This month Exagrid released an update for their backup storage appliances that makes them fully compatible with Veeam. For those who have no idea what Exagrid is, check out www.exagrid.com but basically Exagrids are a hardware appliance with several terabytes of raw storage that is presented in different ways via CIFS.
The idea is to have a “landing pad” that is a certain size (which is determined by the amount of data you need to back up, so if you need to backup 1Tb of data you can buy the 1Tb appliance), then after your backup job is completed the data that is in the landing pad is processed and is put into a “cold storage” like area. To Veeam the files still look like they are there and are the original full size, but what has happened is the Exagrid has deduplicated and compressed the data in the landing pad and pushed it back to the main storage area. This leaves the landing pad free for the next backup.
So why consider an Exagrid? Well Veeam alone will do a great job of compressing and deduplicating data inside of a job… but what it cannot do is deduplicate and compress across jobs. So your Monday backup is not deduplicated against your Sunday backup or your Tuesday backups. Also if you are doing weekly full backups and are retaining 30 days of backups you still need a pretty decent amount of storage:
Backup Storage Requirement = (Full backup size * 4) + (Average Incremental * 26)
So if a full backup is 500GB you will need at a minimum 2TB of disk space to retain 4 weekly full backups. and if your average daily incremental is 50GB then you also need 1300GB for incrementals. So total for 30 days of backup retention on a standard file system you would need 3.3TB of disk space.
Here is where the Exagrid magic comes in… the Exagrid will see the blocks from all 4 weekly full backups and deduplicate them… so you might only have to store 600GB of data total for all 4 weekly fulls. Plus it will deduplicate all incrementals and full backups together… so it’s looking at every block of data in a CIFS share… not just what is in a single session. So LOTs of space savings to be had!
So the bottom line is use what you have more effectively instead of continually buying disk space.
Stay tuned as I will be explaining how to setup the Exagrid for Veeam Backups as well as the best practices for configuring your Veeam Backup jobs to work with the Exagrid appliances.