CIFS share is probably one of the most common storage locations where to store data. When it comes down to storing Data for VM Backups and pertinent metadata Veeam uses the concept of “Backup Repositories”. A Veeam Backup Repository is essentially a storage location where the Veeam Backup & Replication server is storing the VM Backup Data, VM Copies and metadata. Veeam VBR Server supports several types of storage locations as Backup Repositories:
- Microsoft Windows Servers
- Linux Servers
- CIFS Share folders
- De-duplicating Storage appliances
This article will focus on the setup for the CIFS Share as Veeam Backup Repository. Of course it is possible to create multiple Backup Repositories based on different types. All of them offering different features that are a close fit to different scenarios. We’ll cover them in a separate article.
When creating a Backup Repository Veeam uses a service named “Data Mover” in order to read and write the data back and forth. Due to the nature of a CIFS Share, to operate with such Backup Repository type, Veeam Backup & Replication cannot host these Data Movers directly on the CIFS share. Instead these services are installed already into the main Veeam Backup & Replication Server and can work with additional Veeam Backup Proxies. There is no limit on the number of Veeam Backup Proxies to install and of course these can also be a mix of Physical and Virtual ones. This configuration is very handy when working with environments using multiple networks. All we have to do is to install one Veeam Backup Proxy as close as possible to the Source Hypervisor Hosts and Target storage destinations The purpose of this article is to show the simple steps of creating a CIFS Share serving as Veeam Backup Repository for our home lab. In this case we’ll be using a CIFS Share over SMB protocol served by a Synology NAS.
Create CIFS Share Backup Repository
From the main Backup Infrastructure tab view let’s right click on Backup Repositories to add a new one. This view also shows the existing plus the default one already running on the Veeam Backup & Replication Server itself
The wizards starts showing the required details to fill in as per screenshot below
From here we can choose the Backup Repository type. In our case we’ll select the Shared folder.
Note: When selecting Microsoft and Linux Servers they will automatically appear as Managed Servers at the wizard completion. For those who can point to de-duplicating appliances Veeam Backup & Replication already includes the APIs for a native integration. More info are available on integration with Dell EMC Data Domain article. HPE StoreOnce will be available soon on domalab.com
Depending on the selected type the wizard will offer the required information. From here we can select the intended shared folder acting as a main recipient along with the credentials with Full Read and Right permissions granted. From the same window we can also leave an automatic selection for available Backup Proxies or use specific ones. For large environments mapping a Backup Proxy to a number of Backup Repositories also helps defining the Backup network traffic more easily
When the credentials provided are correct in the next screen we can already see the CIFS Share total capacity along with the free space. By hitting on “Populate” we can also make Veeam Backup & Replication aware of existing VM backups. Per each Backup Repository it is also possible to control the number of concurrent tasks. By default Veeam Backup & Replication sets this number equal to the number of detected CPUs. Of course it possible to change this value to a desired one based on performances and current Backup Proxy specs. Same applies to the Read/Write rate should the storage be a little slow. Useful when running Backups during working hours
By clicking on Advanced from previous screen it is possible to fine tune settings depending on the storage type. The wizard has a built-in intelligence to automatically select the best options for overall performances
At this point we can specify the Backup Proxy that will act as Mount Server for restoring purposes. Of course it is still possible to fo for the default option which is the Veeam Backup & Replication Server itself. This might be ideal for smaller environments. For bigger ones we can shift the load of operations for backup and restore to other servers closer to storage thus minimising the network traffic. Swift restores are possible thanks to the vPower patented technology. This technology simply mounts a live copy from your backup leaving this one in read-only mode. This way services can be quickly restored the physical VM can be restored in the background. The delta will then be redirected to the live VM
I would suggest to dedicate a drive on the Mount Server (running on the Backup Proxy!) for restoring scenarios VMs using the vPower technology. Doesn’t have to be big. At least it should accommodate the delta of data when restoring a VM. It really depends on the “log” generated by that VM. In general 10 GB of drive space are suitable for the majority of scenarios
In addition it is possible to specify theports the Mount Server and vPower services will use
At this point we can review the main settings as per screenshot below and change them where needed
When applying the wizard will commit changes installing the required components and services
Since a new Backup Repository has been added we have the option to make this the default one
At the completion we can now see the newly created CIFS Share Backup Repository
Adding and modifying Veeam Backup Repositories is a very simple process. As described in this post, in our home lab maybe we can give a second life to old unused SMB shares to store our VM Backups and VM Copies. There are also types of storage we can use as Backup Repositories. In a separate article we’ll cover how to add another type of Veeam Backup Repository pointing at HPE StoreOnce.