While the major storage array manufacturers typically have the ability to replicate array to array, they do not support replication at the VM level. This precludes replication from many datacenters or offices to one central location. It also leads to challenges in terms of supporting VMware Storage DRS as well as in backing up VMware vCloud Director.
VMware and Veeam share a similar focus on the virtualized data center and on the private cloud which utilizes virtualization as its underpinning technology. The combination of Nutanix and Veeam provide a great combination for protecting data in both environments.
Protecting the Modern Data Center
With today’s robust hardware (i.e. Nutanix) and virtualization technology, there is no reason why a virtualized workload shouldn’t run at least as fast as its physical counterpart. And virtualization brings capabilities such as High Availability and Fault Tolerance that completely mitigate server failure.
The new generation of data center is not only virtualized, it is software-defined. Intelligence, rather than residing in proprietary hardware, all occurs in the software. This model is significantly less expensive to implement, is more resilient, vastly more scalable and much simpler to manage. It is also the foundation for private cloud.
Both Nutanix and Veeam focus only on the software-defined data center (SDDC). This is a huge advantage in that neither company has to deal with legacy challenges of backing up architecture designed for a physical environment. Combining Veeam and Nutanix takes advantage of the abstraction of the underlying compute, memory and I/O resources to enable enhanced backup and replication capabilities, along with significantly simplified implementation and management.
As an example, Veeam Instant VM Recovery enables immediate restore of a VM back into the production environment by running it directly from the backup file. This improves RTO while minimizing disruption and downtime of the production VMs. Nutanix includes the ability to set higher IOP levels which enhances Instant VM Recovery both for restoring the production VM as well as for performing DR testing.
Superior Disaster Recovery
Nutanix sets up within an hour, including Veeam replication. Organizations can replicate from arrays in one or several production data centers to the Nutanix cluster at the DR facility. This is particularly useful for organizations with remote offices running legacy storage arrays. They can utilize Veeam replication to continuously replicate to a Nutanix cluster in the corporate data center.
Veeam utlizes a dual proxy architecture that significantly enhances performance by providing an optimal route for data transfer. But in order to be effective, the source proxy needs a server with direct access to the storage on which the VMs reside or where the VM data is written. This enables data retrieval directly from the datastore, bypassing the Local Area Network. Nutanix’ converged compute/storage clusters provide the ideal architecture for Veeam Backup Proxies which can distribute the replication jobs across the Nutanix clusters.
Veeam’s upcoming Virtual Labs for Replicas, enhances DR efficiency by enabling resource usage rather than sitting idle waiting for a disaster to occur. Nutanix also enhances DR efficiency with a converged storage/compute appliance that minimizes space, power and cost – yet is perfectly linearly scalable to accommodate additional resource requirements either for DR or the increased capabilities Veeam enables.
Unlike the storage manufacturers which replicate from array to array, Veaam replication takes place at the VM level. This ties in perfectly to Nutanix’ VM-aware replication. Customers do not have to worry about cobbling together VM replication on top of array level replication. The combination of Veeam and Nutanix gives them true converged DR at the application level for both storage and compute.
Both products also enable support for VMware Storage DRS (SDRS). Traditional array-based replication products tend to stumble with SDRS as VMs that should not be replicated still get moved to the ‘Replication LUN’ and are sent down the wire. Even worse, VMs that should be replicated fail to move over to the ‘Replication LUN’ and remain unprotected.
Backing up VMware vCloud Director
VMware vCloud Director is one of the leading platforms for private clouds. Using the vCloud Director API, Veeam displays the vCloud Director infrastructure directly in Veeam Backup & Replication, enabling backup all vApp metadata and attributes, restoring vApps and VMs directly to vCloud Director, and supporting restore of fast-provisioned VMs.
In addition to enhancing the Veeam proxies with respect to vCD, Nutanix also simplifies the vCD environment. A lack of LUN limits (Nutanix doesn’t need LUNs) means that as many volumes can be run on one volume as needed. Nodes can be added as desired without any changes in the configuration of vCloud Director
Nutanix and Veeam Partnership
Nutanix and Veeam have been working together for some time to help bring their combined messaging to both customers and channel partners. Look for increased collaboration in the future.
Contribution: Much of the content of this article was derived from the 04/30/2013 post, Why Veeam and Nutanix? Fast, Low Impact, Results. By Dwane Lessner.