There have been some recent posts and articles around Veeam and the Cisco UCS 3160 being a great fit together, with the availability features offered within Veeam’s Availability Suite and with the Cisco UCS 3160 high density storage and compute capabilities.

When I say great fit the UCS 3160 offers compute function where Windows 2012R2 can be installed and can be used as a Veeam Backup & Replication server as well as a proxy, along with the high capacity direct attached storage it offers for a potential large backup repository. Whether the end user is looking to integrate into their existing Cisco UCS environment or just that high density backup solution, It Just Works.

Along with the UCS 3160 there is also a UCS 240 which I will also touch on in this post, the way I will position both of these products is one is aimed at the enterprise and one at the SMB arena, however it comes down to what compute and storage requirements the end user requirements are.

UCS C240

The UCS C240 rack server is designed for both performance & expandability over a wide range of storage-intensive infrastructure workloads.

·      Single Server – Dual CPU socket per server (2U)
·      24 slots for registered or unbuffered ECC DIMMs
·      5 PCIe slots
·      24 2.5 inch SAS, SATA or SSD hot pluggable drive bays
·      Supports up to two internal 32GB Cisco Flexible Flash Drives (SD)

UCS C3160

Designed for large unstructured data repositories, media streaming and content distribution, High performance compute and storage throughput. A stand alone CIMC management.

Up to 240TB (4TB HDD) and 360TB (6TB HDD), dense storage in a compact 4U form factor. That’s a lot of storage in a small space.

·      Single Server – Dual CPU socket per server
·      Up to 4GB RAID Cache – Enterprise Storage Features
·      Up to 512GB Memory – 8 DIMMs per socket
·      Dual Modular LOM (mLOM) – Multiple Connectivity Options
·      Up to 62 Drive Bays – 60 LFF plus 2 SFF
·      Up to 14 SSD – 400GB

Veeam Availability Suite

Delivers 5 key capabilities to the availability of data:

• High-Speed Recovery: Rapid recovery of what you want, the way you want it
• Data Loss Avoidance: Near-continuous data protection and streamlined disaster recovery
• Verified Protection: Guaranteed recovery of every file, application or virtual server, every time
• Leveraged Data: Low-risk deployment with a production-like test environment
• Complete Visibility: Proactive monitoring and alerting of issues before operational impact

Why Veeam & Cisco C Class Compute and Storage

It really comes down to both products being so easy to use, because of the great compute function apparent in both UCS C models mentioned in this post it acts as a really good Veeam Proxy Server (Data Mover) with Windows 2012 R2 installed as the operating system, it then uses the high density storage for backups. As well because of the compute Veeam are able to achieve up to 10-12 concurrent backup jobs. With a throughput of up to 5 GB/s bandwidth net per UCS C3160 (RAW includes deduplication and compression with 5+ GB/s)

Benefits of Veeam & Cisco C Class Compute and Storage

The Veeam features and benefits are widely documented I am just going to summarise some of the benefits as to why Veeam & Cisco UCS C models benefit together.

·      Granular recovery of virtual machines and files, including Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint application items.
·      Automatically verify every backup, Virtual Machine and replica.
·      Self-service recovery of virtual machines and guest files.
·      Instant VM recovery to recover a failed VM in less than two minutes.
·      Leverage Veeam deduplication and compression.

Options

Veeam & Cisco have some reference architecture configurations that range from a starter edition to a large implementation. The following list is a guide around what configurations fit into each pot.

*The below table has since been updated and there are now 4 available options on the Cisco Marketplace

An example of what these bundles include are outlined below.

Personal Conclusion

Apart from everything that has mentioned above about both technology vendors being a great fit there are also some further points to mention as to what makes this a great backup solution.

    <li “mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto;=”” mso-list:l0=”” lfo1;tab-stops:list=”” 36.0pt”=””>Reduces backup ingest bottlenecks<li “mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto;=”” mso-list:l0=”” lfo1;tab-stops:list=”” 36.0pt”=””>Provides faster backups through the use of parallel processing<li “mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto;=”” mso-list:l0=”” lfo1;tab-stops:list=”” 36.0pt”=””>Streamlines your data protection strategy with a solution designed for performance, flexibility and reliability

Amongst all of this this offering of both Veeam and Cisco UCS C class storage server is a validated, easy to deploy solution for Veeam backups. More agile and less complex is that way everything should be going in our industry.

With the scale out architecture from both Veeam and Cisco UCS this really does move with the enterprise future requirements.

UCS C3260

During the writing of this post the Cisco UCS C3260 was released, this platform offers a dual server node compared to the one node in the C3160, this basically means you can share the workload between the two nodes, all drives are available to to both server nodes.

This system uses the same chassis as the C3160 however you can only have a total of 56 drives to accommodate the second server node.

From a Veeam standpoint the C3260 with it’s two server nodes are an ideal solution, One server node can act as the Veeam Backup & Replication server, this will include Management, Proxy and Repository. The second node can be used for Veeam ONE, Enterprise Manager and WAN acceleration. (Dependant of environment requirements)

From a Veeam Backup configuration point of view the following should be adhered to gain the best performance and throughput.

•       3 Backup Jobs per 13-14 disks (max. 12 concurrent jobs)
•       Enable Parallel Processing
•       Limit the concurrent tasks at repository and proxy level
•       Start all Backup Jobs at the same time
•       Enable Veeam Deduplication and Compression

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