As part of the series dedicated to the Dell EMC UnityVSA this article covers the configuration steps with regard to the Veeam Dell EMC integration. In fact, Veeam Backup & Replication server includes the native Dell EMC APIs to directly manage the Unity Storage Array. There are many advantages offered by Veeam Dell EMC integration. Considering the UnityVSA and the Unity Storage family more in general allow access to different protocols which include among others also access to VMware Datastores, NAS Shares and NDMP storage.
To run a quick recap the article series covered:
- Dell EMC UnityVSA deployment on VMware vSphere
- How to configure Dell EMC UnityVSA
- Create Dell EMC UnityVSA NAS Server
- UnityVSA File system configuration
- NDMP Backup protocol configuration
- How to upgrade Dell EMC UnityVSA to the latest release
- Configure UnityVSA access for VMware vSphere
- UnityVSA Storage Management for VMware
So for customers using the UnityVSA to provide storage as VMware Datastores the good news is Veeam offers support for Backups from Storage Snapshots. It is a very important feature as it allows to:
- minimize the resources used by VMware vSphere Hosts (also thanks to VAAI support)
- reduce the “VM stun” issue for very large VMs or highly transactional VMs sitting on storage with limited IOPS
- provide Instant and Full VM Recovery
- run granular content restore
- browse and restore from existing Storage Snapshots
- manage Storage Snapshots directly from the Veeam console
In this article the steps on how to configure Veeam for Dell EMC UnityVSA including the configuration for the Veeam Backup Proxy to leverage the direct integration. In particular the best practice in this case is to configure the Veeam Backup Proxy with the “Direct Access Mode” and allow the iSCSI initiator running on the Veeam Backup Proxy to connect to the UnityVSA iSCSI target.
The rest of the article shows the process with more details.
Veeam Dell EMC integration with UnityVSA
The Veeam Dell EMC integration setup it’s an easy process that can be accomplished from the main Veeam console. In the section Storage Infrastructure the link to Add Storage will start the wizard.
From the wizard it is matter of choosing the desired platform. The Unity option applies to the UnityVSA as well.
Next is to specify the FQDN name of the appliance or its IP Address and a quick description.
At this point it is possible to specify the account with “admin” credentials on the UnityVSA.
In terms of access options the iSCSI and NFS protocols are available in the UnityVSA Community Edition. From here and right after the initial scan the wizard allows to dictate which volumes should be visible to Veeam. In addition, the Veeam Backup Proxy to use for “Direct Access Mode” to Unity Storage as detailed later in the article. When not selected the value would be default. that means any Backup Proxy will be a candidate to access the VMware datastore on the Unity Storage Array. Only the ones configured in the Unity appliance will be allowed access.
And a final screen shows the main settings before committing the configuration.
At this point the wizard will start the storage discovery job on the Unity storage showing the current status.
When the job is completed from the Veeam console it is possible to browse the Dell EMC Unity storage. By default it will display all pertinent storage like name of the Arrays, Volumes and VMware Datastore LUNs beneath. Next step is to configure the optimal settings to allow Backup from Storage Snapshots using a Veeam Backup Proxy.
Veeam Dell EMC integration with Storage Snapshots
In the UnityVSA console Access > Hosts menu the link to allow a new host to connect to the Unity Storage. iSCSI in this case. This will be the Name and IP Address of the Veeam Backup Proxy.
When adding a Host to connect Unity it is important to add the iSCSI initiator name.
Depending on configuration it is possible to add multiple iSCSI initiator names (for example to enable MPIO). These settings are available in the iSCSI initiator (or client) running on the Host. If not running it is a matter of starting the Microsoft iSCSI initiator service.
When the Microsoft iSCSI Initiator service is running it is possible to copy the initiator name that has been generated.
Back to the Unity > Access > Host configuration the setting should look to something similar.
Next step is to review the settings before committing the configuration.
The Unity Host wizard shows the configuration steps.
Depending on how the Dell EMC UnityVSA has been configured the iSCSI initiator can connect to any of the available initiator paths.
When the configuration is complete it shows the new Host in the list. The next article will cover the steps for a Backup from Storage Snapshot job leveraging the Veeam Dell EMC integration with UnityVSA.