Backing up with Veeam to your Windows 2012 R2 Deduplication Appliance

If you are following along with our idea of making your own deduplication appliance, you might be interested in using it as one or more Veeam Backup Repositories.

Veeam has some postings about using Windows Deduplication with Veeam backups, and they seem to think it is a great idea.

I do too, and I think our Replacador replication for Windows Deduplication makes things even better.

We have been backing up our own Windows discrete servers for years with plain old Windows Backup.  As we gradually migrated our servers to our first big Hyper-V server (called Borg1 for some reason) we kept using Windows Backup doing full backups every night, deduplicating, and replicating.

When I first heard of Veeam it was in reference to deduplication.  When I read about Veeams positive attitude towards Windows Deduplication, I became even more interested.  So we decided to install Veeam Enterprise Plus trial edition.

I set it up on our Borg1 server and defined the backup job for most of our VMs.  I skipped our document management VM for now because I’m impatient to run the tests faster and that data doesn’t change much.  I will add that in later for production.

I set up a Veeam Backup Repository on one of our UBD servers running Windows 2012 R2 with a deduplication volume. Actually I just twiddled my thumbs while Veeam did all the work.  I did get to make some important decisions about the settings for the Backup Repository, which I will share with you in a future post.

I set the system up for forward incremental backups with a full backup once a week.

The first Veeam backup took about an hour and a half and moved 800 GB of data across the network.  I ran Windows Deduplication on the volume and it compressed and deduped about 60%.  The deduplication job ran in a couple of hours, and of course was mostly compression for the first day.

I couldn’t wait a whole day to do another Veeam backup, so I did the same backup again after a couple of hours.  This was over the same 800 GB set of VMs.

The Veeam backup ran in 6 minutes and 47 seconds. It sent about 26 billion bytes of data to the Backup Repository.

Windows Deduplication ran in 15 minutes or so. The 26 GB of data on disk became 1 GB of deduplicated data. Over our 30 Mbit per second Internet upload we will be replicating in about six minutes.

According to what I have read about Veeam, it is deduplicating within a single backup, across VMs. What Windows Deduplication is adding is the deduplication across multiple backups. This means even a periodic full backup will take up very little space on the deduplicated volume and very little replication bandwidth.

The only replication job that should be somewhat large is the very first one, and our Replacador software supports replication to an external drive, which means you can seed the replication to a drive then send it to your DR site for immediate protection.

Every time I think of Veeam, I am saying WOW.  What an incredible product. If you haven’t tried it yet, spend an hour or two and set it up. And smile.

I am going to publish the settings and statistics for my first Veeam backup jobs in another post.



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