StarWind Resource Library

StarWind Virtual SAN: Virtual Tape Library used with Veeam Backup & Replication

Published: June 20, 2017

Introduction

Some companies have to adhere to regulatory requirements for tape vaulting, and at the same time, the backup process requires a smaller backup window. This technical paper provides information on how to deploy StarWind Virtual Tape Library (VTL) and add it to Veeam Backup & Replication to accelerate the backup process.

StarWind Virtual Tape Library (VTL) is a feature of StarWind Virtual SAN that eliminates the need for the physical tape by emulating industry-standard tape hardware and keeping all data on inexpensive, fast, and high-capacity spinning disks. It is designed for SMBs and Enterprises that either look to get rid of physical tapes completely or are willing to accelerate the backup process
and add an extra level of protection. Even with explosive data growth, StarWind VTL fits the backup job into a reasonable time-frame by accelerating it, so the process does not overlap with the production time.

This guide is intended for experienced StarWind users, Windows system administrators, and IT professionals who would like to configure StarWind Virtual Tape Library (VTL). It provides step-bystep guidance on how to create a VTL device that will run on top of Windows Server 2016.

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.

Simple configuration diagram

This guide assumes that StarWind Virtual Tape Library (VTL) and Veeam Backup & Replication are installed on the same server. Alternatively, StarWind Virtual Tape Library (VTL) and Veeam Backup & Replication can be installed on different servers which are connected directly, but it is possible to wire them through switches as an option.

 

Creating a Virtual Tape Library

1. Launch the 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 the default credentials. To add remote StarWind servers to the console, use the Add Server button on the control panel.

2. StarWind Management console will ask you to specify the default storage pool on the server you are connecting to for the first time. Please, configure the default storage pool to use one of the volumes you have prepared as a StarWind storage earlier. All the devices created through the Add Device wizard will be stored on that storage pool by default. Should you decide to use an alternative storage path for your StarWind virtual disks, please use the Add Device (advanced) menu item.

3. Press Yes button to configure the storage pool. Should you require to change the storage pool destination, press Choose path… and point the browser to the necessary disk.

4. Select the StarWind server where you wish to create the device.

5. Press the Add Device (advanced) button on the toolbar.

6. Add Device Wizard will appear.

7. Select Tape Device.

Click Next to continue.

8. Select the Virtual Tape item.

Click Next to continue.

9. Specify the Virtual Tape Library location.

10. Select the Device Model from a drop-down list. You can also fill all slots in the newly created Tape Library with empty tapes.

Click Next to continue.

11. Then, provide Target Alias or choose the default one.

Click Next to continue.

12. Click Create button and view the creation progress.

13. Once the creation is completed, click Close.

14. Next, create the tape. To do this, click on the created VTL device and click Create Tape. The new Wizard window appears.

15. Enter the path to the tape files location if needed.

Click Next to continue.

16. Specify the Number of Tapes, Tape Type, and other parameters.

Click Create button.

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

Mounting the VTL on the backup server

To pass the VTL device to the Veeam Backup & Replication Server, we need to mount the corresponding VTL iSCSI target first. Since all components (Veeam Backup & Replication Server and StarWind VTL) are deployed and configured within a standalone server, the tape library in this example will be mounted locally as well.

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

19. Enter the localhost address (127.0.0.1) and press “Advanced” button.

20. Select “Microsoft iSCSI Initiator” from the “Local Adapter” drop-down list and press “OK” button.

21. You should notice the newly added Discovery Portal in the list.

22. Navigate to “Targets” tab, find the iSCSI target which corresponds to StarWind VTL device, and press “Connect” button.

23. Uncheck “Enable Multipath” option and press “Advanced” button.

24. Set “Local adapter” as “Microsoft iSCSI Initiator”, specify “127.0.0.1 / 3260” as “Target portal IP“, and press “OK” button.

You should notice that the VTL iSCSI target is shown as “Connected” in the list.

Installing tape library drivers

It’s 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, in our example, this is a localhost.

25. Extract the driver downloaded in Step 4 and launch cpqsetup.exe

26. Check Select All and click Install.

27. Once the drivers are installed, you can see that the Medium Changer device is shown as “Hewlett Packard MSL G3 Series library (x64 based)”.

Now, everything is ready for adding the tape library to Veeam Backup & Replication.

Working with Veeam Backup & Replication

28. Open Veeam Backup & Replication. Open Tape Infrastructure tab.

Open the “Add Tape Server“ wizard. Choose the local server and press “Next”.

29. Complete the wizard and press “Finish” button.

30. After Tape Inventory job is finished, you will notice the newly added tape library device.

31. To erase Inventory and Catalog tapes, click Media and right-click on the required tape.

32. Before using the new tape, erase it. After this operation, the tape should be loaded into Drive.

33. Click Tape Job on the Home tab and select Files to run the File to Tape Job wizard.

34. Specify the job name and description.

35. Specify the files and folders to be backed up.

36. For Full Backup, set the schedule if necessary. Choose media pool or add a new pool.

37. By clicking Add New…, you will open the additional media pool creation wizard. Enter a name and description.

38. Add tapes to the media pool and click Next.

39. Enter a media set name and specify automatic creation settings if necessary.

40. Specify the tape retention settings.

41. Complete the wizard, check summary, and click Finish to continue job configuration.

42. Select the media pool for Full Backup and click Next.

43. Set the schedule for Incremental Backup if necessary. Choose the media pool or add a new pool for incremental backup.

44. Set backup options and click Apply.

45. Check the summary. For immediate execution, select Run the job when I click Finish and click Finish.

46. You can see the job status and progress in the History tab.

47. To Restore data, click Restore Files button.

48. Specify files and folders to restore and click Next.

49. Specify where to restore the selected object and click Next.

50. Select automatic conflict resolution options and click Next.

51. Check the summary and click Finish.

52. You will see the restoration progress in the window that pops up or in the History tab.

Conclusion

StarWind VTL seamlessly integrates into the existing infrastructure and allows the backup process to fit into the backup window. As the result, it creates an additional snapshot copy, meets regulatory requirements, significantly decreases backup cost, and keeps the performance of the system stable by increasing the speed of the backup process. It works great with Veeam Backup & Replication and other backup solutions.