Extend your business resilience to business critical applications with Veeam, Cisco and Pure Storage

Business-critical applications, like databases, messaging, collaboration and even big data and AI/ML are the foundation for today’s modern enterprises. Now more than ever, these applications have to perform flawlessly, which requires an infrastructure that is built for these applications. The applications need a total eco-system that is able to support their ability to perform, including networking, compute, automation, load balancing and storage to name just a few, all to assure maximum performance and availability. Beyond the physical and virtual infrastructure, you also need to pay attention to the actual data and applications, assuring they are available and recoverable should (when) an issue arise. Together, these can keep the application always available and performing at speeds that enable the business to operate. Of course, not all applications are created equal, and different applications have different requirements, performance and availability characteristics. The reality is that the application experience has become non-negotiable.

It takes an application eco-system

That’s why companies are turning to organizations like Pure Storage, Cisco and their eco-system partners to deliver a complete, fully-integrated, application-centric infrastructure tailored for your individual application needs. If any one element of the application environment isn’t performing, the application will suffer, and ultimately so will the business. In fact, last year CIO magazine wrote that the 16 of the most expensive IT failures in history were all application-based!*

While we at Veeam deliver modern data protection, it has become apparent that now more than ever we don’t live in convenient IT silos, and in fact, doing so can be detrimental to your applications’ health.

In working with our customers to provide them the best, most advanced data protection their modern infrastructures need, it is evident that we are often part of larger changes, a move towards business resilience, or in other words, an application environment that is designed to support the performance, scalability and flexibility requirements of your application workloads.

Be it a modernization project, an application initiative, or yes, even Digital Transformation, what businesses are doing is looking to build resilience for their applications, so they are always available and performing to the needs of the business.

In recognition of this, Veeam has partnered with Pure Storage and Cisco to develop a Cisco Validated Design (CVD) for Veeam Availability with FlashStack, the co-branded Pure and Cisco converged infrastructure. We will be publishing the CVD very soon!

For those that are unfamiliar with Cisco CVDs, they’re engineering blueprints focused on a set of technologies to solve a particular use case, in other words, Pure and Cisco engineers do all the testing and configuring so you don’t have to. The result? Faster, more consistent deployments and performance. More on CVDs here.

The secret sauce

This new CVD is specifically for Veeam; protecting workloads on FlashStack and utilizing a choice of Pure or Cisco secondary storage and servers to run Veeam and store the backups and replicas. We tested the Veeam integration with Pure, leveraging the limitless snapshots of FlashStack to back up and restore virtualized workloads on FlashStack (source) with Veeam Backup & Replication v11. The target storage and the Veaam services will run on either a Pure Storage FlashArray//C, Cisco UCS S3260 storage server or Cisco UCS C240 M5 all flash server. Utilizing Pure’s limitless snapshots enables Veeam to perform more frequent backups to achieve the lowest RPOs, all without impacting the performance of the production environment. At the end of the day, it’s all about choice, the right choice of performance, capabilities, and price for your workloads and for the SLAs and scale you need to achieve.

FlashStack delivers a modern application platform that is pre-integrated and pre-validated that combines compute, network, and storage into a modern infrastructure platform designed for business-critical applications and tailored for specific workloads. It delivers maximum performance, increased flexibility and rapid scalability. One of the lesser known benefits of FlashStack is it removes the burden of patch management, tuning and upgrades greatly reducing management overhead. Pure also offers their Evergreen program which means you only ever have to install the system once, the components can be independently upgraded without downtime, eliminating the need to ever have to physically swap the unit. And of course, like Veeam, FlashStack may be acquired and consumed via a variety of flexible consumption models to meet your organization’s economic preferences.

The secret sauce is Veeam’s integration with Pure’s snapshot technology. Pure’s technology enables you to instantly snapshot any volume, without worrying about pausing workloads and with zero overhead. Veeam can leverage these for backup or replicas directly from the snapshot as often as you like. It gives you added flexibility and the ability to initiate a backup at any time and frequency with no interruptions to operations.

But wait! That’s not all!

Unleash the power of your data with Veeam’s DataLabs. Backing up as often as you want without risk is great but being able to leverage that data and maximize your investments in the data and storage infrastructure makes it even better! With Veeam DataLabs, you can create nearly live copies of your data in a protected virtual environment that you can perform many tasks like DevOps, security forensics and analytics. The use cases for this capability are numerous but let me offer a few interesting ones. Veeam offers Secure Restore that utilizes this functionality. Secure Restore offers the ability to stage a backup and scan the data for viruses or malware BEFORE you restore that data, ensuring the data you restore is clean. This is particularly important in the event of a ransomware incident. In fact, on the topic of ransomware, Veeam and Pure complement each other by utilizing Pure’s SafeMode snapshots technology to make an immutable snapshot of your backup to prevent the backup environment from being modified or deleted even with admin credentials. Veeam’s Melissa Palmer has written a lot about setting up not just disaster recovery testing, but developing and testing a plan for ransomware recovery, including considering some nuances like the latency in AV software updates. Veeam DataLabs enables you to do just this. Read more here.

So, with Veeam, Cisco and Pure, you can have a hardened backup environment and be sure that what you restore will be clear of any malware.

Choose the backup environment that is right for you with Veeam Availability with FlashStack!

Depending on your requirements, you can choose the right infrastructure to run your data protection. We will publish the testing results and configurations as part of the CVD to help you decide which is the right choice for you.

Here is a quick look at what we tested Veeam with on the backend.

Cisco UCS S3260 M5 storage servers deliver amazing performance with massive scalability and the economics of disk environments. Powered by Cisco Intersight or Cisco UCS Manager for lower TCO, simplified management, and consistent policy-based deployments and scalability.

Cisco UCS C240 M5 all flash storage servers deliver the performance and flexibility to run support virtually any workload in addition to the data protection environment. It provides the ability to scale out and scale up to meet the performance and flexibility for complex environments.

Pure Storage FlashArray//C combined with Cisco UCS B200 M5 servers delivers maximum flash-based performance that can handle multiple workloads while delivering the ultimate performance for your data protection environment. It scales out and up. FlashArray//C also offers Pure Storage SafeMode snapshots to protect backup data and metadata against data loss. Ransomware can’t eradicate, modify or encrypt SafeMode snapshots, even with administrative credentials.

One size doesn’t fit all!

One size doesn’t fit all for your applications. Look for solutions that are pre-validated, designed and optimized for your workloads. The result will be faster, more consistent deployments and reliable performance for your applications and workloads. In other words, higher levels of satisfaction and lower TCO.

Summary

Application performance and availability is more critical than ever. Veeam, Cisco and Pure have partnered to pre-validate several configurations and backup environment options to ensure that you can confidently choose the right solution for you removing the guesswork. Re-purpose data for test dev, forensics, compliance and analytics. The result will be faster deployments and reliable application performance all from three trusted vendors known for their reliability, performance and manageability. Visit our Veeam-FlashStack site to learn more.

Read the FlashStack Data Protection with Veeam: A New Cisco Validated Design blog at Cisco for additional information.


* Source: “16 famous ERP disasters, dustups and disappointments”, CIO Mag., 3-20-20.

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