Archive backups with Veeam and StarWind Virtual Tape Library

In this previous topic, I shown you how to configure StarWind Virtual Tape Library (VTL for friends). In this topic I connected StarWind VTL to my Veeam Backup & Replication server through iSCSI. Now I’d like add the libraries to Veeam to run tape jobs in order to archive backup. In this topic, I’ll show you how to add a tape server and how to manage the media from Veeam.

Add tape server to Veeam

First of all, open the Veeam Backup & Replication console and navigate to Tape Infrastructure. Then click on Add Tape Server.

StarWind VTL is connected to my Veeam server (VMBCK01) through iSCSI. So I choose the server VMBCK01.

Then you can specify some network traffic rules to control the encryption and throttling of the network traffic.

Next click on apply to install Veeam components for tape server.

To finish, leave checked the option Start tape libraries inventory when I click finish. This enable to run immediately the inventory and discover the tape libraries connected to the server. Otherwise you’ll not see any libraries until you run an inventory.

After the inventory, you should see the libraries. StarWind VTL is emulated by HP MSL G3 drivers. This is why you see this kind of libraries. You can see also all the media available in this libraries. Obviously, because StarWind VTL is based on hard drive, in production you must install enough storage to handle the archival you want.

Media Pool

In Veeam, a Media Pool is a set of media which shares the same retention. So, the second step in order to run archival job is to create a Media Pool. There is also the GFS Media Pool (Grand Father, Father, Son) which enables in a single Media Pool to manage weekly, monthly, quarter and yearly archival. It’s up to you. In this example I choose Media Pool.

I decide to call the Media Pool Yearly.

Then I choose some Media to add into this Media Pool. I suggest you to leave checked the option Add tapes from Free Media … In this way, if there is no enough media in this pool, automatically Veeam will takes a new media from the free media pool to move into your media pool.

Then specify a Media Set name. Each time Veeam will create a tape backup, a media set name will be associated with the format you choose.

Then choose a many time you want to protect data stored on the tape. I choose to protect yearly backup for 10 years.

Next you can choose if you want to encrypt data and if you want to enable parallel processing.

To create the Media Pool, click on finish.

For this exmaple, I have created three media pools (Weekly, Monthly and Yearly). Now my tape infrastructure is ready to use.

Now you can create a tape job. Navigate to Home and select Tape Job. You can choose between two kind of jobs:

  • Files: you backup Veeam files by choosing a folders
  • Backups: You backup a backup job without specifying folders. This is my preferred method because you can run the tape job after a backup job.

Conclusion

StarWind Virtual Tape Library and Veeam enables to archive backup from a full software stack. You don’t need to manage every day the physical media. StarWind Virtual Tape Library is cheaper than a hardware tape library. This product is valuable for companies which have no vault and no physical tape management.

About Romain Serre

Romain Serre works in Lyon as a Senior Consultant. He is focused on Microsoft Technology, especially on Hyper-V, System Center, Storage, networking and Cloud OS technology as Microsoft Azure or Azure Stack. He is a MVP and he is certified Microsoft Certified Solution Expert (MCSE Server Infrastructure & Private Cloud), on Hyper-V and on Microsoft Azure (Implementing a Microsoft Azure Solution).

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