Ensuring Data Availability is a key factor for a good Backup Strategy plan. As a matter of fact it is important not just to protect data and apps against loss. It is equally important to make data and apps available. In this article we’ll review the Veeam Backup Copy Job benefits and configuration.
The industry rule states a good backup strategy should have 3 copies of the data, stored on 2 different medias and 1 copy should be off-site. In this article we’ll review how easily a Veeam Backup Copy Job can help to achieve this scenario.
Nowadays we have access to different storage types including local, DAS, NAS, SAN, Tapes and Cloud Storage. Benefiting from the 3-2-1 rule has never been easier. In addition for separate storage types we can also define different retention rules according to requirements.
There are multiple aspects that make Backup Copy jobs a desirable feature. To name a few:
- custom retention points
- independent restore points to satisfy Grandfather-Father-Son scenario (GFS)
- ability to manage the Backup Copy files separately and according to best practices based on storage types
In this article we’ll review the steps on how to create a Veeam Backup Copy job based on an existing Backup Job to the Primary Storage. In this case the second copy of the data will sit on a DellEMC Data Domain Virtual Edition.
Let’s take a quick look on how to create a Veeam Backup Copy Job in our home lab.
Configure a Backup Copy Job
As per usual we can create and configure a Veeam Backup copy Job using the wizard from the Backup & Replication view in the Console. First thing is to create a Name for the Job. Description is optional and we can change it later on like the rest of the options.
From the first screen we can control the interval time and the schedule by which the Veeam Backup & Replication server detects new Backups. The Backup Copy Job will start copying from the most recent restore point of each processed VM. As soon an incremental or full backup is available the pertinent restore points are synchronised.
In the next screen we can specify the objects to copy. We can choose from VMs in the infrastructure, from Backups or entire Jobs as well.
When selecting Backup Jobs we can use the browser to view and pick the desired Virtual Machines.
The wizard displays the VMs along with total and individual size. From this screen also the ability to choose a different order.
What is interesting is the ability to choose the Source from where the Backup Copy Job obtains the VM information. This will automatically present all the available Backup Repositories. As a best practice we can streamline the intended ones by removing the unused or offsite repositories. This guarantees access to the fastest storage available.
At this point it is time to specify the location for the second copy of the Data. In this example we’re using a Data Domain virtual Edition.
We can set the number of Restore point for “Simple Retention”. In this case this will be at least the most recent Full Backup will all pertinent incremental Backup file. On the 8th Restore Point to copy the first incremental next to the Full is injected into the Full and a new incremental is copied. The redundant incremental is deleted. This way the Full Backup is moving forward and the chain is always maintaining 7 Restore Points as indicated in this screenshot.
For “Advanced Retention” it is possible to keep a number of Restore Points based on Time Schedules as Full Backups for archival purposes. This is what triggers the GFS scenario and is suitable for longer retention.
Ideally all these scenarios where the compliance rules require to keep the data for a number of weeks, months and even years.
Typically this type of Backups go to Tapes. Modern alternatives include Virtual Tape Libraries (VTL) and Cloud Storage. Azure BLOB Storage and AWS S3 or Glacier are proving very popular and very easy to use for this scope. We’ll cover these offerings in a dedicated article.
There’s a number of “Advanced Settings” we can configure for Veeam Backup Copy Jobs. They are organised in different tabs. Such settings help maintaining and optimising the storage for our Backup Copies amongst other options.
In the first tab we can configure options to scan the Backup files as health-check against data blocks corruption. In addition we can specify a grace period after which data pertinent to deleted VMs can be removed from backups.
Very helpful is the ability to defrag and compact Full Backup files ensuring high performances.
Depending if the target storage uses a built-in date de-duplication mechanism we can leave this option enabled. Moreover we can specify the compression and encryption. Of course we need to take in consideration extra time would be needed in case of restoring data from such Backups.
In the Notification setting we can customise the content and recipients who will get the information about the Backup Copy jobs.
Last but not least also the option to run scripts before and after the execution of a Backup Copy Job.
Should we send the data to remote or off-site location we have the option to leverage a built-in functionality of the WAN accelerator. This feature is optimizing the traffic of the Data block across the WAN link before traversing the public network. It is a system of caching data and other techniques which we’ll cover in a dedicated article.
Very useful the option to also specify a Time Window for when the Veeam Backup Copy Jobs are allowed to run.
And finally a quick summary showing the main information. When ready we can finish the configuration.
Veeam Backup to Dell EMC Data Domain
When the Veeam Backup Copy Job is running we can see from the DellEMC Data Domain console the stats in real-time for the usage of the resources. In this screenshot Disk and File System.
Likewise we have real-time information for Network and CPU usage on the de-duplication device.
From the Veeam console we also have a chart showing the throughput.
As soon as the job completes we can compare the figures for our Backup Copy Job. In this case the processed data is about 105 GB for all VMs.
In the Data Domain console under Data Management > File System we can see detailed stats about this data transfer including the figures before and after the compression including the reduction ratio. We’ll cover these values in more details in a separate article.
This concludes a quick overview on the benefits and how to create Veeam Backup Copy Jobs following the industry best practices.
Feedback and comments are welcome.