Our current Veeam environment is virtualized (so we can take advantage of Hot-Add) and currently our Veeam data was being stored on legacy Equallogic arrays that needed to come out of service. We began looking at options for replacement, of course there are a variety of options. Veeam themselves seems to recommend the commodity server route, there are tons of inexpensive NAS solutions and of course dedup appliances. Since we are mostly an HP shop the first stop was their solution which in this case is the StoreOnce platform. Whats great about it is that it really scales and gives you flexibility, you can buy into a software only or hardware solution and go from there. And with the recent integrations with Veeam it was a no-brainer.
HP charges a pretty good markup for the hardware StoreOnce platform; especially after talking with HP engineers its basically a G8/G9 server platform. We chose to just go out and purchase a commodity G8 server, load it with drives and memory, throw ESXi on it and run the StoreOnce VSA. Comes as a prepackaged appliance, setup in a matter of minutes, throw a large volume of storage at it, during boot it will detect and auto provision for use. Just need to go in and add a NAS share and thats about it. Really is quite simple and with the cost of the software only option VERY affordable even in the small to mid market and VERY scalable. Those who use HP’s tape loader platform will recognize the interface, not sure if thats good or bad. Even though there is the Catalyst integration we are not yet using that as there was increased cost and really couldn’t make a clear case to spend the extra money, our current performance is more than sufficient to achieve the goal.
Recommended Veeam Settings
– See this KB for Best Practice: https://www.veeam.com/kb1745
– Please make sure you are on the 3.13.3-1612.1 release, lots of issues/slowness with older builds, especially with Veeam.
– Job settings that yield best dedup results in our testing:
Real Environment Results
Prior to adding StoreOnce, a month of Veeam data took almost 6TB of storage. Based on current projections we will be close to a year + of retention with StoreOnce which is excellent. Environment consists of a mix of Windows/Linux VMs/Appliances/etc. Jobs are grouped primarily by data recovery needs (daily, hourly, monthly, etc.) rather than by OS type or other factors, in testing we did not notice a significant difference in terms of grouping by OS type, etc. for dedup sake. Overtime the dedup ratio continues to climb, after tweaking Veeam backup jobs to the recommended settings this went from 2:1 to now 8:1 and continues climbing. Considering the Veeam backup files are already pretty small this is a pretty good ratio I think, a lot of it depends on the data thrown at the dedup engine though. Our average throughput to the VSA is usually in the 4-500MB/s range which is quite good for a dedup appliance. I did notice extremely poor performance when trying to copy/move data from a Windows VM directly to the VSA so I let Veeam manage all file transfers internally and received much better performance; i’m sure with some tweaking this could be improved.
After running our StoreOnce the past while, our dedup rate has continued to climb and is now at an awesome 12:1!
After running our StoreOnce for a while, we have now seen our dedup rate “stabilized” at 16:1! A bit above average from what the sales folks told us so we have been pretty happy, it is a very affordable dedup solution!
Overall happy with our decision, Veeam and HP work well together. At some point we will explore the catalyst technology but to be honest things are working well and not sure extra cost could be justified. I like the scalability of the platform as well as the flexibility. I really like how I can easily move this data offsite for DR/archive with another software/hardware StoreOnce. The software price is very competitive and with the “just works” nature of StoreOnce I would choose it over a commodity server with Windows dedup situation; Microsoft’s dedup tech does not have the maturity YET of other solutions in my opinion based on use.