scherian
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

VCS Appliance - SSD or HDD/ Thin vs Thick

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I have 3 hosts to manage and have vmware essentials.

I would like to install VCS Appliance to manage all the 3 hosts along with Veeam Backup & Replication Community edition for backing up VMs

I have a 400GB SSD datastore and 3TB HDD datastore. I installed VCSA on the SSD in thick mode and it took up ~250+ GB. 

1. Any suggestsion, industry experience with this kind of work-load for me to install VCSA on the HDD and/or should I keep it on SSD using Thin Mode?

2. If i do decide to change the VCSA appliance later  - for eg from Tiny to Small deployment or move it to another Datastore, I should be able to uninstall VCSA and re-deploy correct?

3.  Can I use Veeam B&R to do regular snapshots on VMs? - like every 15 minutes or is that too aggressive? . I currently do nightly backups but would like to reduce the Recovery Time Objective

Appreciate any guidance

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Lalegre
Commander
Commander

Hey scherian​,

1- Yes go ahead and deploy the vCSA into the HDD also if you need expansion you will have more space to do it.

2- I recommend you, if you have the resources, to deploy a Small VCSA which is an excellent point to start and for production workloads in all my projects I always start with this size unless some specific constraints.

3-  The impact of taking these Snapshots every 2 hours could be a problem but is not in most of the cases, however, this changes depending the application running inside the VM. And regarding Veeam for Domain Controllers, absolutely is recommended, even they have an application login integration where in case of a failure you can restore AD objects such as groups, computer objects, users, etc!

Regards!

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Lalegre
Commander
Commander

Hey scherian​,

Let me answer your questions one by one in blue:

1. Any suggestsion, industry experience with this kind of work-load for me to install VCSA on the HDD and/or should I keep it on SSD using Thin Mode?

There will be no benefit in installing VCSA on SSD for this kind of environment where the internal PostgresDB will not suffer a lot of changes and will happen the same regarding if you choose Thin vs Thick mode. I did plenty of implementation and let me be completely honest with you, even in mid size deployments there are no a lot of benefits regarding this.

2. If i do decide to change the VCSA appliance later  - for eg from Tiny to Small deployment or move it to another Datastore, I should be able to uninstall VCSA and re-deploy correct?

No, you do not need to re-deploy the VCSA for changing the size, however you won't be able to vMotion the VCSA to another storage as you do no have the license to do it, but as you will use Veeam, you can backup and restore the appliance to the standalone ESXi in case it fails. And as i said first, you can simply add more RAM or CPU in case needed and to follow this KB in case you need to increase disk space: VMware Knowledge Base

3.  Can I use Veeam B&R to do regular snapshots on VMs? - like every 15 minutes or is that too aggressive? . I currently do nightly backups but would like to reduce the Recovery Time Objective

Careful with the concepts here as RTO if how much time you can stand without having your application available. What you are referring is Recovery Point Objective that means how much information you could stand to loss and if you are doing all the days a bacup nightly at the same time then you have a RPO of 24 hours approxmately. Have a RPO of 15 minutes is achievable with Veeam but is a quite stressful operation, this needs planned regarding on how important your application is for the business and from there decide. In my experience, even with critical application, an RPO of 2 hours minimum is quite acceptable but of course it depends about the business requirement.

scherian
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi Lalegre

thank you for your responses and highlighting the answers in Blue - made it easy to read/understand..

Some comments and perhaps follow-up questions on this if you don't mind

1.  My concern is I only have 2 SSD slots on my R640  and upgrading these or expanding these in the future was concerning me. After reading your comment, i think i will simply deploy the VCSA on my 3+TB HDD and use thin mode

2. Yes thank you - my future future plans - which probably won't happen.. is if i do grow more than 3 hosts and I do buy V-essential Plus ($$$) and then change my deployment from Tiny to Small then i could take advantage of the additional features (v-motion )

3. RPO - yes.. should've asked that instead of RTO.. thank you  I will go with RPO of 2 hours.. I am concerned about the load /impact on performance of the servers while they are running/in use.

Also related to this question.. do you know if it is safe to do snapshots using Veeam B&R on AD controllers??? i heard that may not be advisable..

Thank you again Lalegre - appreciate your responses

Sydney Cherian

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Lalegre
Commander
Commander

Hey scherian​,

1- Yes go ahead and deploy the vCSA into the HDD also if you need expansion you will have more space to do it.

2- I recommend you, if you have the resources, to deploy a Small VCSA which is an excellent point to start and for production workloads in all my projects I always start with this size unless some specific constraints.

3-  The impact of taking these Snapshots every 2 hours could be a problem but is not in most of the cases, however, this changes depending the application running inside the VM. And regarding Veeam for Domain Controllers, absolutely is recommended, even they have an application login integration where in case of a failure you can restore AD objects such as groups, computer objects, users, etc!

Regards!

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