VeaamON – Keynote Summary

Data Importance

  • Data is the life blood of an organisation
  • It is a necessity for data to be always available
  • We are experiencing an unprecedented level of data growth
  • Companies need a trusted data partner

Veeam achievements

  • Veeam is now a plus 1 billion dollars company in terms of annual revenue
  • They have now acquired more than 350 thousand customers and continue to grow

Trends

  • Change is constant
  • Cloud, mobile, edge IoT are current industry trends and have a direct bearing on data management
  • Microsoft took to the stage and amongst other things discussed new storage technologies they are investigating to deal with massive data volumes that are being produced. Project being investigated include storing data on glass and within DNA!

Vision

  • Veeam were a key player in the virtualised data centre and now intend to repeat that with hybrid cloud data management
  • Veeam estimate 73% of its own customers operate a hybrid cloud strategy
  • They intend to keep to the core Veeam qualities of simplicity, reliability and flexibility
  • Vision statement – “To be the most trusted provider of backup solutions that deliver cloud data management”
  • Veeam will offer a data management solution for virtual, physical, SAAS and cloud work loads.

Technical Announcements

  • With Veeam – This new programme will bundle Veeam with HCI and storage vendors hardware together to allow tighter integration, more features and faster deployment.  The products will be able to be ordered with a single SKU and there will be a single point of contact for support  
  • Nutanix Mine – Initially announced at Nitanix.NEXT is a turnkey solution offering Nutanix and Veeam Availability.  Nutanix Mine is the initial offering of With Veeam along with Exagrid.  Mine is currently in beta testing with select customers
  • Veeam Orchestrator v2 – The automaton and orchestration software expands its capabilities including:
    • Audit and remediate SLA compliance
    • Automatically leverage both backup and replica protection data for use cases such as DevOps, patch and upgrade testing, analytics and more.
    • Role based access control to allow business units to perform their own testing
  • Scale out repository – coming in the future is the ability to use cloud object store as a direct target for backups
veeamon miami keynote
Veeamon 2019 banner

VeeamON 2019

The Challenge

Mouse trap

I was playing Mousetrap with my kids this morning and it got me thinking about data management.  In the board game you move around trying to win pieces of cheese whilst at the same time avoiding the mousetrap.

mouse in trap

As I got to be caught in the mouse trap for about the 8th time it reminded me how often in IT we are chasing the cheese – new projects, platforms and objectives whist neglecting the importance of data management. Data is the life blood of most companies these days but data management and protection is often an afterthought until there is an issue, aka you are caught in the mouse trap.

The solution

Firstly I would recommend not playing Mouse Trap with kids they always seem to win.  Secondly good data management is about recognising it’s importance from the inception of projects and creating a data management strategy, so as to avoid any pitfalls. Veeam are putting on one of the largest data management events of the year in Miami with their VeeamON event. The event features key data management experts, training opportunities, break out sessions, demos and key partners such as HPE and NetApp.

Event Detail

This years event takes place 20-22nd May in Miami Florida.  Some of the sessions I thought looked interesting included:

  • Ultimate Guide to Veeam Cloud Mobility: Tips, Tricks and Use Cases
    Veeam Backup & Replication Common Mistakes and How to Fix Them
  • Veeam Storage Integration Deep Dive
  • Architecture, Installation and Design for Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365
  • Automate Yourself Out of a Backup Job — Advanced PowerShell & API Usage
  • Veeamon 2019 banner

On the Veeam site you can see a full list of sessions.  Other reasons to attend include discounted VMCE training and the legendary VeeamON party which this year features Flo Rida. You can read more about the event at the VeeamON site

 

 

HPE MSA Setup

HPE MSA Setup

This post walks through the initial install and setup of a HPE MSA.

Assign management IP address

Once you have your HPE MSA racked, cabled and powered on the next step will be to assign it a management IP. To setup the management IP you have two options:

1 Connect via CLI cable – Connect to one of the controllers using the supplied mini USB cable to plug into the CLI port.  You will need to use the connection settings and password supplied in the MSA 2040 User Guide.  Once connected the command to set the IP address details are:

set network-parameters ip address netmask netmask gateway gateway controller a|b

For example

set network-parameters ip 192.168.0.10 netmask 255.255.255.0 gateway 192.168.0.1

controller a

You can then check the settings with the command:

show network-parameters

2 Set with laptop and Ethernet cable – by default the controllers will have the IP address information:

  • Management Port IP Address: 10.0.0.2 (controller A), 10.0.0.3 (controller B)
  • IP Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
  • Gateway IP Address: 10.0.0.1

A Set an IP address on the laptop on the same range as the HPE MSA factory default

B Connect the laptop to the MSA with an Ethernet cable

C Open up a web browser and enter the IP address of one of the controllers e.g. https://10.0.0.2

D Click on system settings on the dashboard and as you run through the wizard you will be prompted to set the IP address information.

Update Firmware

Open a web browser and enter the new ip address to connect https://newaddress

When you first logon to the home screen it will prompt you to check if the firmware needs to be upgraded.

HPE MSA Upgrade firmware

Click on the Upgrade Firmware button and see which version of the firmware you are on.  You can check the latest version https://h41111.www4.hpe.com/storage/msafirmware.html. Download and apply the firmware update if necessary or just close the dialog box if the system is already up to date.

HP MSA Update Firmware

Basic System Settings

Click System Settings on the dashboard and this will run you through an initial configuration wizard to get the basics setup.

  • Date and time – Set the time manually or specify NTP server
  • Manage users – This gives you a chance to reset the default manage password and create any additional accounts
  • Install licence – Install additional licences
  • Network – This will be the IP addressees you set earlier so there should be no need for any action here
  • Services – Here you can set how the device can be managed ed via SSH or web

Once you have your basic system setup you can start to work through the steps to get the storage presented to hosts.

Hosts

You can see connected hosts by clicking hosts in the main left toolbar. Assuming you have already connected your hosts and completed any necessary zoning you will see a list of connected hosts. Select each in turn and choose modify from the action menu to choose a friendly name.

Creating a Disk Pool

Your first step in provisioning storage is to create a Pool, a pool is like a RAID group in which you define RAID type and disks to add.

HPE MSA Create Disk Pool

  • Select Pools from the left hand menu
  • Action menu, add disk group
  • Name the pool
  • Select which controller you wish to own the pool. Try to balance the pools across the controllers, so there is an even number of pools on each controller
  • Choose your data protection level aka RAID level
  • Select the disks you wish to add into the group
  • For RAID 5 and 6 you need to ensure that the number of data drives in the RAID group is divisible by two for best performance. RAID 6 is recommended for larger NL disks
    • RAID 1. Requires 2 disks.
    • RAID 5. Requires 3-16 disks.
    • RAID 6. Requires 4-16 disks.

Assigning Spares

You will need some spares to act as a hot standby should a disk fail.  Dynamic sparing is enabled by default which means that disks not assigned to a disk group will be counted as Global Spares which means that they can act as a spare for any disk group. Spare disks must be at least the same size as the disk they are standing in for.

It is best practice to have one global hot spare per disk group. So make sure you have the correct number and size of disks not in a disk group so they can be global hot spares.

Configuring the Read Cache

Configuring MSA Read Cashe Pool

An SSD disk can be added into a spinning disk group to act as a read cache to extend the size of the controller cache and improve performance.  To add an SSD read cache:

  • Select pools from left-hand tool bar
  • From the action menu choose add disk group
  • From the type drop down select read cache
  • Select an SSD and click add

Provisioning Volumes

Next you need to create your volumes which are effectively LUN’s.

Creating Virtual Volumes for HPE MSA

  • Select volumes from the lefthand tool bar
  • From the action menu choose create volume
  • Enter the name and size of the volume
  • Remember to balance volumes across controllers

The end result we end up with is as below. We have two volumes balanced across the two storage pools which themselves are balanced across the controllers.  By maintaining a one to one relationship between pools and volumes we reduce the complexity of troubleshooting and performance monitoring and this is also a recommended practice for performance as workloads will not be conflicting.

Volume summary

 

Mapping Volumes to Hosts

Lastly you need to map your volumes to your hosts.

  • Select mapping from the left hand menu
  • From the action menu choose mapping
  • Simply select the initiator you wish and then select the volumes to map to map it to and select map.