Veeam 8, Data Domain and Amazon Web Services Protects the Sovereign Hybrid Cloud

Michael Hunsucker

by Michael Hunsucker

While public, private, and hybrid cloud platforms offer capabilities to increase IT effectiveness, efficiency, and flexibility, they also introduce inherent complexities that challenge data protection approaches.  Traditional, monolithic, agent-based products that were designed to manage removable media (e.g. tape) – struggle to adequately handle multiple layers of abstraction in the physical infrastructure and the demanding recovery point and time objectives (RPO/RTO). Sovereign Systems is no exception.

The Sovereign executive briefing center and lab was built with inherently diverse and sophisticated solutions including: VMware’s vCAC, vCloud Director, vCO, and vCHS, EMC’s XtremIO and VNX, Netapp, Cisco UCS and Amazon Web Services (AWS) among others.  Our lab provides a perfect environment to leverage and demonstrate the powerful integration capabilities of Veeam 8, EMC’s Data Domain, and AWS to deliver a hybrid cloud protection architecture with RTO and RPO’s measured in minutes.  I will highlight some of the specific benefits we’ve experienced below.

Easy-to-deploy

An agentless management solution, Veeam 8 offered us simplicity. Since it can be up and running in hours (vs. days or weeks as with traditional backup solutions) we leveraged Veeam 8 in conjunction with EMC’s Data Domain, Data Domain Boost and Amazon Web Services, to protect our own internal hybrid cloud infrastructure.  A purpose-built, hypervisor-aware solution, the Veeam Backup and Replication Suite, has redefined our operational recovery capabilities, just as it would for any organization deploying a private or hybrid cloud solution.

With near instant VM recovery, 1 click DR failover, secure offsite cloud backup via Veeam Cloudconnect, storage aware snapshots, and Data Domain Boost integration, Veeam 8 truly delivers best of breed protection capabilities for cloud platforms.

While many organizations are familiar with the intrinsic benefits of Data Domain for deduplicated backup and archive storage, Data Domain Boost is not as widely recognized.  Data Domain Boost (included in Veeam 8’s Backup and Replication Enterprise Edition) is a licensed add-on to the Data Domain appliance software. Once Boost was physically installed and enabled, we were able to quickly and simply configure the Data Domain appliance1 (including name, authentication credentials and storage path) as a target using the Veeam 8 Repository Wizard.

Since the majority of performance and availability optimizations occur automatically (in the background), the integration between Veeam 8 and Data Domain Boost was quite straightforward.

The Boost with Boost

Without Boost, our entire deduplication effort had to be performed by the Data Domain appliance and each full backup set traveled from the client to the appliance. With Boost, our partial client-side deduplication now occurs on our Veeam servers in addition to the traditional deduplication on the appliance. As you can imagine, this significantly reduces the amount of data and subsequent traffic sent over the network to the Data Domain appliance.

After enabling Boost on the Data Domain appliance and Veeam servers we experienced the following benefits:

  •  Backup performance improvements over 7x in our environment
  • Optimized transport performance to the Data Domain appliance by stripping out unnecessary CIFS and NFS transport protocol layers
  • The elimination of virtually all overhead
  • Advanced aggregation of network links into a single link
  • Automatic link failover

With Boost’s advanced aggregation of network links into a single group, multiple links now appear as one to the backup server or Veaam client. This enables the Data Domain to transparently balance the backup load between links. The benefit of course is that this process eliminates the need for complex, network-level link aggregation. Plus Veeam’s automatic link failover mechanism keeps backup systems operational even in the event of a network failure.

This best-of-breed data protection suite is optimized for performance, network utilization, reliability, and availability. With Veeam 8, EMC Data Domain, and Data Domain Boost, Sovereign implemented a simple management solution that provides the aggressive RPO/RTOs required in businesses today.

1 The Data Domain Boost for the appliance must be licensed separately from EMC.  Veeam 8 Boost functionality is included in the Veeam 8 Backup and Replication Enterprise Edition and Enterprise Plus (not included in Standard Edition).