In this post I’m going to touch on a few basic components that make Veeam 9.5 and Windows Server 2016 a winning combination. I will be presenting at a #VeeamOn breakout session on Thursday. We’ll be talking about using a Microsoft’s Storage Spaces Direct technology as a Veeam Backup and Restore File Repository. Which Operating and Filesystem do you think I’ll recommend?

I think we’ve all heard of Veeam by now, the most innovative and leading backup provider for virtual and physical environments. Regardless of hardware vendor, and regardless of hardware type, rackmount or hyper converged, it just works. But why is Veeam 9.5 and Windows Server 2016 a winning combination together? The two companies have worked hard together to simply and enhance existing technology not only to decrease backup and restore times, but to with storage technology to allow you to save space without deduplication and to guarantee the integrity of your data at rest. How? You’ll find out if you keep reading.

The Past

Coming up with a heading for this section was a head scratcher and I changed it a bit. It’s not a “Problem”, backing up has always just worked. Restores worked. Saving data worked. But just as in life, there is always room to reinvent and improve.

A couple of these areas are Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO). Machines, networks, storage systems are all constantly increasing in speeds. But so is data. In the Microsoft Build 2017, Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella said Autonomous cars will generate 10GBs of data per second! Can you even imagine that? Now was a developer, you need some or all of this information to innovate and create. Where is this stored and backed up!?

Windows – NTFS to ReFS

NTFS, what a great file system. It’s been tested through and through and I believe no one even talks about it anymore. They trust it. It works. They’ve come to understand it’s the default and not to question it. Well in Windows Server 2012, Microsoft released a new file system called, Resilient File System (ReFS). It was their first production release.

Out into the world it went, just like a new baby. We treated it exactly like first time parents. We were excited, it was here, we tried it, we loved it, but we were still so uncertain as to how to fit it into our infrastructure. Along came Windows Server 2012 R2 and I’d say it was status quo, we love NTFS! This is mainly due to its’ focus around virtualization.

Windows Server 2016 – ReFS (Version 3.1)

Did you know that it’s time to say, ReFS is the recommended file system for Windows Server 2016? Hands down it is. But why? So many reasons why! Let me list a few here:

  1. Reduces I/O on the server
  2. Reduces storage space without using Deduplication
  3. Block Cloning Technology
  4. Integrity Streams – ReFS detects corruption, even on data at rest. Auto-remediation can occur online!
  5. ReFS is tightly coupled with Storage Spaces Direct (S2D)
  6. The points above and with Veeam 9.5 and a ReFS Backup Repository, it reduces your FULL back up times and increases Integrity!
  7. As ReFS was built with virtualization in mind, it uses Sparse Valid Data Length (VDL)

For a full overview of ReFS check out – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/storage/refs/refs-overview

For a quick look at how Veeam works with ReFS check out –

So I said it’s the recommended, I didn’t say it replaces NTFS. Unfortunately, there are a couple draw backs, but still we can’t ignore them. They are:

  1. Cannot use as a boot volume
  2. Cannot use on removable media
  3. Missing some NTFS features
    1. Encryption
    2. Quota management
    3. Compression

 

If you can’t attend VeeamOn, that’s unfortunate, BUT… Follow us on #MVPHour and of course #VeeamOn

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