How to get the most out of your Veeam Backup & Replication storage

Veeam Backup & Replication v5 offers a lot of exciting features. Automatic testing of your backup, recovery of virtual machines in a few minutes are just a few of them. Those features are based on the ability of Veeam to publish the backup storage as a NFS datastore to the ESX hosts.

Besides storing backup files of virtual machines the backup storage can be used for other purposes as well.

Storage of .ISO and other install files
Many VMware customers are using regular datastores to store .ISO files on. Those ISO files contain for example Microsoft Windows Server software. Instead of storing those .ISO file on relative expensive production datastores which are also used for storing virtual disk files, those ISO’s can be stored on the Veeam server which will most likely have cheaper disks. It will free storage for storage of virtual machines.

virtual disk files for backup purposes
Another usage scenario for the NFS datastore is storage of virtual disks used for backups. Some customers created a backup of for example SQL server first to disk, and then to tape. If the backup of SQL is stored on a separate Windows partition located on a separate vmdk file, this vmdk file can be stored on the NFS storage.

Buffer space for storage migration
Some tools for physical to virtual conversions (P2V) like PlateSpin Migrate do not support creation of thin provisioned virtual disks during the conversion. To have thin provisioned disk, you will need to perform a storage migration after the P2V has ended. To perform such a conversion, you will need the double amount of storage. The NFS datastore can be used as a destination for storage migration of the  virtual disks. Thereafter the virtual disk files can be migrated back to production level datastore.

To mount the Veeam storage as a NFS datastore follow this procedure:

1. start vSphere Client, select ESX host, configuration, storage, Add Storage, Network File System.

2. Server: enter Veeam Backup server’s IP address used for backup network which ESX can see.

3. Folder: enter /VeeamBackup_SERVERNAME (where SERVERNAME is NetBIOS name of Veeam Backup server).

4. Do not select Mount NFS read-only checkbox.

5. Datastore name: enter VeeamBackup_SERVERNAME (no forward slash here).

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About Marcel van den Berg
I am a technical consultant with a strong focus on server virtualization, desktop virtualization, cloud computing and business continuity/disaster recovery.

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