Installing the Pure Storage plugin for Veeam Backup & Recovery Snapshot Integration

Whew, that title is a mouthful.  This post will cover the installation and configuration of the Pure Storage plugin for Veeam Backup & Recovery, but we’ll incorporate some background first.

One of the most significant enhancements released with Veeam 9.5U3 is one from which most users have not seen direct improvement  — until now.  The specific enhancement that I am referring to is the Universal Storage API, which is the framework that storage vendors can leverage to integrate their storage arrays to allow for Veeam to offload snapshots for backup & recovery operations to the array, rather than relying on VMware snapshots.

While Veeam Storage Snapshots are not new – this capability has been available for EMC, HPE, and NetApp arrays for many versions – there have been may more recent additions of vendor integrations which have increased the number of compatible storage devices.  Even just since the release of version 9.5, Veeam has added the capabilities of native array snapshots for Cisco HyperFlex, and recently with the Universal Storage API, additional vendor array integrations are now available – IBM SVC/Storwize, Infinidat, and Pure Storage. (Corrected as I had originally not called out IBM SVC as dependent on the Universal Storage API).  These next couple of posts will cover the installation and performance of the newly released Veeam integration with Pure Storage.

A personal endorsement here:  For those of you who have not had the pleasure of working with a Pure Storage array, I cannot express strongly enough how great it has been to work with this piece of gear has been thus far.  The last hardware platform that I’ve worked with that has excited me this much during my career was Cisco UCS.  Being an infrastructure engineer who manages 17 UCS domains globally and geeks out on UCS daily, the fact that a single storage array got me excited about a Friday night install at the very end of a 60 hour week (including a second array outage from another storage vendor), that’s saying A LOT. Before I put my Pure fanboy praise on hold… I will say that I doubt I will ever see another array in my career that I can get from unboxing to install to automated deployment/provisioning in just over 2 hours. It also took just over a dozen lines of code, and with only reading through the PowerShell module help.

OK, now getting back to the reason you’re probably here.  Getting your Veeam Backup and Recovery environment integrated with your Pure Storage array. Time to get started:

As always, begin with ensuring that you have a fresh Veeam configuration & database backup.  Disable any Veeam jobs (be sure this includes backup copy and replication jobs) and close the Veeam B&R interface.

Once we have a good backup in case you run into installation issues, extract the installer which is currently PureStoragePlugin_1.0.37.exe.

VeeamPurePlugInExtract

Launch the executable and approve the UAC elevation prompt to launch the “Pure Storage Plug-In for Veeam Backup & Replication” InstallShield wizard.

VeeamPureUACPrompt

VeeamPureInstallShieldLaunch

If you did not stop/disable any running jobs, or if there are any instances of the Veeam B&R UI still running, the installer will prompt you to do this and retry.  If you are still facing this issue after you have stopped active jobs and closed the UI for all user sessions, restart the Veeam B&R server and attempt the installation again.

VeeamPureInstallFailureRetry

Accept the terms of use to proceed with the installation.

VeeamPureStoragePlugInTermsofUse

The Pure Plug-In is now ready for install.

VeeamPureReadyToInstall

The installer will now stop the Veeam services to perform the installation.

VeeamPureInstallStoppingServices

I ran into an instance where the installer hit the timeout value for stopping Veeam services.  I pulled up a PowerShell session to watch the Veeam services to see when that had been stopped to proceed.

VeeamPureInstallerServicesTimeout

After the Veeam services have been stopped, the installer will finish the plug-in installation and restart the Veeam services.

VeeamPureInstallerStartingServices

At this point, the installation should be complete, and you are mere moments away from seeing your new storage integration within Veeam.

VeeamPureInstallerComplete

Launch the Veeam B&R UI, then move over to the Storage Infrastructure view and click ‘Add Storage’.

VeeamPureAddStorage

Select Pure Storage in the Add Storage window.

VeeamPureAddPureStorage

Enter the name/IP address and description of your Pure Storage array, then click next.

VeeamPureNameIP

Select the credentials with access to the Pure Storage array – this should be a member of the ‘Storage Admin’ group.  If you don’t have a credential created already, then click Add and run through the Veeam credential wizard. Click next.

VeeamPureCredentials

Upon clicking next, Veeam will attempt a connection to the Pure Storage array, and if successful, it will save the configuration.

VeeamPureSavingConfiguration

On the access options page, select which protocols you are using for the datastores hosted on your Pure array.

VeeamPureAccessOptions

You can choose to select all VMFS volumes found with the initial scan, or you can select which volumes to include/exclude:

VeeamPureAccessOptionsVolumeSelection

You can also choose the backup proxy used for the backup job.

VeeamPureAccessOptionsProxySelection

Veeam will now show that the configuration of your Pure Storage array is now complete.

VeeamPureComplete

Once the setup of your Pure Storage array is complete, Veeam will begin the initial scan of your array for volumes supported for backup based on your proxy selection.

VeeamPureInitialScan

At this point, your installation and integration are complete.  Within the Storage Infrastructure view, you can now expand out the Pure Storage node, then expand the node for your newly discovered array. This will show your volumes and details of any snapshots detected by Veeam.  (Would you look at those sweet new icons also…!!)

VeeamPureHotness

My next post will cover more detail of the actual Pure Storage snapshots being used in a backup job.  It will also include a performance comparison of a set of VMs being backed up with both VMware and storage snapshots across EMC VNX5800, EMC Unity 650F, Cisco HyperFlex and a Pure //m50 array.

Thanks for reading.

6 thoughts on “Installing the Pure Storage plugin for Veeam Backup & Recovery Snapshot Integration

  1. Keep the updates coming. We are testing the Pure integration as well. We will be interested to hear your thoughts and experiences.

    It looks like your Exagrid testing fell off. Did you have any final thoughts on it? We will be evaluating our B&R solutions this Fall and Exagrid has come up as an option in the past.

    Thanks,
    Matt

    1. To be perfectly honest, it was actually just my blogging that fell off, which I’m focusing on more going forward. We did purchase 2 ExaGrid EX-160 grids (containing 4x 40000E nodes) that we have in production in the US, and a smaller pair of ExaGrid nodes in the UK.

      We’re utilizing 3 appliances per site in a SOBR repository, and 1 standalone node for Linux agent-based backups, as these cannot currently target a SOBR repo for backups. We’re finalized in our ExaGrid deployment for the Veeam & SOBR layout, just still in testing for ExaGrid as to whether or not we’ll utilize the ExaGrid or even Veeam agents for Linux backups (mostly due to the size and makeup of our dataset).

      I’ll add this to my list of topics to write a follow-up to, thanks for the comment and prodding.

      1. Thanks Joe. I’ll keep an eye out for the update.

        Right now we use DataDomain as those repositories and we’d really like something with better performance (restore) characteristics even if we sacrifice some data reduction.

  2. Hi nice work & thanks see reply from pure team in UK. Waiting for your next step so i can do my M10

    If you use Veeam then I recommend using this plugin, it’ll greatly reduce the amount of time your VMs are in “VM snapshot” state, in our tests we went from 28mins VM Snapshot Commit to 5 seconds. This means zero performance impact whilst VMs are being backed up.

    You need Enterprise Plus to use the Backup From Storage Snapshot plugin though. You also get “Veeam Explorer From Storage Snapshot” and “On-Demand Sandsbox For Storage Snapshots”.

  3. Can you do a snapbackup to another appliance? Meaning, can Veeam get the backup from snap to another storage target? Also, is Veeam more efficient at finding change blocks when doing a Pure Snap Backup?

    1. Veeam does not drive the native Pure snap backups, nor will it drive any backend snapshots to another appliance. The snapshot integration if just to process the VM backups within Veeam, while taking the load off of your production VMware environment.

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