Optimized Storage for Veeam
The Grid Overview: Simple Storage Building Blocks
The Grid is a software-defined storage platform that virtualizes the entire storage stack and distributes this across a powerful grid architecture to deliver simple, powerful and incredibly affordable storage. Through this approach, the Grid is capable of optimizing individual workloads through independently optimized virtual controllers. This design allows the Grid to uniquely optimize to the specific I/O requirements of Veeam.
The Grid is an optimized storage target for Veeam Backup and Replication. The combined solution provides the best-in-class software for virtual machine backup and replication with simple, powerful and affordable storage that is specifically designed to meet the unique requirements of Veeam and VM backup environments. Gridstore is also a solution that fits budgets for organizations of all sizes with the flexibility to fit your storage needs today and pay as you grow, as the organization executes on its virtualization initiatives.
The Challenges of a VM Backup Target
VM backup is a key advantage of a virtualized environment. The ability to protect and restore virtual machines instantly is one of the real innovations that make virtualization so valuable for businesses. But with these capabilities also come new challenges.
Sizing the backup is a moving target
VMs grow in multiple dimensions: the size of the VMs, and the volume of VMs. What you start with on day one, will be very different on day 30, at three months, at nine months, at 24 months—predicting this growth rate is practically impossible. Sizing a backup target for your environment faces the same challenge.
Random I/O and sequential throughput performance
Performance is the key to taking advantage of many of the key features enabled with backing up virtual assets with products like Veeam.
Random I/O performance. In order to take advantage of some of the great features in Veeam—such as its deduplication with changed block tracking and Instant Restore—random I/O performance becomes a critical enabler. With Instant Restore the backup target becomes primary storage. Now it needs to also deliver that performance.
High Sequential Throughput Performance. Throughput is always a critical capability when it comes to backup targets. As jobs grow larger, windows grow smaller, and your storage target throughput needs to grow to accommodate this. When using the advanced VM backup capabilities like Veeam’s Instant Restore, storage is double tasked. Storage needs to deliver the random I/O required to run the VM in place, while at the same time trying to stream the VM being restored back to production. This is crunch time when a VM was lost and you are trying to restore operations as quickly as possible. Your storage needs to deliver this combined random I/O and high throughput at a critical time.
While VM backup is more than just traditional backup, it is still a backup—an insurance policy. While the above performance and scaling attributes are typically reserved for primary storage, it is not economical to pay the high cost of primary storage for a backup target.
The Solution: Optimized Storage for Veeam
The Grid combines a unique set of features that makes it the perfect storage target for Veeam. Some features are simply due to the powerful nature of
the Grid. Others take advantage of this model to deliver storage optimizations that specifically target Veeam requirements. The combination ensures that you get the most powerful storage target at an incredibly affordable price point.
The Grid provides a scalable, high-performance pool of storage by virtualizing many discrete 1U building blocks of capacity into a single pool of storage. The Grid enables a building block approach to storage that allows you to incrementally grow your storage pool capacity and I/O simply by adding blocks of storage to any standard Ethernet connection.
IT/VM administrators no longer have to worry about the complex tradeoffs between performance, cost and scale requirements of a VM backup environment.
Scalable target, both capacity and I/O
Forget about forecasting capacity. The Grid allows you to start small and simply add more storage nodes as you require more capacity. Each block of storage instantly adds both capacity and parallel I/O into a virtualized pool of storage that can grow to any size required in the future. With traditional storage that scales within the same physical system, you are forced to try to squeeze larger and larger backups through the same sized pipe, eventually resulting in missed backup windows. With the Grid, you can start small and incrementally grow inline with the growth of your virtualized environment—and because the Grid also grows its I/O, you can be sure to meet your backup windows, now and in the future.
Powerful performance and fault tolerance delivers optimized performance when and where you want it
High performance random I/O. Because each vController™ (virtual controller) can optimize specifically to the workload it services and these controllers operate directly in the host, a significant amount of random I/O can be handled locally. The result is random I/O performance that is typically 2X or greater than traversing the network for every random I/O.
High performance parallel I/O delivers maximum throughput when it really counts. Gridstore delivers massively parallel I/O and striping of data across many storage nodes to ensure the highest possible throughputs during critical restore operations. Unlike standard backup targets with fixed I/O and fixed processing, as the Grid grows capacity it also grows more powerful with each additional block of storage—adding more parallel I/O into the pool. So now as you virtualize more of your environment and grow your Grid to meet that capacity requirement, you also increase the number of parallel I/O channels into the Grid’s storage pool. In the event you need to restore a VM, the Grid can deliver as many parallel I/O channels as you need to maximize your throughput when you need it the most. And while your Grid grows more powerful, it also grows more fault tolerant because there is no single point of failure.
The Grid’s unique architecture delivers a scalable and high-performance storage target for about the same price as a standalone storage target or DAS. The difference between the two is radically different performance and scaling—essential requirements in the context of VM backup. Grid storage nodes also eliminate the overhead, cost and complexity of specialized dedupe backup appliances or storage arrays with inline deduplication. The Grid takes advantage of Veeams built in dedupe, which is the right place for this function so Veeam can take advantage of it the most. It also means that you don’t have to pay for it twice and you don’t have to pay for specialized high-performance controllers to perform this task. The Grid brings the unique ability—through its virtual controller technology—to move all the intelligence and processing closer to the host and optimizes to the unique I/O requirements of the workload. This reduces the job of the storage nodes to simple containers that deliver the scaling and high performance you want, without the added cost of specialized hardware.
The Veeam and Gridstore backup storage solution can be deployed in a few easy steps for virtualized environments.
- Set up Veeam’s backup and proxy host solution on a virtual machine or physical machine and connect it to the host.
- Install the Grid’s vController on Veeam’s backup machine to deploy, configure and manage the storage nodes via GridControl™.
- Veeam’s backup solution will see the Grid’s storage pool as a mounted volume as a target for VM backups.
Key Benefits of Optimized Storage for Veeam
Powerful performance when it counts
The Grid is optimized storage that delivers both the random and sequential I/O performance required to take advantage of the powerful features in Veeam while also providing fault tolerant storage to ensure 100% protection.
Scalable target—simply grow capacity and I/O to meet increasing VM backups within your window
The Grid allows you to simply add blocks of capacity (storage nodes) to your network to instantly grow capacity to meet larger and larger backup jobs. And as you add each block of capacity, you are also adding more parallel I/O into the storage pool.
Incredibly affordable pay-as-you-grow storage
The Grid delivers highly scalable, high-performance storage that is fault tolerant—for about the same cost as stand-alone storage targets—without the need for disruptive upgrades when you run out of capacity, poor performance just when you need it the most, or a single point of failure that turns a bad day into your worst day. Now you can take comfort knowing that your storage target is optimized for Veeam to deliver when you need it the most.
FINALLY. STORAGE WITHOUT LIMITS.