10 Replies Latest reply: Aug 11, 2016 2:48 PM by Kenneth Libeson RSS

    Nimble backup and replication without 3rd party software like Veeam.

    Seth Touchet Newbie

      Does Nimble have the ability to perform scheduled backups and replications without the use of 3rd party software? If so how difficult is it to perform a single file restore from a backup of a VM? How difficult is it to break replication and bring up a host in a DR test, then reverse replication so changes during that test are not lost? Again can all of that be done easily without 3rd party software like Veeam or Zero?

        • Re: Nimble backup and replication without 3rd party software like Veeam.
          Nick Dyer Navigator

          Hello Seth. It's absolutely possible - Nimble has full scheduled backup and replication with retention policies without the need of 3rd party software using the native SmartSnap, SmartReplicate and SmartCopy technologies. It's possible to bring environments up on the DR site for testing WITHOUT the need to break replication (very useful!) as well as performing recovery of VMs, files and full volumes.

           

          To give you an example, over two thirds of Nimble's install base use SmartReplicate according to Infosight, as there are no additional license charges for any of the features.

           

          The forum is littered with threads on this very topic and i'm sure many people will comment here on their experiences.

          • Re: Nimble backup and replication without 3rd party software like Veeam.
            Ted Beverly Newbie

            I'd like to see the answer to that too Jason.  Sounds like new terms to me.  But i would love a full fledged writeup on exactly how to use Nimble arrays in this way since I just bought my second Nimble and intend to use the original as the offsite replicant and DR.

            • Re: Nimble backup and replication without 3rd party software like Veeam.
              Bruce Noe Newbie

              Kind of a lengthy post, this is something I put together for a potential clients. It was two separate state agencies that had metro network bridge between the two and could see each others networks.

               

              It took me a bit of reading the latest admin guides before it really made sense to me. With that said here ya go:

               

              Assume that each side has its own vCenter, and each volume is a Datastore where w2k8 server resides, you could consider:

               

              Primary Site (Site D)

              Secondary Site (Site C)

               

              Test Failover or Maintenance

              The goal is to test DR for these x servers without impacting current operation. Can also be used for maintenance windows at each site

               

                1. (Site D) If need the latest server changes, take manual Nimble snapshot with "replicate" option of the 5 volumes and wait for replication completes.

                2. (Site C) For each volume, locate the latest replicated snapshot and create a clone.

                3. (Site C) Associate appropriate ACL to the x newly cloned volumes.

                4. (Site C) Rescan ESXi, browse datastores, add VM to inventory and power on, verify functionality and etc.

                5. (Site C) Properly unmount the datastores and detach these 5 volumes from ESXi.

                6. (Site C) To cleanup, offline these x cloned volumes and delete them.

               

              ** Cloned volumes can be used for the test failover purpose. This can be achieved without bringing down the production systems. This is also how VMware SRM performs the test failover with Nimble SRA

               

              Planned Migration

              The goal is to migrate these x servers to run on the Site C (without replicating back to Site D).

               

                1. (Site D) Properly shut down these x w2k8 servers. Take manual Nimble snapshot with "replicate" option of the x volumes and wait for replication completes.

                2. (Site D) Properly unmount the datastores and detach these 5 volumes from ESXi.

                3. (Site D) Offline these x volumes. Optionally set these x volumes read only to avoid accidental writes if the environment is not completely under controlled.

                4. (Site C) Locate the volume collection(s) for these x volumes. Promote all applicable volume collections.

                5. (Site C) Associate appropriate ACL to the x newly promoted volumes. (It's OK to swap the order of step #4 and #5 as well)

                6. (Site C) Rescan ESXi, browse datastores, add VM to inventory and power on.

               

              Failover

              When Site C is completely inaccessible, the goal is to bring up Site D

               

              Similar to Planned Migration, but use step #4 to step #6.

               

               

               

              Planned Migration with Nimble handover

              The goal is to migrate these 5 servers to run on the Site C, and replicate back to Site D

               

                1. (Site D) Properly shut down these x  w2k8 servers. Take manual Nimble snapshot with "replicate" option of the x volumes and wait for replication completes.

                2. (Site D) Properly unmount the datastores and detach these x volumes from ESXi.

                3. (Site D) Locate the volume collection(s) for these x volumes. Handover all applicable volume collections.

                4. (Site C) Associate appropriate ACL to the x newly promoted volumes.

                5. (Site C) Rescan ESXi, browse datastores, add VM to inventory and power on.

               

              The same action would happen if C is primary and D is secondary. This is what is called Mutual Replication.

              • Re: Nimble backup and replication without 3rd party software like Veeam.
                Kenneth Libeson Newbie

                We've been using the snapshot and replication on our Nimbles for a few years. It's fast and easy to set up and manage. Restoring a snapshot of a volume takes a few clicks. This can be done on the primary or the replicated snapshot.

                 

                We maintain only a few weeks of snapshots on our Nimbles and we replicate them between data centers for DR. However, to avoid vendor lock in and any concerns that a firmware update could run the risk of breaking all arrays from a similar vendor, we also backup to storage from another vendor for longer backup windows. We currently use EMC Networker and Quantum VMPro. However, we are looking to switch to Veeam later this year which should have no issues backing up the data from Nimble in addition to the local snapshots.

                • Re: Nimble backup and replication without 3rd party software like Veeam.
                  Seth Touchet Newbie

                  This all looks great! I did see a reply with entire volume restores, but what about single file restores from a backup without using any 3rd party applications?

                    • Re: Nimble backup and replication without 3rd party software like Veeam.
                      Kenneth Libeson Newbie

                      Seth, I'm not certain, but I believe the volume on the nimble is meant to be a datastore that you would mount within vSphere if that's what you are using which simply houses the vmdk file where the files are located. If you are mounting a Nimble volume as a datastore that is mounted as a Windows drive, then you'd need to restore the snapshot and then mount it to a server to get to the files. Getting back to vSphere, You would need a product that can mount vmdk files to search the file repositories. I don't believe this is something you would typically do with an array volume directly. I would be happy if someone else out there would correct me as this would be a great feature to make restoring files from Nimble volumes much easier. Our process where we also snapshot to our Quantum arrays has a secondary CIFS share that provides that level of access, so it's built into that backup system. I believe Veeam has a similar feature. So we really only use the Nimble snapshots to restore entire volumes locally or at a DR site.