Fast recovery with NetApp snapshots and Veeam

Let’s face it, for an IT administrator, recovery is a big part of your world. Over the years, I’ve seen exhaustion and fatigue on the faces of IT staff struggling to recover their business applications and data after unplanned system disruptions. In the IT arena, ever-increasing demands and expectations are setting the bar higher, and fast recovery is a key to success.

Veeam’s deep integration with NetApp enables businesses to leverage storage snapshots to create application consistent backups to fast SAN/NAS based repositories. As a result, IT administrators avoid the pain, frustration and exhaustion often experienced when in “recovery mode.”

At this point, I think it is important to recognize that fast recovery has a lot to do with backups. Think of good backups as the preparation required of a world-class athlete. It is often said the race is won before it starts. A competitor’s ability, training and confidence all factor into the winner’s success before the gun goes off.  Fast recovery is only as good as your pre-crisis preparation, ability to recover and confidence in the integrity of your backups.

NetApp snapshots orchestration

For Veeam, the starting line is our orchestration of NetApp snapshots. Veeam Backup & Replication sits on top of the FAS storage system, to control and automate application consistent snapshots for local fast recovery point objectives (RPO). By taking backups from storage snapshots, Veeam reduces the impact on the VMware vSphere environment. By directing the backup copy to a secondary storage target, Veeam offloads backup overhead from primary storage where VM’s are running. It is a great way to follow the 3-2-1 rule of three copies of data on two media types and keeping one in a different location.

3-2-1 Rule

Veeam, for example, can orchestrate and schedule these application-aware snapshots to a secondary NetApp FAS array. From there, Veeam backup from SnapMirror and SnapVault leverages a secondary FAS system for backup and reduces the impact on not only the vSphere environment, but also on the primary FAS system. With orchestrating snapshots locally and then replicating them to a secondary FAS system, Veeam delivers backup to a secondary media type. This is a good example of how Veeam can achieve a high return on your SnapMirror and SnapVault investment.

Fast recovery with Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots

Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots allows IT admins to browse into these NetApp snapshots and perform fast granular recovery of files and application items even though the snapshots are in a crash consistent state.

Fast Recovery with NetApp Snapshots and Veeam

By avoiding the complexity and spinning up time required to restore full VMs, restoring from snapshots drastically reduces the recovery time and allows IT to move on to the next event. What was a marathon-like effort, is now merely a short sprint back to productivity.

Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots can be used to view historic snapshots or snapshots that have not been orchestrated by Veeam but still enable file level recovery options.

Below you can see the view from a snapshot that is created and orchestrated by Veeam.

Fast Recovery with NetApp Snapshots and Veeam

You can also see the options available for this virtual machine, which has been snapshotted in an application consistent state.  Veeam provides application, item-level recovery from storage snapshots—all without the use of software agents and from an easy-to-use interface.

Veeam Instant VM Recovery with NetApp

Veeam Instant VM Recovery is another good example of how we work with NetApp storage to overcome the hurdles of recovery. You can immediately restore a VM from secondary storage back to your production server.

Fast Recovery with NetApp Snapshots and Veeam

The steps below show the process to run an Instant VM Recovery for a storage snapshot from the Veeam management console. The final step (see the bottom right shot) is for the backup admin to use vSphere tools such as Storage vMotion to migrate from the mounted snapshot to its original datastore.

Fast Recovery with NetApp Snapshots and Veeam Fast Recovery with NetApp Snapshots and Veeam
Fast Recovery with NetApp Snapshots and Veeam Fast Recovery with NetApp Snapshots and Veeam

Veeam’s Virtual Lab

Another great way to avoid injury of your production environment in the first place – and thus avoiding the need to recover — is Veeam On-Demand Sandbox for Storage Snapshots. This Veeam feature requires NetApp FlexClone, and again is an excellent added value to your NetApp investment.

FlexClone is a great technology from NetApp that gives IT admins a fully functional snapshot version of their production data with production-quality storage performance. Veeam enables the automation of the entire process, including the creation of the FlexClone snapshot, presentation, provisioning and automates clean-up operations when testing and development is completed.

Fast Recovery with NetApp Snapshots and Veeam

This feature can provide a full performance virtual lab without using any further production storage and, as of Veeam v9, can leverage both primary and secondary tier FAS systems. Use it for not only reducing setup time and testing time of new patches and applications, but also for training and development.

Without Veeam, the effort needed to recover from service disruptions often leaves you doubled over, out of breath and seeing stars. Especially when a business line manager is screaming at the service desk because mission-critical application SLAs are continually missed.

Learn more about how Veeam delivers Availability for the Always-On Enterprise with efficient and fast backup and recovery with NetApp.

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