Virtualizing Backup Environment with ExaGrid and Veeam
The YWCA installed an ExaGrid system at its primary site, which has recently been set up to replicate to Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud storage. The ExaGrid Cloud Tier allows customers to replicate deduplicated backup data from a physical onsite ExaGrid appliance to the cloud tier in Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure for an offsite disaster recovery (DR) copy. The ExaGrid Cloud Tier is a software version (VM) of ExaGrid that runs in AWS or Azure. The ExaGrid Cloud Tier looks and acts exactly like a second-site ExaGrid appliance. Data is deduplicated in the onsite ExaGrid appliance and replicated to the cloud tier as if it was a physical offsite system.
All features apply such as encryption in transit from the primary site to the cloud tier in AWS or Azure, bandwidth throttle between the primary site ExaGrid appliance and the cloud tier in AWS, replication reporting, DR testing, and all other features found in a physical second-site ExaGrid DR appliance. Hansen backs up the nonprofit’s data in daily incrementals, along with a weekly synthetic full. “We have a mix of physical and virtual servers and we’re able to back up the physical servers and then restore them to virtual using Veeam and ExaGrid. That’s helped us to move the virtualization process along.”
He has been impressed with the speed and reliability of backups to the ExaGrid system. “Backing up data to our ExaGrid is definitely faster than to the NAS we’d used. We back up much more data now, but the backup window is nearly the same. We weren’t able to coordinate our backup schedule with the NAS, so sometimes multiple backup jobs would run at the same time, which slowed everything down. ExaGrid offers consistent backup performance, and now our backups run as scheduled.”
In addition to providing reliable backups, the ExaGrid-Veeam solution has made it easier to restore data, when necessary. “Whenever I’ve had to restore a file, or even a VM, it’s been a simple, straightforward process. We weren’t always sure what to expect when restoring data from our previous solution, as sometimes it would take a few hours to mount an old backup, or worse yet, sometimes the backups were corrupt. Now that we have ExaGrid and Veeam in place, I’m confident that we can fulfill restore requests,” said Hansen.
ExaGrid and Veeam can instantly recover a file or VMware virtual machine by running it directly from the ExaGrid appliance in the event that the file is lost, corrupted or encrypted or the primary storage VM becomes unavailable. This instant recovery is possible because of ExaGrid’s Landing Zone – a high-speed disk cache on the ExaGrid appliance that retains the most recent backups in their complete form. Once the primary storage environment has been brought back to a working state, the VM backed up on the ExaGrid appliance can then be migrated to primary storage for continued operation.