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StarWind Storage Gateway for Backblaze Getting Started

Published: June 8, 2018

INTRODUCTION

This technical paper provides information on how to deploy StarWind Storage Gateway for Backblaze and connect it to Windows and macOS hosts.

StarWind Storage Gateway for Backblaze uses a Virtual Tape Library interface to connect to the existing IT infrastructure. The client OS recognizes the gateway as an industry-standard LTO Tape Library. Virtual Tape is replicated and stored as an image file in Backblaze B2 storage. This way any backup, media asset management, or workflow application can work with a cloud storage, omitting the technical limitations of the cloud storage.

This guide is intended for experienced StarWind users, system administrators, and IT professionals who would like to configure StarWind Storage Gateway for Backblaze. It provides a step-by-step guidance on how to configure the Gateway and connect it to client systems using iSCSI.

A full set of up-to-date technical documentation can always be found here, or by pressing the Help button in the StarWind Management Console.

For any technical inquiries, please, visit our online community, Frequently Asked Questions page, or use the support form to contact our technical support department.

Pre-Configuration

In this guidance, StarWind Storage Gateway is installed on a separate Windows Server 2016 host.

The target created in StarWind VSAN is connected through the separate ISCSI network (192.168.12.x).

The guide further describes how to connect StarWind Storage Gateway on different systems: Windows Server 2016 and macOS in the existing infrastructure.

The guide further describes how to connect StarWind Storage Gateway on different systems: Windows Server 2016 and macOS in the existing infrastructure

Downloading, Installing, and Registering the Software

1. Launch the downloaded setup file on the server where StarWind Storage Gateway has to be installed. The Setup wizard will appear.

2. Read and accept the License Agreement.

Click Next to continue.

3. Carefully read the information about new features and improvements. Note that the text in red indicates warnings for users who are updating existing software installations.

Click Next to continue.

4. Click Browse to modify the installation path, if necessary.

Browse to modify the installation path

Click Next to continue.

5. To install the Cloud Replicator service along with the StarWind Virtual SAN service, enable the checkboxes as in the image below.

To install the Cloud Replicator service along with the StarWind Virtual SAN service, enable the checkboxes as in the image below.

Click Next to continue.

6. Specify the Start Menu folder.

Click Next to continue.

7. Enable the following checkbox to create a desktop icon.

Click Next to continue.

8. The wizard will prompt a license key. Possible options include a time-limited fully functional evaluation key, a FREE version key and a commercial license key sent over with the purchase of StarWind Virtual SAN. Select the appropriate option.

9. Click Next to continue and specify the path to the license file if appropriate.

10. Review the licensing information and Click Next to apply the license key.

11. Verify the installation settings. Click Back to make any changes, if required.

Click Install to continue.

12. Enable the appropriate checkbox to launch StarWind Management Console right after the setup wizard is closed.

Click Finish to close the wizard.

Configuring StarWind Storage Gateway

13. Launch StarWind Management Console: double-click the StarWind tray icon.

NOTE: If StarWind Service and Management Console are installed on the same server, the Management Console will automatically add the local StarWind instance to the console tree after the first launch. Then, the Management Console automatically connects to it using default credentials. To add remote StarWind servers to the console, use the Add Server button on the control panel.

14. StarWind Management Console will prompt a default storage pool on the server being connected to for the first time. Please, configure the default storage pool to use one of the volumes already chosen as a StarWind storage. All the devices created through the Add Device wizard will be stored on that storage pool by default. To use an alternative storage path for the StarWind virtual disks, please use the Add Device (advanced) menu item.

15. Press Yes to configure the storage pool. To change the storage pool destination, press Choose path… and point the browser to the necessary disk.

16. Select the StarWind server to create the device on.

17. Press the Add VTL Device button on the toolbar.

Add VTL Device

18. Specify the Virtual Tape Library location in the appeared window and click Next.

19. Select the Device Model from a drop-down list. The wizard also allows filling all slots in the newly created Tape Library with empty tapes.

Select the Device Model from a drop-down list. The wizard also allows filling all slots in the newly created Tape Library with empty tapes

Click Next to continue.

20. Then provide Target Alias or choose a default one and click Next.

21. Click the Create button to start the device creation process.

22. Once the creation is completed, click Close.

23. Once the VTL device is created, tapes can be added to it. To do this, select the VTL device and click the Create Tape button located in the Tapes section.

24. The Create Tape wizard will appear. Optionally, specify the custom path where tape files must be stored.

Click Next to continue.

25. Specify the Number of Tapes, Tape Type, and other parameters and click the Create button.

26. The created tape appears in the first slot of the VTL device in the StarWind Management Console.

NOTE: Other tapes can be created and added if required.

Getting Account ID and Application Key in Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage

27. Sign up to Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage using the following link: https://www.backblaze.com/b2/cloud-storage.html

28. To get the Account ID and Application Key, sign in to Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage, open Buckets, and click on the Show Account ID and Application Key link.

Show Account ID and Application Key

29. Click Create Application Key to get it.

NOTE: When you create a new application key, the old one will no longer work.

Creating B2 Cloud Storage Bucket

30. To create B2 Cloud Storage Bucket, open the Buckets section and click on the Create a Bucket button.

Create a Bucket button

31. Specify Bucket Unique Name and click on the Create a Bucket button.

Specify Bucket Unique Name and click on the Create a Bucket button

32. Once the bucket is created, click on the Lifecycle Settings button to specify custom lifecycle rules.

33. In Lifecycle Settings, choose Use custom lifecycle rules, edit rules, and click Update Bucket.

Configuring Replication

34. To enable the replication between StarWind and Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage, navigate to VTL device and click Cloud Replication.

To enable the replication between StarWind and Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage, navigate to VTL device and click Cloud Replication.

35. Choose Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage and click Next.

36. In the Replication Settings, specify Account ID, Application Key, Bucket Name obtained and configured previously and press the Next button.

37. Specify Tape File Retention Settings and click Apply. It is also possible to create new empty tapes automatically when the existing tape is exported for replication.

38. Now, the automatic replication to Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage is successfully configured according to the retention policy specified above.

IMPORTANT: Retention Settings should be configured according to corporate RTO and RPO requirements.

Mounting VTL on Windows Server 2016 host

To pass through the VTL device to the backup software, the corresponding VTL iSCSI target must be mounted first. In this section, the VTL device will be connected to a separate Windows Server 2016 host.

39. Open Microsoft iSCSI Initiator, navigate to the Discovery tab, and press the Discover Portal button.

Open Microsoft iSCSI Initiator, navigate to the Discovery tab, and press the Discover Portal button

40. Enter the IP address of StarWind Storage Gateway and press the Advanced button.

41. Select Microsoft iSCSI Initiator from the Local Adapter drop-down list, choose the Initiator IP address and press the OK button twice.

Select Microsoft iSCSI Initiator from the Local Adapter drop-down list, choose the Initiator IP address

42. The newly added Discovery Portal will appear in the list.

43. Navigate to the Targets tab, find the iSCSI target that corresponds to the StarWind VTL device, and press the Connect button.

44. Leave out the Enable Multipath option and press the Advanced button.

45. Set Local adapter as Microsoft iSCSI Initiator, specify the Initiator IP address and Target portal IP, and press the OK button twice to complete the target connection.

Set Local adapter as Microsoft iSCSI Initiator, specify the Initiator IP address and Target portal IP

46. The VTL iSCSI target will appear as Connected in the list.

Installing Tape Library drivers on Windows Server 2016 host

It is recommended to install the latest update driver from HP. The driver for HP MSL8096 can be downloaded here: HPE StoreEver Tape Drivers for Microsoft Windows. The current version that supports Windows Server 2016 is 4.2.0.0. HP drivers must be installed on the host where the StarWind VTL device is mounted via iSCSI.

47. Extract the downloaded driver and launch cpqsetup.exe

Extract the downloaded driver and launch cpqsetup.exe

48. Select all and click Install.

49. Once the drivers are installed, Hewlett Packard MSL G3 Series library (x64 based) appears in the Medium Changer devices.

50. Now, everything is ready for adding the Tape Library to the backup solution.

Mounting VTL on the macOS host

To connect the VTL device on the macOS host, the Global SAN iSCSI initiator will be used.

51. Install the Global SAN iSCSI initiator package on the macOS host. It can be downloaded here: http://www.studionetworksolutions.com/globalsan-iscsi-initiator/

52. Start globalSAN from System Preferences.

53. Click the lock to make changes and enter the password to confirm the changes.

54. Click the plus sign (+) and choose Portal/Group from the drop-down menu to add a new group. The Add Portal/Group dialog appears.

55. Type Group Name, IP address of the StarWind VTL host and click Add.

56. Select the appropriate target in the list. The right part of the window should now look as demonstrated in the screenshot below.

57. In the Alias field, type the target’s name, choose the connection, and click the Connect button.

58. The connected target should look like in the image below.

Installing Tape Library drivers on the macOS host

The latest update driver from HP can be downloaded here: https://support.hpe.com/hpsc/swd/public/detail?sp4ts.oid=5336448&swItemId=MTX_96f7016e0be9480795c529a997&swEnvOid=4184

59. Launch the downloaded package and click Continue in the appeared window.

60. In the Installation Type tab, click Install.

61. Enter the administrator password and wait until the package installation is completed.

62. Click the Close button to finish the installation.

63. Now, everything is ready for adding the tape library to the backup solution.

CONCLUSION

StarWind Storage Gateway offers an additional level of protection and availability for your backup sets. It can be used in different environments according to your needs or requirements.

Also, StarWind Storage Gateway allows users to copy backup sets to Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage and provides any company with a resilient disaster recovery strategy.