ReFS is the advanced file system from Microsoft that improves data availability through technologies that can:
Ensuring greater resilience of data stored on the file system.
Increase the performance in reading and writing.
Improve the scalability (we are talking about millions of TB).
One of the most useful and widely used features in backup is the technology of Block-Cloning which allows Veeam Backup & Replication to create full backups equal in size to an incremental.
The operation logic is simple and consists of 3 phases:
TheBackup copies to the target Repository (ReFS), the incremental data of the VM / Instances / Physical Servers/ Clients To be protected.
The File System ReFS will take care of storing the new blocks and creating the metadatarelated to the newly written data.
The option “create a Syntethic-full” actually triggers anoperation at the level of metadata. ReFS adds to the metadata just created, those related to previous backups, thus creating a new full child of the union of all the necessary metadata. To further simplify, a logical full is created without any block being copied/moved.
Note 1: The result is not only a saving in space but also in the time it takes to make the full.
Well, how is it possible to quantify the disk space saved in the repository (ReFS)?
Why the Service Provider needs a different way to implement this service?
I think that the two main reasons were:
1) SP has already a Cloud Connect architecture and it wants to use it in all possible scenarios.
2) SP needs always official support from Vendor before implementing any project and the Martini is not. To be clearer, the RestFul Api technology inside VBO is totally supported, the Martini portal isn’t because it is not a Veeam product.
Before continuing the read, there is one requirement to respect: VBR Cloud Connect and VBO-365 have to be installed on the same server (a Windows Server).
Picture 1 shows the high-level architecture.
The service provider architecture is shown on the right part of picture 1 and it is composed of VBO-365 and the Cloud Connect architectures, while the left part shows the tenant architecture where VBR Server has been installed.
Which are the actions that can be performed by the Tenant?
– Backup: the tenant can’t access the VBO-365 console. It means the Tenat can’t set up or launch any sort of backup. In other words, the backup tasks are a managed services.
– Restore: The tasks can be driven by the administrator of the Microsoft Office 365 organization through the use of Veeam Explores. The Cloud Connect technology creates the tunnel to connect the two entities.
Note 1: When VBR is installed by default all Veeam Explorers are installed.
I mean that not just the traditional Veeam Explorers (for Active Directory, SQL, Oracle, Exchange, Share-points) are installed but also the Explorer for One Drive and Teams. that are specific for Microsoft 365 technology.
Note 2: Does this scenario require VBR license?
Yes, but you can use the free community edition.
The point to highlight during the setup is the authentication task that allows the explorer to communicate with VBO-365:
From the VBO-365 console selecting “General Options” (Picture 2) and from the authentication tab enabling the tenant authentication you can catch your goal (please for security reason use your own certificate) (Picture 3)
Let’s switch to my demo environment:
1. The Service Provider VBO-365 console, has three Microsoft 365 organizations with a backup job each (Picture 4). Two of those use modern authentication, the third the basic one.
2. The Cloud-Connect architecture has been set up in order to create a tenant called Demo-VBO (Picture 5).
The VBR Tenant Console shows how the connection towards the service provider has been set up (Picture 6).
The following video shows the tasks performed by the tenant to restore his data (Exchange/Sharepoint/One-Drive/Teams items) located at the Service Provider site.
knowing local account’s credential (remote computer)
Important Note: File copy is a copy. It means that if you launch the same job twice, the second time it will delete the files previously saved. It’s like launching two times a copy command without changing any option. To be clearer, it’s not a backup so it can not manage retentionpolicy, nor deduplication/compression.
Note-4: I don’t know if this scenario is supported by Veeam, open a ticket before proceeding.
The following video will explain the steps to set up the environment, perform backup and restore (ps-tools are located to c:\Users\VBR\Desktop\PStools)
This article’s topic is how to set up and work VBR when it is combined with the NDMP protocol.
This type of configuration is part of the category “file to tape” I treated in my last article “A flexible file backup Strategy – Part 2”.
One more note before starting: VBR requires NDMP version 4 and later.
How does it work?
The architecture is quite easy.
Files are gathered from the File Server through the data mover present on the Gateway server. Then they are sent to the Tape Server that performs the write on Tape.
The Datamover installed on Tape Server has the ownership of managing the data traffic to Tape Device.
VBR has the task of enumerating the Volumes and launch the command to Tape Devices.
Point-1: VBR works with a 3 layer backup architecture. It means there is nodirect connection betweenFile Servers and Tape Devices. All Data have to pass through the tape Sever.
In this article, I’m not covering the procedure to set up the NAS correctly. Please ask your storage vendor specialist to get all details needed.
How to add the NDMP server to VBR and set up a backup job?
The next video will answer the question.
After the backup is completed how to perform a restore?
NDMP backup files are available to perform restores from the FILE menu at the voice Tape and then NDMP as shown in picture 2
Please have a look at the next short video (video 2) to see the easy step to perform a restore.
Point-2: The backup chain stored on tapes will consist of 10 restore points maximum. On the 11th run, VBR will force an active full.
One of the main characteristics of NDMP backup is that it allows to perform backup and restore of entire volumes.
The most common scenario is the Disaster Recovery of the entire Filer. Imagine the case in which the customer NAS filer is completely out of order and the only way to restart the file sharing service is formatting all the disks and then restoring the volumes (or the worst case is getting a new NAS).
In this case, NDMP volume restores from tape is an excellent low-cost solution.
NDMP servers backup to tape is available in the Enterprise Plus Edition of VBR.
It means that there is no limit on the amount of data that can be saved. Could be 1 TB or 100 PB it doesn’t matter.
Veeam Universal License (VUL) has the Enterprise Plus Edition available. Is it time to move your old sockets license to the subscription model (VUL)?
The granular restore (files and folders) it’s not an available option with VBR and NDMP backup.
Please note that NAS backup is now completely supported by VBR (please refer to article 1 of this series) and it’s the fastest way to perform the granular restores.
Point-3: Even if the NAS device supporting NDMP protocol is already added to VBR, you need to add the NDMP server as a separate procedure. Otherwise, you will not be able to perform file backup to tape.
The next article will cover a recap of the different techniques and show a hidden gem of VBR.