Storage Snapshots Support

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    You can use Veeam Backup & Replication and Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows operating in the managed mode (within the Veeam Agent management scenario) to create backups from native storage snapshots.

    Native storage snapshots allows Veeam Backup & Replication to process storage systems using backup proxy servers and Veeam Agent to use hardware Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) provider and capabilities of native snapshots created on production storage systems. This approach results in much less load on protected servers compared to the regular backup scenario that uses software VSS provider.

    For general information about backup jobs that use storage snapshots as a data source, see the Integration with Storage Systems section in the Veeam Backup & Replication User Guide.

    Getting Started

    Before you configure a Veeam Agent backup job that will use a storage system snapshot as a data source, you must complete the following steps:

    1. Configure the backup infrastructure for storage snapshots. For details, see the Backup Infrastructure for Storage Snapshots section in the Veeam Backup & Replication User Guide.

    Keep in mind that you must allow your storage to process Veeam Agent backups. To do this, select the Agent backup check box at the Name step of the New Storage wizard, then specify options for accessing the storage system at the Agent Access step of the wizard. For details, see the Adding Storage Systems section in the Veeam Backup & Replication User Guide.

    Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows allows you to create backups from native snapshots with hardware VSS provider only. For the list of supported storage systems, see the Veeam Agent Integration section in the Veeam Backup & Replication User Guide.

    1. Add a Microsoft Windows machine to the inventory and deploy Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows on this machine using the Veeam Backup & Replication console. To learn more, see Creating Protection Groups.

    Considerations and Limitations

    Before you create a Veeam Agent backup from a storage system snapshot, check the following prerequisites:

    You can check product editions in the License Information window of the Veeam Backup & Replication backup console. For details, see the Viewing License Information section in the Veeam Backup & Replication User Guide and the Assigning License to Veeam Agent section in the Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows User Guide.

    • You must use iSCSI or Fibre Channel protocol for your storage system:
    • If you plan to use the iSCSI Protocol, the backup proxy and the Veeam Agent machine must have a Microsoft iSCSI Software initiator enabled.
    • If you plan to use the Fibre Channel Protocol, the backup proxy and the Veeam Agent machine must have a Fibre channel adapter installed and must have access to the storage system over Fibre Channel fabric.
    • If a Veeam Agent machine has any disks that use the GUID Partition Table (GPT) as a partitioning scheme, each disk must contain a Microsoft Reserved (MSR) partition.
    • At least one storage logical unit number (LUN) must be mapped to the Veeam Agent machine.
    • At least one backup proxy must have access to all LUNs.

    In addition to general limitations listed in the in the Veeam Backup & Replication User Guide, consider the following limitations for Veeam Agent backups from storage snapshots:

    • If the Storage Replica feature is installed on the Veeam Agent computer, you cannot back up this computer using the hardware VSS provider. If you want to add this computer to the backup scope, you must allow Veeam Backup & Replication to fail over to the regular backup scenario that uses software VSS provider. To learn more, see Integration Settings. To learn more about Storage Replica, see this Microsoft article.
    • The backup proxy and the Veeam Agent machine you want to back up cannot be the same machine.
    • You cannot back up the following objects using the hardware VSS provider:
    • volumes allocated to RDM disks
    • storage spaces

    With volumes allocated to RDM disks or storage spaces in the backup scope, Veeam Backup & Replication will fail over to the regular backup scenario even if failover is not allowed in storage integration settings.

     

    How It Works

    To create a backup from a storage snapshot, Veeam Backup & Replication and Veeam Agent do the following:

    1. Veeam Backup & Replication checks that the hardware VSS provider is installed on the Veeam Agent computer.

    If the hardware VSS provider is not installed, Veeam Backup & Replication rescans the Veeam Agent computer and installs the hardware VSS provider.

    1. Veeam Backup & Replication starts a backup job session and sends a request to the storage system to create a native snapshot as a new LUN.

    If storage system fails to create a native snapshot within the period allowed by VSS, Veeam Backup & Replication will behave according to the storage integration settings. Veeam Backup & Replication will complete the backup job with the Failed status or fail over to the regular backup scenario that uses software VSS provider.

    To learn more about VSS, see this Microsoft article.

    1. After a snapshot LUN is created, this LUN connects to Veeam Agent machine to finish VSS operations and record storage metadata.
    2. Veeam Backup & Replication moves the snapshot LUN to the backup proxy.
    3. Veeam Backup & Replication reads the snapshot LUN and transfers data from the backup proxy to the target repository.

    Keep in mind that if the snapshot LUN contains a dynamic volume, Veeam Backup & Replication reads all extents of this volume.

    1. Veeam Backup & Replication completes the backup job session and deletes snapshot metadata from the storage and backup proxy.

    After that, you can use backups created from storage snapshots for restore and administration tasks. For such Veeam Agent backups, Veeam Backup & Replication allows you to perform the same set of operations as for backups created with regular backup scenario that uses software VSS provider. To learn more, see Restoring Data from Veeam Agent Backups and Managing Veeam Agent Backups.

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