Simplify & Save

Nutanix & Veeam help slash licensing costs

Written by: Darren Ashley

BEarena has been bringing the benefits of simplification, increased performance and availability, and reduced operational costs to our customer(s) since 2009 with our market leading partner Veeam, and from 2012 with the Gartner acknowledged leading HCI provider in Nutanix. A number of our loyal customers are already enjoying success with one or both Companies featuring in their IT infrastructure, however new features are upon us that allow customers to:

  • Significantly reduce licensing costs;
  • Improve service back to the business;
  • Further simplify IT application and service delivery.

Nutanix Acropolis and Veeam

Nutanix has been on a mission to transform customers datacentres. First of all, they make storage ‘invisible’. Customers are able to send legacy and complex three-tier infrastructure components to the IT graveyard, and remove all the complexity associated with servers, storage and fibre channel fabrics. Veeam loves Nutanix, it’s 100% virtual approach means Veeam seamlessly connects to Nutanix to provide backup and Disaster Recovery capabilities for applications and services upon it.

Having succeeded in this first initial step, Nutanix moved to make the Hypervisor invisible. Now supporting VMware, Hyper-V, and most importantly Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV), Nutanix customers can transition with the click of a button to a new hosting platform. Veeam has very successfully integrated with the two most known hypervisors for years, with AHV the notable exception. That is until now…

Better Together

AHV is Nutanix’s integrated hypervisor. Delivering all of the major enterprise features of its two better known alternatives, as well as some features either not present, or presented chargeable as add-ons within their product sets. Whilst we won’t debate the benefits of AHV in this post, customers in ANZ are rapidly transitioning to AHV in Nutanix environments to receive the following benefits:

  • Lower operational cost;
  • Simplified upgrades;
  • Increased security.

Veeam have recognised this change, and are now supporting AHV in Beta. BEarena has taken a behind the scenes look at the technology, and this article highlights the major integration points.

Veeam and AHV architecture overview

Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 integrates with Nutanix Acropolis hypervisor (AHV), allowing you to back up Nutanix AHV VMs to Veeam backup repositories.

For integration with Nutanix AHV, Veeam Backup & Replication offers a special component of the Veeam backup infrastructure – backup proxy appliance for AHV. The backup proxy is a virtual module that performs the role of a coordinator between the Nutanix platform and Veeam Backup & Replication. The backup proxy communicates with the Nutanix AHV platform to back up VMs and restore VMs back to Nutanix AHV clusters.

To back up Nutanix AHV VMs, Veeam Backup & Replication uses the agentless approach. The solution works at the hypervisor level. It creates image-based backups of VMs, capturing the whole VM data at a specific point in time, including OS, system state data, application data and so on. Backups of Nutanix AHV VMs are stored on Veeam backup repositories in the native Veeam format. You can use the resulting backup files for different restore scenarios:

  • Entire VM restore;
  • VM disks restore;
  • File-level restore;
  • Application item restore;
  • Restore to Microsoft Azure;
  • VM disk export.

Veeam and AHV – How it works

The core component that enables Veeam integration with the Nutanix AHV platform is a backup proxy. The backup proxy is a Linux-based virtual module that acts as a broker, or coordinator between the Nutanix AHV platform on one side and the Veeam backup server on the other side.

The backup proxy in the Nutanix integration scheme is an all-in-one box that is responsible for backup, entire VM restore and VM disk restore operations.

The backup proxy communicates with the AHV platform over Nutanix RESTful API, assigns necessary resources for backup and restore operations, reads/writes data from/to AHV datastores and transports VM data to/from target Veeam backup repositories.

The backup proxy is also responsible for job management and scheduling, data compression and deduplication, applying retention policy settings to backup chains, as well as performing other backup- and restore-related activities. The backup proxy is installed as a VM on a Nutanix AHV cluster. For one Nutanix AHV cluster, one backup proxy is required, there is no requirement for a backup proxy per node.

The backup proxy comes with a web-based portal that allows users to perform the following tasks:

  • Configure connections to components in the Veeam backup infrastructure;
  • Configure and run backup jobs for Nutanix AHV VMs;
  • Restore VMs back to Nutanix AHV clusters;
  • Restore VM disks and attach them to VMs hosted on Nutanix AHV clusters.

In addition to restore options available in the backup proxy web portal, administrators working with the Veeam Backup & Replication console can also perform the following data recovery operations with backups of Nutanix AHV VMs stored on Veeam backup repositories:

  • Restore VM guest OS files;
  • Restore application items;
  • Export VM disks to VMDK, VHD and VHDX formats;
  • Export VMs to Microsoft Azure.

Discover the benefits

BEarena as the inaugural and Premier Veeam and Nutanix partner ANZ are currently inviting select customers to evaluate the technology as part of the Beta program. Should you wish to understand more of the benefits associated with this joint solution, please drop us a line to register an interest.