About a month ago I started a series of posts around Veeam Appliances, the first post alluded to the Cisco C Class 240/3160 & 3260 and this being used as a Direct Attached Storage model for Backup, combined with the compute power this made for a very good scalable solution for what and where to take your backups – you can find that post here.

Next up I hit on the NetApp E-Series a SAN array and how this could benefit customers if used in conjunction with Veeam as a backup repository, leveraging an investment in a SAN fabric or network and making full use of this – this post can be found here.

Finally, we have Tape Killer, The Cloud Integrated Storage in NetApp AltaVault. To set the scene here is a brief overview of the product portfolio as it was purchased by NetApp in November 2014 by a good friend of mine @JK47theweapon  –

In the same way I have touched on the DAS and SAN approach with the for mentioned “Appliances” I wanted to put a case over as to why AltaVault is a great fit for your backup infrastructure with Veeam.

<strong “mso-bidi-font-weight:=”” normal”=””>What is AltaVault

Well AltaVault is a “Cloud Integrated Storage” device. Some physical disk in your location but it’s then able to upload data of a specific criteria up to many different “Cloud” environments.

The local physical disk is presented out over NAS protocols so that can be either SMB or NFS this is presented to your backup media server and this is where the backups are pointed to within the job.

Storage efficiencies are a big factor when it comes to the modern data center. The real estate cost for shelves and shelves of storage is expensive in any case, So when sizing any backup solutions and in an ideal situation you are only keeping the changes since the last incremental meaning new data or even if we are wanting to keep more and more full backups we can do in leveraging global storage efficiencies.

The AltaVault range uses inline deduplication and compression, this is on a global front as well not on a per volume level as per the NetApp FAS or on a per backup job from Veeam. That’s an important point., Another important thing to mention is the ability to encrypt your data at rest and in flight.

Platforms and Sizing

NetApp today have two physical AltaVault appliances and several capacity based virtual appliances.

Another point to mention here before getting into the Technical specifications is the modes in which are available on the AltaVault system.

Backup Mode – Local backup mode is used when you want to store some backup files and data locally within the customer/end user DC.

Cold Storage Mode – Only Metadata is stored locally the rest is stored directly into a cloud provider.

Below I am only going to mention the Backup Mode because restore speeds I feel would not be acceptable given where I am positioning this as a solution.

Physical Appliances –

*The above figures were taken from NetApp.Com nothing has been tested by myself, although in the process of sourcing some equipment.

  • Integrates with Veeam Software as an NFS or SMB share.
  • Deduplicates. Compresses and encrypts
  • Caches recent backups locally, vaults older copies to the cloud
  • Stores data in the public or private cloud of choice.

Where does this fit with the current NetApp + Veeam capabilities

I have touched on many of the Veeam capabilities in the previous two Appliance posts so I am really now going to touch on some best practices with Veeam in an AltaVault environment.

The ability to start storing your backup data into one of the many public cloud providers or to be able to leverage something as such as a NetApp StorageGRID solution within a Private Cloud allows for some interesting things as we move to this cloud adoption model. I have said it many times before and will continue to say it… Cloud adoption will be off the back of Backup As A Service or Disaster Recovery As A Service in my opinion this will drive to further adoption in other areas.

Things to take into consideration

  • Do not perform reverse incremental or synthetic full backups
  • Disable compression. Encryption and deduplication on the Veeam backup job to avoid unrequired resource usage.
  • Set the load control on the AltaVault Management to Control Operations. This will allow Veeam to maximize throughput.
  • Limit the use of vPower features to physical AltaVault appliances. *

*The vPower operations is something I did want to mention here, from a Veeam perspective this is how we present the backup data back into the hypervisor and bring a virtual machine backup and running within a matter of minutes. Because of the nature of the storage on an AltaVault I am unsure the speed of performance we would get from this. This is something I hope to research and add at a later date.


That’s three posts and three scenarios where Veeam + DAS, SAN and NAS (Cloud Integrated) can be used as a backup repository.  Whilst writing this and after many discussions I have since seen an argument to if this Cloud Integrated storage is a way of removing tape from the eco system…

Possibly another post for the month of November to look deeper into that opinion as I know a lot of people on both sides of the fence.

A worthwhile link for you if looking at this solution would be the Technical Report from NetApp available if you have access to the NetApp Field Portal – TR4426-0515

Once again if you have any questions or feedback please reach out on Twitter / Linkedin

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