But also showing that Nimble Storage has been a dedicated partner working with Veeam over the past few years, and its paying off with this integration offering.

Veeam and Nimble Storage Integration - Feature comparison table

The test environment

Luckily for me, Veeam have produced a reference architecture diagram which pretty much describes the test environment used in this preview blog post. In this environment there will be no Tape nor cloud connect components.

Veeam-Nimble-Storage-Integration-Topology

Adding the Nimble Storage Array into Veeam 9.5

First, you will want to ensure your Veeam Backup and Replication Server is able to contact the Nimble Storage via iSCSI or FC, the Nimble Connection Manager makes this super easy.

  1. Go to the Storage Infrastructure configuration
  2. Click “Add Storage”
  3. Select Nimble
  4. Enter your IP address
  5. Next
  6. Add Credentials
  7. Enter your Credentials > OK > Next
    1. The user account must have Administrator or Power User permissions on the Nimble Storage Array.
  8. At this point it will connect to the Nimble Storage Device and ask for confirmation of the SSL Thumbprint.
  9. Confirm the Access settings for the Nimble, such as iSCSI/FC, these are auto-discovered when connecting to the Array. You can also select which proxies you want to use connect to the device, and which volumes you want to be available to Veeam.
  10. Confirm and Finish

At the bottom I’ve included two screenshots, one where the Proxy can access the storage and snapshots, and one where it cannot. And finally if you head to the bottom, there is a look at the audit log.

Adding Nimble Storage to Veeam - Storage Infrastructure

Adding Nimble Storage to Veeam - New Nimble Storage - Name and Credentials

Adding Nimble Storage to Veeam - New Nimble Storage - Confirm SSL ThumbprintAdding Nimble Storage to Veeam - New Nimble Storage - Access Options

Adding Nimble Storage to Veeam - New Nimble Storage - Choose Volumes to be accessedAdding Nimble Storage to Veeam - New Nimble Storage - Confirm and finish

Adding Nimble Storage to Veeam - New Nimble Storage - Storage Rediscovery (failure) Adding Nimble Storage to Veeam - New Nimble Storage - Storage Rediscovery

And now we have the Nimble audit log,

We can see the following interactions;

  • Login attempt from Veeam Software using the account specified earlier
  • Initiators added from the Veeam Backup Server to the Nimble Storage Array
  • Initiators added into a group
  • ACLs on the volumes changed to include the above initiators.
    • This will be done to any volumes selected from the storage infrastructure properties for your Nimble device, where you can select or exclude volumes.

Adding Nimble Storage to Veeam - New Nimble Storage - Nimble Audit Log

Now onto part 2 of the blog posts to look configuring backup and replication jobs to use the snapshots from a Nimble Storage Array.

Here is a video created by Hilal Yaman detailing some of the parts of the Veeam and Nimble integration.

Regards

Dean

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