Tag Archives: Storage

First Look – Leveraging the Nimble Secondary Flash Array with Veeam – Setup guide

Following on with the setup guide of the Nimble Secondary Flash Array, I am going to go through the deployment options, and the settings needed for implementation with Veeam Backup and Replication.

What will be covered in this blog post?

  • Quick overview of the SFA
  • Deployment Options
    • Utilizing features of Veeam with the SFA
    • Using a backup repository LUN
  • Best practices to use as backup repository
    • Veeam Proxy – Direct SAN Access
    • Creating your LUN on the SFA for use as a backup repository
    • Setting up your backup repository in Veeam
    • vPower NFS Service on the mount server
    • Backup Job settings
    • SureBackup / SureReplica
    • Backup Job – Nimble Storage Primary Snapshot – Configure Secondary destinations for this job
    • Encryption – Don’t do it in Veeam!
  • Viewing data reduction savings on the Nimble Secondary Storage
  • Summary

My test lab looks similar to the below diagram provided by Veeam (Benefits of using Nimble SFA with Veeam).

Quick overview of the SFA

The SFA is essentially the same as the previous Nimble Storage devices before it, the same hardware and software. But with one key difference, the software has been optimized against data reduction and space-saving efficiencies, rather than for performance. Which means you would purchase the Nimble CS/AF range for production workloads, with high IOP performance and low latency. And the SFA would be used for your DR environment, backup solution, providing the same low latency to allow for high-speed recovery, and long-term archival of data.

Deployment options

With the deployment of an SFA, you are looking at roughly the same deployment options as the CS/AF array for use with Veeam (This blog, Veeam Blog). However with the high dedupe expectancy, you are able to store a hell of a lot more data!

So the options are as follows;

  1. iSCSI or FC LUN to your server as a Veeam Backup Repo.
    • Instant VM Recovery
    • Backup Repository
    • SureBackup / SureReplica
    • Virtual Labs
  2. Replication Target for an existing Nimble.
    • Utilizing Veeam Storage Integration
      • Backup VMs from Secondary Storage Snapshot
      • Control Nimble Storage Snapshot schedules and replication of volumes

If we take option one, we open up a few options directly with Veeam. You can use the high IOPs performance and low latency, for features such as Instant VM recovery, where by the Veeam Backup and Replication server hosts an NFS datastore to your virtual environment and spins up a running copy of your recovered virtual machine quickly with little fuss.

Continue reading First Look – Leveraging the Nimble Secondary Flash Array with Veeam – Setup guide

PowerCLI – Setup Host networking and storage ready for ISCSI LUNs

So I am no scripting master, my PowerShell knowledge is still something I want to expand. During an install last week I had a number of hosts to setup from scratch, so I decided to do this via PowerCLI, as a lot of the tasks were repetitive. Setting up the vSwitch networking and iSCSI configuration for each host

For those of you new to scripting, I’ve included screenshots to accompany the commands so you can see whats going on in the GUI.

Note: the full code without the breaks is at the end of this post

#Setup which host to target 
$VMhost = 'hostname'

Continue reading PowerCLI – Setup Host networking and storage ready for ISCSI LUNs

How to produce good documentation – Part 2 – Rack and Server Diagrams

Oh no, diagrams! But, but, I’m not creative!

So we covered the foundation an environment in part 1, which is that hated word, which is documentation,

But that means you need diagrams, which is something most people struggle with, especially using Visio.

You’re not alone, I was the same, my documentation in my early days was shocking, and then I took on a consultancy role, where I was implementing solutions and having to produce documentation for customer. I had a steep learning curve.

So I’m going to take you into the first steps on how to diagram your Racks and the servers in them.

Visio and your stencils

So your going to need Visio, preferably 2013, but 2010 will be fine. And you need stencils of the hardware you’re creating a diagram of.

The best place to get 90% of your Visio Stencils is VisioCafe.

For others that do not appear on there, its easy enough to just google the vendor name plus Visio ;).

Here’s the file for the Visio diagrams.

Creating a diagram of your rack

So this is something I do for most of my customers, creating a diagram of the rack, mainly to show the bits I’ve stuck in, and so the customer knows which server is which, and then can refer to the rest of the document for what that bit of kit does.

2014-11-05_19-52-45 Continue reading How to produce good documentation – Part 2 – Rack and Server Diagrams

#VMworld Day 3 & 4 – Final Notes

So I didnt get a change to write up Day 3 nor Day 4, but now I’m home, I can get into it as writing blog posts and uploading pictures from your iPad to wordpress is  pretty horrific to be honest, I was getting ready to launch my said iPad towards the hang space screen during the keynote. Maybe its time to update to the new iPad

So my sessions covered EUC, VVOLS, Troubleshooting and more, with Day 4 being the best day of the whole week, I actually attended every session I was booked into.

Heres a view of the sun outside the conference center, incase your interested

2014-10-16 12.47.23

Continue reading #VMworld Day 3 & 4 – Final Notes