I have been tasked with developing a backup/recovery plan for our 4 host ESXi 4.1 cluster, planning to upgrade it 5.5 shortly. This plan can include software and hardware from VMware, veeam, IBM, Dell, NetApp, EMC, Buffalo, HP and other third party vendors. We like to backup at the guest level (SQL database, Exchange mailboxes) as well as ESXi host level (VMs). There are 10 SQL servers, one Exchange server and other servers on VMs. All the VMDK files are stored in an iSCSI SAN using Dell's MD3220i. Assume we are looking 20 TB of data. We are currently using VDR and backing up the VMs to a NAS device.
Basically we have four buildings separated by parking lots. One of the buildings serves as the data center where the entire Vmware cluster is hosted. Fiber interconnects all the buildings. Initially we are planning to place a storage device ( SAN, NAS, DAS, etc?) in the data center and another in one of the three buildings. A software will backup the VMs to the datacenter and outside storage devices. In the event of a disaster at the datacenter, we need to be able to activate the stored VMs in the other building into production. I just gave you the overview of what we trying to accomplish.
I would really appreciate your input and how you you are doing the backup/recovery in your Vmware environment. Our budget range for this project is $10K-20K. I am looking at NAS for the storage device as SAN will be a overkill. Symantec backup Exec for guest level backup. Veeam for VM backup/recovery. ESXi host backup? Ideally, I would like the NAS device/software do the de-duplication and replication of data to the other building(s) at the storage device level. Again, your input is greatly appreciated.
Hi Pie8ter (Great name!),
It sounds like you have a solid plan to protect your data. I just wanted to mention PHD Virtual Backup & Replication as a possible alternative to Veeam. PHD has all the functionality you need to accomplish your data protection goals. We can provide you with the same feature set as Veeam for about 60% of the cost and a much easier to setup and manage architecture. Here is a link to PHD's resource section of their website... there are many video, whitepapers etc... Virtual Backup and Disaster Recovery Whitepapers, Videos, Data Sheets, Analyst Reports
Also, I had a question about why you wanted to use Backup Exec in conjunction with the image based solution.... Both PHD and Veeam can recover files from their backups with having to spin up a VM. The both also have granular exchange, sql, and sharepoint recovery as well. Do you still have some physical machines that you would need to manage?? If not, PHD would be able to cover you on all fronts... saving you even more money. So if you're interested in a solution like Veeam, you should definitely check out PHD as well. Thanks!
Thank you for considering Veeam and sorry for the delay in replying! First of all, you need to start from your business requirements. Answers on the questions below will help the community suggest you the best approach:
My 2 cents:
Our budget range for this project is $10K-20K. I am looking at NAS for the storage device as SAN will be a overkill.
SAN is overkill in the majority of projects. I like this SAM's article, it might be interesting for you too - http://www.smbitjournal.com/2013/06/when-to-consider-a-san/ From what you've described above, NAS should be a good fit.
Veeam for VM backup/recovery.
Veeam can not only backup your VMs, but also can replicate them to another ESXi host, meaning you'll be able to start your critical VMs on a DR site in a couple of minutes in case your production site is down. After you production host is live again, you can always failover / failback your VMs.
Another feature that might be helpful - Instant VM Recovery, when you can run your VMs directly from a deduped and compressed backup file on a DR site.
Once again, more details about your environment will be very helpful
Veeam Community Manager