Backup Exec 21 Best Practices
- Backup Exec Best Practices
Best Practices for Using the Backup Exec Cloud Connector
The Backup Exec Cloud Connector feature provides seamless and secure integration with 3rd-party cloud storage services, which enables direct-to-cloud backups and disk-to-cloud backups. To review the list of supported regions, see the Backup Exec hardware compatibility list at the following URL: http://www.veritas.com/docs/000017788
Before you begin using the Backup Exec Cloud Connector, you should be familiar with the following terms:
Access key ID: an alphanumeric code that allows access to the cloud storage. You must create an access key with the cloud storage service provider that you choose to use, such as Amazon S3 or Google, before you configure your cloud storage in Backup Exec. When you configure your cloud storage in Backup Exec, you must enter this key as the user name for the logon credentials for the cloud storage. If you copy and paste the key from the cloud storage provider, be sure that you don't copy white space.
Secret key: an alphanumeric code that allows access to the cloud storage. You must create a secret key with the cloud storage service provider that you choose to use, such as Amazon S3 or Google, before you configure your cloud storage in Backup Exec. When you configure your cloud storage in Backup Exec, you must enter this key as the password for the logon credentials for the cloud storage. If you copy and paste the key from the cloud storage provider, be sure that you don't copy white space.
Bucket: a logical unit of storage that stores objects, such as data and metadata. You must create a bucket in the cloud storage that you choose to use, such as Amazon S3 or Google, before you configure your cloud storage in Backup Exec. When you configure a backup-to-cloud job in Backup Exec, if you have created more than one bucket, then you must select the bucket that you want to use to store the data.
Review the following table to determine the best backup scenario for your organization:
Table: Pros and Cons of Common Cloud-based Backup Scenarios
Backup directly to the cloud
This is the simplest operation. It does not require any additional space on the local backup storage device.
Since cloud backups and restores may be slow depending on available bandwidth, they may not fit in your backup window.
A menu option to back up directly to the cloud is available.
For releases earlier than Backup Exec 16 FP1, to back up directly to the cloud, you must create a backup-to-disk job, and then edit the storage properties to select the cloud storage device.
Back up to disk, and then duplicate to the cloud
This operation provides a quick restore from a local copy.
This is usually faster than backing up directly to the cloud, so your backup window may not be impacted.
A menu option is available for this operation.
This option requires additional disk space on the local backup storage device.
Back up to a deduplication storage device, and then duplicate to the cloud
This operation provides a quick restore from a local copy.
In addition, it reduces the amount of disk space required for a local copy.
The backup will no longer be deduplicated when it is copied to the cloud.
Backup Exec can perform a verify operation to make sure that the media can be read after a backup job has been completed. By default, Backup Exec automatically verifies backed up data at the end of a backup job. However, you can also schedule the verify operation to take place at a later time or disable the verify operation altogether. You can change Backup Exec's verify options as part of the default backup settings or for individual backup jobs.
For cloud-based storage devices, by default, the Do not verify data for this job option is now selected in the Backup Options. Cloud vendors charge for operations that read data from and write data to the cloud. To avoid charges for reading data during the verify operation of a backup or duplicate job, this option is selected by default.
The Backup Exec Cloud Connector implements the integrity check mechanisms for S3 (Amazon, Google, and private cloud vendors supported by Backup Exec) and Azure compatible cloud storage. This is available from Backup Exec 16 and later.
Contact your cloud storage provider to determine the cost of reading data from and writing data to cloud storage. Then, you can weigh the cost of the verify operation versus the peace of mind of having verified data to determine if running the verify operation is worthwhile for your organization.
Customers also have the option of leveraging a 3rd-party cloud gateway in addition to Backup Exec Cloud Connectors. One example of this is the Amazon Storage Gateway /VTL, which integrates with Backup Exec as an iSCSI disk storage or as a Virtual Tape Library (VTL).
The Amazon Storage Gateway is a separate service provided by Amazon and also has a separate monthly fee. Please refer to the Amazon website for more details about pricing.
The Amazon Storage Gateway acts as a local storage destination for Backup Exec and manages the data transfer to/from the cloud automatically and transparently.
The Amazon Storage Gateway VTL allows customers to create and store virtual tapes in a VTL powered by Amazon S3 and a Virtual Tape Shelf (VTS) powered by Amazon Glacier.
Amazon Storage Gateway /VTL does not charge for operations/requests and can be a viable alternative for customers who wish to avoid operation/request charges.
Refer to the AWS documentation for more details.
Granular Recovery Technology (GRT) backups to Backup Exec Cloud Connector storage leverage Veritas OpenStorage Technology (OST). The data is then automatically staged locally as part of the restore job.
Cloud Storage providers charge for the use of their storage services based on multiple aspects, including (but not limited to):
Most vendors do not charge for data transfers into the cloud, but do charge for any transfers that exit their cloud; for example, for restores or even verify-operations that transfer information back to on-premises.
Additionally major vendors can provide multiple storage classes with different attributes, such as:
Refer to the latest pricing information available on supported Cloud Storage vendor websites for more information and take advantage of the cost calculators that most vendors provide. Please keep in mind that the service pricing can be updated frequently.
The Data stream size and Stream handler options currently have no effect for Backup Exec Cloud Connector. The Backup Exec Cloud Connector operates with data in 1MB chunks; this size is currently not configurable.
Data Stream Size and Stream Handler Options are removed from Backup Cloud Connecter device properties in the Backup Exec 16 FP1 user interface.
You can decrease and tune the Read/Write connections for Cloud-based backup jobs if there are bandwidth limitations between the Backup Exec server and the cloud backup destination. The default Backup Exec Read/Write connections settings assume a typical network bandwidth but in some cases the number of write or read connections may overwhelm the bandwidth available. With Backup Exec 16 FP1, the Read/Write connection settings are available in the user interface. If network bandwidth decreases, you can tune the Read/Write connections numbers to establish a consistent connection. You are not required to restart the Backup Exec services. The Read/Write tuning settings work for both public and private cloud Storage devices that are supported by Backup Exec. Below is the Read/Write settings table located in Backup Exec Configuration and Settings | Backup Exec Settings | Cloud Storage. The default settings shown can be decreased by cloud storage type to eliminate connection errors caused by insufficient bandwidth. Note that decreasing the Read/Write connections will cause a corresponding decrease in job throughput.
To back up to disk and then duplicate to the cloud, you must configure two types of storage in Backup Exec; a local disk storage device to stage data from the local storage to the cloud, and the cloud storage.
Create specific buckets/containers to use exclusively with Backup Exec.
Use a different bucket/container for each cloud storage device. Do not use the same bucket for multiple cloud storage devices, even if these devices are configured on different Backup Exec servers.
Ensure that bucket/container names contain only lowercase letters, numbers, and dashes or hyphens. Also, ensure that bucket names do not begin with a dash. Buckets are not available for use in Backup Exec if the bucket name does not comply with the bucket naming conventions.