The musings of an IT Consultant

Feb 28 2010   8:18PM GMT

VM redundancy in a SMB environment

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi folks, so you’ve decided to pull the trigger on virtualization in your SMB business and want go virtual. Now what do you do about backups? Well you know I’ve mentioned Veeam before and SANs, but exactly how can you implement this in your environment in a cost effective manner?

Well, there are a few pieces to the puzzle you’ll need, but here is a nice little solution you can put together for not a lot of money. For the purposes of my example I’ll use HP servers, but you can fill in the blanks with your own vendor of choice. Everything mentioned here is on the VMware HCL(hardware compatibility list).

First of all, here are the ingredients you’ll need:

So what I would do is setup the two servers of your choice with VMware installed on them, and use the tons of local storage as the storage place for your virtual machines. For the purposes of this example we’ll call the first server “server1” and the second server “server2”.

Then create a vCenter server that is virtualized. This server can also act as your management box. Install Veeam Backup and Replication on this management server. Configure the QNAP device on your network using iSCSI and mount it so the management VM can mount the storage as a drive letter.

Setup Veeam to run backup jobs to the QNAP device and then setup Veeam to run replication jobs from server1 to server2 and vice versa.

Voila! You end up with external backups to the QNAP device, and you end up with virtual machine replicas of each virtual machine on the opposite vSphere server. If you need offsite backup, you can add some usb drives and connect them to your QNAP device to offload the backups to them to take them off site or you can buy another QNAP device for remote replication.

All in all a quick and dirty SMB solution that actually works!


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  • Jessesmith
    Nice solution! Would you run the vCenter/Veeam VM directly on the QNAP device via iSCSI? I'm a little bit confused by the wording when you describe this, but I think that this is what you are getting at. Obviously if the management server VMDK is stored on one of the two hosts, we'd have an issue restoring if that particular host went down. I'm thinking of putting together your solution, with the VMDK/VMX for the management server running directly on the QNAP. That way I can load up the VMX from either of my two servers and be up and running quickly. Let me know if you disagree :).
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