VEEAM for AHV Part I

Motivation

 

NUTANIX customers using AHV as their choosen hypervisor get more and more common. So backup software products which integrate into NUTANIX’s own hypervisor get a stronger focus to deliver backup & recovery operations for NextGen  infrastructures. .

During my work as a consultant and implemetation engineer i had the chance to implement backup processes based on VEEAM Backup&Replication in differrent environments and for a wider range of customers.

I want to share some of my first experiences with the VEEAM for AHV appliance. Maybe you find some useful tipps. And of course i also mention the „caveats“ of which you should also be aware of.

Software levels at the time of writing:

VEEAM for AHV V 1.0.457
Backup and Replication 9.5 Update 4
NUTANIX AOS 5.10.3.1 LTS
NUTANIX AHV 20170830.256

 

Overview VEEAM for AHV appliance & functionality

 

Before you can use the integration with AHV you need to deploy a appliance on-top of your NUTANIX AHV Cluster. This one is called the „VEEAM for AHV apppliance“.

the proxy appliance is responsible for the backup, entire VM restore, and VM disk restore operations.

The proxy appliance communicates with the AHV platform over Nutanix RESTful API, assigns necessary resources for backup and restore operations, reads/writes data from/to AHV datastores and transports VM data to/from target Veeam backup repositories.

The proxy appliance is also responsible for job management and scheduling, data compression and deduplication, applying retention policy settings to backup chains, as well as performing other backup- and restore-related activities.

The proxy appliance leverages the NUTANIX snaphot functionality.

More granular recovery can be achieved through Veeam Backup & Replication including, guest files, application items as well the ability to extend availability with Backup Copy, Tape, Cloud Connect (BaaS) and Restore to Microsoft Azure as well as conversion to VMDK, VHD, VHDX

The appliance offers a HTML Web-UI for management and configuration.

 

The following figure shows the architectural basis:

nutanix_integration

 

The following restore functions can only be used from within the appliance Web-UI:

 

      • Entire VM restore
      • VM disks restore

 

The following restore operation can only be performed through VEEAM Backup and Replication console:

 

      • File-level restore
      • Application item restore
      • Restore to Microsoft Azure
      • Restore to Amazon EC2
      • VM disk export
      • Instant recovery to Hyper-V VM

 

 

Preparing the installation environment

 

NUTANIX min. software requirements:

 

Nutanix AOS versions  5.5.x up to 5.10.x
NUTANIX AHV versions: 2017.07.20 (AOS ver. 2017.06.08) for Community Edition

 

Ressources needed for the VM:

 

CPU: x86-64 processors. 4 CPU cores plus 1 CPU core for each additional concurrent task (default concurrency level is 3 VMs at a time).

 

Memory:  4 GB RAM plus 1 GB RAM for each additional concurrent task.

 

Disk Space: 1 GB for product installation.

VEEAM Backup and Replication min. software requirements:

 

VEEAM Backup & Replication Update 3 and higher. Update 4 and higher is recommended to leverage more advanced restore operation (f.e. individual file restore,VM disk export, restore to microsoft azure  a.o.)

 

Installing VEEAM for AHV Appliance

 

There are 2 differrent approaches for the appliance installation.

      • Installation through PRISM Element
      • Installation through PRISM Central

 

You can choose the second way only if the customer has PRISM Central installed in their infrastructure.

Thats often the case if there are more than one NUTANIX Cluster which need to be managed or if they use more advanced NUTANIX features (f.e. Leap, Calm a.o.)

 

I will cover the way through PRISM Element in this blogpost.

 

Installing VEEAM for AHV appliance through PRISM Element Web-Interface (AOS 5.10.x):

 

Log-in to the PRISM Web-Interface of the AHV cluster using your user and password (cluster or user admin role required)

prism_login

Click on the gear icon (settings) in the upper right corner of the interface

prism_image_config

 

Click image configuration and then upload image

The „Upload Image dialoque“ opens:

prism_image_config1

Type in a Name for the image

Chosse DISK as image type

Choose a valid storage container for image placement on the „Storage container tab“.

Choose „Image Source“ Upload a file…. -> point to the VAN Disk source image.

 

 

2 tasks are created in PRISM to upload the disk image

prism_image_config_2

 

When both tasks show 100% and completed you can proceed to the next step. Uploading the disk image from a file normally takes some minutes. Dependig on your network connection to the environment.

Pro tip: Try to upload the file through a fast ethernet connection (1Gbit and faster). Not over slow WAN connections. (f.e. VPN or similar).

 

When the upload is finished you need to create a VM and connect the disk image file to it.

IN PRISM click on the Navigation in the upper left corner and select „VM“

prism_vm

 

Then click on „Table“. This lists all VMs on the cluster and you get a better insight and overview.

 

Click „+Create VM“ in the upper right corner

prism_vm_1

The Create VM windows opens:

prism_vm_2

 

The critical settings here: CPU + Core per vCPU. Select 4 VCPUs and 1 core per CPU.

Scroll down and select the amount of memory to 8 GB.

 

The appliance is used as a backup roxy so this setting has direct impact on „parallell processing“ tasks.

The CPU/RAM selection is a good starting point for small to medium environments.

 

prism_vm_3

Then click on “ + Add new Disk“

The add new disk windows opens:

prism_vm_4

In the „Image“ drop-down select the image uploaded in the prior step(s).

Then click Add.

Image is added to the VM:

prism_vm_5

You  also need to add a virtual NIC:

prism_vm_9

click „+ Add New NIC“. The following windows pops-up.

prism_vm_6

Select a VLAN which has access to the VEEAM Backup Server or is routed accordingly. If you route traffic via firewalls make sure all required ports are opened between the appliance network and the VEEAM Backup&Replication server network.

Pro Tipp: Try to put the appliance in the same L2 network than the Backup server.

Click Add so that the vNIC is added to the VM:

prism_vm_7

Last step is to click on Save in the Create VM windows.

 

Now the VM is created and a task starts in PRISM. The task normally finishes within a few seconds.

 

Now you can power-on the appliance VM:

prism_vm_8

Select the VM

 

Look at the VM control options in the lower right area.

Then click on „power on“. Wait a few seconds. Then click „Launch console“

prism_vm_10

After power-on of the VM u need to configure the appliance network settings.

  1. On the VM console, you will see the URL address. Use a web browser to go to the displayed address.

If the URL address of the web console is not displayed, wait 10 seconds and press ENTER.

veeam_appliance

If your network doesn’t have a DHCP server, you must set a static IP address on the VM. To set a static IP address, do the following.

      1. Log in to the VM console (login: veeam; password: veeam).
      2. Open the interface settings with a text editor.

 

sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces

In the opened file, find the following text.

 

auto eth0

iface eth0 inet dhcp

Assign a static IP address and specify the netmask and gateway.

 

auto eth0

iface eth0 inet static

address <IP_address>

netmask <netmask>

gateway <gateway>

Save the changes and restart the network and the Veeam service.

 

sudo service networking restart

sudo service VeeamBackupAgent restart

To log in to the appliance web UI, open https://<static_IP_address>:8100 in a web browser.

veeam_appliance_2

At the welcome screen, enter default credentials (login: admin; password: admin) to log in to the web UI.

 

After log in to the appliance you will be presented with the „first time installation wizard“

appliance_setup

Click Install to start the installation wizard.

 

Read the EULA and select the I accept the terms of license agreement check box. Click Next.

appliance_setup_1

At the Credentials step of the wizard, change the default password for the admin user. Note that the password must contain at least 6 alphanumeric characters and cannot match the old password.

appliance_setup_2

At the Network Settings step of the wizard, specify the appliance hostname and network settings or select the Obtain an IP address automatically check box.

appliance_setup_3

At the Summary step of the wizard, review the appliance settings and click Finish.

appliance_setup_4

You will be redirected to the login screen. Specify new credentials and log in to the web UI again.

This concludes the appliance first time installation. And the appliance is ready for use.

This Blog series continues on Part 2: Configuring the backup infrastructure.

used References:

User/setup:

https://helpcenter.veeam.com/docs/van/userguide/overview.html?ver=10

Availability for NUTANIX AHV FAQ

https://www.veeam.com/availability-nutanix-ahv-faq.html

 

 

 

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