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StarWind Storage Gateway for Backblaze and Veeam: Installation and Configuration Guidance

Published: April 24, 2018


This technical paper provides the information on how to deploy StarWind VTL and configure the integration with Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage.

StarWind Virtual Tape Library (VTL) is a feature of StarWind Virtual SAN that eliminates the need for physical tapes by emulating industry-standard tape hardware and keeping all data on the disks. It is designed for SMB 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 data protection. Even with explosive data growth, StarWind VTL fits the backup job into reasonable time-frame by accelerating it, so the process does not overlap with a 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 and integrate it with Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage.

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.


It is recommended to deploy the main components (StarWind VTL and Veeam Backup & Replication Server) in a different manner, according to your specific infrastructure requirements.

This guidance describes the configuration process using the simplest setup as an example. All the components are deployed on the single standalone server.

Downloading, Installing, and Registering the Software

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

2. Read and accept the License Agreement.

Click Next to continue.

3. Read carefully 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.

Click Next to continue.

5. To install StarWind VTL service along with 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 time-limited fully functional evaluation key or a FREE version key. You can also apply a commercial license key sent to you with the purchase of StarWind Virtual SAN. Select the appropriate option.

Click Next to continue.

9. Review the licensing information and click Next to apply the license key.

10. Verify the installation settings. Click Back to make any changes.

Click Install to continue.

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

Click Finish to close the wizard.

Configuring Virtual Tape Library

12. Launch the StarWind Management Console by double-clicking 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.

13. StarWind Management Console will ask 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 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.

14. Press the 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.

15. Select the StarWind server where the device needs to be created.

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

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

18. 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.

19. Provide Target Alias or choose the default one.

Click Next.

20. Press the Create button to start the creation process.

21. Once the device creation is completed, click Close.

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

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

Click Next to continue.

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

25. 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

26. Sing up to Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage using the following link:

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

28. 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

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

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

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

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

Configuring Replication

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

34. Choose Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage and click Next.

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

36. Specify Tape File Retention Settings and click Apply. You can also select Create new empty tapes automatically when the existing tape is exported for replication.

The automatic tape replication to Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage is successfully configured according to the retention policy specified above.

IMPORTANT: You should configure the Retention Settings according to your corporate RTO and RPO requirements.

Mounting VTL on the backup host

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

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

38. Enter the localhost address ( and press the Advanced button.

39. Select Microsoft iSCSI Initiator from the Local Adapter drop-down list and press OK.

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

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

42. Skip the Enable Multipath option and press the Advanced button.

43. Set Local adapter as Microsoft iSCSI Initiator, specify / 3260 as Target portal IP and double-click the OK button to complete the target connection.

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 HP drivers must be installed on the host (localhost in this example) where StarWind VTL device is mounted via iSCSI.

44. Extract the downloaded driver and launch cpqsetup.exe.

45. Select All and click Install.

46. Once the drivers are installed, the Medium Changer devices is shown as Hewlett Packard MSL G3 Series library (x64 based).

The tape library is ready to be added to Veeam B&R.

Adding StarWind VTL device to Veeam B&R Tape Infrastructure

47. Open the Veeam Backup & Replication console. Open the Tape Infrastructure tab.

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

49. Complete the wizard and press the Finish button.

50. After Tape Inventory job is finished, the newly added tape library device will appear.

Configuring File to Tape job with automatic offload to B2 Cloud Storage

51. Navigate to the Home tab, press the Backup Files button, specify the job name / description in the appeared window, and press Next.

52. Choose files to be backed up and press Next.

53. Press Add New to add the new Media Pool.

54. The New Media Pool wizard will appear. Specify the name and description of the new Media Pool and click Next.

55. Add existing tape(s) to the Media Pool, click OK and Next to select the tapes.

Press Next.

56. Specify the Media Set name, configure additional settings if necessary, and click Next.

57. Specify the preferred retention settings if necessary and press Next.

58. Specify the additional options if necessary and click the Create button.

59. Review the Summary and press Finish.

60. Move back to the New File to Tape Job wizard and press Next to continue.

61. Configure the Incremental Backup schedule if necessary. Choose the same Media Pool or add the new Media Pool for the incremental backups.

Press Next to proceed.

62. Specify the additional settings and check the Export current media set upon job completion to allow the automatic tape offload to B2 Cloud Storage after backup job is completed. It is also recommended to eject media upon job completion.

Click Save to proceed.

63. Enable the Run the job when I click Finish option if the backup job needs to be run right away.

64. Use the Running jobs navigator to see the Job progress.

65. After the job is finished, the tape is automatically ejected, exported, and marked as Offline according to job settings configured above.

66. Since the tape was automatically exported upon job completion and StarWind VTL Replication policy was set to Replicate Immediately, the replication process to B2 Cloud Storage has started automatically. The progress can be checked in StarWind Management Console using the Offline Shelf overview.

NOTE: The tape can be kept in its tape library slot upon backup job completion and offloaded to B2 Cloud Storage later. In order to achieve this, use the disable Export current media set upon job completion and Eject media upon job completion options in File to Tape Job settings using the Veeam B&R console.

After the backup job is finished, in the Veeam B&R console, navigate to Tape Infrastructure –>Libraries -> Media –>Online – choose the tape to upload, right-click it, and press Export. The tape will be automatically offloaded to B2 Cloud Storage according to the specified Retention Settings of StarWind VTL.

67. When the tape is successfully uploaded to the cloud, the tape location status in Offline Shelf overview will be changed to “Cloud = Yes”.

68. The tape is now located in B2 Cloud Storage according to StarWind VTL retention settings.

69. If the local copy of the tape is not removed after replication, but already moved to Offline Shelf, it can be inserted back into the library by clicking on the Insert button.

Restoring tapes from B2 Cloud Storage

After the time specified in StarWind VTL retention settings, the local copy of the tape will be deleted, but the tape can be restored from the Cloud. In this case, information about the tape is located in the local database.

70. To restore the tape from the Cloud, open StarWind Management Console and choose the VTL device.

71. Click on the Restore from Cloud option. The corresponding wizard will appear.

72. Identify the tape using its barcode. Click on the tape and press Restore.

73. The download progress can be checked in the Offline Shelf overview. When the download is completed, the tape location status in Offline Shelf overview will be changed to “Local = Yes”/“Cloud = Yes”.

Disaster recovery of tapes from B2 Cloud Storage

For the cases when the VTL server failed due to a disaster and there is no local database, the tapes can be easily recovered from the Cloud.

To complete this operation, use any existing StarWind server with appropriate license installed or, alternatively, the new instance of StarWind VSAN can be installed as it is specified in the Downloading, Installing, and Registering the Software section.

74. Open StarWind Management Console and select the StarWind server where the device needs to be created.

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

Complete the StarWind VTL device creation according to the instructions in the Configuring Virtual Tape Library section and add it to Veeam B&R Tape Infrastructure following the steps specified above in this document.

76. Once the device is created, click on the Cloud Replication button and configure the replication to the Cloud as it is specified in the Configuring Replication section.

77. To restore tapes from the Cloud, click on the Restore from Cloud button.

78. In the appeared window, select the Browse Cloud for Tapes option and the tape which should be restored from the Cloud and click the Restore button.

79. The selected tape will appear in Offline Shelf where download progress can be checked.

80. When the download is completed, the tape location status in Offline Shelf overview will be changed to “Local = Yes”/“Cloud = Yes”.

81. Once the tape is downloaded to the Offline Shelf section, select it there and press the Insert button to insert the tape into the tape library.

82. Now, the tape is located in the tape library.

83. In the Veeam B&R console, navigate to Tape Infrastructure, right-click the tape library device, and choose the Catalog Library option.

84. After сataloging is finished, the tape is inserted into a free drive slot.

85. Use the “Restore File” wizard to restore data from the tape.


Implementing disk to cloud backups offers an additional level of data protection and availability for your backup sets. StarWind VTL moves backup sets to B2 Cloud Storage and thereby makes them available offsite. Thus, it ensures quick and easy transportation of your backups and provides your company with a resilient disaster recovery strategy.