I needed to learn more about tape usage in Veeam, and how Veeam ONE reports on it so I needed a tape drive. I used to have a few, including a DAT but no more. So I was talking with one of the very smart Veeam Solution Architects and he suggested the HPE StoreOnce. So this is my story of making it work and connecting it with Veeam.
Things to prep
You should have your FQDN and IP ready for when you need it.
Thanks to HPE reaching out I was told you can use this link, and create an account and download the bits. When you get the bits do not download the OVF file but rather the OVA file which you get when you say vCenter.
You get the HPE VSA bits by first connecting with this web site (then click on the link labeled here) to register. After that log out, and connect to this web site. You can download the bits from there. If you take long enough between the two sites you will get an email and you can download the bits from there.
Very good to see when you extract the archive that you see the .OVA but also the deployment guide, user guide, and the release notes. Very handy.
We also need some tape drivers – which you can find here. Extract them – don’t double-click on them or you will get an error. Make sure you can easily access them from your backup server.
When you install the VSA you get automatically a 60 day license. In theory, you can connect to the first web site along with your serial number – generated after / during the install and register it to get a longer duration of NFR. That did not work for me. I was able to reach out to HPE product management and get a NFR key but they are working to make this easier and as I learn I will update the info here.
If you actually buy the StoreOnce, then you will have a PDF file that is a license and use the URL in the PDF to register it and you will be good.
VTL Work – Console
- Deploy the OVA. Do not power it on. There is no customization possible with it. As I am doing this as a VTL I need the networking to work from the VM network. That coincides with management too.
- Add a VMDK to the OVA – in the size of 1 TB. Or 2 TB, or 3 TB, or 4 TB – you get the idea. A good suggestion is if you can is to put each disk on a different set of disks / controller such as different LUNs or NFS shares.
- Power up. Also take coffee and snack break. Takes like 25 minutes or so. Will very depending on your storage I suspect.
- When it is finished the console will look like below. Remember it will not have IP (unless it has DHCP) and you will need to use VMRC.
- Log in as Admin / admin
- You can use the following command to check the status of the disk(s) you added.
system show status
- It should show what you add or it may show still adding it.
- Next command to use is to do some important configuration.
net set wizard
- You will need to set the IP, DNS, domain, and adapter. Once you go through that, and commit it you should see something like below.
You should now be able to work with the GUI.
VTL Work – GUI
- Log into your appliance at https://fqdn
- Use Admin / admin
- Change to Device Configuration > User Management.
- You should select the Admin account, and then the Modify button and change the admin password.
- Next, while still in Device Configuration you might do license stuff if you had a real one.
- In my case, I change to Time and Date. I need to configure things for my environment.
- You can see the Timezone and NTP changes I made above.
Veeam Server config
Now we work on the Veeam backup server that will communicate with the tape drive.
- When on my Win2K16 backup server I did a search in Control Panel for iSCSI. It prompted me to enable the iSCSI service – which I did and then it opened the iSCSI Initiator applet for me.
- Enter in the IP address for the VTL in the Target box. It should find two targets. Click on both and Connect.
- Next select Done.
- We select in the HPE UI the the type of tape drive. So in the HPE UI, change to StoreOnce > VTL and select Libraries.
- The Edit button is the bottom right of the UI.
- The Library Emulation dropdown is seen in edit mode roughly in the middle of the screen.
- The default is D2DBS Generic. We are going to change it to HPE MSL G3 Series EL 21. I have tested that and it works good. Thanks for that info Rick!
- Once we select the emulation you can Save / Update.
- Now back on your VBR server if you look in your Device Manager you will see a couple of new things.
- Now you have to select the drive, and the changer, and update the driver.
- Once you do the driver install – yes, I know it is an update too – it will look different now.
- You actually have a usable tape drive and library now. So things are looking good. Now time for Veeam configuration.
First we need to configure Veeam to see and use the tape library and then do jobs to consume it. I did this on the Veeam Backup server.
- Start on the VBR server in the Veeam console.
- Change to the Tape Infrastructure view and select the Add Tape server button. You spend a moment looking for it as I did since I have not been in there before.
- On the first page of the wizard you make sure the server name displayed is the one with the connection to the tape VTL.
- On the Traffic screen we don’t often make many changes.
- Next we review the changes.
- We Apply and watch the changes.
- The next screen is the last one, and it has a check box enabled that means to start the tape library inventory. And that is important as when it is finished is when the ‘tapes’ can be used. So no backups before that.
- We can see the inventory happening.
- We can also see the tape drive info now. This also means that the tape library is ready to be consumed.
So we have installed and configure the HPE StoreOnce VSA and it is now a virtual library and ready to be used by Veeam. It was a pretty easy process of configuration too.
I am going to work a bit with the backup jobs that use the tape library and do another article to help.
- Video for learning more about the VTL UI – click here
- The only other article on this subject, very nicely done – here
- You can learn more about Veeam and tape in the Veeam Best Practices – here
- 3/15/18 – added a better screenshot (device manager one showing tape names).
- 3/2/18 HPE reached out and provided a different link to download with.
Thanks for reading, and let me know if you have comments or questions.
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