Cloud volume backup veeam

Cloud Volumes Backup

The major announcement from HPE Discover Virtual for storage was Cloud Volumes Backup. Cloud Volumes Backup enables a method for storing your backup data in the cloud, this can be natively using HPE storage and RMC or using existing backup solutions such as Veeam and CommVault.

The drive to protect data is arguably stronger than ever but increased complexity including;the volumes of data, the location of data and increased security requirements make the process increasingly complex. Let’s look at how Cloud Volumes Backup can help with some of these challenges

Scaling

One of the key advantages of the cloud from day one has been scaling. The need for complex planning, multiple years ahead and costly upfront purchasing is removed. Targeting data to the cloud offers almost limitless capacity for growth.

The same is true with Cloud Volumes Backup. When you create a cloud volume you do not specify the size, this is not a requirement. Cloud Volumes are created without a set size and just grow as required on demand. 

The process to create a cloud volume is quick and simple.  Create the volume in the Cloud Volume portal, present to the target and then use as a backup target in your software. We have previously discussed Cloud Volumes in detail if you wish to read further into the background of this technology.

Cloud Volumes backup can be used with RMC:

Cloud volume backup hpe

Or as a target with existing backup software such as Veeam:

Cloud volume backup veeam

As well as the removal of complex planning this allows dynamic scaling, so for example during a period of intensive testing more backup copies could be held and then reduced as the need is no longer required.

A backup target without capacity limits also allows systems to be fully protected and for the correct length of time. I have unfortunately seen backup retention and choice of systems to backup in the real world driven by capacity constraints, for example backups only held on disk for a short number of days.

Mobility

Data mobility i.e. the capability to store data not only with different cloud providers but in many different regions around the world gives great flexibility but also increases the challenge of backups. Things were certainly much easier when you had a simple on-site data centre with all data held locally.

Cloud volumes are co-located or located nearby the cloud providers data centre, to provide the best performance. This gives the opportunity to select a cloud volume backup matching your cloud provider and region to enable the best backup performance.

Alternatively you could do the opposite whereby you choose a Cloud Volume Backup target with a different cloud provider. This could be for reasons of resiliency or more likely to enable the data to be available in another environment for test and dev.

Although data can be held in multiple locations, and multiple cloud providers by using Cloud Volumes it enables multiple sources to be backed up with a single tool without impacting performance. Since Cloud Volumes are co-located or nearby cloud providers data centres.  

Cost

All IT organisations are driven by the need for a cost-efficient solution. Cloud Volumes backup assists in a number of ways.

There is no need for a rip and replace. Cloud Volumes Backup works in tandem with existing backup products such as Veeam, CommVault etc. This means that there is no need for additional capital investment. Another advantage is re-skilling is unnecessary since the IT department can still use backup software it is familiar with.

Cloud volumes are consumed in a typical cloud fashion where you are charged for what you use. This means you can scale up and down dynamically as required. There is no need for large upfront capex expenditure.

Another key consideration is data egress charges. This is charges you would incur if you needed to use any of the backup data, i.e. pulling the data from the cloud to your local data centre. Cloud volumes backup eliminates this with no egress charges.

Security

The security of data is key to any organisation.  Data is encrypted both in flight and at rest.

Data is protected from ransomware by effectively isolating it from attack.

Further Reading

Introducing HPE Cloud Volumes Backup Chalk Talk

Cloud Volume Backup podcast

Tech Unplugged Coverage

ransomware veeam

Ransomware tips from VeeamON

I attended the Veeam Ransomware session at VeeanON.  I picked up some useful tips so thought I would share my notes from the session. Credit for all the information to Rick Vanover,Dave Kawula, Brett Hulin.

ransomware veeam

Background

  • Data is key to all businesses
  • Must protect data and therefore the business from threats including ransomware

Prevention

Three pronged approach, not just technical considerations:

  • Education of users and administrators
  • Backup and recovery implementation
  • Remediation plan

Attack methods

Ransomware attacks occur in three most common ways:

  • RDP compromise, number one method of ransomware attack
  • Email phishing, second most common attack method. Surprising I would have thought this was the most frequent
  • Software vulnerabilities

Veeam Data Labs

Allows testing patches and quick recovery

  • ON demand sand box – restore not directly into production for safety
  • Sure backup and sure replica – boot VM in virtual lab and test before re-introducing to production
  • Secure restore – Mount backup for AV scan before restore

Ultra-Resilient Backup

Safest option is to have an ultra-resilient backup.  This could be air gapped, immutable or offline. For example:

  • Tape
  • Immutable backups e.g. S3 – Backup onsite to performance tier then have policy tier to cloud storage which can be S3. Policy can be set for an immediate copy of data or an archive of the oldest data. Based on Scale Out Repositories
  • Veeam Cloud Connect + Insider protection. Insider Protection provides an additional data copy that can only be access with a call to support to make it visible

Brett Hulin General Tips

  • Establish a DR site. Cloud or physical
  • If possible run Veeam replication to this secondary site
  • Have your DR plan documented
  • Understand your recovery order
  • Involve multiple people
  • Consider licencing implications of being at fail-over site
  • Establish chain of command before an incident

Brett Recovery Tips

  • Shut down servers to prevent further infection
  • Consider when attack occurred and which backups and replicas are therefore clean
  • Recover servers without network and check with AV before re-enabling network
  • Recover infrastructure servers, e.g. AD first
  • Force password resets
  • Have multiple restore copies at recovery site. So can recover from different times
  • Have an air gapped backup e.g. tape

Other tips I picked up from the Veeam Ransomware guide at the Veeam resource library:

  • Veeam server ensure it has no internet access
  • Accounts as much separation as possible
  • Tight file permission on datastore shares
  • Veeam servers require 2FA for RDP access
  • Prepare early
Veeam v10 NAS

Veeam v10 Roundup

Veeam Backup and Replication v10 has now been made publicly available.  The update contains 150 enhancements, let’s take a look at a few of them

NAS Protection

One of the most requested features from customers has been NAS protection, that is now available natively in V10.  The system is software based and hardware agnostic, able to backup SMB and NFS shares.  The NAS feature is also able to backup SMB file shares hosted on Windows systems and NFS shares on Linux servers.  The v10 implementation of NAS backup utilises changed file tracking allowing incremental jobs to backup only what has changed.

Veeam v10 NAS

Credit Veeam for image

Setting up NAS backups will look familiar to those already working with Veeam, file proxies act as the data movers, a new role the cache repository is responsible for the changed file tracking.  Backups can be stored like any other Veeam backup in repositories but can also be tiered to the public cloud for longer term retention

Multi-VM Instant Recovery

Instant Recovery has been available for some years now , this allows the immediate recovery of a VM by running it from the backup.  The updated VM Instant Recovery enhances performance by methods including caching to RAM and read ahead.  A knock on impact of this enhanced performance has been that multiple VM’s can now be instantly recovered in a single operation.

vSphere Any Backup Restore

It is now possible to restore any backups to your vSphere environment no matter what format the original backup was.  This for example allows you to restore backups of physical servers, Hyper-V VM’s or cloud backups to vSphere.

Veeam Cloud Tier

Veeam 9 update 4 added a move functionality to a cloud based capacity tier, this allowed older data to be aged off to the capacity tier. v10 adds a “copy” feature which allows backups to be copied to object storage as soon as the original backup is created. This allows data to be copied offsite for redundancy purposes and as the capacity tier is S3 object based this also acts as a secondary format to store backups.

Ransomware Protection

Given recent high profile ransomware cases v10 now offers the capability to store data online but in an immutable format to prevent attacks.  It is based on the new Veeam cloud tier copy facility, plus the immutable data option for S3. Once the data has been copied to S3 with the immutable option for S3 set it cannot be changed for the length of time specified, protecting backup data from any kind of change be that accidental, ransomware or a rouge admin.

Veeam v10

Credit Veeam for image

Linux Proxies

There is now greater flexibility for environments that favour Linux, allowing the deployment of backup proxies that are Linux based.

Vendor Integration

Good news for those using HPE storage, Primera is added as a supported primary storage array allowing all storage snapshot integration capabilities.  StoreOnce also added for support for catalyst copy.

Checkout this podcast with Rick Vanover and Calvin Zito for the full story on Veeam v10 and HPE integration.

To see all the new features check out the v10 what’s new document