I have recently been given the opportunity to take a deeper look at the Dell DR4000 Backup Appliance, as this now fully supports Veeam it was of particular interest to me. The DR4000 is a server appliance based upon the de-duplication technology Dell acquired from Ocarina.
Out of the box to running was very quick and easy, with a text based wizard guiding me through the initial steps then moving onto the web based user interface. It took no more than 10-15mins of my time for the initial configuration and access to the user interface.
Once the initial configuration was completed I logged into the user interface, the default username is administrator and password is St0r@ge!. Once you are logged in, you get a dashboard view of the appliance, the screenshot below is taken after a number of backups with Veeam. As you can see I have managed to get a total de-duplication saving of 63% across my Veeam backup jobs that I wrote to the appliance. I only had the opportunity to write a small amount of backups but presumably the more backups wrote there would be potential for larger savings. To break it down Veeam backed up 1.9TB of VMs to a 391GB file, the appliance below shows this backups, a reverse incremental for this backup at 46GB and a further 7GB backup file, after de-duplication and compression on the DR4000 these files were down to 168GB.
One thing to note was in my haste I only plugged in one PSU and one NIC rather than the full 4 available and they show as errors in the hardware health page.
The box comes configured out the box with a backup container ready for you to write your Veeam, Commvault, AppAssure etc backups too. You are also able to run through a very simple wizard to create other containers.
You are also able to configure the compression level across the appliance to be able to favour maximum compression but there could be a performance hit or fast to get a happy medium.
One of the elements that I really like about the DR4000 is the ability to use it to offsite your backups, you are able to quickly and easily configure one box to be a target and one to be a source. You are able to allow one DR4000 to be a target for up 5 source boxes.
Once you have your backups writing to the appliance there are a good range of stats and usage statistics to tell you what is going.
The only configuration needed from a Veeam perspective was to set the jobs deduce-friendly option and add a new repository pointing at the CIFs share.
For me simplicity and effectiveness are key when it comes to backups they are one of the most important elements of IT to your business but they aren’t something you want to have sleepless nights worrying about, this is one of the reasons I like Veeam so much. For me the DR4000 adds to these elements offering further compression and the ability to simply and effectively move your backups offsite.
I have a video demo available of this whole setup if anyone is interested please let me know.
Nice post, mate. I am very interested in the video! Can you Dropbox it to me or something? 🙂
Nice post: Thanks a lot for sharing! Too bad SAN snapshot recovery is not (yet?) available for Dell storage appliances…
Would love to see the comparision of effective dedupe & compression of Veeam backups sent to standard disk target using Veeam’s own methods, versus sending it uncompressed to a DR4000 and letting the Ocarina technology work its magic.
I’m also interested in how well the compression ratios work against data sets larger than the native capacity of the DR. The effective capacity of the DR is great, but one must rely heavily on the compression ratios. Would love to see how 100TB of Veam backups work against their 18TB DR4000.
Likewise would love to do some more tests with this, alas I only had the unit for a very short period of time. Although I can try and get hold of another again to do some more tests.
AFAIK the backups are still compressed etc when in Dedup friendly mode, I didnt see much difference of the backups between the two modes however I wasnt backing up many VMs in my job to see the effect.
Will see if I can get hold of another unit and do a deeper investigation at a later date.
Using the CIF share settings on the DR4000 I had to give user credentials in Veeam (6.5) when adding the repository. If not the backups could not write to the share. Seemed like Veeam was trying to write with local system credentials or something. Was counter intuitive.